Royal Isabela Resort Hides in Puerto Rican Rain Forest

Royal Isabela Resort offers everything from private beaches to cave exploration to challenging golf — all hidden in the rain forest of Puerto Rico.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

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The beauty and perfect winter months climate of Puerto Rico often take a backseat to the Bahamas, Jamaica or other Caribbean destinations. But, the striking, sun-drenched beauty of the Royal Isabela Resort tucked quietly into a stretch of rain forest high above the Atlantic Ocean makes for a paradise matched by few spots on Earth.

Each guest at Royal Isabella stays in his or her own private villa — a modern, multi-room space with its own deck and swimming pool.  Air conditioned and wifi-equipped, the villas are surrounded on all sides by natural rain forest foliage to provide total solitude disturbed only by the call of wildlife.

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Besides the elegant and comfortable accommodations, the resort includes constant opportunities to relax and explore. Guests can hike through rain forest trails and explore nearby cave networks. A short walk down the hillsides to the private beach offers open access to warm Atlantic waters. Guests who are less interested in exertion can remain on the grounds to enjoy the full restaurants and outdoor bar during the sunny days or the warm tropical nights.

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The golf course adjoining Royal Isabela was originally designed as a private destination, and then opened as a public attraction more recently. As a result, it plays to a more difficult level than many big, friendly and wide open resort courses. There are more than one blind tee shots along with ample sand and water to challenge even lower handicap players. However, the back nine comes home to the club house along the ocean, offering spectacular views of the area’s bays rocky shorelines.

Situated about 90 minutes from Puerto Rico’s busiest travel terminus of San Juan, the Royal Isabela Resort is a new, hidden gem sure to challenge the more mainstream and touristy Caribbean destinations. For a closer look at the resort and its amenities, peruse the gallery below.