Duane and Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower's trip to Puerto Rico in December 1998
A week in Boqueron plus a clock-wise drive around the island.

Click here if you would like to see the trip to Kauai, Hawaii instead.

In the town of Boqueron, Puerto Rico. Boqueron is on the southwest corner of the island, opposite San Juan where you fly in. We rented a car and drove clockwise around the island to Boqueron. - jpg - 25352 BytesIn the town of Boqueron, Puerto Rico. Boqueron is on the southwest corner of the island, opposite San Juan where you fly in. We rented a car and drove clockwise around the island to Boqueron.
An evangelical church in Boqueron. Clare Ann visited a service. - jpg - 24465 BytesAn evangelical church in Boqueron. Clare Ann visited a service.
We stayed in this cabana on the beach. It is part of a government-owned resort that caters to Puerto Ricans. It is very basic but the location is good. - jpg - 20142 BytesWe stayed in this cabana on the beach. It is part of a government-owned resort that caters to Puerto Ricans. It is very basic but the location is good.
The cabana has one larger room divided between kitchen area and whatever space plus two bedrooms and the bath you see behind the kitchen. Small lightbulbs and fans in the bedrooms. The place was clean after we sprayed for bugs and swept them out. jpg - 15184 BytesThe cabana has one larger room divided between kitchen area and whatever space plus two bedrooms and the bath you see behind the kitchen. Small light bulbs and fans in the bedrooms. The place was clean after we sprayed for bugs and swept them out.
The focus of this trip was relaxing, and the mostly empty beach was just right for that. - jpg - 17029 BytesThe focus of this trip was relaxing, and the mostly empty beach was just right for that.
This is about as busy as the beach ever got. We were there the week before school was out. - jpg - 28427 BytesThis is about as busy as the beach ever got. We were there the week before school was out.
We were the only childless couple I remember seeing. So when other people were around it usually meant a gaggle of kids. - jpg - 20428 BytesWe were the only childless couple I remember seeing. So when other people were around it usually meant a gaggle of kids.
We are more used to California beaches which are picked clean of shells. Here there were piles of sheels like this one all along the beach. - jpg - 35468 BytesWe are more used to California beaches which are picked clean of shells. Here there were piles of shells like this one all along the beach.
There was quite a bit of overcast, so we didn't always get sunsets like this one. - .jpg - 11724 BytesThere was quite a bit of overcast, so we didn't always get sunsets like this one.
To go scuba diving or snorkelling you drive about 50 km to the south coast (Boqueron is around the corner on the west coast) where a variety of dive shops are ready to serve you. They have small shops in Boqueron and can provide transport. We chose Paradise Divers for a half-day snorkelling trip with a few other people. - jpg - 10977 BytesTo go scuba diving or snorkeling you drive about 50 km to the south coast (Boqueron is around the corner on the west coast) where a variety of dive shops are ready to serve you. They have small shops in Boqueron and can provide transport. We chose Paradise Divers for a half-day snorkeling trip with a few other people.
This reef had quite a few dead spots, but also some good places. We also went through a mangrove island. - jpg - 36923 BytesThis reef had quite a few dead spots, but also some good places. We also went through a mangrove island.
We saw a lot of fish, although not the really gaudy ones you always hope for. - jpg - 19407 BytesWe saw a lot of fish, although not the really gaudy ones you always hope for.
I was particularly taken with the purple sea fans. - jpg - 15851 BytesI was particularly taken with the purple sea fans
Going with other people means having someone to take your picture. - jpg - 25248 BytesGoing with other people means having someone to take your picture.
The only other outing we did was a short drive to the headlands guarded by this old and abandoned lighthouse. - jpg - 13242 BytesThe only other outing we did was a short drive to the headlands guarded by this old and abandoned lighthouse.
The ocean isn't actually tilted. The wind was so strong Clare Ann is leaning into it and I lined up the photo on her. - jpg - 15184 BytesThe ocean isn't actually tilted. The wind was so strong Clare Ann is leaning into it and I lined up the photo on her.
On the way to Boqueron it was raining and getting dark, so we just hurried from the airport the several hour drive around the island. When it was time to leave the weather was better and we continued our clockwise circle, stopping at the Arecibo observatory on the north side. - jpg - 14164 BytesOn the way to Boqueron it was raining and getting dark, so we just hurried from the airport the several hour drive around the island. When it was time to leave the weather was better and we continued our clockwise circle, stopping at the Arecibo observatory on the north side.
The radio-telescope is huge. This odd structure is the focus point. Instead of moving the dish, which is fixed, you move this huge contraption. The long thing leaving the right side of the picture is a walkway, to give an idea of scale. - jpg - 14050 BytesThe radio-telescope is huge. This odd structure is the focus point. Instead of moving the dish, which is fixed, you move this huge contraption. The long thing leaving the right side of the picture is a walkway, to give an idea of scale.
The dish itself is built in a natural depression of aluminum mesh panels. Some were still damaged from a recent hurricane. There is a rainforest under the dish. - jpg - 17598 BytesThe dish itself is built in a natural depression of aluminum mesh panels. Some were still damaged from a recent hurricane. There is a rain forest under the dish.
We arrived in San Juan in the late afternoon and walked around. We had been here briefly on the way to St. Lucia a few years earlier. - jpg - 19588 BytesWe arrived in San Juan in the late afternoon and walked around. We had been here briefly on the way to St. Lucia a few years earlier.
Obligatory photo of old fort. - jpg - 9526 BytesObligatory photo of old fort.
San Juan is quite picturesque and walkable. We were there the week of elections on whether to be a state or continue commonwealth status, so there were a lot of rallies and such. - jpg - 17906 BytesSan Juan is quite picturesque and walkable. We were there the week of elections on whether to be a state or continue commonwealth status, so there were a lot of rallies and such.

We get very regular email from people asking how to reserve one of the cabanas. Unfortunately, our info is packed away in California. We found a one-line reference in Frommer's Puerto Rico guidebook. The web has the following at http://www.clasificadosonline.com/wheretostay.asp:
Camping Grounds: The government runs five campgrounds with cabins Boqueron, Maricao, Humacao, Punta Guilarte and Anasco. The cabins sleep six and have amenities like refrigerators, stoves and barbecues. (Recreation Development Area 787 722-1551 or 722-1772)

These may be the central reservations numbers. We used fax and postal money order to do the deal. Good luck. If anyone gets the definitive info let us know and we'll post it here. For alternate destinations check our Indonesia or Kauai pages. The best beach so far (for non-surfers) is on the east side of Biak, an island north of the island of New Guinea.


Prepared by Duane Ruth-Heffelbower. Last update May 30, 2005.

©2005 Duane Ruth-Heffelbower