Puerto Rico

So we decided to take our first big family trip, and wanted to go to the ocean.  After looking at a variety of places, we ended up choosing Puerto Rico.  No passports, reasonable airfare, and lodging is cheap in the summer because it’s the off season.  Once the location was decided, I had to go to work looking for a place to stay.  We were headed down with another couple and their two boys.  I headed to Home Away to find the right place.  Knowing almost nothing about Puerto Rico, it also started my education about the island.

The eastern side is much more developed for tourists.  It’s closer to San Juan, and there a number of very large resorts that we could try.  But none of them really spoke to us.  Next up was the west coast, near Rincon.  This area is known for the bigger waves and is loved by surfers around the world.  These places were looking better.  Houses on the beach with pools, but I was having trouble finding any with open dates for our vacation.  Finally, there was this listing for a cool looking little place on Shack’s Beach.  It had 3 bedrooms with a pool, and said it was 30 meters from the beach.  Problem was, the map didn’t really show that.

I contacted the owner and found that the area where this house is doesn’t really exist to Google Maps.  Located in the farthest northwest corner of the island, the house is in a little collection of about 20 houses, nestled at the bottom of the cliff to the north of the small town of San Antonio, and about halfway between the larger towns of Isabela and Aguadilla.  The owner sent us some information about the place, and I was able to pinpoint it by finding the location of the nearby Villa Montana resort.
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The biggest draw for this little spot of paradise is a beach called Playa Shacks.  A pretty well kept secret, it is home to a beautiful coral reef about 100 meters offshore, with a big opening in the middle of it called the Blue Hole.  After a finding bits and pieces of additional information, we committed to renting the little pink house with the pool, and hoped.

What follows is the story of having our vacation wishes fulfilled, and then some.

Shack's Beach
Shack's Beach and the Blue Hole