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La Parguera Nature Reserve - Lajas, Puerto Rico

La Parguera Nature Reserve is located at La Parguera, a fishing seafront village on the town of Lajas on the west coast of the island (Porta del Sol).   La Parguera Nature Reserve is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Puerto Rico; characterized by one of the most extensive and well developed coral reefs on the island.  Here you can observe mangrove forests, red and white mangroves are most prevalent species here.   Explore the salt marshes, cays, islets and seagrass beds where schools of tiny tropical fish love to play.  The reserve was created to protect all these natural treasures and it’s currently managed by DRNA. Dolphins, manatees and turtles love these waters, so count on having an interesting underwater experience.

Mata La Gata - La Parguera, Lajas - Puerto Rico Points of Interest

La Parguera Nature Reserve is an eco tourism destination you may not find highlighted on popular travel books.  You won’t find fancy hotels or resorts here, visitors come to La Parguera to enjoy the simplicity of a coastal town where nature takes center stage.  Here you can scuba La Parguera Wall with exceptional coral reefs, observe various mangrove communities, spend the day relaxing and swimming on a secluded cay and picnic completely surrounded by the Caribbean Sea.

Following is a good overview of La Parguera Reserva Natural in Spanish with English subtitles.
Mata La Gata - La Parguera Nature Reserve - Lajas, Puerto Rico

Islets & Cays of La Parguera Nature Reserve

La Parguera - Lajas, Puerto Rico

There are about 30 cays and islets, Mata La Gata is the only cay with a “beach”.  Caracoles is a popular spot for swimming.

La Parguera Cays & Islets - Lajas, Puerto Rico
La Parguera - Best places to visit for nature lovers in Puerto Rico

Things to Do in La Parguera Nature Reserve

Visit the Bioluminescent Bays

Experience the magic of the Bioluminescent Bays.  There are two bioluminescent bays in La Parguera, yet due to poor development planning and the lack of protection laws, it is no longer as bright.  The use of gas powered boats, light pollution, and coastal development has diminished the amount of the dinoflagellates on the water.

You can make a difference by booking a kayak tour of the bioluminescent bay instead of a gas powered boat.  Aleli Tours offers kayak tours and rentals to do on your own.  (787) 390-6086

More about the bioluminescent bay in Lajas, Puerto Rico.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving in La Parguera is world class.  The Parguera Wall is unlike any other diving sites in the Caribbean, the water quality is superb, the topography very diverse, and the amount of sea life mesmerizing.  The Wall is 6 miles offshore, the advanced dive is 125 ft.


Book a snorkeling tour with a knowledgeable guide to make the best of your time in La Parguera.

Kayaking & Paddle boarding (SUP)

Kayaking at La Parguera - Lajas, Puerto Rico

Kayaking and Paddleboarding are excellent ways to explore the mangrove channels of La Parguera Nature Reserve.  The waters are calm along the mangroves, kayakers of all levels can enjoy the waters.  At night, kayaking is the best way to experience the bioluminescent bay.


Romantic picnic spot - Mata La Gata - La Parguera, Lajas, Puerto Rico

If you love to picnic with family, friends or dream of a romantic picnic just for two, La Parguera Nature Reserve will not disappoint.  Mata La Gata is the only cay with land and picnic facilities.  Although you have to bring everything you need, the scenery and setting certainly make up for it. You may also head to Playita Rosada, located along the coast with picnic facilities and a unique natural pool the whole family will enjoy.  You’ll have no problems getting a table during weekdays from September – Mid March.  Busy season is during the summer months everyday of the week.

Tour Operators – La Parguera

There are various friendly and professional tour operators and charters at La Parguera. We recommend you hire their services to make the best of your time here.

If you want to make a difference, hire and request kayaks or electric boat tours when visiting the bioluminescent bay.

  • Johnny’s Boats – (787) 460-8922
  • Aleli Tours – (787) 390-6086
  • West Divers – (787) 899-3223 / (787) 899-4171
  • Paradise Scuba & Snorkeling Center – (787)-899-7611
  • Parguera Fishing Charters – (787) 382-4698
  • Mahi – Mahi Tours and Fishing Charters – (787) 642-2587/ (787) 642-2627

Getting to La Parguera

The town of Lajas is south of San German on Rt 101.  You may rent a small boat to explore on your own, or hire a water taxi to take you.  As always, we encourage you to rent a car in order to experience the best of Puerto Rico.  The west coast of Puerto Rico is perfect for those wishing to purchase a vacation home. There’s much to do on the west coast, great quality of life and affordable living.

Photo Gallery – La Parguera Nature Reserve

Map of La Parguera Reserva Natural

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La Parguera Reserva Natural / La Parguera Nature Reserve

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La Parguera Reserva Natural / La Parguera Nature Reserve 17.969263, -67.009220 More about La Parguera Nature Reserve, Lajas, Puerto RicoLa Parguera Natural Reserve, Puerto Rico (Directions)
Sources: UNESCO

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