Puerto Rico is best known for the colonial charm of Old San Juan and the stunning beaches and coral reefs that surround the island. But Puerto Rico also boasts a rich, verdant interior with some quite exceptional trails that make it an excellent destination for a hiking vacation as well.
Puerto Rico is a remarkably diverse ecosystem that offers an extraordinary variety of hikes, trails, and treks. From the only tropical rainforest in the US to the stunning coastal paths, the national forests and state parks of the US protectorate make it a wonderful choice for hikers.
Best of all, Puerto Rico is incredibly convenient. Short-haul flights from the mainland US are cheap and quick, and you can take a cruise to Puerto Rico from several ports in Florida and along the East Coast. So if you are considering a hiking vacation in Puerto Rico, here are some of the best trails to try.
Packed with wildlife, beautiful plant species, and stunning birds, the El Yunque Rainforest is a fairly spectacular sight. There are a number of trails to suit every level of hiker here, with the El Yunque Trail being one of the most popular. A relatively short two-and-a-half-mile walk, the 1,500 meters of ascent means it is nevertheless a decent undertaking. Jaw-droppingly beautiful views of Culebra and Vieques greet anyone who makes it to the top.
Hugging the coast around the gorgeous Guanica State Forest, the Vereda Meseta Trail offers a combo of beautiful sea views and shaded forest trails. It is also a little further away from the more popular areas of the island, so there’s a touch of the wild about this adventure. Best of all, the trail winds its way around Playa Tamarindo, the region’s best beach, which makes the perfect spot to cool off and relax after a tough hike.
Hit hard by Hurricane Maria, the Charco Azul Trail deep in the Carite State Forest is back up and running. Highlights along this excellent route include a 15-meter deep swimming hole and the Cerro la Santa, the highest peak in Carite.
Guajataca Forest boasts over 27 miles of trails, including the renowned Interpretive Trail. There is also a trail that leads to the Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) which is a fascinating underground world to explore and adds an extra touch of intrigue to a day’s hiking!