Spend some time in Aguadilla on your next trip to Puerto Rico. It is on the northwest coast with incredible views of the Atlantic and hilly terrain that also lends itself to stellar photo opportunities. There are a number of great beaches there, including Crash Boat which is great for a touristy experience with lots of water sport rentals and kiosks for food. Book a sunset tee time at Punta Borinquen Golf Club for not only a fun and challenging round of golf, but incredible sunset views. Aguadilla is also home to the old Ramey Air Force Base (now the Rafael Hernández Airport) and is the current home on Puerto Rico for the US Coast Guard. Here are a few things you should check out while in Aguadilla.
Survival Beach is a great place for surf enthusiasts. It is about a 20-minute hike east from Surfers Beach or a 2 mile (3.22km) walk west from Shacks Beach, which is all sand. The Surfers Beach route is a good shortcut. Even if you do not surf, the hike is worth it for the beautiful beach and rock formations.
This beach area is great for scuba diving and, when the water is calmer, for snorkeling. To get the most from your diving or snorkeling excursion, consider booking a tour through one of the local dive shops. When the surf is up, bring your board.
Like so many other structures on the west side of Puerto Rico, the original lighthouse was destroyed by the earthquake of 1918. The current lighthouse is still used by the US Coast Guard and was first lit in 1920 and finished in 1922. There is not a lot left of the ruins, but it is still interesting to see and is a great backdrop for vacation photos.
El Parterre is a beautifully landscaped plaza that is built around a natural spring called ojo de agua, which the Spanish used as a source of fresh water. Today the plaza is adorned with statues and gorgeous flowers and trees, and food and drink kiosks have been added. It is a lovely little place to relax with friends and think about the history of Aguadilla.
When you need a break from the beach but the kids still want to have some water fun, check out Las Cascadas Water Park. According to their website, recent renovations on Las Cascadas have made it the biggest water park in the Caribbean. It has a “Crazy River” and wave pools that will entertain the adults, and the Speed Slide, “The Bomb” and the Water Tunnel for the more adventurous, while the kids enjoy the kiddy pool area. They are open May through September, Monday-Sunday, 10:00am-5:00pm.
The Beer Box
There are some amazing microbreweries and brew pubs in Puerto Rico. Just down the road from Aguadilla is Rincón Beer Co, and the Beer Box carries their brews along with many others. They have a number of craft beers on tap and by the bottle, as well as great food and a wonderful atmosphere. Immediately after Hurricane Maria there was a stall in shipping of beer around the island due to logistic issues and beer probably not being a priority at the time. Things are back in full swing at The Beer Box, so stop in for a hoppy treat or grab some for your cooler on the way to the beach.
Ice Skating in Puerto Rico?? Why not? This city-owned rink is the only of its kind in the Caribbean region. Its main area is, of course, the ice skating rink, which also has arcade games and snack bars, your usual rink fare. There are meeting rooms available, possibly for a unique Puerto Rican destination wedding reception. The City Band also rehearses at this facility. They have 1-hour blocks of skating, so check their website for times.
This small museum on Calle Ramón E Betánces houses beautiful works by artists from Puerto Rico. It was established on April 19, 1980 when art lovers of Aguadilla came together to preserve the beauty of their culture. Browse through the paintings, sculptures and other tremendous creations of local artists. Contact them for their hours.
You have to hike into this beach, but once there you will enjoy the beautiful scenery and clean sandy beach. As with all the beaches in this region, you are on the Atlantic, so the waves are big and you must take care. It is a good place to go if you just want to relax and listen to the waves and have very few people around. It is located in the Malleza Baja area of Aguadilla.
All these adventures make a traveler hungry, so stop in at the Aguadilla Food Truck Park. You will find a remarkable variety there. The sushi at Tako-G is outstanding and Mi Panapen has a different gourmet menu every day and always has vegan or vegetarian options available. Try the Thai food at Tuk Tuk or the barbecue at Ribs Smoke Shack, then round out the meal with coffee and ice cream at Demitasse. This park is great if you want something a little different than your usual food truck fare.