Embark on a once in a lifetime adventure to an untouched Caribbean island.
Imagine a trip to an uninhabited island where you can unplug from everyday life and connect to nature and yourself. On Mona Island, a small unoccupied nature reserve off the west coast of Puerto Rico, you can clear your mind with the rhythmic sounds of the gentle waves and breathe in the freshest air. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Caribbean, this breathtaking island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and soaring limestone cliffs.
There are no hotels or infrastructure, nor are there any human inhabitants. The boat ride lasts from three to four hours and it’s a 45-mile voyage across the infamous Mona Passage. Being far away from the mainland, Mona is rich with endemic flora and fauna, making it a Caribbean jewel of biodiversity. There are hiking trails and two designated camping areas where you can set up a tent and enjoy the mesmerizing sounds of unspoiled nature.
Mona was once inhabited by the Taíno indigenous tribe, used as a haven by pirates, and explored by guano miners. As a result, it’s filled with historically significant artifacts, archeological sites, and caves covered in ancient petroglyphs.
So, if you’re all about thrilling, unique, eco-friendly expeditions, a trip to Mona Island may be just what you’re looking for.
Preparing for Paradise
If you have your own boat, you are allowed to visit the island’s surrounding waters but can’t venture onto the beach, since visiting the island itself requires a permit from the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico. This is why it’s much easier to go with a tour operator that can take care of all of the logistics beforehand.
Staying overnight at Mona Island requires some preparation, so make sure to book weeks or even months in advance. Being a natural reserve, you must bring (and leave with) everything you might need for the duration of your stay, including fresh water and several days’ worth of food, among other camping supplies.
Luckily, eco-adventure tour operators like Acampa and Adventures Tourmarine not only submit the permits needed, but they do the planning for you. Acampa, for example, tailors your experience to your needs. This can include bringing along a local chef to take care of the meals or renting all the premium camping equipment such as tents, hammocks, sleeping pads, and camping lights.
Once on the island, you’ll enjoy guided excursions where you’ll have the opportunity to explore caves, photograph the island’s hypnotizing landscape, admire the centuries-old lighthouse and shipwreck sites, and learn about the history of this special place. At the same time, you’ll enjoy picturesque sunsets and gaze at the brilliant, star-studded night sky from your campsite, a nearby beach, or the top of a limestone cliff.
Mona Island is beach camping like you’ve never experienced it before. Fantastic memories await.