Puerto Rico's North Coast Attractions
Until the middle of the 20th C, the Puerto Rican northern coast was composed of small towns and sugar plantations. Today the region is home to a large percentage of Puerto Rico's population and industries, although there are many secluded areas as well.
Dorado, Puerto Rico
Founded in 1842, Dorado is largely a tourist center. Dorado features several miles of beaches that originally attracted foreign investors to establish fruit plantations, and eventually resort communities here.In addition to the beautiful beaches, Dorado and the surrounding area is also known for its golf courses, some of the best Puerto Rico has to offer. Dorado has a number of large resort complexes, including major chain names such as the Hyatt.If you are looking for a nice town centre, you won't be disappointed with Dorado, which has among other things, a very nice central plaza. Overall the town has a little of something for everyone.
Hyatt Dorado Resort and Golf Course
The Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort is one of Puerto Rico's premier resorts. Originally built by the Laurence Rockerfeller in 1958 and expanded and renovated several times since then, the Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort is stunning.The complex is spread over 1000 acres and boasts 4 championship golf courses including the famous East Course. The East Course is one of the stops on the Seniors PGA tour and was designed by world famous Robert Trent Jones.The Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort is a self contained operation with restaurants, clubhouses, a beautiful beach and pools. Everything you need is there as long as your credit card has room.
Karst Country is an area of beautiful landscape, with hills and mogotes, which are jutting peaks. The karst formations in Puerto Rico are a result of carbonic acid in the water systems draining into cracks in the limestone of the island. Due to Puerto Rico's climate, this process has left many caves and canyons on the island that make up the third-largest cave system in the world. These "karstic landscapes" can be found throughout the north coast of Puerto Rico.The best way to see Karst Country is to take a drive through the area or explore it on foot in the Bosque Estatal de Guajataca.
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Isabela was founded in 1819 and named in honor of Queen Isabel of Spain. Isabela (population 39,147, area 55sq.mi/146sq.km) is also known as the "Garden of the Northwest". The countryside is comprised of beaches, coral islets, salt flats and dunes. Depending on the direction you take, the scenery just outside of Isabela may be comprised of the hills and valleys of Karst Country, the seaside cliffs that rise 60m / 200ft above the coastline, or savanah like areas.Isabela itself doesn't warrant much time but can serve as a nice base or stopping point.
Guajataca Forest Reserve
Set in the middle of karst country, the Bosque Estatal de Gaujataca (Guajataca Forest Reserve) covers 2300ac/931ha of land featuring a mountainous terrain, 25mi/40km of hiking trails, blue mahoe trees, caves and 45 species of birds. The scenery is spectacular.The hiking trails in the Bosque Estatal de Guajataca are well marked and unpaved, and generally a pleasure to walk on. Pick up an map and get information on the trails from the Ranger Station. There is also a campground at the Guajataca Forest Reserve.The endangered Puerto Rican boa can also be found in this forest.
Jobos, Shack's, Crash Boat, Sandy Beach, Spanish Wall, and Indicator Surfing Beaches
Jobos, Shacks, Crash Boat, Sandy Beach, Spanish Wall, and Indicator Beaches offer very good surfing waves. Playa Jobos has natural features that result in almost consistent surf breaks and is frequented by some of the best surfers. Even if you don't surf, Jobos Beach is a fun place to come watch others. Playa Shacks is known also for caves and is a popular snorkeling area.This whole area, generally just called Jobos, is known for surfing and most of the beaches are joined so that visitors can walk from one area to the next.
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Aguadilla was founded in 1775 and its name derives from the Taíno Indian word "Guadilla" meaning flower. Aguadilla claims to be the place where Columbus discovered Puerto Rico. The town is mountainous and is known for its beaches as well as traditional bobbin-lace production. The surrounding environment is good for hiking and there are also golf courses in the area.
Rafael Hernández Airport
Aeropuerto Rafael Hernández, the closest airport to Aguadilla, used to be an army base from the Cold War called The Ramey Air Force Base. It is located north of the town of Aguadilla. This airport offers service to and from the United States, and is the main gateway to the west coast of Puerto Rico from the US. Aeropuerto Rafael Hernández offers a variety of services, including car rental agencies on site.
Canóvanas - Casa Museo Jesús T. Piñero
Casa Museo Jesús T. Piñero was constructed during the 1930s. A family home with Spanish and Dutch influences. The interior still contains original furnishings. The owner, Pinero, became the first Puerto Rican born Governor of the island. He was appointed by President Harry Truman.