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Cayo Caracoles - Lajas, Puerto Rico

Caracoles & The Bioluminescent Bay – One of the Best Day Trips in Puerto Rico

Caracoles, the most beloved cay in La Parguera, home of the bioluminescent bay is in the town of Lajas, one of the best day trips in Puerto Rico.  Of all the islands in La Parguera, Cayo Caracoles (Caracoles Cay), is the most popular for its crystal clear waters.  Caracoles is just about 45 minutes from Ponce and 2.5 hours from San Juan, and well worth the trip.   The waters are like glass, crystal clear and calm, the earlier you get here in the day the better the conditions are.

Cayo Caracoles - Best clear water beaches in Puerto Rico - Lajas, Puerto Rico

When in Caracoles you’re always on the water, there is no beach, no sandy area to just sit with a chair, and no place to picnic, and that’s part of the uniqueness of the experience, you’re surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, mangrove keys and views of the Lajas mountains.  The water surrounding the mangrove cay is shallow, even the kids can walk around on the water safely and swim along the mangrove channel.

Top Rated Tours to Cayo Caracoles

La Parguera, Lajas, Puerto Rico

Local Caracoles Cay Tours - From Lajas

From San Juan - Excursions with Transportation from San Juan

Getting to Caracoles - Lajas, Puerto Rico

If you’re vacationing in San Juan / Metro Area you may rent a car and drive to Lajas or you may book a tour that takes care of all the details offering round-trip transportation (see tours below).  Once in Lajas, you may also rent a small boat or pay for a water taxi at the dock in La Parguera, which will give you the freedom to do some “island-hopping”.   After enjoying Cayo Caracoles, we encourage you to stay for dinner at one of the restaurants at the villa and enjoy the magic of the bioluminescent bay (see tours below), which is brighter (under normal weather conditions), more relaxed, and without crowds when compared to Laguna Grande in Fajardo.

We recommend you spend the whole day enjoying La Parguera, especially the bioluminescent bay in Lajas (see tours below).

Top Rated Lajas Bioluminescent Bay Tours - Local

From Ponce

From San Juan

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Best Times to Visit Caracoles, Lajas, Puerto Rico

As we mentioned in our travel seasons article, on the west coast high season is in the summers and holidays, weekdays from late August until mid-March you may have this little paradise on the Caribbean Sea all to yourself.  During the summers and holiday weeks, especially Easter week you will find the most crowds.  Sometimes it gets unbearably crowded because boat owners love coming here to hang out.  If you love the party scene you’ll love it, if you don’t you’ll hate it.

Safety at Caracoles Island

Caracoles Cay’s waters are safe for swimming, shallow and calm.  We are very happy that this year 2023, the best swimming area was roped off for the safety of visitors.   

Facilities at Caracoles

As mentioned earlier there is no beach, you’re always on the water. The whole island is made up of mangroves with no flat land.

You will need to bring everything you need.  I recommend you stick to sunblock, perhaps a sandwich you could get at a panaderia (local bakery) on your drive here and drinks.  Get a good breakfast, get here early and you can be back to the dock by early afternoon for a great lunch where there is plenty of restaurants with yummy traditional food.

Restrooms are on the neighbor island Mata La Gata (bring your own toilet paper, wet wipes, or hand sanitizers).  You will need a boat or kayak to get to Mata La Gata, we don’t recommend swimming to Mata La Gata since the open sea is coming in freely right in between the islands, surf and currents vary with the weather.  You may ask your tour operator to come and pick you up at a certain time and then go to Mata La Gata for the rest of the day where they have grills, and picnic tables.

Top Rated Small Inns in Lajas & Nearby

Map - Cayo Caracoles - La Parguera

Lajas, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico  ⎮  Puerto Rico Islands  ⎮ La Parguera, Lajas  ⎮ Cayo Caracoles