Tips and advice for making the best out of your time, while sailing in Puerto Rico.
This article summarizes the following:
- When should you should visit Puerto Rico?
- Sailing in Puerto Rico: A one week itinerary
- Ports in Puerto Rico: Some great places where it is worth to dock
- Islands in Puerto Rico: Wonderful islands, which you should visit
Puerto Rico is the smallest and the easternmost island of the Great Antilles and it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The climate is generally pleasant, balanced throughout the year. June is the hottest month in Puerto Rico, with an average temperature of 27 °C. Even in the coolest month, January the temperature is around 24 °C.
For sailing in Puerto Rico, it is important to know that the “hurricane season” lasts from June to November in this area. While the season extreme caution is required. In the winter months (November to January) the wind is typically northeast with 15-20 knot strength. Christmas winds are even stronger, often reaching 25-30 knots. From February to June, the wind eases, then it changes to the southeast direction with 10 to 15 knots; the weakest winds come at September and October. The change of the water level during tides is very small, only 12 to 18 inches (one to two feet), so it doesn’t really affect the sailing in Puerto Rico.
1. day Fajardo, Puerto Del Rey Marina
Let’s start our journey from the largest port in the Caribbean. And if we are here, let’s have a look around. The environment is impressive, the port can accommodate up to a thousand ships, under excellent conditions. If you feel hungry before departure, you can find here a restaurant with great views of the bay. This port is not open all year long, it is closed in September, and so it is important information for planning your trip.
1. day – Palomino Island
This is a tiny, less than 41 hectares officially uninhabited, Holiday Island on the east coast of Puerto Rico. This is a true tropical natural paradise. It is currently in private ownership. There is a luxury hotel and an adventure park on the island and only those can harbour the ship, who have booked a room for themselves.
2. day – Culebra
We continue our journey to the east to reach the island, which is a true paradise for those who would love to swim. Here you can find the Flamenco Beach, which was chosen as the world’s second most exotic beach in a survey. You can read more about Flamenco Beach here and in this article. Of course, there are plenty of choices, there are nine major beaches on the island and in its immediate vicinity.
Culebra is also worth visiting if you would like to dive, or you like fishing beside sailing in Puerto Rico. The biggest experience awaits you when we arrive at the Ensenada Honda Bay. This is an eco-tourism destination and the largest local port While admiring the beauties of the environment we can have a nice meal at one of the restaurants.
3. day – Culebrita Island
As we start our journey from Ensenada Honda Bay, continuing towards the east, we reach Culebra’s “little sister” Culebrita. This small, one-mile-long coral island is a conservation area; it is part of the Culebra National Wildlife Reserve. Here you will find one of the oldest lighthouses in the country, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view if the weather is clear. We can also enjoy the beach; the most popular one is the Tortuga Beach, which was named after the island’s native turtles. If you like swimming, or you would like to try paddle boarding, the picturesque, Almodovar Bay, which mangrove trees surround, will not disappoint you.
4. day -Again at Culebra
It would be a mistake to miss the opportunity, so let’s have a restful day. The program is nothing but enjoining the beach. Let’s explore the Flamenco Beach was, Playa Tamarindo to ourselves, and everything else that this beautiful place can offer to us.
5. and 6. day – The Island of Vieques
It is worth getting up early to get to the largest member of the archipelago called the Spanish Virgin Islands as soon as possible. We are heading in a south-east direction and our main destination this day is the Mosquito Bay and Esperanza. Esperanza is one of the two cities on the island. It is located on the southern shore and it’s popular amongst the tourists, with its cosy restaurants, boutiques, and seaside promenade.
The Mosquito Bay is a must-see speciality. It has the so-called bioluminescent water, which means that water is almost continuously phosphorescent for natural reasons. About the phenomenon, which is well visible in the night, you can read more here. Interestingly, there is also a bay called Ensenada Honda, which is just as beautiful as the close namesake bay.
7. day Farewell to Vieques
At the end of our journey around Puerto Rico, we are visiting the breathtakingly beautiful Green Beach. This beach is known as the Punta Arena and it is part of the nature reserve. The time spent here can be very peaceful: white sandy beaches, palm trees and picnic tables where we can have our lunch. If you are interested in local culture, then before we leave you should take a visit to the nearby Esperanza Archeological Museum.
If you do not have time, or opportunity to sail for a week, we can offer you some great places, which are worth visiting for a day, or two.
If you are in Puerto Rico, of course, the capital city of San Juan is a must-see attraction.
Because of its friendly inhabitants, bustle and sparkling nightlife, we will surely lock this city into our hearts, which we described here. The San Juan Bay Marina provides full service,
It is a well-equipped port with 200-seats. Thanks to its central location, the Old town, and the Condado city part is within walking distance.
One of the most significant cities on the southern coast is Ponce. It is important to know that its port is large and well equipped, but it is relatively far from the city. There is also a local yacht club, but this port is closed on Saturday afternoon and Sundays.
You can read more about the city here. On the east coast, the starting point of our one-week tour, Fajardo can be an attractive place itself. You can go for a dip in the sea, have a good meal, and the sights of Cabezas de San Juan National Park are enough for a full day.
In addition to the main island of Puerto Rico, there are many smaller and larger islands, more than 140. Many of them have already been mentioned in this article, but there are still some more that are worth to know and discover.
It is about halfway between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, 66 km from the main island. It is uninhabited, the total area of a protected natural site. About two hundred caves can be found here, traces of the ancient aboriginal peoples and the Spanish explorers. There is a lighthouse, which is more than a hundred years old, and somewhat looks similar to the Eiffel Tower. The island can be approached by a small boat, as the lagoon entrance is narrow and the water is only 6 feet deep.
Caja de Muertos
This small island is located near Ponce at the southwestern coasts. The name of the island is a bit creepy (“Coffin Island”), but it refers to an old tragedy from hundreds of years ago, to a pirate’s attacks which happened here. Nowadays only peaceful turtle colonies live here.
Seven acres of a small land plot just 50 meters from the south-western coast of Puerto Rico. It’s like a big zoo. Cuban-origin iguana colony lives here undisturbed along with mangroves and agave bushes. The island gives a home to many unique bird species as well. To protect the animals, dogs and cats are banned from the island. Even tourists can enter only in limited numbers.
This is not just a title of a famous American television series, but a hidden treasure in the Caribbean. The official name is Cayo Aurora, one UNESCO World Heritage southwest of the coast, near Guanica. The crystal clear seawater here creates ideal conditions for trying snorkelling even when you are a complete beginner.