What do you do when you get tired of lying on a beach on Vieques? You go for a hike! There aren’t that many places for hiking on the island, but Cayo de Tierra, at the western end of Playa Sun Bay, offers a challenging uphill walk that has some great views at the top.
Articles in the Hiking Category
I love exploring the karst region of Puerto Rico. The landscape is ruggedly beautiful, the caves hold many secrets from the past, and there is a great diversity of plants and animals. Tierra del Encantos Eco Tours offers a hiking adventure that allows you to get up close and personal with nature in the area.
When I was looking for non-beach things to do during a recent trip to Vieques, I came across the Puerto Ferro Lighthouse ruins. Commissioned in 1896, and abandoned in 1926, these ruins are perched atop dramatic cliffs, offering a spectacular view of beaches and the southern coast of Vieques.
Culebra Island is as laid-back as any place in Puerto Rico can be. This little island east of the big island of Puerto Rico offers naturally beautiful beaches, and a relaxed feel that many people love. Culebra offers white sand beaches, crystal clear blue water, healthy reefs teaming with sea life, and a tropical breeze that keeps you cool as you are watching the amazing sunsets.
There are a number of trails inside the Guanica State Forest and Bioshpere Reserve that lead through the dry forest. There is also the Meseta Trail that leads along the southern coast in Guanica. It is a wonderful hike that offers cliff and beach views in a unique sea-side setting.
The Rio Sabana Trail is the newest trail in El Yunque National Forest. Officially opened in April 2011, this trail connects the Rio Sabana Recreation Area, at the end of Road 191 South, to the Trade Winds Trail. This trail is rated difficult, so it is not for everyone. It is the only official trail on the south side of El Yunque National Forest.
Balneario Cerro Gordo is a really nice government-run beach in Vega Alta, along the northern coast, with all of the amenities that anyone could ask for. It is just 45 minutes from San Juan, yet it has a far away feel — much more local than city. It is a favorite of locals from the surrounding areas (and one of my favorites) in the central northern coastal area.
While Culebra is known for its beautiful beaches, great sea life, and relaxing lifestyle, there are also some hiking trails for those times you want to get away from the beach. Some hikes are an easy walk on the beach, and others are longer and more difficult.
We are fortunate to have El Yunque rain forest as our backyard, so we have had the opportunity to hike all of the trails in El Yunque National Forest. Los Picachos trail is a short, side spur along El Yunque peak trail that is definitely worth the effort it takes to get there. Los Picachos trail heads to the east, and leads to an incredible 360° view.
The Cambalache State Forest (Bosque Estatal de Cambalache) offers a lovely oasis for picnics and gatherings, and it has several miles of trails designed for enjoying nature via mountain bike or walking. This is one of the few places in Puerto Rico where you can mountain bike along cool and shaded forest trails.
Though Puerto Rico is full of all sorts of neat things to do, one of the few things we don’t have here is river rapids for tubing or rafting. We did find an adventure that offers "lazy river" tubing through a cave, along with some hiking and Taino cave exploration. Those are some of my favorite things all rolled into one day, and all in beautiful Utuado. So, when some family members came to visit, we decided to check it out.
The Central Mountain range that runs through the middle of Puerto Rico is full of canyons, caves and waterfalls. We recently took a hike, sponsored by the local chapter of the Sierra Club, into Canyon Las Bocas to see the Cascade Grande waterfall. It was an enjoyable, and challenging, day of hiking and river-trekking.
San Cristóbal Canyon has been named one of the top 10 Natural Wonders of Puerto Rico. With that high distinction, I needed to see it for myself. It is not the easiest place to get to (being at the bottom of a 500+ foot descent), so it does require some planning and, for best results, a guide! Montaña Explora, a family-run tour company, offers an extreme adventure that includes hiking and rappelling in the canyon. It was tough, but it was so worth the effort!
If you enjoy adventure tours — those with ziplines, rappelling, hiking, caving, and other fun things — and you also enjoy going to special, off the beaten path places — then this tour is for you. Batey Zipline Adventure, in beautiful Utuado, offers all of that in a nice half-day package. The majority of the activities are on, around, and above an organic farm near the Tanama River, making this the most eco-friendly adventure tour we’ve taken in Puerto Rico.
Culebra has always been a popular island, with its beautiful beaches and easy snorkeling right from the beach. The problem is, the amazingly beautiful Flamenco Beach has also become so popular that it can be a bit crowded at times. For people who are looking for a quiter beach that still offers great snorkeling, Playa Carlos Rosario may be just right for you.