When people think of Puerto Rico, the first place that comes to mind for most is San Juan. And I get it. San Juan is lit. I was fortunate enough to have visited beyond the island’s capital through a FAM trip with Discover Puerto Rico to La Parguera located in the southwest.

Back in May 2023, I visited la Isla del Encanto for the first time to go to the Women in Travel Summit (WITS). I was chosen to take part in a trip organized by the island’s tourism board after the conference. All the activities mentioned in this post were covered by Discover Puerto Rico, but my thoughts on each are my own.

La Parguera is just 2 and a half hours away from San Juan. It is the perfect destination for those looking for something off the beaten path. It’s best known for being home to one of the island’s three bio bays. This fishing village has lots to offer and allows you to avoid major crowds while still having unique adventures.

La Parguera makes for a great 2 to 3 day escape and a perfect addition to a San Juan itinerary.

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Watch the video version on YouTube!

Mini Guide to La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Things to do 🤿

La Parguera has a lot of adrenaline type activities waiting for you! Here are the ones I was fortunate enough to participate in during my time there.

Caribbean Chili Boats

Caribbean Chili Boats La Parguera
Caribbean Chili Boats in La Parguera, May 2023

Have you ever heard of a chili boat? Because I never had before my trip to this part of the island. It might be hard to fully explain it in words, so here’s a picture!

This tour is available in Old San Juan, La Parguera and el Boquerón. You can make a reservation here!

What’s included? One waterbike per person, life jacket, whistle, one bottle of water and snack at each stop.

Bioluminescent Bay

Snorkeling in a bay is pretty common, but snorkeling and swimming in a bioluminescent bay at night isn’t. Definitely a more unique experience though! Puerto Rico has 3 bio bays around the island, one of them is located in La Parguera. 

This was one of the most unique experiences I was able to partake in during this trip and one I highly recommend. It’s not very often you can swim with natural underwater lights.

The day of my visit the climate wasn’t the best to see them from above water so the only way was to go in. Depending on how dark it is outside, more or less will be visible. Please do keep this in mind as any tour cannot fully guarantee how many you’ll see when booking.

There are multiple companies who offer this tour, but I did it with Paradise Scuba and Snorkeling.


How can you visit Puerto Rico and not have a go at a surfing lesson? In Rincon, I took part in a lesson by Surfing Lessons in Puerto Rico.

This has to be one of my most favorite lessons to date and I’ve done lessons in Hawaii and Costa Rica. The reason? As I was paddling back out to try and catch another wave, a sea turtle popped its head out. It happened quickly and so unexpectedly, but it was such a nice surprise! I’ve swam with sea turtles before, but in a place where they tend to hang out. This was sheer luck.

Disclaimer: it cannot be guaranteed that you’ll see sea turtles when surfing here. If you do see a turtle, don’t try and grab it as you may scare it. 

Dancing and Live Music

La Parguera’s main plaza is surrounded by restaurants and shops. On the weekends they play live music with residents and tourists dancing together. I’m not sure how many people were there, but they were all having a great time! I joined in for a bit and got to experience a little of La Parguera local life.

Where to eat 🍴

Puerto Rico is known for its delicious food. Most people think of San Juan’s culinary scene, but should also check out these bites while in La Parguera!

El Turrumonte

If seafood is what you crave, then restaurante El Turrumonte needs to be on your list. My group and I tried a variety of dishes and none disappointed. I opted for an octopus plate which was exactly as I had hoped it would be. My mouth is currently watering as I write this. This place is located on the water which makes for a perfect lunch spot with a view.

Isla Cueva

Right in the middle of La Parguera is Isla Cueva. This is your go-to burger and beer bar when in the area. Their sampler plate lets you try a variety of small bites which I highly recommend. I opted for the shrimp tacos and would go back just for these. They have a variety of draft beers and creative cocktails. 

Brújula Restaurant

Located within the Parguera Plaza Hotel is the Brújula Restaurant and Pool Bar. They’re open daily for breakfast and brunch from 8am to 11am. They open back up for dinner from 3pm to 11pm. 

Copamarina Beach and Resort Spa

Copamarina Beach and Resort Spa is a drives away from downtown La Parguera. It really has everything you need if you’re looking for a full on escape and want to stay in only one place. Going for a meal and wandering around the property is a great alternative if staying here isn’t right for you. It is a bit on the higher end.

Where to stay 🏨

La Parguera has an array of accommodation available for different budgets and needs.

Parador Villa Parguera

Parador Villa Parguera, May 2023

The Parador Villa Parguera is a beautiful waterfront property with a pool and restaurant. All of their rooms face the water and have either a balcony or direct access onto their backyard lawn. This hotel is open to all so families, adults, etc are welcome. It’s beautiful having such a nice view to wake up to every morning.

Parguera Plaza Hotel

La Parguera Plaza Hotel is a brand new adult only hotel. It has a pool, cafe, restaurant, with a spa and microbrewery coming soon. They offer a blend of entertainment for adults including DJ performances, unique design, top-notch services, and an array of dining options. This includes their four restaurants and a coffee shop.

Packing Tips

For a 10 day visit, I only brought a personal item, a backpack. Watch my packing and unpacking video for everything I took, wore, and didn’t use!

Latin America Destinations

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One Comment

  1. I would absolutely love the food, maybe give the dancing a go, and definitely go to see the bioluminescent bays available in Puerto Rico. It seems like there is so many wonderful things to enjoy!

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