Guanica, Puerto Rico
Guanica, Puerto Rico is located in the southern coast of
Puerto Rico and it's located on a deeply indented harbor of the same name. The harbor resembles a tropical fjord,
narrow and bordered by rugged hills, barely a quarter-mile wide, but about two miles (3 km) from mouth to the town.
The town is about 100 miles (160 km) or about two hours driving distance from San Juan, and about 20 miles (30 km) west of
Ponce and 20 miles east from
Mayaguez. It is also known as "el pueblo de la amistad" (the
Watch a video of Guanica and La
Guanica, Puerto Rico, with one of the most spectacular bays in the island, offers great beautiful
beaches, hiking, diving, snorkeling and forest areas. Guánica (population 20,000) site of the first United States
troop landing in the Spanish-American.
This invasion led to Puerto Rico being acquired by the United States. War is now noted for the
Guanica Forest Reserve, a unique dry forest, the Guánica Forest is an important international
All through the summertime months highs here in Guanica can get into the 90's with overnight lows
in the 60's. Make sure to bring sun cover protection as the sun can be brutal in your skin.
If you are hiking, even though some trails have tall trees and shadow, you should use protection from the sun, have
enough water, and watch for the first sights of dehydration.
On UNESCO’s list of Biosphere Reserves the dry forest has 48 rare tree species and is an
excellent place for bird watching and hiking. It comprises coastal areas with several mangrove cays as well as
subtropical dry forest.
The main reason to visit Guanica, Puerto Rico is the beaches. From the Balneario Caña (cania) Gorda, Ballena
beach, Manglillos beach, Tamarindo Beach, Playa Santa beach, and Gilligan's Island (Cayo Caña Gorda), Guanica
offers the best in beaches for the family.
At Balneario Caña Gorda the gentle water at this beach washes onto a wide swath of sand fringed with palm trees. It
is one of the favorite beaches among locals.
The beach comprises of picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and changing facilities. In Caña Gorda go exploring the
many small bays and coves common in the area. These are uninhabited and they invite the imagination to run wild as
you discover crannies and nooks.
If a peaceful lifestyle lived on the sandy shores of a beautiful blue sea teaming with all sorts of colorful marine
life appeals to you, then you might find that Caña Gorda is the place you'll spend some time in.
You can get more information from the visitor's center or join an adventure
travel group for hikes and kayaking tours.
From here you can also hop on a ferry excursion to Gilligan's Island (aka Cayo Caña Gorda), an undeveloped piece of
paradise with white sandy beaches, snorkeling and mangroves.
Named for its resemblance to the well known American TV show, Gilligan's Island. the cay is
located about a mile off Copamarina Beach Resort in Guánica, Puero Rico.
It's a lovely little island and is great for everyone, especially kids. Wonderful snorkeling among the mangroves
and beautiful scenery. It is crowded on weekends but you can always push on further and find your own quiet
Except for a few picnic tables, the islands are completely natural with small protected beaches and calm crystal
clear water. Snorkeling is good on the Caribbean side of the islands, but expect some current.
Close to Cana Gorda you will find a secluded part of paradise called Ballena (Whale) Beach. Ballena's beach forms
part of an impressive wild life reserve which is relatively isolated, the wildlife is well protected and
flourishing as a result. There are offshore cays to kayak and snorkel but been secluded, you have to bring your
There are no facilities around the area so come prepare. There is a small ferry used to visit Gilligan's Island or
Ballena Cay. There is parking next to the dock.
Experience the adrenaline rushing downhill on rocky trail in one of the best preserved dry forest in the world,
along the Caribbean Sea. The Dry Forest (Bosque Seco de Guanica) is located in the
driest zone of the island, with minimal rain during the year, only about 20" to 40" inches per year.
The temperature of the region varies but it can reach the 100s degrees F in the
hot sunny days of summer. Walk along these seaside trails, part of the 1,640-acre Guánica State
Forest, where hundreds of cacti, semi-evergreen and miniature desert plants can be found.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to eat cactus fruit and enjoy a great picnic lunch while watching sensational ocean views.
Manglillo Beach, part of the Dry Forest Reserve, it is packed during weekends but
usually deserted during weekdays also offers clam waters and mangroves that give way to soft sands. There is a
small charge to get to this balneario.
Very close to Maglillos beach is Playa Santa (Holly Beach) a beautiful beach located in a neighborhood devoid of
tourist attractions and hotels.
This beach if frequented by locals youngsters. You can rent Jet Skis, kayaks, and
pedal boats at this beach.
It offers an extensive beach line that extends for almost a mile. Located nearby are several hotels and resorts
that limit access to their part of the beach. However, the public part of the beach is kept very clean and
Where to Stay:
Copamarina Beach Resort and Spa, tucked away in the seaside town of Guanica on Puerto Rico's
undiscovered southwestern coast, is a 20 acre landscaped tropical resort with a 1/2 mile long beach fronting the
It is a secluded hideaway where tranquility and activity meet. This is a Puerto Rico far from the
glitz and the casinos in San Juan.
Here we have awesome wall diving (the wall runs parallel to our coast for 22 miles) ranging in depth from 45 feet
to crush depth.
Visibility here is almost always excellent as this is the "dry" side of
Puerto Rico. This area is good for intermediate to advanced divers.
This is the Copamarina Beach Resort, an exclusive retreat offering the best in relaxation, fine dining featuring
award-winning Caribbean recipes, fabulous diving and eco-tourist wonders. Copamarina is Puerto Rico's first resort
to offer an all inclusive package.
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