Magnificent La Cordillera Nature Reserve

For many people half of the allure of visiting Puerto Rico is that of enjoying beautiful white sandy beaches and the warm azure waters of the Caribbean. If you enjoy nature you can combine both these elements by taking a trip to the La Cordillera Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural La Cordillera). The reserve encompasses a string of roughly ten different islands that are wonderful to explore. You will find that each island holds its own special appeal and that the majority of islands can be easily reached by boat.

The Reserva Natural La Cordillera falls under the control of the Department of Natural Resources. It can be found off the coast of Fajardo and while each separate island has its own name, it is known collectively as ‘La Cordillera’. The various islands are: Los Farallones, Cayo Icacos, Cayo Cucaracha, Cayo Icacos, Cayo Lobos, Cayo Ratones, Cayo Diablo and la Banquilla, Arrecifes Hermanos, Arrecifes Barriles, Isla Palominos and Isla Palominitos. Though there are some other islands to the southeast of these islands, they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the La Cordillera Nature Reserve.

So what sort of natural delights can you expect to find here? Well, pristine sandy beaches and beautiful bright blue waters are just the start. On land you will find an abundance of wildlife, including turtles that choose to nest here each year, and in the water the large and well-developed coral reefs are home to a plethora of marine animals. The nature reserve enjoys a lot of diversity and the abundance one sees here is worth taking note of. The fact that the islands are uninhabited means that they are the perfect place to relax body and mind. Sporting activities may include swimming, snorkeling and it is good to know that hiking and fishing is allowed in certain places.

On land you will discover a number of birds and reptiles, including an interesting variety of sea gull species. Many of these choose to nest on the smaller and more isolated islands but the adult gulls can be see all over the islands. The most easily noted and perhaps also the most intimidating reptile found here is probably the crested iguana (Iguana iguana), though there are also salamanders, lizards and turtles. Most reptile species on the island are endangered and thus deserve special protection. Botanists will enjoy the plant diversity while divers will be able to spend hours exploring the beautiful coral reefs. So visit Reserva Natural La Cordillera and discover the diversity of these island paradises for yourself.


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