Kayaking Adventures in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico, a United States territory in the Caribbean Sea, is an island with a vibrant culture tucked between the larger island of Hispaniola and the Virgin Islands archipelago. Spanish historical sites, such as Castillo San Cristobal, and natural wonders like El Yunque rain forest share the island with the beach and water. Gliding along the coast in a kayak is an ideal way to experience the Caribbean while getting to know the island a little better.

Explore Puerto Rico by kayak to gain a different perspective on the island.

Explore Puerto Rico by kayak to gain a different perspective on the island.

Culebra Island

Starting from Tamarindo Bay on Culebra Island, Kayaking Puerto Rico (kayakingpuertorico.com) leads a kayak and snorkeling expedition along the island’s craggy shoreline and beneath the surface of the Luis Pena Channel Natural Marine Reserve. A vibrant coral reef system teeming with tropical fish will pique your anticipation as you slice over the clear waters to the snorkel site. After your paddle and snorkel, the guide will lead you to a beach for some refreshment and unhurried relaxation before you paddle back across the bay.

Mosquito Bay, Vieques

One of Puerto Rico’s three bioluminescent bodies of water — the others are Laguna Grande near Fajardo and La Parguera’s Phosphorescent Bay — Mosquito Bay on the island of Vieques is one of the brightest known “bio-bays” because of its extremely high concentration of phosphorescent dinoflagellates, which are microscopic organisms that glow when disturbed. Abe’s Snorkeling & Bio-Bay Tours (abessnorkeling.com) offers a paddle along the mangroves of Mosquito Bay to a remote, boat-in beach. Then, as night falls, paddlers return across the bay, watching as their paddle strokes churn up eerie swirls of light. Guests who wish to can snorkel in the glowing water.

Espiritu Santo River

Slicing through the Caribbean National Rain Forest, widening into a meander as it reaches coastal red mangrove flats, the Espiritu Santo River is home to abundant wildlife and natural beauty, earning its place as the showcase waterway in the Rio Grande Nature Reserve. Las Tortugas Adventures (kayak-pr.com) offers a four-hour tour of the Espiritu Santo and the surrounding forest eco-systems. At the mouth of the languid river, you’ll stop for lunch and a rest on Bahia Beach before heading back upstream through the estuary.

Go Your Own Way

Maybe a guided tour doesn’t sound all that appealing to you. If this is the case, rent a kayak and gear from Aleli Tours and Kayak Rental (alelitours.com) in La Parguera and hit the water. Try one of the bio-bays on the main island, such as Phosphorescent Bay near La Parguera or Laguna Grande at Fajardo. Or check out one of the paddle-in beaches on Las Cabezas Bay. Go in the morning; take the afternoon off for the beach; and hit a bio-bay at night. With a rental kayak, you’re on your own schedule.


Trent Jennings accepted his first freelance assignment in 1988 from “The Minnesota Daily” and has been writing professionally ever since, primarily as a copywriter. He has experience in advertising, entrepreneurship and as an attorney. Jennings has a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from Hamline University.


  • DC Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images

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