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This April, AFAR Cofounder Greg Sullivan and AFAR Ambassador Flash Parker traveled to Puerto Rico to see how the territory is recovering after the impact of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. They found an island that is overcoming the final hurdles remaining from the storm’s destruction and already welcoming visitors back to its beaches and rain forests, its colonial cities and seaside resorts. Here are some of our favorite photographs taken by Flash on his trip there.

Playa Guajataca, which runs along the edge of Rio Guajataca Park on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, is one of the island’s most beautiful, and untamed, beaches. It lives up to its nickname, “the Big Sur of Puerto Rico.”

 

 

Surfers ride some morning waves on Condado Beach, lined with oceanfront resorts.

 

A short drive to the northeast of the El Yunque Rain Forest, Luquillo Beach is a popular spot to relax after exploring the waterfalls and tropical vegetation of the park.

 

After exploring the Toro Verde Adventure Park, guests can refuel on a meal of red snapper and mofongo, a local dish of pickled and fried green plantains.

 

In the interior of the island, the Toro Verde Adventure Park has eight zip lines, with ones suited for everyone from novices to travelers looking for an extreme adventure.

 

 

You don’t have to leave San Juan to find a beautiful beach in Puerto Rico. Playa Escambron is protected by an offshore reef and its golden sands shaded by palm trees.

 

 

Castillo San Cristobal, completed in 1783, is the largest fortification built by a European power in the New World. Visitors can take in views of Old San Juan from its ramparts.

 

El Yunque Rain Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the United States’ national forest system. At an elevation of 1,476 feet, La Coca waterfall is one of many falls in this compact but remarkably biodiverse area.

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Just north of El Yunque Rain Forest, the Hacienda Carabali has horses waiting for travelers who want to explore the foothills or nearby beaches on a ride.

 

 

Puerto Rican patriotism is on display on Calle San Justo, a street lined with colonial era buildings that runs the length of Old San Juan.