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Puerto Rico is the island of enchantment and has fantastic amenities like beautiful beaches and urban centers that are historic and colorful. It is one of the best islands in the Caribbean, with everything for every type of traveler.
As a child, I grew up in Arecibo, one of the most outstanding cities in the north, with magnificent beaches that are sometimes only known to the locals. Growing up here made me appreciate it in a way that can be lost to someone just walking through it.
When I was younger, my favorite things to do were go to the beaches of Hatillo, Arecibo, and Aguadilla. Each town, beach and people were different from the others and sometimes having a drink on a beach where there are not many tourists is the best thing to do.
If you plan to travel to Puerto Rico this summer, you must respect the spaces and the local people.
Puerto Rico is a beautiful island, but its culture makes it great, which means that we, as travelers, must keep it alive. If you plan to hit the smaller areas that don’t have many tourist crowds, learn a little Spanish, shop at local businesses no matter how small, and respect the lands by cleaning up yourself.
Here are the five off-the-beaten-path destinations to avoid the tourist crowds in Puerto Rico.
As mentioned, Arecibo is one of the most important cities in the north and is located on the Atlantic coast. Beaches here, like The Bishop’s PoolThey are perfect for travelers and locals because they do not have the hustle and bustle that some beaches in the capital (San Juan) have.
It is completely relaxed and also ideal for families. There is a natural pool next to the main beach, protected from the sometimes aggressive currents.
This makes it a perfect place for children to play as it is not too shallow and has crystal clear water. Another fun aspect of this city is its growing food scene. In the center of town, more than five restaurants are local businesses and fun places to grab a drink or bite to eat.
Places like Poppy Rooftop on Gonzalo Marin street, they are perfect for watching a sunset with a good cocktail. Most of the bars and restaurants are within walking distance of each other. You can tour the local scene.
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If you plan a beach-only vacation, you should check out Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla. The name comes from when the United States military used the area to reach downed air force planes. Since then, it has become a popular destination mainly for locals.
There are plenty of things to do, like snorkeling, scuba diving, or having a cocktail while soaking up the sun. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island for its crystal clear waters and soft sand. It’s around 45 feet deep, so if you’re interested in a free dive while you’re traveling, check this one out.
If you are looking for another amazing beach that is not well known by travelers, check out Mar Chiquita Beach. It is shaped like a manatee’s tail and is known for having exciting rock formations.
It is protected from the ocean through a small inlet (the beginning of the manatee’s tail). This creates a natural wave pool situation. There’s not much around, but it’s a great place to sit and enjoy the sound of the waves.
Cabo Rojo is one of the most popular local regions in the extreme southwest of Puerto Rico. The city is a great place to see the island from a local perspective.
Many beaches and businesses are run or visited primarily by locals. It’s a great place to get away from the tourist crowds.
Located at the western end of Puerto Rico, Rincón is known as the town of beautiful sunsets. beaches like Domes Beach they’re perfect for catching a wave with an otherworldly backdrop (there’s a boiling early 20th century nuclear superheat reactor facility on the beach).
It has some of the best surf breaks on the island due to its positioning. It is also known as a LGBTQ+ destination for travelers and locals.
If you’re traveling to Puerto Rico this summer, check out this list. Not all stops on the island have to be in the metropolitan area. Suppose you venture further west. You will discover a charming side that reminds you of what makes Puerto Rico unique for many travelers.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com