Enjoy an oceanfront town that’s a gateway to more natural beauty.
Named for one of Puerto Rico’s most recognizable trees, Ceiba is a beachfront town on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast. The 29-square-mile (75-square-kilometer) municipality is bordered by Naguabo to the south, Río Grande to the west, Fajardo and Luquillo to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Ceiba is about an hour’s drive from SJU airport and a half-hour from El Yunque National Rainforest.
Until 2004, Ceiba was home to the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Today, the former military base encompasses, among other things, the commuter-friendly RVR airport and the Ceiba Ferry Terminal, which serves Puerto Rico’s nearby islands, Vieques and Culebra.
Ceiba is the perfect destination to enjoy a relaxing day cooling off from the tropical heat either by the ocean or the river.
Los Machos beach in the Medio Mundo and Daguao Natural Reserve is an easy-to-reach oasis complete with swaying palm trees, calm ocean waves, and gazebos for picnics and parties. A short walk on a tree-lined path leads to Medio Mundo beach, a nearly two-mile (three-kilometer) slice of paradise where soft white sand and turquoise water make this spot as ideal for snorkeling in the Atlantic Ocean as it is for diving into a great book.
Further inland, Río Fajardo flows down from El Yunque, creating the picturesque pools of Charco Frío. This area offers plenty of shade and a serene atmosphere where you can spend time communing with nature. Families often gather here, as several pools are shallow enough for kids to safely splash around. Nearby at Las Tinajas, flowing waterfalls, natural rock waterslides, and freshwater pools showcase the wondrous beauty of the river, and it’s always a treat to marvel at the daring teenagers who somersault off of the high rocks and plummet into the water from the rope swing.
Gateway to the Spanish Virgin Islands
If you’re looking to set sail for Puerto Rico’s two inhabited offshore islands, you’ll do so from Ceiba. Vieques and Culebra, often referred to as the Spanish Virgin Islands, sit to the east of mainland Puerto Rico and are only accessible via air or sea.
Ferries from Ceiba carry passengers and cargo to and from Vieques and Culebra seven days a week. Boats bound for each island depart several times a day, and trips can take between a half-hour and an hour and a half, depending on which vessel you catch.
Prefer to get airborne? Hop a plane at RVR airport. Flights to Vieques and Culebra take just ten and 15 minutes, respectively.