Puerto Rico
El Pequeno: A Charming Retreat in the Heart of Nature

Tucked away on the outskirts of El Yunque, El Pequeno became our home-base for our Puerto Rico adventure. Just a scenic 35-minute drive from San Juan, this mountainside retreat is both conveniently secluded and romantically remote. The spectacular views, nightly serenades of frogs, and the option to sleep with windows open, breathing in the natural ambiance without the hum of air conditioning, made for a truly memorable experience. 

Joaco, the vibrant host, and his friendly dog, Pepe, not only ensured a warm welcome but also added unique character to our stay. The lush gardens really allow you to lose yourself in nature, and Joaco's passion for his gardens and orchid collection was inspiring - I certainly returned with new goals for our orchid collection at home! Joaco was a wonderful host, full of knowledge of Puerto Rico and great suggestions for things to do as well as places to eat.

El Pequeno isn't just a place to stay; it's an authentic Puerto Rico experience immersed in nature. The location, with its proximity to El Yunque and Fajardo, makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a perfect balance between adventure and seclusion.

Fun Fact:

Puerto Rico has its own species of coqui frogs, and these tiny creatures are a symbol of the island and the source of the distinctive and melodic call, which sounds like "co-qui," giving it its name.

Trip Highlight: El Sistema de Cuevas Arenales with GeoAventuras PR

A last minute addition to our trip turned into our most exhilarating adventure in El Sistema de Cuevas Arenales. This Cave Adventure Tour began with our knowledgeable guides leading us through a seldom-used hidden path, setting the tone for an exploration like no other. The path led us to three awe-inspiring caves, complete with photo-worthy waterfalls that added an extra layer of excitement. Recent rains enhanced the experience, turning the narrow cave entrance into a rushing cascade that demanded confidence and skill. If you find yourself there during the rainy season, be prepared for an adrenaline-pumping adventure.

The challenges, though, were rewards in disguise. The first two caves left us breathless, prompting a well-deserved snack break before venturing into a calmer cave. Here, surrounded by history and wildlife, our guide shared captivating stories, adding depth to the experience. This adventure is not just about caves; it's a journey into the heart of Puerto Rico's untamed beauty. If you're seeking excitement, natural wonders, and a touch of history, be sure to include this tour in your itinerary! We had a great experience with Abdiel and Liana, owners of GeoAventuras PR and can't wait to embark on another exciting adventure with them on our next visit.

Glowing Wonders: Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bays

When it comes to magical and unique experiences in Puerto Rico, the bioluminescent bays are not to be missed. Puerto Rico is home to three renowned bioluminescent bays: Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Laguna Grande in Fajardo, and La Parguera in Lajas. These natural wonders are a testament to the island's rich biodiversity.

What makes these bays light up is the presence of microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates. These tiny organisms emit a radiant blue-green light when agitated, creating a stunning display that transforms the water into a glittering, ethereal spectacle.

Our choice was Laguna Grande in Fajardo, and it didn't disappoint. As night fell, we embarked on a mesmerizing journey into the bay, where the waters came alive with bioluminescent brilliance. Our knowledgeable guides not only navigate the waters but also provide insights into the delicate ecosystem and the science behind this luminous phenomenon.

Don't miss the chance to witness this bioluminescent magic, a truly enchanting chapter in your Puerto Rican adventure, and view a tour you can trust here.

Pro tip:

Be sure to check the moon phase, tide chart, and sunset to book your bioluminescent kayak excursion at a prime time for the most spectacular experience

Exploring El Yunque: A Rainforest Adventure with Casa Venturas

A guided trek through El Yunque is a must-do for nature enthusiasts. Our guide, Enrique, expertly timed our Saturday trek with an early start, which is crucial to avoid the crowds. We learned to really embrace the rainforest, and the mud, with a moderately challenging hike and refreshing river crossings. The trail led to a natural swimming pool with an exhilarating natural rock waterslide and rope swing for the adventurous.

Enrique's knowledge was not limited to just the trail; he served as an engaging source of information, educating us about the rainforest's intricate ecosystem and diverse flora as we traversed through the breathtaking landscape.

For anyone planning a visit, don't forget to equip yourself with water shoes and a waterproof case for your phone – essentials that enhanced our experience and allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the natural wonders of El Yunque. Interested in embarking on this journey yourself? Check out our tour with Casa Venturas here!