The Rockefellers always had a genius for building their homes in beautiful surrounds, and their Puerto Rican estate from the 1950’s was no exception. Dorado Beach Reserve, on the north coast, is a magnificent stretch of property that incorporates beachfront as well as farmland. Today, it has been turned into a Ritz Carlton reserve that offers beachfront hotel rooms, multi-oomed residences, private estate homes, golf courses, spas and all the rest. It also has an 11 km nature trail that winds through magnificent, profuse nature, a Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment activity center, a gorgeous spa and a 5-bedroom residence, Su Casa, that was once the residence of Clara Livingston. Just two years old, the resort has come a long way since opening. The food is delicious and the service, which had hiccups at the outset, is smooth as silk.
This was my second trip toPuerto Rico, and this time I spent three days traveling in the North, the East and into the center of the island. It is a beautiful place with mountains and lagoons, rivers and underground caverns. This diverse topography offers the adventurous visitor lots of activity options..zip lining Toro Verde’s The Beast, canyoning and body rafting, exploring the subterranean world of the Camuy Caves or the charming historic center of Old San Juan, and kayaking in Fajardo’s Bioluminescent Bay.
Puerto Rico is part of a much larger archipelago – the Spanish Virgin Islands they have been called – and some would say that the beaches of Culebra and Vieques are the finest in the islands. We flew over to Vieques, an island so pastoral and charming, so physically and temporally removed from the Big Island, that it really is worth the short hop. The Bioluminescent Bay of Vieques is even more pristine than that on Puerto Rico, and the beaches ARE lovely, albeit none of them are of the white powder sand variety. Vieques is an island of horses, who seem to have the run of the place, grazing at will wherever they want, and it boasts a Ceiba tree that some say is as much as 500 years old.
We flew back from Vieques, skirting a tropical shower that turned the world black and white and silver.
I spent the last night enjoying the sound of the waves rolling across the beach in front of my room, knowing that winter awaited me in New York.
And that Oliver would welcome me home.