Lajas… a very special town on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico for its valleys, the most delicious and freshest pineapples you’ll ever taste, warm friendly locals, and the lively nights, beautiful keys of La Parguera, and of course… the magical waters of the bioluminescent bay. Yes… Lajas is that special… both to Puerto Ricans and visitors seeking an off-the-beaten-path charming place to vacation and enjoy the pleasures of island life with a less touristy feel. Lajas is a boat lover’s paradise with various marinas, welcoming sailors from other islands seeking great food, safe harbor, and exploration of treasures on Puerto Rico’s west coast.
You can find dozens of great beaches near Lajas along the west coast, and while Lajas has no beaches with sandy shores, locals are quite ok with that, a quick 5-minute boat ride gives access to dreamy cays, islets, and mangrove islands with the clearest water where one can swim, snorkel, float and play completely surrounded by the Caribbean Sea while taking in 360 degrees of scenic breathtaking beauty.
Lajas can be chosen as your place to vacation, there are various small inns at really affordable rates, allowing you to spend more of your vacation dollars on fun activities and exploring more of the west coast of Puerto Rico. If you come to Lajas for a day trip you can pack great experiences in a full day. Among the top things to do in Lajas are: exploring the keys of La Parguera, scuba diving La Pared, the bioluminescent bay, and the food at La Parguera. Lajas is a neighbor to the towns of San German, Cabo Rojo, Guanica, and Ponce giving visitors easy access to a long list of natural attractions and interesting places to visit. See below for recommendations from local expert on the best things to do and places to visit in Lajas.
Best Things to Do & Places to VisitLajas, Puerto Rico
Bahía Bioluminiscente de La Parguera / “Bioluminescent Bay” of La Parguera
Lajas was blessed with two bioluminescent bays, experiencing this phenomenon is a must for every visitor while in Puerto Rico. The bio bay in Lajas is best experienced on moonless nights and by kayak. More about the bioluminescent bay in Lajas.
Top Rated Lajas Bioluminescent Bay Tours
Local - From Lajas
From San Juan
Explore the Mangrove Channels, Keys & Cays at La Parguera Nature Reserve
La Parguera is in the town of Lajas and attracts sea lovers, scuba divers, sailors, eco-travelers, and foodies. La Parguera offers visitors a full day of wonderful experiences under the Caribbean sun. During the day, enjoy various activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and swimming on some of the clearest waters on the southern coast. After dinner, book a tour to watch the sunset over the water, when the stars light the sky, get ready for the magical experience of the bioluminescent bay. We are confident that a day in La Parguera will be one of the highlights of your Puerto Rico vacation.
Top Rated Tours for Exploring La Parguera Nature Reserve
Scuba Diving in La Parguera is world-class. The Parguera Wall is unlike any other diving site in the Caribbean, the water quality is superb, the topography very diverse, and the amount of sea life mesmerizing. The Wall is 6 miles offshore, the advanced dive is 125 ft.
Top-Rated Scuba Diving Lessons - West Coast of Puerto Rico
Eat, Dance & Mingle with Locals at La Parguera
Foodies love coming to La Parguera, there are many family-owned restaurants and laid-back pubs offering delicious Comida Criolla (Puerto Rican traditional food) at non-touristy prices that won’t break your wallet. Try delicious traditional treats such as empanadillas, surrullitos, and the freshest local seafood. On weekend nights La Parguera attracts locals and travelers who wish to have a cultural experience with live music and dancing on the square.
Caracoles is known for its shallow and clear water, excellent for swimming and snorkeling, however, there is no place to sit or stand, making it a popular spot for boaters and water taxi stops. The best time to visit is during the winter months through early spring on weekdays, with the least crowds.
From experienced to beginners, adults to toddlers, La Parguera offers great snorkeling locations from open water, mangrove cays to enclosed natural pools perfect for children to snorkel safely. Book a snorkeling tour with a knowledgeable guide to make the best of your time in La Parguera.
Top Rated Snorkeling Tours in Lajas & Nearby
Go Fishing at La Parguera
If you love fishing, you ought to come to Lajas where you can enjoy some of the best deep-sea fishing in Puerto Rico, the clear waters are known for mahi-mahi, marlin, and wahoo.
Top Rated Fishing Charters in Puerto Rico near San Juan
Kayaking & Paddleboarding (SUP)
Kayaking and Paddleboarding are excellent ways to explore the mangrove channels of La Parguera Nature Reserve. The waters are calm along the mangroves, kayakers of all levels can enjoy the waters. At night, kayaking is the best way to experience the bioluminescent bay.
Drive Through the Agricultural Valley of Lajas
Lajas is known for having some of the most fertile ground in Puerto Rico where farming has not ceased. As you drive towards La Parguera, be sure to drive through the valley to observe rice fields and the famous pineapple farms. You’ll pass stands that sell fresh produce, cold coconuts filled with coconut water. Don’t miss the opportunity to buy a fresh cut pineapple, you’ll be spoiled for life after tasting one.
Closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria
If you love to picnic with family, friends or dream of a romantic picnic just for two, La Parguera Nature Reserve will not disappoint. Mata La Gata is the only cay with land and picnic facilities. Although you have to bring everything you need, the scenery and setting certainly make up for it. You may also head to Playita Rosada, located along the coast with picnic facilities and a unique natural pool the whole family will enjoy. You’ll have no problems getting a table during weekdays from September to mid-March. The busy season is during the summer months every day of the week.
Laguna Cartagena is a nature reserve, one of the few fresh water lagoons in Puerto Rico. Although not the body of water that it once was, US Fish & Wildlife is has taken on the challenge to improve the lagoon to create a better habitat for migratory and aquatic birds. Visit for a nice hike and birdwatching. Download brochure.
Houses on the Water
One of the unique characteristics of Lajas is found along the coast of La Parguera, small colorful homes that were built during the mid-1900s still remain. What today is enviable real estate, was built by hard-working fishermen that had no land to build, so they were built on the water giving them easy access to the water and a place for their boats in order to earn a living for their families. Most of the original owners have passed away, leaving these homes to family members who hold on to them with pride, giving them a fresh coat of paint, and making simple improvements to maintain the original feel. Many owners live full time in these homes, some of the owners live in the San Juan/ Metro area and enjoy them on weekends for a break of the city and the calm of La Parguera. A few of them are now available for visitors of Lajas to enjoy as vacation rentals. Most of the tours include sightseeing of the homes on the way to the offshore cays and keys of La Parguera. You may also rent a small boat to admire them and the offshore cays.
Tours, Charters & Services for the Visitor
There are various friendly tour operators ready to take you for a day’s adventure to the pretty offshore little islands of Lajas. Tours are inexpensive, just $5 – $10 per person round trip, bring cash. The scenic boat ride is about 10 minutes. We recommend you book a tour in advance or you may just show up to La Parguera to book it, you will see tour guides walking around offering their services. Boat rentals are also available giving you the freedom to see the islands at your own pace and go “island-hopping” at La Parguera Nature Reserve. You will have various options to get there; you may rent a motorboat, share a boat taxi ride or you can go on an eco-guided kayak tour.
- Johnny’s Boats – Phone # (787) 460-8922 or (787) 299-2212
- Torres Boats – Phone # (787) 396-2089
- Cancel Boats – Phone # (787) 899-5891
- Aleli Tours – Phone # (787) 899-6086 or (787) 390-6086 Kayak rentals and kayak tours
- Excurions EcoBoriken – Phone # (787) 951-0683 – Kayak Tours
Photo GalleryLajas, Puerto Rico
Tourism in Lajas, Puerto Rico
Tourism is mostly locals from around the island. The west coast is not heavily promoted by the government agencies because there are no major resorts in Lajas, we believe they should because the experiences are unforgettable. Travelers seeking the unbeaten paths of Puerto Rico and the special places that make this island so special will love La Parguera. The first hotel was built in the 1950s and today you can find condo communities available as rentals and a handful of small inns and hotels.