Puerto Rico Day Three: Copamarina Resort And The Guanica World Biosphere Reserve.
I continued my drive on Route 333 beyond the small town of Guanica in southwestern Puerto Rico. The road was winding and narrow. Soon, beautiful, but distracting, views of the ocean could be seen far below the road. There was barely enough room for two cars on the narrow road. There was no place to pull off and take in the spectacular views. After a few miles there was a pull off and I stopped and walked to the pristine sandy beaches between rocky cliffs. .
I had the beach all to myself and enjoyed listening to the crashing of the waves on the shore.
I didn’t stay long at this beach. I wanted to get to my hotel and begin to explore this rare region of our planet. The Guanica World Biosphere Reserve protects the dry forests found here. This is one of the few areas remaining on our planet were these tropical desert like conditions exist.
I drove a few more miles to the Copamariana Resort where I would be staying the next three nights. The beautiful resort is secluded in this remote location. I thought it would be a perfect place to explore this unique natural area. It was around 1 p.m.when I arrived. I was glad to find my room was available.
After settling in my room I had a quick lunch and was ready to explore the area . I was told by the clerk at the desk that there was a beach about two miles down the road past the hotel. I decided to walk the narrow road and find the beach.
Well this wasn’t a very good idea. It was sunny and hot with temperatures in the high 80’s. I immediately noticed the dry vegetation to be much like that you would find in the deserts of the southwestern United States and not on a sub-tropical island.
Much of plants were unfamiliar to me but I did notice plenty of cacti growing along the road. And that was the problem. There was little room for a car to pass on the narrow roads. And when they did pass they came way to close for comfort. I was unable to get off the road in some areas because of the prickly cactus and other desert plants.
I still tried to continue my walk observing the strange vegetation and also seeing quite a few turkey vultures flying overhead. I was hoping they weren’t looking at me as possible road kill.
I also saw a few brown pelicans stray from the nearby ocean,
and a few of these magnificent frigate birds
After walking about a mile, and a few close encounters with a speeding automobiles, I decided to turn back to the hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my afternoon walk. Puerto Rico Day Three Copamarina afternoon hike.
It was now late in the afternoon and I decided to drive the narrow road to the beach and watch the sunset. After a two mile drive, I came upon some beautiful beaches crowded with local residents enjoying a Saturday afternoon. I drove to the end of the road, parked my jeep, and walked a trail to some more secluded beaches.
I soon found that I had the rugged shore line all to myself.
Well I shared it with a few brown pelicans that flew overhead.
I again noticed many strange plants, including this cotton like plant,
these large milkweed like plants,
and many cacti. Of course there were many more strange and unique plants, too many to photograph all of them.
I walked out about a mile and found myself alone on a beautiful, rugged and isolated shore. I listened to the crashing of the waves and enjoyed the always present trade winds for awhile .
I wasn’t sure I could see the sunset out here so I decided to head back to my hotel. I ran into a pair of American oystercatcher birds on the way.
I drove back to the hotel and watched the sunset from the private beach of the hotel.
I had a nice dinner at the resort’s restaurant. Afterward I spent some time on the beach enjoying the stars and warm ocean breeze. It was a great way to end an exciting and fulfilling day exploring the beauty island of Puerto Rico. And I was looking forward to some more exploration early in the morning. Here is a link to some more photographs from my evening hike. Puerto Rico Day Three Copamarina evening hike.
In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth – Rachel Carson, Our Ever-Changing Shore