Villa Tropical @ Shacks, Isabela, Puerto Rico


View from TR on the Main VT building. That was our deck and it led straight to the beach.

View from TR on the Main VT building. That was our deck and it led straight to the beach.

Isabela beaches are my favorite! The land is filled with natural pools, decent surf waves, and spectacular snorkeling opportunities. And to top it all off, Isabela has that laid back attitude peculiar to the Puerto Rico west and northwest coast. So I’m always looking for a decent spot to stay over there. And that decent spot, that “just right” place with the beautiful beach view and everything you could need, is Villa Tropical.

Nestled in a small community right in front of Shacks beach, Villa Tropical is not your typical guest house. It consists of a series of properties, most of them beachfront, converted into fully equipped, affordable villas. They are all different, and if you stay there more than once, you’ll start developing a favorite.

The Blue Hole, right below our deck.

The Blue Hole, right below our deck.

The area is very relaxed, and even on a busy beach day, there won’t be more than say 50 people there. Shacks beach is a surfing beach (surf breaks on the outer reef), but sheltered between the rocks and reef is a blue hole where one can just hang, or the kids can swim. The rocks behind are great for snorkeling, the wind is strong enough for kite surfing, and the currents make an awesome paddle board workout. So basically, any aquatic sport is covered.

The patio. Shared with the Villa next door... But we had it all to ourselves.

The patio. Shared with the Villa next door… But we had it all to ourselves.

I’ve stayed at 2 different Villas and both of them have been great. The wooden decks of the main VT building are priceless. The beachfront, mostly private patio of Villa Filisha was spectacular! The staff is very friendly and entirely at your disposition. They have snorkeling equipment available for use during your stay, among other things they rent. They have BBQ’s on every deck for you to use, so that beach day with the perfectly barbecued steaks is totally possible. One of the villas even has a private pool.

Master Bedroom at Villa Filisha

Master Bedroom at Villa Filisha

Nearby are all the best surf beaches on the Island: Middles, Jobos, Wildo… There’s a magnificent natural sea water pool (we call these Pozitas) not far that’s perfect for the kids. It’s called Montones. It’s about 2 feet deep and completely enclosed by the rocks; one of my personal favorites.

So if you ever visit Puerto Rico, make sure you visit Isabela. If you’re there, swing by Villa Tropical and see if you like it too. From Road #4466,  take the road down to Ola Lola (there’s a sign), “the friendliest wave in town” and keep going. You’ll see a sign for Villa Tropical that points right. It’s a small road with houses to the left. Enjoy: Life is good in Isabela!

Villa Tropical website: http://www.villatropical.com

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