Secret spot! Well… it’s not really a secret, but getting to this beach isn’t that easy. In Aguadilla (North West), inside the former Ramey Base, there is a one-lane sandy road that leads to this rather private and very nice beach: Playa Martinica (NOTE: You should have an off-road vehicle for this!) There are cave formations, “pozitas” (natural sea water pools), interesting rocks that lead to more secret spots, and apparently fishing too! So if you ever travel to the North West side of the Island, go for it. This place is obviously Yarari! For directions, ask around, or ask me. I will provide directions via private message.
Had some fun taking pics at Wildo’s Shore Break (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) this weekend. The wind was killer. I’m talking free acupuncture from the sand, but we toughed it out. The beach was beautiful, clean, and not too full, so it was (aside from the piercing sandy wind) perfect. The spot is sheltered by a cliff on the right side and has a vast sandy area where you can play sports, run around and build plenty of sand castles. The swimming area is clear of rocks and the waves are relatively calm. To get here you need to go inside the Ramey Base and through the golf course. Ask around! It’s not really a secret beach.
This bike route is definitely Yarari!
Piñones is a small treasure of possibilities. From natural seawater pools, surfing spots, chinchorros with traditional fried foods like alcapurrias and bacalaítos, to fishing, fruit frappes and a pretty cool and ecologically diverse bike route. All this, only minutes from San Juan.
From The Baldorioty de Castro Expressway or from Ave. Isla Verde, take road 187 to Piñones. The path starts turning left right after the bridge, but you may park along any part and just start riding. We stopped at a natural fruit frappe shop right after the bridge and headed on towards Soleil Beach Club where there is usually some parking. Yup. We parked, unloaded our bikes and off we went. The path changes from wood to road several times so prep your tushy.
Menacing, yet enticing, the Atlantic Ocean crashes to your left as…
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Aviones is one of my favorite near San Juan beaches. A 2… or perhaps 3-in-1 combo of food, surf, and pozita. A pozita is a natural sea water pool. Rocks near the shore close off the area, leaving shallow, wave-free (unless the tide is high) pools that tend to stay warm and are perfect for the kids.
At Aviones you get the kiddie pozita and a surfing wave behind the rocks. The surf spot tends to crowd, but if you’re into bodyboarding or surfing you can do that while the kids play in the pozita. Off the beach is El Boricua, a famous chinchorro where, even on a Monday, there seems to be an eternal line. The alcapurrias and bacalaítos are worth it, though. The houses right in front of the beach allow you to park there for a small fee.
To get to Aviones, take the route to Piñones (road #). You will pass the bridge, several restaurants, a basketball court, then the kiosks and pozitas (this one crowds more and sometimes looks muddy after heavy rain), Chatarra (awesome surf spot, but only breaks occasionally)… soon after you will see a parking in front of houses and El Boricua. That’s Aviones (Km ). There is a wooden ladder leading to the beach. The channel is right in front of the ladder, but the good posita spot is to the left, where it’s shallower.
CAUTION: There is a current, and if the tide is high, it can be strong. Looking from the sand towards the water, it pushes you from left to right. If you are unfamiliar with beaches, please read the Beach Fun & Safety Tips before going.
For kids and nature lovers! Only a short distance from San Juan, La Marquesa Forest Park is a great spot for families and nature lovers. The park itself is a beautiful forest with added extras.
Kids pay $3.00 and adults $6.00. They have limited parking space, however, there is extra parking below the mountain accessible via trolley car.
As you go in the park you can either walk up the mountain, take a train (car that looks like a train) ride or ride the cable cars. I recommend the cable cars. The view is spectacular, and frankly, the mountain is pretty steep so it’s a break from hiking. You can go down on the cable cars as well. They also have a train that takes you up the mountain. Either route, you end up in the aviary and restaurant area.
We ate and skipped the birds. The kids wanted to see the Dinosaurs! It’s really a trail with commemorative trees and dinosaur sculptures; a very steep hike, but alas, there was T-Rex.
They have small playgrounds with gazebos scattered beyond the dinosaur trail. There’s a watchtower. The view must be amazing. Frankly we didn’t go up. All of us were tired from the dinosaur hike!
We walked back down the mountain through the back trail. Nobody was there! A beautiful forest path, just for us. There were gazebos all along the path where people can get together for a picnic or simply rest from the hike… The path continued beyond the park entrance, but as our car was parked near the entrance, we went up the stairs and ended our hike there.
The park also has a zip line adventure for an additional cost. We could see the cables from the funicular lift. My oldest son was very interested. I promised we would go, so that will probably be a future blog post. Here are the pics: