After a lazy morning, we decided to spend a few hours at the beach today. We met to leave, and Danielle asked where we should go. Usually, when we go to a local beach, the answer to that would either be “Pozuelo” or “Playa Caribe.” Today, though, Jenni said, “I think we should go to Punta Guilarte.” I gave her a puzzled look. Where? She explained it’s in Arroyo—a city maybe 10 minutes from Guayama.
Not twenty minutes later we were at the beach, and I’m still in shock that this gem has been hiding right under my nose for the past seven+ months.
Punta Guilarte is a balneario—a public beach—in Arroyo. This means that you have to pay $3 to park your car, but the beach has facilities—showers, bathrooms, a few picnic tables, a snack stall, big blue garbage barrels, and lifeguard stands (though today I didn’t see a guard occupying them).
The beach sweeps along the coastline—covering perhaps as much as a half mile. Today the place was populated with families and teens enjoying the Saturday sunshine and cool breeze. The best way I can describe the place is that it is a combination between a park and a beach. There are tall trees offering shade, some grass, and then the beach, which has waves small enough to make swimming possible and safe. Some families brought grills and coolers, and I could easily see myself doing the same and spending an entire day there. About the only downfall to the place is that the sand is rather covered in dry sea grass and not soft and smooth like other beaches.
Danielle and I walked down along the beach to the point, and around the corner we could see all the way to Patillas. At the point, the water is shallow, and a white crane stood perhaps 20 feet in front of us, tilting its skinny head to observe us as the breeze buffeted its feathers, revealing how thin and awkward its long neck truly is. A pelican swooped overhead and dove in the shallow water, fishing. We felt like we were standing in a National Geographic. Of course I left my camera at home, thinking I’d be going to a beach I’d seen many times before.
I’ll just have to return, to capture in photographs what has become one of my new favorite places near Guayama.