Puerto Rico

Sights in Isabela, Puerto Rico

The area known today as Isabela was once ruled by Cacique Mabodamaca, one of the island’s most powerful Taíno chiefs. The town of Isabela features a charming little plaza anchored by a church, as are all town plazas, impressive cultural sights, ruins, and one of the most hair-raising mountain drives.

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Best Vieques Beaches

Aside from Mosquito Bay, the main reason to come to Vieques is to enjoy the staggering beauty of its miles of remote, pristine beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Each beach has its own unique characteristics—some are calm and shallow, others have big crashing waves, and still others offer spectacular snorkeling. Several are accessible only from dirt trails, off road or by foot, so bring sturdy shoes. And don’t forget the bug spray.

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Discover the Islands of Vieques and Culebra

Referred to as the Spanish Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra are often described as “the way Puerto Rico used to be.” There are no fast-food restaurants or high-rise hotels, no golf courses or casinos, virtually no nightlife, and few tourist sights. What they do have are stunning beaches, world-class water sports, and lots of opportunity for R&R.

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Featured Caribbean Travel Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Photographer and Moon author Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma

Travel writer and photographer Lebawit Lily Girma was nine months old when her parents moved the family from Ethiopia to Côte d’Ivoire. She grew up and studied in francophile Africa, England and the United States, and fell in love with travel and exploring cultures. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law and practicing in Washington DC at a top US firm for several years, Lily took a leap of faith to pursue travel writing and photography. She focused on the Caribbean, a region she has now explored and loved for the past 10 years. The Dominican Republic, Belize and Jamaica kept her returning, including for long term stays.

While writing and researching this updated guide to the DR, Lily spent a full year living in the Dominican Republic and traveled the entire country solo, in addition to her past visits. Her Spanish fluency helps her blend in like a local, finding those uncrowded spots that travelers crave and capturing the nuances of Dominican culture. Her favorite base is the Puerto Plata coast, for its diverse landscape, cultural activities and proximity to the Cibao Valley. Lily’s writing and photography on the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean destinations have been published in Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Here & Beyond Magazine, CNN Travel, BBC Travel, MorningCalm Magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, The Travel Channel, New York Magazine, and American Way, among others. When not living in the United States, Lily splits her time between the Dominican Republic and Belize.

Follow Lily's adventures on Instagram @sunandstilettos