With it dark skies and abundance of wildlife, it was only a matter of time before the glamping scene made its way to Puerto Rico — specifically the southeastern town of Pitahaya.
The Pitahaya Glamping Retreat, Puerto Rico’s first official glamping site in the country, is the creation of Manolo Ramos, a film/TV commercial director who was looking for a way to reinvent himself. The idea of owning a glamping retreat came slowly, but things really took off when Ramos finished first in a local tourism start-up competition in 2015. The win validated Ramos’ belief — Puerto Ricans wanted to go camping, but the idea of “roughing it” wasn’t exactly appealing. Glamping is a happy medium that provides an outdoorsy feeling but with a few amenities like beds, indoor plumbing and electricity.
Pitahaya Glamping officially opened its doors in June and, according to Ramos, the response was immediate. “It’s been great,” he said. “Locally, people are liking it a lot. It’s becoming very well known.” Pitahaya Glamping features five houses which can accommodate up to six people each and include a private bathroom, kitchen with utensils, gas BBQ to cook, a pool and a common firepit area.
“(The area) is surrounded by nature reserves and beaches and has one of the darkest skies in Puerto Rico. You can see the Milky Way,” Ramos said. “There is kayaking, mountain-biking and hiking (trails).” Whether he’s directly involved or not, Ramos believes glamping will become the next big thing in Puerto Rico as word gets out.
And Puerto Rico's Destination Marketing Organization agrees. “We’re excited about the Pitahaya Glamping Eco-Retreat, Puerto Rico’s first certified glamping experience in the southwest part of the Island, Cabo Rojo, a region known for its unparalleled seafood options,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “This low impact concept allows visitors to be one with nature. It’s one of the many steps Puerto Rico is taking to continue growing ecotourism.”