When you first set foot on Cayo Icacos and take a look around, it looks exactly like a deserted island you’d see in a Hollywood film. White sand rings a forested grove at the center of the tiny island, and the sound of waves and gusting wind is the only break in the silence. Then, when you turn around and notice the boat that brought you there is gone, the reality of being on a deserted island suddenly begins to sink in.
Despite being only 15 minutes from the mainland town of Fajardo, Cayo Icacos is an undeveloped island that feels like the middle of nowhere. It isn’t the isolated seclusion, however, that draws visitors to Icacos; rather, it’s the pristine snorkeling and offshore reefs where schools of colorful, tropical fish all flit and sway with the waves. If you don’t want to simply be dropped off on shore and left to fend for yourself (until the boat comes back, of course, a few hours later), there are snorkeling cruises to Cayo Icacos that make the trip more comfortable. Motor across the Caribbean waters to the sandy shores of Icacos, and swim from the safety of the catamaran’s decks to the colorful reef below. All the drinks and gear are provided, and you can admire the beauty of Cayo Icacos while floating just offshore.
If, on the other hand, the idea of total, tropical seclusion is more important than snorkeling, then it’s possible to arrange a trip to Icacos with a local Fajardo fisherman. You’ll need to pack your own supplies (as well as a source of shade), but the island’s serenity and total seclusion let you feel what it’s like to spend a few hours as a Caribbean castaway in the sun.
Cayo Icacos is a 15-minute boat ride from the port at Las Croabas. Visitors who are visiting on a catamaran cruise will depart from Fajardo Marina, which is approximately a 90-minute drive from San Juan depending on the level of traffic. Not all independent fishing boat operators have permits for visiting the island, so be sure to do research or visit via catamaran to ensure the legality of the trip.