While Part One of Daniel’s super secret birthday trip included lots of historical landmarks and wandering city streets, Part Two took a decidedly more relaxed turn…
We spent two days in and around Fajardo, which is on the East Coast of Puerto Rico. We spent the majority of our time at Seven Seas Beach, which is a couple miles of pristine beach, part of which backs up to Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve (which I will talk more about later). With the exception of locals enjoying the weekend and a few local fisherman spear diving, we had this pristine beach to ourselves. The water was clear blue, there were bits of coral along the beach, beautiful Great Egrets gracefully flying around, and if you looked really closely into the forest that hugs the beach, you could see giant iguanas.
We couldn’t come to Puerto Rico and not experience the famous bioluminescent bays, but we had heard that some of the more tourist-y companies that run tours can be damaging to the ecosystem, so we opted instead for an educational tour at Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Preserve. Our tour started with a trip to the Fajardo Lighthouse to learn about light pollution, how it affects the local sea life, and what the city of Fajardo is doing to reverse its effects (such as making sure all lights in the city face downwards so as to not confuse the sea turtles who follow the moon to lay eggs on Fajardo beaches).
We also were taken to a mangrove forest with a walkway that took us out to a bioluminescent lagoon. It was a New Moon, so we couldn’t see the bioluminescence super well, but when we put a stick in the water, it looked like a magic wand when the water started to glow around it (no photos of this – sorry – I was too excited about my “magic wand stick”). We ended our tour with a moonlit walk along the beach… pretty cool, huh?
The other unique attraction in Puerto Rico is the United States’ ONLY rain forest, El Yunque.
Daniel and I got in a major workout visiting El Yunque, as we chose La Mina Falls Trail, one of the more difficult hiking paths… and of course we walked down first… which meant after we were already tired we had to walk the hour back UP the path. Luckily, the scenery was beautiful, so we stopped often
so we wouldn’t die from lack of oxygen to take photos.
My favorite part of El Yunque was the 360 degree view from Yokahu Tower.
I could have stayed up in that Tower for hours just taking in the view… but the beach (and lunch) were calling Daniel and I back to civilization, so we headed back out to the beach for the rest of the trip…
So that’s basically it. Some city time, some beach time, some time in the rain forest. All in all, Puerto Rico did not disappoint, and I suspect we will be back again in the future. Now, back to reality and back to what this blog is all about… dogs!