Friday, February 22, 2013

East Coast

When Christopher Columbus aproached the Puerto Rican coastline on November 18, 1493, he saw a small island so beautiful that he named it ,,Graciosa'' after the mother of his best friend. The aboriginal Taino Indians called this island Bieke. Today the Island  is called Vieques. But Vieques was not the only place to impress the admiral with its beauty. From afar, the cloud covered green peaks of what is today  the Caribbean National Forest, or El Yunque, also astonished Columbus. Today you can enjoy the area once so admired by the great admiral.

Puerto Rico Map
The east has been turned into one of the most important Puerto Rico tourist destination. There are fantastic beaches, golf courses, nature reserves, impressive underwater reefs and small cays like Palomino, Palominitos, Cayo Icacos and Lobo.
This area is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and deep seas fishing. The small island of Vieques and Culebra, with their pristine beaches, bio-luminescent bays and coral reefs, are just minutes away from Fajardo by scheduled ferry service or by plane.

The east coast of Puerto rico also has Paradores, small inns, hotels, resorts and ,,Mesones Gastronomicos'' where award-winning chefs feature fresh seafood as the centerpiece of Puerto Rican dishes influenced by the Island's Spanish and African Heritage.The most exciting places of the Puerto rican south are listed bellow.

Luquillo offers one of the most stunning beaches and outstanding Balnearios in all of Puerto Rico. The Balneario is a mile-long stretch of sculpted sand set against a backdrop of massive palm trees.

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Loiza is famous for the St. Jaime's Carnival, an event with traditional coconut shell masks, colorful costumes and great music. Loiza is city where the oldest Island church is located. Church designated to St. Patrick dates from 1670 and is in continuous use since than.

Palomino Island Beach
Rio Grande was originally  developed as a sugarcane and coffee plantation area. Today it is known as ''Cuidad de el Yunque'' since 45 % of the Caribbean National Forest is within the municipal boundary.With over  120 '' of annual rainfall, El Yunque is the wettest area of Puerto Rico. Deeper into the forest can be found visitors centers, lookout towers, waterfalls and hiking trails.

Fajardo is known as the Metropolis of the East and is a major touristic and recreational area. the location is ideal, with easy access to the archipelago of Vieques, Culebra and the nearby day-sailing cays of Icacos, Diablo, Palominos and Palominitos. In addition, there are a number of large marinas in the area as well as an airport and a major nature preserve. Fajardo is well known for its excellent day sailing, snorkeling and diving. The day-sailing trips normally take you to one of the nearby cays for a day of snorkeling, sun bathing and feasting.  For the divers, there is excellent clear water all around the cays, with plenty to explore. The seafood in this area is fresh and delicious.                                                                                              Cheap Hotels in Puerto Rico
                                                                                                                         
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Culebra, originally called Passage Island, was first inhabited by the Taino and Caribe Indians. they gave way to the pirates that used these waters as a refuge. The Spaniards ousted the pirates when the land was colonized in 1879. This is the last portion of Puerto Rico colonized by the Spaniards. Culebra is still a refuge, but instead of protecting pirates, it is now part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses most of Culebra and 23 adjacent islands.The refuge, one of the oldest under the US Fishing and Wildlife Service, is known as a nesting site for a variety of seabirds and preserves important habitat for endangered sea turtles and the Culebra giant anole.

Faro de Punta Tuna
Maunabo is known as the Peaceful City because it is located at the southeast of Puerto Rico where the unspoiled beaches and great vistas have a calming effect. Here you find a unique blend of sea, sand and mountans. The area is famous for its lighthouse, build in 1890 as part of the lighthouse system the Spaniards installed to ring the Island and protect the shipping traffic. The lighthouse is still operating under the stewardship of the US Coast Guard, and is not open to the public. You can get a great view of it by looking south from the Playa Punta Tuna. If fresh crab is on your gastronomic to-do list, Maunabo is your place.
Cayo Santiago
Las Piedras - founded in 1733, Las Piedras is known for its famous artisans and local crafts. A good example of a well-known local craft is the hanging chair made from cotton. Basketry, ceramics, weaving, pottery, stone carving and wood turning are also  well-known local crafts.
                                                                                                                      Puerto Rico South video

Naguabo - In Taino, the world means ''here is the land, rich in water, where the mountain starts''. It's an excellent description, starting at the boardwalk area, crossing one or more of the 6 rivers and streams and going up into the mountains, you'll noticea vibrant beautiful area.Naguabo is famous for ,,the Festival del Chapin'' where more than 60 local families prepare a famous fish dish made of flour and the white meat of the chapin.

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