Where to See Sea Turtles in Puerto Rico
You’re in the right place if you’re seeking for a spot in Puerto Rico to see sea turtles.
For a very long time, turtles have been spotted swimming around Puerto Rico’s coastline. In this magnificent nation, sea turtles can be found in three different species. These include the green, leatherback, and hawksbill sea turtles.
This article will provide you with all the information you need for a pleasant day out, including the locations of the top sea turtle viewing areas in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s Condado Lagoon is a fantastic location to watch sea turtles. There are many fantastically entertaining methods to see the sea turtles. Renting a glass bottom kayak and paddling alongside the turtles is one of the most popular methods to watch them. If you don’t want to get too wet, you can also try renting a water cycle.
In addition to being a lot of fun, these activities provide you the opportunity to swim with sea turtles in Puerto Rico and get up close to them in their natural environment.
It is a tiny island that is close to the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. The best thing about this island is that you can go snorkeling there and see a ton of fascinating marine life. The abundance of coral reefs on the island is primarily to blame for this.
Since Vieques Island is not located on the mainland, I suggest signing up for a snorkeling tour that will transport you there and back.
Esperanza Beach, Mosquito Pier, and Playa Pata Prieta are the sea turtle viewing hotspots in Costa Rica.
Escambron Beach (Balneario El Escambron)
Escambron Beach is renowned for its coral reefs, which are home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles. Joining a snorkeling tour, where you can enter the water and swim right alongside the turtles, is the finest way to see sea turtles in this area.
Steps Beach (Tres Palmas Marine Natural Reserve)
This beach near Rincon, on the west side of the island, is a popular place for snorkeling. You can spot exotic fish, turtles, and even the occasional dolphin!
The beach is lined with a coral reef, making it the ideal location for snorkeling. Most visitors sign up for a snorkeling tour to ensure they don’t miss anything. There is a very good possibility that you will see a hawksbill turtle at Steps Beach, despite the fact that they are currently on the verge of extinction.
It is a tiny island that is close to Puerto Rico’s mainland’s east coast. From Fajardo, getting there is simple.
This beach is renowned for its pristine waters and coral reefs, which are home to a wide variety of fascinating marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and rays.
On this island, Tamarindo Beach on the west side is the finest location to watch sea turtles. The turtles will let you to swim with them and get up close to them. These tickets frequently also include transportation from Puerto Rico’s mainland to Culebra Island and return, which is very convenient.
Another popular choice for viewing the turtles is to go on a kayaking tour.
Zoni Beach, Playa Resaca, Flamenco Beach, Playa Carlos Rosario, and Playa Brava are more beaches on the island where you can encounter sea turtles.
On Culebra Island, leatherback and green sea turtles can be found.
For many marine creatures, including turtles, Mona Island is the best-kept Caribbean refuge and the ideal environment.
Divers from all over the world travel to this remote island paradise to explore the pristine beaches, caverns, and coral reefs.
The most well-liked beaches for scuba diving are Playa Mujeres, Playa Sardineras, Playa Pajaros, and Punta Arenas.
The fauna on the island is carefully protected because it is deserted and under the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources’ protection.
In the southwest of Puerto Rico, the town of Lajas contains the community of La Parguera. This charming community also has mangrove forests, wildlife preserves, and a bioluminescent bay.
The La Parguera Nature Reserve, which has a vast and well-developed coral reef, is one of the greatest spots in this hamlet to watch sea turtles. In this area, sea turtles can frequently be seen swimming.
Renting a water bike is the greatest way to view marine turtles in La Parguera.
You may cruise through the stunning mangroves while taking in loads of wonderful marine species, such as manatees, sea turtles, and iguanas.
Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
Mangroves, coral reefs, sandy beaches, and a blue lagoon are all elements of this magnificent wildlife reserve.
At the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, swimming in the ocean and going kayaking and snorkeling are the best ways to see sea turtles. The opportunity to swim among sea turtles will be something you will never forget.
La Cordillera Nature Reserve
This region, which is close off the coast of Fajardo, is made up of a number of cays and little islands with amazing reefs and pristine waters. The biggest island in this group is Cayo Icacos.
On a snorkeling tour that takes you from the mainland to the nature reserve, you have the highest chance of seeing turtles.
The Arrecifes de la Cordillera Natural Reserve is another location that is a part of this nature reserve.
A chain of islands featuring mangroves, lagoons, sandy beaches, and coral reefs are also part of this location.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
Know Why to Go and What to Do
The leisure and outdoor adventure markets are the main emphasis of Puerto Rico’s tourist industry.
Old San Juan, the oldest American city, and El Yunque, the only U.S.-protected rainforest, are both located in Puerto Rico.
The greatest cave network in the western hemisphere, a dry forest, a dwarf forest, and other natural attractions are all within an hour’s drive. Puerto Rico is the ideal location to go cave exploration!
Did you know that Puerto Rico is regarded as the world’s center for rum production? You already know what this entails: several opportunities to enjoy a lively nightlife!
Know Your Transportation Options
Let’s face it, Puerto Rico’s public transportation system is terrible. You will need to rent a car unless you are staying at a resort that offers transportation everywhere you want to go or you only intend to stay in Old San Juan and Condado.
You intend to stroll around. The only urban areas in the metropolitan area that prioritize pedestrian traffic are Old San Juan, Condado, and the old part of Rio Piedras.
Between them, you can simply Uber or take a taxi, then explore on foot.
Unfortunately, no other towns or cities on the island were planned with pedestrians in mind. Additionally, three minutes of walking in the blazing sun will make you wish you were in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Tren Urbano is a single rail line that can be helpful, but it mostly serves residents in San Juan’s suburbs.
How do you go to the island’s other stunning locations, then? You must either hire a car or go on a tour.
For the best tour alternatives on the island, I suggest looking here. I advise looking at Expedia for car rentals since it has some of the more affordable options.
Establish a Budget
Puerto Rico is not inexpensive, yet it is still feasible to visit the island on a tight budget.
Budget-friendly lodging is available, most notably in the form of paradores (rudimentary government-sponsored lodging), but even these can cost $100 or more per night.
Airbnb is another well-liked choice, or you may save money by looking at the top-rated hotels on the island and their most recent discounts on TripAdvisor.
Local markets and beach shacks frequently have inexpensive cuisine (meals cost $5–$10 on average). My personal favorite places to get some of the best cheap native fritters on the island are Piñones and Los Kioskos de Luquillo.
The majority of restaurants charge average pricing (say, $12 to $25 a dinner), which are comparable to other U.S. locations. The cost of living decreases the more you go from a major city and the more inland you go.
Learn When to Travel and What to bring
Due to the island’s position of 18N, tropical weather is present every day of the year (highs in the 90s, lows in the 70s). Amazing, huh?
That being said, include swimwear, flip-flops, sunglasses, and sunscreen in your luggage (among other things).
Hiking boots and a rain jacket are essentials for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. In for a night out is smart attire.
While any time of year is good to visit the island, late spring and early summer, specifically between March and August, are the best. Beaches become overgrown with algae in the winter, and the peak of hurricane season is in late summer or early fall.
Puerto Rico Has a Sizable English-Speaking Population, But Brush Up on Your Spanish
Although Spanish is the island’s official language, English is frequently spoken there as well. You will be able to speak English less and less as you travel outside of cities. Basic communication is nevertheless always available.
It is advised to learn a few Spanish proverbs, salutations, and expressions. We always appreciate the effort.
Remember that because Puerto Ricans speak two languages, Spanglish can be regarded as the “official” language of the island (so full of funny and horrible slangs).
Recognize That You Can Independently Explore the Island
Don’t be duped by tour operators or accommodations that claim locations are remote and difficult to reach.
These things are deceitful tourist traps. Given that the expressway circles the entire island and no location on it is more than 2.5 hours away, most municipalities are easily reachable.
Refrain from being hesitant to leave the tour bus and explore the island on your own. Take the ferry to one of the nearby islands, such as Vieques and Culebra, which have fantastic beaches, or drive to the mountainous area (off the usual path).
Even while Vieques and Culebra are reachable and manageable on your own, the local ferry service is terrible, which may sometimes make the accessibility logistics a nightmare.
Alternatively, I suggest taking this catamaran day trip to the famous Flamenco Beach in Culebra or Culebrita Island if you don’t want to deal with the complexities of getting to the pier in Fajardo and then catch the ferry.
As you can see, with a little bit of study, you can easily find a tropical getaway that fits each traveler’s needs while also staying within a reasonable budget.