Top 10 Natural Wonders of Puerto Rico
Some people spend a lot of time and money coming to visit Puerto Rico and explore its natural beauty. But did you ever wonder what local folks feel are the most beautiful places to visit on the island? Let us introduce you to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring spots in Puerto Rico!
In 2010, L’Oréal Caribe-Garnier and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources (along with help from Walmart, Sam’s and Amigo Supermarket) held a contest for people to pick their top 10 Natural Wonders out of a list of 19 pre-selected places.
After almost 100,000 votes, the results are …
- #10 Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo
- #9 Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) in Arecibo
- #8 Guánica Dry Forest
- #7 Mona Island
- #6 La Parguera Nature Reserve in Lajas
- #5 Gilligan’s Island off the coast of Guánica
- #4 Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay on Vieques
- #3 San Cristóbal Canyon
- #2 Flamenco Beach on Culebra
- #1 Rio Camuy Caves in Arecibo
What 9 Places Didn’t Make the Cut?
There were 9 other places that were candidates for the Top 10 Natural Wonders. Those other places are …
- Maricao State Forest (Monte del Estado)
- El Yunque National Forest
- Caja de Muertos Island off the coast of Ponce
- Barca Keys off the coast of Salinas (these are about 20 keys in Jobos Bay)
- La Playuela Beach in Cabo Rojo (commonly called Playa Sucia)
- Caño Tiburones Nature Reserve in Arecibo
- Guajataca River in Lares (also crosses San Sebastián and Isabela)
- Tanamá River in Utuado
- Cabo Rojo Salinas (salt flats) in Cabo Rojo
In my opinion, the results of the contest are a bit skewed. I think that people just voted for places that they had heard were great.
I know that most Puerto Ricans don’t get out to explore the lesser-known places on the island. And I know that many people have never had the opportunity to visit some of the places that won (for example, it’s next to impossible for your average person to get to Mona Island).
But these lists should give you a good idea of where you can begin looking for Puerto Rico’s natural wonders.
Gwenn & Ray’s Top Natural Wonders in Puerto Rico
Ray and I have our own Top 10 list of natural wonders, based on places we have visited on the island. We feel that these are the most beautiful and awe-inspiring spots on the island. This list may change over time (as we explore more of the island), but as of September 2011 our list is …
- #10 Route 10 South, between 6am-8am, driving from Arecibo to Utuado, as the clouds rise up out of the valleys…2/15 update- I think I need to mention Punta Ventana in Guayanilla and maybe the Vieques Refuge beaches. So much beauty, it is hard just to pick 10!
- #9 El Yunque National Forest, including the trails, waterfalls and rivers
- #8 Caves in & around the Tanama river / Caguana area
- #7 The Rugged Northern Coastline near Cueva del Indio or Mar Chiquita
- #6 Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) in Arecibo
- #5 The Cliffs by Cabo Rojo Lighthouse and La Playuela Beach
- #4 Caja de Muertos Island off the coast of Ponce
- #3 Flamenco Beach on Culebra
- #2 San Cristóbal Canyon
- #1 Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay on Vieques
A bonus wonder is star-gazing from any dark location on the island … simply amazing!
What are your top natural wonders in Puerto Rico?
Let us know in the Comments section below.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- Balneario Flamenco, Culebra: (18.328282, -65.318323)
- Cabo Rojo Lighthouse: (17.933723, -67.192413)
- Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park: (18.295175, -66.778037)
- Caja de Muertos: (17.894788, -66.515522)
- Cueva del Indio: (18.493122, -66.642251)
- Cueva Ventana, trailhead: (18.374845, -66.692451)
- El Yunque National Forest (El Portal): (18.339091, -65.761671)
- Gilligan’s / Guilligan Island: (17.941830, -66.874814)
- Guanica Dry Forest Fort Trailhead: (17.972059, -66.869789)
- La Parguera bio bay: (17.969724, -67.015572)
- La Playuela Beach: (17.936000, -67.188640)
- Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve: (18.371103, -65.631713)
- Mona Island: (18.085812, -67.876282)
- Mosquito Bay, biobay: (18.102986, -65.448389)
- Playa Mar Chiquita: (18.472536, -66.484718)
- Rio Camuy Caves Park: (18.346073, -66.825006)
- Salt Flats and Wildlife Refuge, Cabo Rojo: (17.956616, -67.199384)
- Torre de Piedra: (18.144358, -66.979866)