Monthly Archives: February 2015

A few of my favorite beaches in the Caribbean

Perhaps it is time to start thinking about warm tropical beaches after experiencing a very cold winter season this year. My idea of a perfect beach involves a combination of soft white sand and calm clean water. Here are a few beaches that will definitely warm you up. I have to warn you that getting to some of these is not easy and will require some planning. Maybe that is why they remain so special. All images were sourced from under Creative Commons license.

Playa Sardinera in Isla de Mona

Mona Island is located in the Mona Passage, a strait between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Mona Island measures about 11 km by 7 km (7 miles by 4 miles), and lies 66 km (41 mi) west of Puerto Rico. The original name given to the island by the Taíno Indians means “what is in the middle”, referring to the journey between the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
The island is a natural reserve. To get here you will have to take a boat ride from the town of Cabo Rojo in the west coast of Puerto Rico. Seas can be a bit rough sometimes and the distance involved makes it necessary to camp or stay on the boat overnight. I was fortunate to visit Playa Sardinera on the west side of the island. The following image sourced from photographer chricycle.

Playa Sardinera in the West side of Isla Mona

Playa Sardinera on the west side of Isla Mona is protected by a reef.

Playa Tortuga in the island of Culebrita

Culebra Island is located approximately 17 miles (27 km) east of the Puerto Rican mainland and 12 miles (19 km) west of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Culebra and its sister island of Vieques are also known as the Spanish Virgin islands. The island of Culebra itself has one of the top beaches in the Caribbean. I also recommend that you take a short boat ride to the island of Culebrita. That smaller island has one of the nicest beaches that I have seen. Playa Tortuga is a large and picturesque crescent whose turquoise waters are protected on either side by long, encircling arms of rock, creating a tranquil inlet. A short hike to the top of the main hill will take you to the ruins of one of the oldest lighthouses in the Caribbean. From up here you can see the island of St. Thomas. The following image sourced from photographer robertrex365.

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Culebrita’s best beach sits in a very calm protected bay.

Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo

Playa Sucia is located on the southwest end of Puerto Rico in the town of Cabo Rojo. I am not sure how the name of this beach which may means dirty beach came about. During my visits the water has been very clean and the sand is white and soft. The location offers dramatic scenery, gorgeous water colors, unmatched Caribbean views, a very attractive lighthouse, quiet and uncrowded most of the year, and a great place to watch sunsets. Getting here is a bit easier but you still have drive thru a bumpy unpaved road and walk a few minutes. The following image sourced from photographer leannevelazquez.

View of Playa Sucia and the Cabo Rojo lighthouse

View of Playa Sucia and the Cabo Rojo lighthouse.

The Beaches of Vieques

Vieques is a long thin island and it is full of beaches. They are probably the nicest ones in Puerto Rico. Too many to list here. Come and stay a few days so you can explore all of them. To get here you will have to fly in or take the ferry from the town of Fajardo. Great fishing and scuba diving exist very close from shore. There is nothing better than lobster that you captured just a few hours earlier. The following image sourced from photographer carnifex82.

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Blue beach in Vieques southern coast.

No es facil llegar a la Isla de Mona

La Isla de Mona se encuentra en un estrecho entre Puerto Rico y la Republica Dominicana. La isla se encuentra a 66 km (41 mi) al oeste de Puerto Rico. El nombre original dado por los Taínos significa “lo que hay en medio” y se refiere al viaje entre las islas de Hispaniola y Puerto Rico. La isla es una reserva natural protegida. Para llegar aqui se debe tomar una lancha desde el puerto de Cabo Rojo en la costa oeste de Puerto Rico. El Canal de La Mona es un estrecho donde se juntan dos mares y ocurren fuertes corrientes. Navegar aqui no es facil. Sera necesario acampar o quedarse en el bote por la noche. La playa de Sardinera en la costa oeste de la isla esta bien protegida de los vientos predominantes del este. Esta imagen cortesia de 101215479@N02.

A view of Monito Island fom the north end of Sardinera beach.

Vista desde el extremo norte de Playa Sardinera en Isla Mona.

Playa Tortuga en la isla de Culebrita

La isla de Culebra se encuentra a unas 17 millas (27 km) al este de Puerto Rico y unas 12 millas (19 km) al oeste de St. Thomas. Si visitan a Culebra ya veran la playa de Flamenco la cual ocupa buena posicion en la lista de las mejores playas del Caribe. Luego de un corto paseito en lancha llegaremos a la isla de Culebrita. Aqui se encuentra Playa Tortuga. La playa es una preciosa bahia protegida con aguas cristalinas y arena fina y blanca. Si caminan un poco, pueden subir al faro. Desde aqui se divisa la isla de St. Thomas. Esta imagen cortesia de davetron5000.

Playa Tortuga en la isla de Culebrita

Playa Tortuga en la isla de Culebrita.

Playa Sucia es la mejor playa en Cabo Rojo

Playa Sucia se encuentra en el extremo suroeste de Puerto Rico en el pueblo de Cabo Rojo. No estoy seguro como surge el nombre de esta playa pero les aseguro que el agua es limpia y la arena es muy fina y suave. En este punto se puede ver una gran puesta del sol, unos buenos acantilados y un faro. Llegar aqui es relativamente facil pero require manejar por una carretera no pavimentada. Esta imagen cortesia de macabrephotographer.

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Vista panoramica de Playa Sucia en Cabo Rojo. Mirando al sur y al este.

Las Playas de Vieques

Vieques es una una isla larga llena de playas. Las playas de Vieques son de las mejores en Puerto Rico. Se puede pasar una semana completa explorando todas las playas. Para llegar aqui se puede volar o se puede tomar un ferry desde el puerto de Fajardo en la costa este de Puerto Rico. Hay buenos arrecifes para pescar y bucear. Esta imagen cortesia de sandcastlematt.

Agua cristalina en una playa de Vieques

Agua cristalina en una playa de Vieques.