Guanica Things to Do
Guanica is most famous for its dry forest. The 1,000 acre Guanica State Forest Reserve, lies east of Guanica town, and contains some of the most unique flora and habitat in the Caribbean. In fact, it is considered the best preserved, subtropical forest, and the best example of a dry forest in the Caribbean.
The forest is home to 9 of the island's 16 endemic bird species, and contains everything from mangrove swamps, to brackish lagoons, acacia trees, old coral beds, sandy beaches, and my personal favorite, cacti. This is probably one of the last places in the world you'd expect to see cacti. in fact, this is the only region in Puerto Rico, where they are found, which is what makes this habitat so unique.
There are several hiking trails in the reserve, and you can also rent a kayak and explore the mangrove swamps. We had a busy schedule, so we just stopped for a few minutes to see the cacti, which were quite something. We even saw a few birds and butterflies. If we had more time, we would've explored the whole reserve.
If you want to get out of the rainforest a bit, and explore a different habitat, this is the place to come. It is definitely a must, for any eco tourists or naturalists visiting Puerto Rico. You won't find this sort of habitat, anywhere else on the island. You will not be disappointed.
Truly spectacular.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Ballena Bay is a rugged stretch of coast located about 3. It has some nice rocks, and beaches, which aren't as crowded as the beach in Caña Gorda. The water here is a little too rough for swimming, though some locals still do, but beaches here feel secluded, which is a huge plus. if you're looking for a beach with a little bit of nature, Ballena Bay is for you.Related to:
1 Hotels in Guanica
Guanica Tourist Traps
We visited this area on the way to the island's Karst country. The only reason we stopped at this beach, is because our guidebook said it is a good snorkeling spot. No it isn't.
The mangroves were cool, but that's about it. I will start from the begining. The beach is covered with sharp pebbles and crushed sea shells, twigs, and palm bark, which made it impossible to walk barefoot. Once you got into the water it was fine, but the shore was brutal.
When I finally made it to where the reef was to snorkel, the water was so shallow, that it was not possible. The water next to the reef was only knee deep, and it I stood on the reef itself, it would've been ankle deep. The water was so shallow, you couldn't even swim in it. I was dissapointed. I just walked in the mangroves a little bit, and we left. We wasted about an hour on this beach, and it was not worth it at all. I did see some small fish, but I can't believe our guide book recommend this as a snorkeling spot. It is not possible to snorkel here. This was one of the worst beaches I had ever seen.
We only visited the western end, maybe the beach is nicer at the resort. There are better beaches in the area though.
Unique Suggestions: Check out the mangroves, and have a picnic, at the picnic area.
Walk to the resort. The beach might be nicer there.
Fun Alternatives: Visit Playa Ballena and Playa Atolladora, they are smaller, but nicer and cleaner.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
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