Whether you are a traveler or a local, you may engage in eco-oriented activities in Puerto Rico. While you participate in some ecotourism tours, you may have the opportunity to witness nature’s recovery process following Hurricane María; and thus, appreciate more Mother Earth’s gifts and the guides’ environmental interpretation. Likewise, you might be more interested to learn about the culture and history of the nearby communities that survived after the hurricane. Also, witnessing the locals’ resilience may foster you to help through voluntourism in Puerto Rico.
Certain eco-oriented recreations or volunteer activities that you might like to perform in Puerto Rico are listed below.
Some Eco-Oriented Attractions and Activities in Puerto Rico:
1) Ecotourism Boat Tour on San Juan Bay Estuary’s Lagoons
While navigating on the Corozos Lagoon, San José Lagoon, Suárez Channel, and Torrecilla Lagoon, a local interpretive guide will educate you about the flora and fauna seen as well as the history behind the natural areas explored and nearby communities.
Tour’s Locations: Municipalities of San Juan, Carolina and Loíza
Tour Provider: Excursiones Eco
2) Guided Kayaking Tour on Torrecilla Lagoon
While kayaking, along with an interpretive guide, on Torrecilla Lagoon nearby Piñones sector in the metro area, you may learn about the flora and fauna in such ecosystem, and the history and culture of nearby communities.
Tour Provider: Piñones Cultural and Ecotouristic Center (COPI by its acronym in Spanish), a nonprofit organization
Tour’s Location: Municipality of Loíza
3) Volunteering at the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center
Subject to prior reservation of a group tour, you may admire rescued manatees and learn about their care at the Puerto Rico Manatee Conservation Center ("Center"). For information about the required minimum of persons to participate, you may contact the Center.
Volunteer programs are also available year-round at the Center. Prior qualification is needed to participate as a volunteer.
Site’s Location: Municipality of Bayamón
Administration: Alliance between the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus, and the Caribbean Stranding Network
T. 787-279-1912, ext. 2070
4) Coastal Cleanups
You may help remove solid waste on coastal areas during activities held under volunteer programs administered by nonprofit organizations such as those mentioned below. For detailed information about the coastal cleanups, contact the following nonprofit organizations:
(a) Scuba Dogs Society
(b) Para La Naturaleza
5) Volunteering at the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is located in the Municipalities of Salinas and Guayama, Puerto Rico. This area is still under rehabilitation due to Hurricane María’s impact.
Volunteer programs are available year-round at the Jobos Bay natural reserve. Subject to qualification, you may help this area under the program that focuses on the management of nature reserve’s trail system, among other volunteer programs.
Meeting Place’s Location: Municipality of Salinas
Administrator: Puerto Rico Natural and Environmental Resources Department as per a collaborative agreement with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The previous list includes some of the eco-oriented recreations you may do in Puerto Rico. The December 2017 issue of ecotreasures online magazine includes a variety of articles regarding voluntourism opportunities in this island. Be an adventurer and explore Puerto Rico’s touristic offer.