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Find adventure on Puerto Rico's beaches

Find adventure on Puerto Rico's beaches

Posted by Juan Gavasa on July 24, 2014

Puerto Rico's beautiful white sands, clear blue waters and breathtaking sunsets enchant travelers from all over the world, but it's the unique thrills offered by water sports, above and below the sea, that set this Caribbean island apart.

Diving and snorkeling

With underwater visibility extending as far as 100 feet and water temperatures averaging from the high 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit, Puerto Rico is the perfect setting to discover reefs, caverns, coral and an abundance of fish and sea life.

Visitors can go cave diving in Isabela, a town on the northwest side of the main island, or explore the 22-mile-long Black Wall off the southwest coast near La Parguera. The dive site offers an up-close look at a Caribbean rarity: black coral.

The best diving spots also can be found on the small islands surrounding Puerto Rico, including Desecheo, Culebra and Vieques. Fifty miles west of Mayagüez, a city on the west side of the main island, is rugged Mona Island, where you can spot sea turtles and dolphins.

Kayaking

Grab your paddle and get ready for pure island beauty when you kayak along the coasts of Vieques and Culebra islands off Puerto Rico's east coast.

Join a kayak tour to explore the mangrove lagoons of Vieques. The impressive shoreline forests protect a variety of birds and wildlife, including the famous bioluminescent plankton. In the calm cays of Culebra, tour guides pair kayaking with snorkeling to introduce guests to colorful sea life such as the native hawksbill and green sea turtles.

Kayak rentals are available in San Juan on Isla Verde Beach and in the nearby beach town of Piñones. The cultural center in Piñones, COPI, rents out kayaks by the hour for a paddle through Torrecilla Lagoon, where you can coast among the mangroves spotting birds and other wildlife.

Surfing

The Beach Boys sing about Rincón in their classic hit "Surfing Safari" and rightly so. This west coast town offers some of the best surfing in the world. Even if you don't get on a board to challenge the waves, it's fun to watch the serious surfers here.

The waves come into Rincón from the northwest and southwest, a topography that increases chances for hanging 10, especially from October through February. The town is geared around surf culture, with shops and schools readily available. Even beginners can learn how to catch a wave here.

Windsurfing

Let the breezes pick you up and sweep you along Puerto Rico's waters for a challenge of another sort: windsurfing.

Try the sport for the first time or improve your technique in the waters off Punta Las Marias, a San Juan beach that has played host to professional tournaments such as the Formula World Windsurfing Championship.

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