At a Gorgeous Beach, Mega-Hotel Plans Raise Controversy
Professional surfer Otto Flores first fell in love with Playuela, a three-quarter mile strip of virginal land on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast, when he was just a teenager.
“I was just beside myself,” Flores says. “It is palm trees and open fields, and the wind blows in a certain way so that it is just always sunny and beautiful there. That is the magic of the place.”
Home to four world-class surf spots and iconic beaches, Playuela’s magic has long attracted local and international visitors to the area for surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and fishing. But more recently, camping has become popular, as protesters are spending day and night fighting plans to transform this ecosystem into Puerto Rico’s next mega-hotel and resort.