Visiting La Isla del Encanto

by Melanie Edwards on June 12, 2009 · 41 comments

in Puerto Rico

Our week in Puerto Rico consisted of sightseeing, some family time, and a lot of driving back and forth from one spot to another. But, we had a great time and the kids were wonderful. Considering we were dragging them around with no regard for their normal routines and schedules, they behaved really well.

And my daughter? She’s the awesomest explorer ever. She was a real trooper and was up for all our “adventures,” as she called them. She was like our own little Dora and even made up her own song as we hiked in El Yunque.

So, what did we see and visit? It was a mix of must-see tourist spots, some nostalgic visits to towns dear to my family, and a couple of new places we’d never visited.

Places to Visit in Puerto Rico

West Coast of Puerto Rico

We took a little ride up the west coast from the southwest corner where we stayed in Cabo Rojo, up to the northwest corner and into Isabela. Along the way, we made a few stops.

Cabo Rojo Lighthouse & Cliffs

Rincon Lighthouse


This is the birthplace of my parents and where they grew up. We had to visit with them and hear the stories of “I used to play there” and “If you look up that mountain, our house used to be up there.” Highlights in Aguadilla include:

  • Crash Boat Beach – Where it was way too busy both times we passed by for us to find parking and actually stop. I did get a shot of the sign before we left though.
  • Parque de Colón
  • El Parterre
  • La Plaza


We only made one stop in Isabela as we passed through. And that was to take a picture of the Taíno face sculpture on the side of the road.

La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay

This was a first for us and we took the boat ride at night to see the bio bay. Somewhere in this water there are sparkles.

Visits On the Western Half of the Island

Moving more inland, we made sure to make our way to these landmarks.

Cavernas de Camuy

Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Caguana in Utuado

Lago Dos Bocas

Mountain Scenic Route

East Side of Puerto Rico

Of course, we made our way back towards the east side of the island.

El Yunque – Caribbean National Rain Forest

La Coca Falls

La Coca Falls

La Mina Falls

La Mina Falls

Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan)

Amazingly, we did not get many pictures as we walked through San Juan. Probably because we had lots of us to keep track of, including small children, and the streets are narrow and were crowded. It was pretty hard to do anything but just walk. We did get this shot of what I think is a house (can’t remember).

Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park)

That's me fearing for my life trying to feed the pigeons.

El Morro


After visiting the birthplace of my parents, I made everyone take a drive through the neighborhood where I lived for the first 8 years of my life. I was able to show my husband the house where we lived, though it and the neighborhood looked very different. And with all the excitement over seeing my old house, friends’ houses, and even my old school, I did not take any pictures.

***All pictures taken by Justin Edwards or Melanie Edwards.***

Want to visit Puerto Rico? Check out the guide on UpTake, with information on lodging, things to do, and more.

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