Until a few months ago, family fun in Quebradillas revolved around the municipal company that includes the water park, Chorritos Piratas, and the La Guarida del Pirata miniature golf course, with 18 holes. So much so, that for last summer the municipal administration planned to complete another phase of the entertainment project with a “go karts” track and machine areas, for the enjoyment of young and old.
Although the reopening of these attractions was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), the mayor of the Pirate City, Heriberto Vélez Vélez, assured El VOCERO’s Travesía that work in the place “has not stopped. We are in a second maintenance and adding other activities so that when it can open to the public it has more to offer ”.
Meanwhile, the municipality has committed to promoting Quebradillas –through the digital platforms of the town and the North and Central Puerto Rico consortium-, as the ideal place for outdoor recreation. It is not for less, since they have one of the most spectacular views in the north of the Island.
“We have a tracking system with epidemiologists that helps us to be aware of Covid-19 cases in our town. That is why we dare to implement a promotional campaign, letting the public know that our tourist places are outdoors and safe for family enjoyment. The visitor will find in Quebradillas options that lend themselves to passive recreation, as well as for the practice of activities such as: hiking, cycling and kayaking, among others ”, declared the first municipal executive.
The areas that they have been promoting, with a view to maintaining tourist activity in Queradillas are: Puerto Hermina, Las Ceibas, Mirador el Guajataca, El Merendero, Túnel Negro, the Gastronomic Route, the lake and river Guajataca, the White Bridge, Puente la Bellaca, to name a few.
“Quebradillas has all the natural resources available: beach, rivers, mountains and a varied gastronomic offer. Here families can spend a quiet day, take a walk to the Black Tunnel, have a fishing experience in Lake Guajataca or kayak in the river, ride a mountain bike in the Puente Blanco area, know the route where the river traveled. Puerto Rico train. Without a doubt, our town is an adventure in contact with nature, ”said the mayor.
In fact, Vélez Vélez attributed the increase in visitors to the town to the variety of places for recreation and the diversity of activities that can be carried out in them.
He even mentioned that in recent months it has experienced a great reception for sports tourism enthusiasts. “We have received many visitors who enjoy the sport of cycling. We hope that the remainder of the year will continue in this way, so that the municipal economy of small businesses does not fall completely, since they have been quite affected. For our part, we will continue promoting our attractions and encouraging business owners to continue evolving, “he said.
Likewise, he recognized the work done by the small merchants of Quebradillo to stay current, despite the hard economic blows that they have experienced in the past eight months. “They have lectured on the way they have handled this pandemic, in tune with the different executive orders, to adapt and continue to support their home. They have been juggling systems to enable them to operate and continue to serve visitors. There are many food establishments to which people who are in any of our points of interest can coordinate and deliver lunches on the spot, for a complete experience, “said the regent of the city known as the Pirate’s Den.
With this in mind, the municipality continues to carry out coordinated tours for small groups and families, for which they can access the web portal Quebradillas.pr.gov, for information.
On the other hand, and like other municipalities in the northern region, Quebradillas hopes to soon join the “drive in” mode or open-air cinema that has proliferated on the island.
“A nearby company that will be holding events in the region presented us with a proposal that we are in the process of evaluating for the concept of a drive-in movie that moves monthly from town to town. We do not rule out having the following headquarters in the parking lot of the Raymond Dalmau Coliseum, which is quite spacious and facilitates compliance with the security measures suggested by regulatory agencies, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English). ) and the Puerto Rico Department of Health, ”he added.
Another tourist project that was postponed by the pandemic was the recreation of the train route that the American Railroad Company was in charge of until 1953 and that at that time ran from San Juan to Ponce, bordering the west coast of the island.
“It is not a difficult project to carry out nor does it involve a huge investment because we already have the ‘trolley’ type vehicle for transport. It would only remain to condition the areas where the train passed and establish shops on the same route, in order to promote the economy and for people to have a pleasant time, ”said the mayor.
And it is that the municipality of Quebradillas, like Isbela, has one of the most distinguished corners that date back to the era in which the Puerto Rico railroad system became the main means of public transportation at the end of the 19th century, and that was used to transport passengers, merchandise and sugarcane around the Island: the Black Tunnel.
“We want to recreate that train journey in yesteryear through the corners of the town of Quebradillas, where structures from the past abound. At the same time, we want to encourage the development of shops on the route that will include a privileged view of the Guajataca Tunnel that delights visitors to our town, from the picnic area located on the PR-2 highway, ”the official shared about the project that promises to be a unique journey in time.
“We seek – in the future – to continue taking people to walk and get to know the town in the same way as before, when we offered excursions throughout the city and give them a spectacular day,” he said.
“We invite all Puerto Ricans to visit the Pirate’s Den so that they know the most beautiful thing that Quebradillas has, which is its people and they can enjoy various places where there are artistic works with current elements, as well as nature. The use of masks and the recommended physical distancing are required at all times ”, he concluded.