If for whatever reason you weren’t able to take a vacation outside of Puerto Rico, there are no excuses not to enjoy some quality time with your family on the island. Puerto Rico offers many opportunities to engage in fun outdoor activities. It has more than a hundred beaches, several of them recognized as being some of the best in the world, and exuberating landscapes that invite you to explore them. If the latter is more of what you were looking for this summer, know that a good way to connect with nature is through camping.

The island has many camping sites, some managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), some by the U.S. National Park Service, also attached to the DRNA, and others by private entities. In the majority of these camping areas there are gazebos, grilling areas, drinking water, trash cans, composting toilets and in some cases, even showers.

This means that in most cases campers have to bring tents, blankets, fresh and canned food, bottled water, trash bags, a whistle, battery powered flashlights, bug spray, appropriate clothes, sunblock, hats, a GPS, matches, carbon, portable minifridge and a first-aid kit.

The guides or general requirements of the DRNA for camping sites say that the activities one can engage in while in these areas are: long walks, cave exploring, bird watching, fishing, identifying trees, story-telling, singing and outdoor cooking.

They say that to enjoy these camping areas you should always make a reservation. Ideally, one should apply for camping permits Monday through Friday form 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by calling 787-999-2200, extensions 5610 and 5613. Groups larger than 10 people should apply for permits 15 days prior to the camping date. Obtaining a permit, in any case, requires an application and payment. Once the application is approved, the corresponding organization will provide a list of rules and requirements for each camp.

Reporter for The Weekly Journal. She is also a reporter for Mírame and Bienestar Total magazines. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Sacred Heart University in San Juan.

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