Guanica puerto rico: Things to Do in Guánica

Things to Do in Guánica

The clear waters of Cayo Aurora (AKA Gilligan’s Island) make this biosphere reserve a top choice for snorkelers.

A natural paradise full of ecological diversity and marine wonders. 

The coastal town of Guánica, located in the southwest corner of the island, is the warmest municipality on the island and known for its relaxed vibe. A visit to this town is ideal for those who enjoy the beach and being in contact with nature, without the hustle and bustle of busy tourist areas.

Known as the paradise of eternal summer, this town is home to the Guánica State Forest, designated as a biosphere reserve by the United Nations, where you can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, visiting historic forts or secluded beaches like Tamarindo or Ballena.

You could also kayak to a mangrove island with calm, crystal-clear waters with a visit to Cayo Aurora, known by locals as Gilligan’s Island. You can only reach this small, beautiful cay by kayak or private boat.

Here are some of the best things to do in Guánica.

Taking in the view of the Bosque Seco de Guánica and the bay from Fuerte Caprón.

Guánica State Forest & Biosphere Reserve 

This ecosystem is the best example of a dry forest in the Caribbean region. Unlike El Yunque Rainforest, which receives about 120 inches of rain per year, the Guánica Dry Forest gets only around 30 inches. This wonderful place has 12 well maintained hiking trails of average difficulty. In addition, it is a paradise for birdwatchers with a variety of exotic birds that thrive in warm habitats. Contrary to what the name of the forest might suggest, you will see a lot of green vegetation, with many trees, shrubs, cacti, and other flora unique to this environment. Among the available hiking trails, there are some that take you to secluded beaches such as Tamarindo and Ballena. Another trail leads to an area where there are natural limestone caves, and another that will take you to the historic Fuerte Caprón, where you will find unbeatable panoramic views of the Guánica Bay.

The forest is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and has a visitors’ center and picnic area. It is very important that you wear sturdy shoes since you will walk on unpaved land that could be rocky, also wear clothes that protect you from the sun. Be prepared with sunblock, lots of water, and snacks because there are no kiosks or restaurants near the forest.

Cayo Aurora, aka Gilligan’s Island, is a mangrove island. 

Cayo Aurora (Gilligan’s Island)

Cayo Aurora is a mangrove island very popular among locals. With shallow crystal-clear waters and pristine surroundings, this tropical paradise is excellent for families with young children or seniors. You can rent a kayak at the restaurant dock or go on a private boat. 

More Beaches

Besides Cayo Aurora, in Guánica you’ll find beaches such as Playa Santa, which is a good choice for spending a full day as it has restaurants and kiosks nearby as well as kayak rentals, jet skis, and more. The Balneario Caña Gorda has gazebos, playground areas for children, restrooms, and other family-friendly amenities.

Beautiful sunflowers of the Finca El Girasol.

Finca El Girasol

This is a quick and picturesque stop on your tour of Guánica. Finca El Girasol is a charming, family-friendly place where the owners cultivate different types of sunflowers. You can walk among the bright flowers and the location is a popular backdrop for colorful photos. They also sell flowers, if you want to take some of your favorites. Bring water and sunblock, because the farm gets a lot of sun. Parking on location has a cost of $2. Finca El Girasol is open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please note that the schedule is subject to sudden changes due to rain or availability of flowers.

Island Scuba will take you to some incredible dive sites in Guánica. 

Wall Dive Excursions

Guánica is an ideal destination for divers, whether amateur or experienced. Tour companies such as Island Scuba offer trips to visit different diving sites to appreciate reefs and extraordinary marine life such as sharks, octopus, lobster, eels, sea turtles, sting rays, and lots of diverse fish life, among others.

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Known as both the «paradise of eternal summer» and the «town of friendship,” Guánica is located on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico — the warmest and driest part of the Island, with year-round temperatures hovering between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you enjoy venturing down unpaved roads to explore uncrowded (and nearly untouched) nature, Guánica is your perfect slice of paradise. It’s an example of the rich geographical and ecological diversity that the Island offers, and is distinguished primarily by its hidden beaches surrounded by dense flora.

Search the Guánica Directory
 

Top Attractions

Aurora Key (Gilligan’s Island)

One of the truly wonderful places to visit near Guánica is Aurora Key, better known as Gilligan’s Island. This small mangrove key is surrounded by crystal-clear, shallow waters that are ideal for a day on a boat.

You can reach Aurora Key by kayak or boat, and once there you can enjoy the water and admire the landscape. Make sure to bring a cooler with food and drinks, or grab a hot meal to-go at the pier restaurant before the journey begins.

Make sure to also visit the colorful Finca El Girasol, Guánica’s sunflower farm, where you can walk through a flowery garden and capture some incredible photos.

Guánica State Forest

Guánica is home to the best-preserved dry forest in the Caribbean. Whereas El Yunque receives 200 inches of rain every year, the 1,000-acre Guánica State Forest — a United Nations World Biosphere Reserve — receives only about 30 inches annually.

Popular among families, couples, and solo explorers, the reserve is a habitat for more than 700 species of plants, of which about 50 are endangered and about 15 are endemic. The forest also features 12 hiking trails with varying levels of distance and difficulty. Follow these trails to stunning secluded beaches such as Ballena Bay (take Ballena Trail) and Tamarindo Beach (take the Lluberas Trail), where you can enjoy a day at the beach in a tropical paradise.

Meanwhile, the Fuerte Trail — about six miles roundtrip — leads to Fort Caprón, which was once an observation point during the Spanish colonization. En route to the fort, you will find spectacular views of Guánica Bay, as well as other shorter trails, in case you want to explore a little more.

The entrance to the forest is free of charge and it is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. It’s best to arrive early in the morning in order to make the most of all the sightseeing opportunities.  Make sure to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, snacks, and plenty of water, and wear light clothes and comfortable shoes suitable for walking on rocky trails.

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Where to Eat

In Guánica, you’ll find incredible Creole cuisine and exotic, seafood-centric fusion dishes. For a memorable dining experience in a coastal setting, visit Restaurante Alexandra at the Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa. For a laid-back lunch or dinner, visit Mojito Beach Bar, where the menu features everything from homemade pizza to Creole dishes and fresh seafood in an outdoor setting just steps from the beach.

Brisas del Mar dishes up fancy local fritters made with delicious lobster asopao or a capitán (a local fish similar to red snapper, but fatter) paired with mofongo. Its location on Guánica’s boardwalk provides diners with a casual ambiance and exquisite cuisine.

More places to eat

Where to Stay

For a luxurious stay that offers first-class service, exquisite food, and private access to Gilligan’s Island, book your stay at Copamarina Beach Resort.

For a more local experience, book a stay at one of the Island’s paradores — small inns managed by local families — like the Parador Guánica 1929, where you’ll receive friendly service and a memorable stay in a historic setting. Additionally, the paradores on the Island are known for facilitating cultural immersion experiences for their guests and being located near top local attractions.

Guanica Municipality of Culebra Puerto Rico

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The city of Guanica (Culebra) is located in Puerto Rico, in the municipality of Culebra

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World time
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Exact time and date — Guanica, Guanica, Puerto Rico.

03:35
Today Saturday, 11/26/2022
Dawn 06:42
Sunset 17:47
Daylength 11 hours 6 minutes
Guanica is located in the time zone Atlantic Standard Time. Data is in UTC, Coordinated Universal Time. UTC-4
America/Puerto_Rico
Population according to GeoNames, percentage of the total population of Puerto Rico. 9.2 thousand
0.3% of the total population of Puerto Rico
Official currency that can be used. USD
American dollar
Geographic coordinates of latitude and longitude. -66.9086264
17.9725145

Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport

Guanica, airports nearby
PSE Mercedita International Airport Puerto Rico 37 km
MAZ Eugenio Maria De Hostos Regional Airport Puerto Rico 41 km
SJU Puerto Rico 101 km
FAJ Diego Jiménez Torres Regional Airport Puerto Rico 137 km
PUJ Airport Internacional Punta CanaDominican Republic 167 km
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