Las Cabezas de San Juan Natural Reserve
Here in Fajardo you can find Las Cabezas de San Juan state park (Hwy. 987 at Las Croabas). Located on 445 acres of land acquired and maintained by The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, the reserve is named after three promontories that jut out into the Northern Atlantic – “cabeza” meaning headland.
Although the Las Cabezas de San Juan nature reserve is located in a somewhat limited area, it is an incredibly diverse and scientifically important tract of land. Seven distinct coastal ecosystems are featured including: coral reefs, sandy beaches, sub-tropical dry forests, rocky coasts, mangrove forests, sea grass beds and one of the few bioluminescent bays in the world.
The main tour is a two-hour trolley guided ride along the reserve with three stops of interest. Among those are the boardwalk trail through a mangrove forest, Playa Lirios, and El Faro de Fajardo. Situated on the highest point of Cape San Juan, the stone building was the second lighthouse erected on the island by the Spanish. Officially lit on May 2, 1882, it has been operating uninterrupted to this day. Inside you’ll find various exhibits related to the lighthouse’s history and surrounding wildlife, as well as an elaborate cast-iron staircase that ascends to the central lantern. The observation deck offers breathtaking views as trade winds gently blow by.
Spanish Tour(s): 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 2:00 pm
English Tours: 2:00 pm
LAGUNA GRANDE BIOLUMINESCENT BAY
At dawn, the mangrove channel transform into an extraordinary rare and beautiful natural phenomenon seldom seen anywhere else in the world: the bioluminescent waters of Laguna Grande.
The Laguna Grande’s unique conditions allow for visitors to marvel at the unique spectacle year-round. Eco-friendly tours depart regularly from the public dock at the small fishing village of Las Croabas located on route 987. Several private companies are ready to take you on a two-hour night-time kayak adventure through the bay and into the mangrove channels that lead to Laguna Grande.
The lighthouse looks over the enclosed, shallow-water lagoon, where endless amounts of microscopic, single-celled organisms known as dinoflagellates light up like stardust whenever they are activated by movement.
An expert tour guide can make the experience richer through the proper explanation of this unique phenomenon, the particularities of Laguna Grande, and its ecological importance.
Fajardo’s bioluminescent bay is one of the few scattered around the island – and one of the last that remain around the world. Visitors to Puerto Rico’s Laguna Grande are still privy to the delights offered by this increasingly uncommon phenomenon and should take advantage of this opportunity we hope will remain for future generations to enjoy.
For tour information, visit the following page:
Activities & Attractions