See Almost All of Puerto Rico from Cerro de Punta

Cerro de Punta, at just under 4400 feet in elevation, is the highest peak in Puerto Rico. If a trip to the peak is planned with weather in mind, on a clear day, the views are amazing! You can see from coast to coast! And the beautiful green mountains all around make it stunning.

Cerro de Punta is located on the Jayuya/Ponce town line, in the Toro Negro State Forest, along the Ruta Panoramica, which runs through the center of the island’s mountainous region. The Ruta Panoramica can be picturesque if you take it slowly and enjoy it. Post-MARIA, it isn’t in the greatest shape, especially in some areas of the forest! But it is the only way to get to some beautiful places … like this peak.

Cerro la Punta

Drive or Hike: It’s Up to You

Once you get to KM 17.2 on Road 143, there is a little flat area you can figure out your plan. You have two options to get to the peak: drive or hike … and neither easy!

Post-MARIA, there sometimes is a guard at the parking area. If there is a guard, he may, or may not, let you drive up the “road”. He let us up (maybe because we have an AWD vehicle), but I have heard others have been turned away. Either way, I’ll describe the “road”, and you can decide if you want to risk it in a vehicle.

To get to peak, it is a steep, one-lane “road”, with drop-offs on the side. I heard it wasn’t great pre-MARIA, but now it is in really bad shape. Full of pot holes, and loose gravel. It’s a slippery slope going up and coming back down. I would recommend a 4WD vehicle just to be safe. We were happy to have the AWD and assist coming back down! With all the loose gravel, it was like driving on ice, down a steep, curvy slope.

The other, less scary but more strenuous way is to hike up the road. It will be a steep walk, and I have heard it takes about 20-30 minutes, but I guess that depends on the person! So take your time, enjoy, and get in your work-out as you go up! It will be worth it!

Cerro la Punta

At the top, there are a number of communication antennas, so that does take away some of the beauty. But what can you do? We need services! Continue past the buildings, and then there is a parking area on left and there you will see some steps (almost covered by grass/weeds when we went) to take you to a viewing platform. Cool and breezy up there!

The view is amazing on a clear day (it wasn’t clear when we went … we just caught glimpses of the view). There are green mountains all around (the Toro Negro State Forest), and sometimes you can see all the way to the north and south coasts … maybe even San Juan! It’s best to try to go in morning, before the clouds build up in the mountains.

The viewing platform and guardrails need a little repair, so be careful up there!

Cerro la Punta


You should only try to access the peak during daylight hours. There are no street lights on the road up to the peak.

Exercise caution if you opt to drive up to the peak. The gravel road can be treacherous if you don’t have a 4WD vehicle.

Cerro la Punta is located on Road 143 (Ruta Panoramica) at KM 17.2 in the Toro Negro State Forest. There is flat “parking area” where the gravel road to the peak meets Road 143.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ... assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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No, we didn't take RT 511- I have only been on that road up to Villa is pretty bad up that way. We ended up taking 143 all the way across from Utuado (it is best in the interior to stick to the largest roads you can- Rd 10 or maybe 149). Try again and Good luck!

Comment by Gwenn on 29 Dec 2020

Thanks for the article! We tried going from Ponce (road 511), but had to turn around because road started getting rough and saw a gate with a private property sign). My question is: did you take this route? Or did you go from a different one? Thanks for your help and your amazing articles!

Comment by Rafael Levin on 29 Dec 2020

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