Puerto Rico’s central mountain range tumbles into the Caribbean Sea at the southeast coast, near Humacao, Naguabo and Yabucoa. This is a land of contrasts and surprises: You’ll find remote coves and broad stretches of open beach, white coral and black volcanic sand, cozy guesthouses and huge luxury resorts.
One of the most dramatic shorelines is near Humacao at Punta Santiago, a promontory that juts into the jade waters of the Caribbean Sea. Off its tip is Santiago Cay, a small islet inhabited only by Rhesus monkeys, descendants of laboratory animals that have returned to nature.
A visit to the cay requires special authorization and the “natives” are not always friendly, but boat rides around it are readily available. The short trip is a great delight for children – and for the monkeys, who seem to enjoy watching their visitors from a safe distance. The trip has the added benefit of offering fantastic views of the tropical coastline.
Punta Santiago is dotted with dozens of tiny kiosks and restaurants offering a variety of tropical dishes. Visitors can find anything from golden grouper and shark nuggets to local favorites such as arroz con jueyes, rice mixed with chunks of land crab.
How to Get There
From LMM International Airport take Road 26 and exit on Road 3, which takes you straight to Punta Santiago.