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Sailing, Snorkeling and Kayaking > Sailing/Watersports > Puerto Rico
From the dugout canoes of the Taino Indians and the sailing ships of Columbus to the cruise ships of our time, Puerto Rico and boating have always gone hand in hand. For centuries, fishing boats and trade ships kept islanders alive. Today boating is mostly a recreational activity with people taking to the sea for the sheer fun of it.
Visitors who want to explore the waters around Puerto Rico have a wide range of choices. If deep-sea fishing is your passion, take a powerboat trip to the nearby ocean trenches. If you prefer shallow water fishing, board a skiff and head into the coastal mangroves. If you are looking to combine sailing and snorkeling, hop on a sailing catamaran. If you prefer a hands-on activity, power your own ocean kayak.
When most Puerto Ricans think of sailing and snorkeling, they think of the northeastern town of Fajardo. Fajardo is nicknamed the boating capital of Puerto Rico, and from here to Humacao you find several modern marinas and thousands of privately owned boats. Among them are excursion boats -- large sailing or powered catamarans as well as smaller single-hulled sailboats. These boats take passengers on day-long sailing and snorkeling trips to beautiful offshore cays. The faster powerboats can provide day-trips to the islands of Vieques and Culebra islands as well.
Fajardo’s operations provide the easiest and most inexpensive way to get out on the water. Many operators arrange round-trip transportation from your hotel in San Juan. The boats typically leave the docks in Fajardo by 10 a.m. and sail to the cays where conditions are best that day. Passengers slip on snorkeling gear (provided at no extra charge) and enter the world of calm waters and colorful fish. Or you can merely stroll on the beach. Most operators provide a buffet lunch.
Outside Fajardo, virtually every seaside town that has tourism has sailboat or power boat operators. Check at your hotel.
For those who want a serene, up-close, and environmentally friendly way to view tropical waters, there is no better craft than a kayak. Several operators specialize in providing kayak rentals and/or excursions. The most popular sites include the mangrove channels along La Parguera and Salinas and the bioluminescent bays in Vieques, La Parguera and Fajardo. In addition to kayak operators, a number of the nature/adventure groups include kayak trips as part of their offerings.
However you enjoy the waters of Puerto Rico – by powerboat or paddle boat, sailboat or kayak – your adventure is sure to create lifelong memories.