Category Archives: CARIBBEAN

Ziplining in Puerto Rico

Hang onto the metal clip. It’s your steering wheel as you fly across the treetops. It’s also your lifeline, connecting you to the cable above. Manage your speed and the adrenaline rush by either leaning way back with your feet forward (for maximum zip) or dangle your feet to be less aerodynamic. Your choice. Just remember to get a foot forward in time to land on the platform and avoid the tree. Especially the big one with the active bee hive nested just above. And for goodness sake, don’t yank on a vine and risk a rainfall of fire ants!

Ready? Here’s the video:

Ziplining in Puerto Rico:

Our morning with Yunke Zipline Adventure was one of the highlights of August 2010 trip to Puerto Rico and Vieques. Our rendezvous point was a covered basketball court at the side of a narrow road in Luquillo. “It’s the only one on the left,” Jaime assured me. From there we followed our guides to get our gear, be briefed on the adventure and start the hike up to our first zipline. Situated just outside of the El Yunque National Forest in the Luquillo Rainforest at the end of a winding dirt road on private land, one is unlikely to locate Yunke Zipline Adventure by accident. Calling or emailing a few days ahead of your proposed date is highly recommended. I highly recommend Yunke Zipline Adventure as well.

Family Vacation on raveable
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Sea Glass on Sun Bay

Sun Bay didn’t get a lot of our time.  Nothing against the sand on that beach —the shores of Isla de Vieques are simply alternate slices of heaven. We had found more private digs on Silver Beach around the corner but appreciated Sun Bay’s alternate view of the little island we swam to in pursuit of a sea turtle.

Sun Bay was the meeting point for our kayak/swim tour of Bioluminescent Bay (more on that later).  More significantly, it was the best beach we found for collecting sea glass.

Sea glass?  It’s basically recycled garbage, but this is a truly artistic reprocessing.  During a stay at Cape Cod, I found publicity for a sea glass festival in Hyannis, Massachusetts. And with a couple of Google clicks, I discovered that the annual festival is not an isolated incident but a major hobby and business for many ocean lovers. The “Shard of the Year” fetches $1000 at the North American Sea Glass Festival.

Sea glass is ocean burnished bottle fragments and chips of glass. Bottle stoppers, marbles, channel markers, thimbles —tossed and tumbled by the ocean until finally washed up as smooth startling bits of color amidst seaweed and shells at water’s edge.  I’ve found them along the shores of disparate seas.  On beaches in Cape Cod, Bermuda, Hawaii, St John, Puerto Rico, Spain and… Vieques.  My aunt’s artful scatter of the glass over a patio table a few years ago  breathed inspiration to me. And so, I gathered my own colorful treasures at Sun Bay.

At Sun Bay we had to get choosy, tossing the similar in favor of the unusual. So much beautiful glass, so little space in our moderately sized hands. At home we arranged the bits of vibrant glass amongst seashells, coral and sand in sea gardens we create in glass bowls to commemorate beach trips.

And with a glance at the glass, I’m back on the beach…

Family Vacation on raveable

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Treetop Views from Yokahu

Ninety-eight steps took us directly to treetop views of the El Yunque National Forest.  It seemed a pretty easy way to gain a panorama after our adrenaline-laced morning spent zip-lining, rappelling and hiking through the Luquillo Rainforest! The 360 degree perspective atop Yokahu Tower also included San Juan, Luquillo, Faro de Fajardo (from which we would eventually ferry to Isla de Vieques) and Playa Seven Seas.  Punctured periodically by arched windows, the silo-styled tower, erected in 1963, also afforded decent vistas during our climb to its observation deck.


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