Guánica, Puerto Rico
One of the most pleasant destinations in the Caribbean, Guánica may be the perfect spot for the Royal Holiday traveler looking to beat the crowds and enjoy beach life without the hustle and bustle of the big resort cities. Surrounded by astounding jungles, glass-like water, and a stretch of beach that must be seen to be believed, Guánica has everything a beach enthusiast desires: warm water, pristine sand, and sun every day. Even today, Guánica serves as a secret hideaway compared to the busy beaches of San Juan. Whether you’re looking to explore the nature preserves, kayak through the mangroves, or just soak up some sun, Royal Holiday makes it easy to enjoy the unique Puerto Rican pleasures of Guánica.
Members will stay at the Copamarina Beach Resort, with its well-appointed junior suites and handsomely manicured grounds covering 16 acres of prime beachfront real estate. Royal Holiday members will enjoy the four-star amenities at the Copamarina, including a private beach featuring every manner of water sport, ranging from snorkeling and windsurfing to kayaking and beach volleyball. The resort also offers a full range of options for those looking for freshwater fun, including jacuzzi-equipped pools, as well as tennis courts and other activities on the resort’s grounds.
Called “The Town of the Twelve Streets,” or “El Pueblo de las Doce Calles,” Guánica is situated where historians believe Christopher Columbus’ second transatlantic trip landed, and it still has all the New World charms that drew Europeans in the 13th century. While its simple name came from the language of the Taíno tribe and can be translated to “here is a place with water,” Guánica is anything but simple. its people, the guaniqueños, are friendly and welcoming, and the sparkling water of the Caribbean provides endless delights. Royal Holiday members have been enjoying this quiet seaside resort for years, with beaches like the Playa Caña Gorda, Playa Tamarindo, and Jaboncillo providing the best in sun-soaked fun.
While it can be difficult to beat the beaches, Royal Holiday travelers should choose to take a day to explore the Bosque Estatal de Guánica, or the Guánica Biosphere Reserve, the world’s biggest tropical dry coastal forest. Featuring 700 plant species, including 16 that can only be found in Guánica, as well as dozens of jewel-like birds and numerous 1,000-year-old trees, this official UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve offers a kind of natural beauty found nowhere else on the planet. The reserve also includes the Punta Ballena Reserve, with its mangrove forests and manatee hideaways, another must-see corner of this astounding island.
Even Guánica can become a bit crowded in the peak season, and many Royal Holiday members have escaped the bustle by taking a short trip to Cayo Aurora, the original Gilligan’s Island, with its gorgeous mangrove channels that make a perfect backdrop for a relaxing kayak ride. At night, you can take a trip to Parguera Phosphorescent Bay, the Bahía Fosforescente, a tranquil setting that lights up with the chemical fireworks produced by dinoflagellates, a luminescent species of marine life. After an adventure-packed day, however, Guánica makes it easy for Royal Holiday travelers to put their feet up, enjoy a cocktail made with local Puerto Rican rum, and simply soak up the slower pace of life in this little slice of heaven.