Places for Nature and Adventure Places to Eat West

Go (almost) west young man

Go (almost) west young man! If you look up things to do on the West Coast of Puerto Rico the first hundred or so suggestions will have the word beach in them. But once you get to one of the amazing beaches out west take a moment and turn your back to the water and … Continue reading Go (almost) west young man

Gozalandia waterfall San Sebastián

Go (almost) west young man!

If you look up things to do on the West Coast of Puerto Rico the first hundred or so suggestions will have the word beach in them. But once you get to one of the amazing beaches out west take a moment and turn your back to the water and look inland. There’s whole new world just waiting to be explored in those hills. As a matter of fact, they are home to some of the best preserved forests on the island. They also featured some of the last isolated outposts of the Taíno Indians up until the late 1800’s.

So what can you do up there? Here are three things to do on the west coast that might serve as inspiration for your alternative western adventure. 

Gozalandia waterfall San Sebastián
The main waterfall at Gozalandia

Experience the wonder of a waterfall

In the town of San Sebastián you can visit Gozalandia. The name means “funland” in Spanish and it’s exactly what you can expect. Access to this mountain waterfall is easy. The trails are well marked and accesible to the whole family. You can bring your own refreshments and food so you can prepare to spend a couple of hours exploring the area and jumping in the natural pools. The main feature are the waterfalls and there are two that are easy to access. The first is the largest about a 5 minute hike away. It measures about 50 feet high. The second, smaller one is higher up about 1/4 of a mile away and is great for contemplation and chilling out. 

Maricao Stare Forest
A delightful pool in the Maricao State Forest

Look for the birds

Maricao has a state forest park that is ideal for birdwatching and forest bathing. It features the Torre de Piedra observation tower where you can look out for any of the 136 species of birds recorded in the park, 23 of which are endemic. On clear days you can see all the way to Mayagüez on the West Coast and even the offshore island of Mona dozens of miles off the coast. It also lies on the scenic panoramic route that crosses the Island from east to west. So even just driving around will get you in touch with some amazing discoveries. 

Cacao beans in Puerto Rico
Jeanmarie chocolat offers organically grown chocolate

Have some chocolate.

In Aguada there’s a farm to table cacao operation that produces world class chocolate. Up until the 17th century cacao was an important crop in Puerto Rico. A couple of hurricanes wiped out the plantations but a few trees can still be found growing wildly in the forest. One of those trees was the inspiration for the founders of Jeanmarie Chocolat. The farm follows permaculture principles, which simulate or directly utilize the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. All of their farming processes are done naturally and free of any man-made chemicals so all of the chocolate they produce is s organic. They offer a variety of tours and experiences from how to graft plants to a chocolate farm tour with the founders. Book your experience here: https://jeanmariechocolat.com/pages/tours-activities

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