Since November of 2010 Puerto Rico has the distinctive honor of waving the first and at that time only Blue Flag beach in the Caribbean awarded to a beach inside a nature reserve.
The blue flag is internationally recognized as an eco-label bestowed on beaches and marinas that conform to strict criteria in areas such as safety and services, environmental management, water quality and environmental education in information.
Pelican Beach at Caja de Muertas, off shore from Ponce, was the beach that received this distinction in 2010. To visit Caja de Muertos you must go to La Guancha (the boardwalk) in Ponce and catch the ferry or charter a boat ride out to the reserve. The island received its name for its topography--- resembling a coffin. Although historically it has also been related back to a pirate legend.
The attractions of Caja de Muertos are the underwater snorkeling trail, the hiking trails, the abundance of flora and fauna in a dry forest, photography of the 1887 lighthouse and the crystal clear water of the white sandy beach.
Puerto Rico has other Blue Flag Beaches that include: Carolina Public Beach, Seven Seas in Fajardo, Punta Salinas in Toa Baja, El Escamberon in San Juan, Boqueron Beach in Cabo Rojo, Balneario Monseratte in Luquillo and Puerto Chico and Puerto Del Rey marinas in Fajardo.
Currently more than 41 countries participate in Blue Flag program offering more than 3400 beaches and marinas with the designation.
For more information check out either: www.opaspr.org or www.blueflag.org .