For adventure seekers, ecotourism is the best path to explore different ecosystems while learning about the history and culture of the Island.
Places To Go Magazine features adventures to get in contact with nature in different points of the Island. There are experiences for any budget or interest. If your passion is riding horses or exploring the off road in an ATV you can find options in Luquillo and Río Grande. If your choice is simply take a quiet hike up El Yunque National Forest or any other protected ecosystem we share the list of tropical forest reserves on the Island.
In Puerto Rico all beaches are public by law. Some beaches are government administered facilities while most property is open and accessible to the public any time. There are beaches for almost any type of sport activity and then simply for observation. Check the list of water adventures, public beaches and the hidden beaches in the following pages. Make sure you pack sun lotion, sunglasses and drink plenty of liquids. Enjoy your beach day and please take only pictures and leave only your footprints.
Self Guided Trails
Los Angelitos Trail, El Yunque National Forest, Río Grande
Driving on Road #191 to El Yunque make a left on Road #988, right after El Portal Visitors Center. On Road #988 drive 4 km passing the bridge. On the right side is the sign for the Los Angelitos Trail. The trail is an easy 20 minute hike for the whole family. There is a huge natural pool at the end to swim in clean, pure water from El Yunque.
Guánica Dry Forest Trail
El Bosque Seco de Guánica is a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve. To reach the park facilities coming from the town of Guánica via Road #116 take Road #334 and drive all the way into the forest. From the visitors center, take a map and plan your hike to the Ballena Trail. This trail is around a mile long and ends at Road #333. Halfway down the trail you can see the Guayacán Centenario, a 700 year old native tree of the Caribbean.
There are other more advanced trails to choose from. For all the trails, take plenty of water with you and good hiking shoes. Avoid the heat by starting your hike early in the morning. Enjoy bird watching and abundant vegetation that is aptly adapted to the dry coastal climate.
Punta Guilarte Peak
Reaching the Guilarte Forest in Adjuntas is part of the adventure. To get the forest, take Puerto Rico Scenic Route #518 out of the town of Adjuntas. Upon reaching the forest ranger station, turn on Road #131. The entrance of the trail is to the right passing a private property. Right in front there is a rustic BBQ restaurant serving chicken, ribs, rice and viandas (boiled root vegetables).
The trail is for intermediate to advanced hikers and takes around 40 minutes uphill and 30 minutes downhill through a fantastic palm forest. At the top of the hill, there is a rock promontory to rest, sit down and enjoy the views. On a clear day expect to see all cardinal points of the Islands while breathing pure air.
There are beaches on every corner of the Island for all preferences and activities. Go beach hopping from Vieques to Aguadilla with this list of public beaches. A minimal cover charge of $3 per vehicle covers parking and use of showers in most of the facilities. Most beaches open from 8:30 to 5:00pm. They usually close on Monday and Tuesday, except on holidays. Expect empty beaches from Wednesday to Friday and more crowds on weekends over the summer months.
|Playa Flamenco||Road #251||Culebra||East|
|Balneario Seven Seas||Road #195, Km. 4.8||Fajardo||East|
|Balneario Punta Santiago||Road #3, Km 72.4||Humacao||East|
|Balneario Sun Bay||Road #997, Esperanza Town||Vieques||East|
|Balneario de Isla Verde||Road #187, next to SJU Airport||Carolina||Metro|
|El Escambron||Road #25R, Old San Juan||San Juan||Metro|
|Balneario Punta Salinas||Road #868||Toa Baja||Metro|
|Balneario Manuel “Nolo” Morales||Road #697||Dorado||North|
|Balneario La Monserrate||Road #193||Luquillo||North|
|Balneario Cerro Gordo||Road #690||Vega Alta||North|
|Balneario Punta Guilarte||Road #3, Km, 126||Arroyo||South|
|Balneario Caña Gorda||Road #333, Km. 2||Guánica||South|
|Balneario Tres Hermanos||Road #115, Km. 5||Añasco||West|
|Balneario Boquerón||Road 101, Boquerón Town||Cabo Rojo||West|
Tropical Forest Reserves
National forest reserves are representative of the diverse microclimates and ecology available through the Puerto Rico territory. El Yunque National Rainforest, established in 1903, is the only tropical rainforest administered by the U.S. Forest service. Though El Yunque is the largest contiguous reserve on the Island, there are equally important natural areas designated and national patrimony protected from development. These areas include karst zone forest canopy, dry forest and dense coastal mangroves that area sanctuary to endemic species and fantastic recreational areas for hiking and getting up close with nature.
|Bosque Estatal de Guilarte||Adjuntas||Tropical Forest||Central|
|Bosque Estatal del Pueblo||Adjuntas||Tropical Forest||Central|
|Bosque Estatal de Carite||Cayey||Tropical Forest||Central|
|Bosque Estatal Los Tres Picachos||Jayuya||Tropical Forest||Central|
|Bosque Estatal de Toro Negro||Orocovis||Tropical Forest||Central|
|Bosque Nacional El Yunque||Río Grande||Tropical Rainforest||East|
|Bosque Estatal de Cambalache||Arecibo||Northern Karst Zone Forest||North|
|Bosque Estatal de Guajataca||Isabela||Northern Karst Zone Forest||North|
|Bosque Estatal de Guánica||Guánica||Dry Coastal Forest||South|
|Bosque Estatal de Aguirre||Guayama||Mangrove Forest||South|
|Bosque Estatal de Susúa||Sabana Grande||Dry Inland Forest||South|
|Bosque Estatal de Boquerón||Cabo Rojo||Wildlife Refuge||West|
|Bosque Estatal de Maricao||Maricao||Tropical Forest||West|