Fajardo - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Fajardo


Fajardo, on the Atlantic east coast of Puerto Rico, is the island's scuba diving hub. Dozens of boating companies offer charters and diving excursions on a range of craft, most based at the town's Puerto del Rey Marina, the largest marina in the Caribbean. Besides having two beautiful beaches just minutes away from town, there are also several uninhabited small islets just offshore, surrounded by coral reefs, and the neighbouring islands of Vieques and Culebra connected by ferry and air charters. Fajardo is thus in striking distance of a variety of watersport playgrounds.

Fajardo's forest-fringed public beaches, Seven Seas Beach and Luquillo Beach, offer calm, clear waters ideal for snorkelling and swimming, and are equipped with cafes, ablution blocks and lifeguards. For landlubbers, or those wanting a break from the ocean blue, the area also sports El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest administered by the United States National Forest Service, noted for its biodiversity and stunning walking trails.

Fajardo town itself does not offer much in the way of attractions, but it serves as an accommodation centre for this delightful part of Puerto Rico. It is also a social hub for holidaymakers thanks to the presence of the luxurious Wyndham El Conquistador resort, which has a lively casino and world-class golf course.

Information & Facts

Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Rico.

The United States Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency, which is divided into 100 cents. It is often referred to as the 'peso' in Puerto Rico. ATMs and bureaux de change are freely available and all major credit cards and travellers cheques are generally accepted. Banking hours are 9am to 3.30pm.

Local time is GMT -4.

The water in Mosquito Bay sparkles like stars when disturbed due to the hundreds of thousands of bioluminescent dinoflagellates resident there. Several tour companies offer kayaking and snorkelling in the magical water, often ranked as one of the most romantic places on earth. Of the bioluminescent bays all over the world, Vieques' Puerto Mosquito has been certified the brightest by the Guinness Book of World Records. A trip to 'Bio Bay' (as it's locally known) is one of the best tourist attractions in Puerto Rico, and well worth the excursion from San Juan.

The Caribbean National Forest, 35 miles (56km) east of San Juan, is the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Park system and was named El Yunque by the Spanish. Its 28,000 acres contain about 240 different species of tree and numerous other plants, from tiny, delicate wild orchids to gigantic ferns. Visitors can start their visit at the El Portal Tropical Forest Centre where there are films, exhibits and interactive displays on the rainforest. Maps are available and you can choose from dozens of walking trails through the forest, graded according to difficulty. Nearby is Puerto Rico's best beach, Luquillo Beach, famous for its soft white sand and towering coconut palms.

Dubbed 'the enchanted isles', Vieques and her smaller sister Culebra are located off Puerto Rico's east coast, accessible from San Juan by air and from Fajardo by ferry. Both support a few thousand friendly, laid-back inhabitants who live life peacefully and slowly, enriching rather than impacting on the natural beauty of their environment. Vieques is 20-odd miles long and five miles wide, and consists largely of the biggest wildlife sanctuary in the Caribbean, protected by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. Some of the world's most beautiful beaches, with azure clear waters and sugary white sand, are to be found in the sanctuary. If you plan to visit Vieques, stay overnight to experience its premier attraction, Bio Bay. On a moonless night the bay glows with the bioluminescence radiated by microscopic one-celled organisms called dinoflagellates, providing an unforgettable sight. Smaller Culebra, just seven miles long and three miles wide, is a few miles north of Vieques and is renowned for the clarity of the waters washing its shores. This is caused by the fact that the island has no rivers or streams causing run-off: the arid island has to have water piped from Puerto Rico via Vieques. This quiet, unspoiled island offers unrivalled snorkelling and scuba diving in its magnificent encircling reefs, as well as kayak expeditions and hiking trails for bird-watchers through the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge.

Located on three promontories on the extreme northeast corner of the island, Las Cabezas reserve is one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse natural areas in Puerto Rico. The reserve is close to Fajardo, a major marina and diving resort, located about an hour's drive from San Juan. The area offers pristine beaches ideal for snorkelling. The reserve contains seven different ecological systems including coral reefs, sandy beaches, lagoons, mangroves and dry forest. It is also home to several endangered species. Boardwalk trails provide easy access to the different natural sites. A restored 19th-century lighthouse, El Faro, is situated on one of the headlands and offers an information centre and observation deck.

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