The island of Puerto Rico is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Full of wonderful things to do in picturesque natural settings, the place is perfect for social distancing, remaining active and exploring places unknown.
Peek into caves and caverns, float on a bioluminescent bay, take in the smells and sights at a coffee hacienda and take part in a host of other great activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, fishing and ziplining.
There’s so much to do here. Here are the top outdoor activities to consider when visiting.
Take a trek in El Yunque
As the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, this natural wonder is one not to be missed. Grab your hiking boots and traverse any number of trails. There are hikes at varying levels of difficulty depending on your comfort, ability and interest, making it a great choice for any traveler.
Take time to experience the diverse ecosystems and stunning views throughout the park, as well as cascading waterfalls, flowers and a wide variety of trees, shrubs, birds and animals.
Kayak the bioluminescent bay
Designated as the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, this body of water located on the island of Vieques is one of the top outdoor activities in Puerto Rico. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized this place, known as Mosquito Bay, as having the brightest bioluminescence effect in 2006.
It’s easily reachable via ferry or by small plane and is perfect for all fitness levels. Once there, view the bay in a glass-bottom boat or on a kayak tour.
Explore a coffee hacienda
Learn about the importance of coffee throughout Puerto Rico’s history by taking a group or solo tour through a coffee plantation. Many are located on beautiful grounds and are a pretty sight to experience. Just remember that Puerto Rican coffee is stronger than the coffee you may be used to, so plan accordingly for the optimal experience.
Zipline at Toro Verde Adventure Park
Toro Verde Adventure Park, located in the town of Orocovis, is perfect for travelers looking for more of an adrenaline rush. An hour and a half from San Juan, it’s home to one of the longest ziplines in the Americas, at 2.5 km long. Perfect for jaw-dropping Instagram photos is the incredible Toro bike challenge where you can ride a bike high above the trees as if you’re riding a tightrope. Are you up for the challenge?
Horseback riding at Isabela beaches
Horseback riding on the beaches of Isabela is relaxing and uplifting as you view the lush green forest on one side and the beautiful blue ocean full of soft sand on the other. Be sure to add in a brief hike up the cliff to take in the unbeatable panoramic views of the region. You’ll see the island like a local and experience its hidden gems.
Snorkeling in Escambron Beach
What kinds of creatures swim in Puerto Rico’s waters? Find out at Escambron Beach, located next to the Caribe Hilton Hotel. It’s one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the island. Should you not have your own snorkeling equipment, several companies offer gear rentals and snorkeling tours.
Surfing in Rincon
Puerto Rico is a great place to surf. Start in Rincon in Western Puerto Rico where you’ll find warm waters year-round, a fun local surfing culture and conditions ranging from easy two-foot waves to challenging waters that will keep you on your toes. Local surf shops offer board rentals, lessons and other guided adventures.
You can also try paddle boarding should you want a calmer option on the water.
ATV riding at Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park
Take off on an ATV at Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park. This 600-acre, action-packed ranch is situated between the lush foothills of El Yunque National Forest and the crystal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Feel the breeze in your hair while you enjoy the incredible scenery the island has to offer.
Birdwatching with a local guide can yield up to 60 different bird sightings in a single day. See everything from waterfowl, parrots and cuckoo birds to warblers and flamingos. Keep an eye out for any of the island’s more than 300 bird species, which includes 17 endemic species and about 120 species that regularly nest on the island.
Spelunking the Camuy Caverns
The Camuy Caverns are part of an expansive network of natural limestone caves and underground waterways carved out by the Rio Camuy. Officially discovered in 1958, archaeological evidence shows that the caves were explored hundreds of years ago by Puerto Rico’s Indigenous people. Maps exist for over 10 miles of caverns, as well as 17 entrances, although experts believe there are far more to be discovered.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Puerto Rico, you have a wide variety of options to stay active outdoors. Choose to relax on a beach or take things up a notch and add any of the activities above onto your agenda to create memories that will stay with you long after your vacation is over. They may even convince you to come back again to try a few more.
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