While Puerto Rico is well known for its many beach resorts, it also offers amazing rainforest retreats and off-the beaten path hidden gems where you can easily retreat from the modern world! The interior of Puerto Rico, the Cordillera Central region, is mostly undeveloped and wild with winding roads leading up and over beautiful mountain passes. This region is easy to explore with a rental car and you can find great local sites which are rarely crowded with tourists. If you decide to head into the mountains Casa Grande Mountain Retreat is a wonderful choice of accommodation in the area. 20090314-IMG_3671

Nestled in the mountains Casa Grande Mountain Retreat defines “away from it all.” There is no tv, no radio and wifi only in the ‘lobby’. The retreat is hidden in a mountain valley and from all the rooms you are afforded a view of the dense greenery of the thick Puerto Rican forest. The grounds were once home to a coffee plantation and there are many tropical plants and flowers growing around the grounds. Most are labeled for you to identify.

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There are 20 rooms at Casa Grande and each has an individual entrance and porch with hammock. If you open all the shutters in your room your really feel like you are in a treehouse – you feel the breeze and hear all the birds and the raindrops. It’s sooo relaxing. The room itself is very simple, has a bit of a summer camp feel, which I don’t mind at all, and is clean. This is not a 5-star fancy resort but a simple and deeply restorative place.

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The Casa Grande Mountain Retreat is about 2 hours from San Juan and the road up to the resort is narrow, winding and pretty exhausting but it is well paved. You can use Casa Grande as a base to explore the Cordillera Central region including the Rio Camuy Cave Park and the Toro Negro Forest. While children are welcomed at Casa Grande my sense is that this retreat is better suited to adult visitors seeking R&R.

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As far as activities and entertainment at the hotel the pool there is serene and quiet and they offer daily yoga classes (for additional charge). We signed up for yoga during our visit and loved our sessions. The setting was very peaceful and the instructor was excellent. We loved listening to the birds during our meditation.

At $126/night Casa Grande is a great value! For more information visit their website.

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