Loved by locals, popular for snorkeling and boaters and just about 45 minutes from Ponce. Caracoles is one of the islands of La Parguera Nature Reserve off the town of Lajas. From all the islands in La Parguera, this is the most popular for snorkeling. The waters are like glass, crystal clear and calm, the earlier you get here in the day the better the conditions are.
As we mentioned on our travel seasons article, on the west coast high season is on the summers and holidays, during the winter weeks you may have this little paradise on the Caribbean Sea all to yourself.
During the summers, holidays and weekends you will find the most crowds. Sometimes it gets unbearably crowded because boats owners love coming here to hang out. There is no beach, no sandy area to just sit with a chair and no place to picnic. When in Caracoles you’re always on the water. Many parts are shallow, as you can see on photo below even the kids can walk around on the water safely and swim along the mangrove channel.
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 on your drive here and drinks. Get a good breakfast, get here early and you can be back to the dock by early afternooon 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.
Getting to Caracoles
There are various tour operators that will bring you to Caracoles. You may also rent a small boat, which will give you the freedom to do some “island hopping”. For more information please visit Tours & Boat Rentals in La Parguera page.