Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Claiming Sand on Silver

We claimed an isolated stretch of Silver Beach (Vieques, Puerto Rico) as our own.  Angling into one of only two parking spots and tossing our towels onto the sand made it our unofficial second home for two lovely August days a couple of years ago.  Our private spot was well beyond Red Beach and Secret Beach and required a bouncing crawl of a drive down the pitted narrow road that meandered out east of Blue Beach.

Secreted behind sea grapes, mangroves, beach vines and coconut palms, our chosen place had the feel of a well appointed deserted island.  The shallow waters were clear and the sand was soft. After gathering food and water en route at La Tienda Verde (The Green Store), we needed little more than our sunscreen, snorkel masks and a few fish to chase.

We had read about a coral bed located on the far side of the island just to our west.  And after trailing a turtle (video) and stalking various fish in the shallows, we crossed the sea grasses and swam through deeper waters over a sandy sea floor to find out for ourselves…

More underwater photos (and video!) from Isla de Vieques.

Family Vacation on raveable


When it Really is a Jungle…

“It’s a jungle out there” has grown cliched to the point that the phrase almost always brings to mind a complex urban landscape. But sometimes…

It really is a jungle.

Our views from Yokahu Tower extended more than ten miles, out to Luquillo, Fajardo and San Juan and into the North Atlantic waters that border Puerto Rico’s northern shores.


To the west, Los Picachos and Pico de El Yunque rose from amongst the 240 known plant species native to El Yunque National Forest. Far to the east, beyond our sight but visible from El Yunque Peak on the clearest of days: the Virgin Islands.


As we breathed it all in I remembered swimming, years before, in the seas of St John and Virgin Gorda, only vaguely aware that Puerto Rico was just over there… to the west. Now I stood on Puerto Rico’s main island knowing that I’d once chased eagle rays through waters just over there… to the east. As my brain slowly arranged it all in geographical order, it struck me that whether surveying jungle, ocean or mountain, a little on-the-spot perspective is more effective than any map in connecting them all across one beautiful and ever intriguing planet.


Perils of Paradise

Window decals are marginally effective in preventing birds from attempting a fly-through.  I liked the humor in the “Beware Paradise” sticker adhered to the sliding balcony door in our room at the Gran Melia in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.   I don’t know how many birds it has saved, but hopefully the warning has prevented vacationers from succumbing to the hazards of Paradise.

Hazards?  Well, at a resort like the Gran Melia in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, these hazards might easily include an uneven sunscreen application and brain freeze from slurping your frozen daiquiri too quickly. But, I’d rather consider more natural perils awaiting the unwary traveler:

Like bumping into a palm tree,





while stumbling over one of these beached coconuts.





Or the paradisaical peril of wasting your time by following a hermit crab wherever it wishes to go

while watching egrets fly to parts unknown…

While losing yourself completely -for a few moments at least, on a wander down a deserted beach…


Updated from September 13, 2010.
Family Vacation on raveable


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