The name and history of a place are important considerations when you are a tourist and looking forward to enjoying your vacation. But there are times when you simply need to disregard what a place is called and what it was. What’s important is what it is now.
A great example of this is the small island in Puerto Rico, located near Joyuda Lagoon in Cabo Rojo called Isla de Ratones (Island of the Mice). It used to be abandoned and was essentially a dumping ground for trash. The island’s name referred to the rodents that used to call it home.
But that was a long time ago. Now it has been cleaned, restored, and renovated. What it is now is a great place for tourists to visit. It can be very relaxing, and snorkeling enthusiasts will enjoy the place as well.
Getting to Isla de Ratones
Your main option to get to Isla de Ratones is to ride a boat run by Adventures Tourmarine. A round trip will cost about $20 for 4 people, and extra passengers will add $5 each to the cost. Their dock is located near KM 14.1 on Road 102. You can also inquire about renting a kayak as well.
There’s another boat on a different service docked at the DRNA (Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources) wharf near KM 13.7.
The island is open to visitors from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM. There are no boats on Mondays, but you should also call ahead because the waters may be too rough for the boats to head on out.
Things to Find in Isla de Ratones
The first thing you’ll notice, aside from the clear waters of course, is the lack of mice in the area. That’s a welcome relief.
But then you’ll also notice that there are no restaurants here. That means you need to bring your own food and drinks. Aside from the boat dock, you’ll also find that the beach is quite inviting with its white powdery sand.
There’s a roped-off swimming area, and the picnic pavilions come with a roof and BBQ pits. If you want to barbecue your food, you need to bring your own charcoal as well.
There are also fresh water showers and there’s a toilet too. And again, you’ll need to bring your own tissue paper.
You will find the atmosphere here quite relaxing, especially during the off season. The lack of restaurants deters most of the crowds from overrunning the area. During the busy times, the boats come and go every 30 minutes, but during the off season you may just call the boat captain when you’re ready to go.
You’ll also find that snorkeling here is quite nice, especially near the boat dock area on the south side of the island. This is the best place for swimming too. On the north side, mangroves have been planted and artificial reefs have been built. Don’t step on them when you go into the water.
All in all, this is a place where you can really relax away from the crowds. Bring what you need with you, and Isla de Ratones will provide the relaxing atmosphere that you want.