Fajardo, Puerto Rico, located on the northeast corner of the island 35 mi/55 km east of San Juan, is the home of El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria property, which overlooks a cliff and has its own private island. The resort has good restaurants, a casino, a golf course and other sports facilities, but these facilities may not be available to nonguests during the busy winter season (call in advance). Phone 787-863-1000. http://www.elconresort.com.
Fajardo is often the embarkation point for visits by ferry to Culebra and Vieques islands. No reservations are required. Phone 787-494-0934 for schedules and information.
The nearby Cabezas de San Juan Nature Preserve has coral reefs, mangrove swamps, beach and forest within its 316 acres/128 hectares. The preserve is home to many endangered species. For great views of the area, visitors can climb up the old El Faro Lighthouse.
Las Cabezas can be visited by reservation only Friday-Sunday. Tours run two to three hours; the English-language tour begins at 2 pm. For more information from the Conservation Trust, phone 787-722-5882 (weekdays) or 787-860-2560 (weekends). http://www.paralanaturaleza.org.
Note: Puerto Rico sustained severe damage during Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Recovery efforts may take years. Travelers should investigate current conditions prior to planning a visit.
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