Until quite recently, my Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) experience was limited to the tame gym pool. Now that I live on a tropical island, I am hooked on SUP! During the Women Who Live on Rocks writer’s retreat, we were invited to a fabulous morning adventure of SUP and kayaking on Condado Lagoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
SUP is a great way to see the lagoon! Our group of 10 included first timers, experts, and every skill in between. And due to someone in our group with a broken foot, we added a kayak to the morning adventure.
The water was pretty calm requiring moderate balance and arm strength to paddle across the Lagoon. The most difficult part was trying to hold my GoPro level while paddling, next time I will skip the video and enjoy the experience. The difficulty increased when we encountered manatees playing and swimming alongside our paddle boards. Our entire tour stopped to admire the manatees and watch them play while we squealed with delight.
Manatees are an endangered species that live in the shallow water of the Caribbean. These gentle “sea cows” are playful herbivores and pose no danger to humans. They swim gracefully through the water adding a few well timed rolls and flips for our underwater viewing delight. The lagoon water offers limited visibility, so manatee viewing is limited to only a few feet below the water. I wonder what other amazing creatures were hiding in the murky water? Thanks to Brittany from Windtraveler for getting the perfect close-up photo of this cutie!
Our tour consisted of paddling down to the end of the lagoon and returned on the opposite side to our starting point. This route provided great views of the San Juan skyline and back out towards the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way our tour guides provided information about the lagoon, the local manatees, the area of San Juan, and helpful tips for paddling. In the hour long outing we laughed and learned, and no one fell off the paddleboard!
Condado lagoon is conveniently located minutes away from San Juan (SJU) airport and the San Juan cruise port, making this a great activity for a short-lay over in San Juan, as well as a must-do activity for any visit to San Juan! The convenient taxi stands around Old San Juan include passenger vans which easily accommodated our group of 10 Women for a 10 minute taxi ride and drop off mere steps from the Lagoon.
What to wear:
Swim suit, sunblock, and sunglasses. Optional (secure) hat and UV protectant swim top aka rash guard, are also a good idea for the fair skinned.
VIP Adventures provided us with a locked dry case to store items while we were out on the water.
In addition to Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) rentals, VIP adventures offers kayaks (single and double), a massive water slide in the lagoon, plus bicycle, snorkel gear, jet skis and more rentals!
Disclaimer: Although my SUP tour was sponsored by VIP Adventures, all opinions are my own.