Exploring Puerto Rico’s Phenomenal Water World
By Paul Rubio
Arguably, Puerto Rico’s greatest assets are the stunning waters surrounding it. From the deep blues of the Caribbean Sea to the shining emeralds of mangrove-lined lagoons and crystalline shallows of easterly islets, Puerto Rico’s water world never fails to impress. Here, we present top excursions for embracing the Island of Enchantment’s diverse natural splendor, each bookable through Fairmont El San Juan Hotel.
Complimentary Paddle Boarding
Get ready to enjoy a fun water sport that is exciting and easy to learn. Try paddle boarding at Fairmont El San Juan Hotel, perfect for people of all ages and skill levels. Hotel guests can enjoy this complimentary activity Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reserve your space at the beach towel booth, and experience the beauty of the award-wining Isla Verde Beach.
FloatFit at Well & Being
Discover the latest fitness hype on water! This classic circuit training, performed on a floating water mattress in the middle of the swimming pool, will create unforgettable moments of laughter and fun during your stay. On Fridays and Saturdays at 1 p.m., this sensational class includes HIIT workouts in water, as well as Yoga Vertical Wall, a practice that allows guests to flip upside down for a deeper stretch. Guests can reserve their space at the Well & Being Spa.
Catamaran Sail and Snorkel
Nothing screams Caribbean bliss more than a leisurely catamaran sail with GSI along Puerto Rico’s eastern reaches, with stops at a deserted island and a thriving coral reef. The experience begins in the coastal town of Fajardo (following a one-hour transfer from the hotel), where seafarers board a modern catamaran — equipped with its own water slide, no less — and head toward breathtaking Isla Icacos. After 45 minutes at sea, the catamaran drops anchor near the island, allowing guests to swim, splash, and slide into the turquoise waters and/or amble the island’s white-sand beach. The on-board bar also opens at that time, offering up such tropical libations as rum punch and piña coladas for purchase.
Some 90 minutes later, the watercraft heads slightly further southeast to the coral reefs of Cordillera Nature Reserve. Along with your snorkeling equipment, you will be able explore the reserve’s Technicolor marine life, underscored by massive schools of blue tang. Closing out this half-day excursion is lunch on-board, with a choice of a chicken or hummus/veggie wrap paired with side dishes like pasta salad (trust us, you’ll want to get the recipe after!). Prior to booking your adventure, please inquire about the latest COVID regulations, which as for now include mandatory mask-wearing while on the catamaran (if not eating or drinking) and supplying a personal snorkeling equipment or purchasing it on the boat.
Choose Your Own Puerto Rico Miniboat Adventure
Be a skipper for the day while cruising Puerto Rico’s placid waters at the helm of your own four-passenger, 13-foot motorized inflatable mini boat alongside a certified guide. Following a quick course on how to captain a mini boat, you will embark on one of two adventures. The first departs from San Juan Bay Marina, passing through the bay and cruising past iconic sights like Castillo San Felipe del Morro while ogling incredible panoramas of Old San Juan. The other, longer tour leaves from Fajardo in eastern Puerto Rico and involves a route that encompasses vistas of uninhabited islets, the mountains of El Yunque National Forest, and a century-old lighthouse, plus the opportunity to snorkel.
Nature lovers should not miss this opportunity to kayak with Kayaking Puerto Rico through the flora and fauna of the northeastern tip of Puerto Rico. The excursion begins at Las Croabas Bay, at the mouth of a mangrove-laced channel that snakes to famed Laguna Grande. This interior bioluminescent bay is home to prolific glow-in-the-dark dinoflagellates, known to put on an after-hours bioluminescence spectacular. An evening kayaking tour is your ticket to possibly witnessing the neon colors displayed by the dinoflagellates, though a daytime iteration promises its own excitement as pelicans and herons fly overhead, iguanas swim by, and waters alternate between magical hues of green and blue.