They call it Isla del Encanto, Island of Charm. On the coast of southern Puerto Rico, in a little-known town called Parguera where 90 floating houses perch over the Caribbean Sea on the world’s most bioluminescent bay.
This dreamy little town is still inhabited by the ancestors of the first 10 families that build their homes there (on the water) in 1826. The early inhabitants were mostly fisherman attracted to the placid coastal lines and abundant bioculture. In fact, the coast is very much hurricane proof that even the flimsiest homes on the water remained untouched by Hurricane Maria last September.
The explanation lies in the 30 islets of mangroves that face the coast. It is believed that the Taino Indians lived in this region and built roaming canals in between for protection against bad weather. A balade through the canals surprises with weaving trees, monkeys, and even manatee’s. And don’t forget about the iguanas (they know how to swim too!)
Facing the inland are the Cayo islets, mangrove “islands” where the shallow water is like glass.
Building homes on the water was most likely simply a convenient way for the boats to dock and bring in the catch of the day, but we still hope that they were built for the sake of looking out onto the sea all day long. Even on a moody day, one feels like they are in a fairytale location.
The little homes come in every color, shape, and size except for one mandatory accessory: an outdoors hammock chair.
So grab a Medalla (local beer), lounge back onto your hammock, and enjoy a sunset because even if this isn’t pura vida, it’s actually a little bit better!
And if you accidentally get lost in Parguera and decide to stay here, there’s a yellow floating home waiting just for you.