Party Time at Villa Pesquera

Situated around a 45 minutes drive east of Ponce, the friendly seaside town of Patillas, established around the once thriving sugar cane industry, may not be the first place tourists think of stopping off at when visiting the beautiful country of Puerto Rico. But word is starting to get around that, not only is Patillas a place of great natural beauty, but revelers visiting Patillas can enjoy a fun-filled weekend of partying at Barrio Bajo’s Villa Pesquera beach.

During the day the sleepy fishing community of Villa Pesquera offers visitors tranquility in a laid back atmosphere. A number of houses along the entrance can be rented by holidaymakers, who often choose to dine on the catch of the day bought fresh from the local fishermen’s club. The park at Villa Pesquera is situated along the beachfront of a calm Caribbean bay, and has picnic facilities complete with public restrooms and showers. This is the perfect place to set out your deck chair and cooler box of drinks under the shade of a palm or almond tree and just relax. There are also a number of gazebo-style huts set out in the picnic grounds, providing shade, tables and seating.

From Thursday nights, carrying on through the weekend, this palm-fringed stretch of beach becomes the venue for a casual open-air everybody-welcome party. Portable food kiosks and bars spring up all over the place, serving local beers and exotic cocktails. This is no time to be concerned about counting calories as tempting aromas from the food kiosks invite passersby to enjoy tasty “empanadias” (type of pastry) filled with ground beef, chicken, crab or mixed seafood, or “rellenos”, a ball of fried potato filled with meat. Either live or recorded merengue and salsa music keeps the friendly, festive and family-oriented party atmosphere in full swing, while the local municipal police ensure that local laws are adhered to and public drunkenness is not tolerated. Camping is permitted, but with the party going on well into the night, don’t expect to get much sleep.

The multi-purpose store at the entrance of Villa Pesquera, called Colmado Villa, sells everything from batteries to sun block, and beer to frozen meat. The staff there can also put visitors in contact with local fishermen who are more than willing, for a reasonable price, to take visitors for a boat ride along the seashore or on the two-hour trip to the lovely island of Vieques.

So if you are looking to experience some authentic casual Puerto Rican nightlife, head for Villa Pesquera, considered by many to be the best part of Bario Bajo, Patillas.