While known worldwide for its great surfing and beautiful beaches, Puerto Rico offers an abundance of other unique outdoor experiences.
You can go camping and caving on a pristine island, hike through nature to massive waterfalls, or journey well into the mountains to discover a working coffee farm. Puerto Rico is a real-life, choose-your-own-adventure island and the story is yours to write.
Camp on Isla de Mona
The third largest island in the Puerto Rico archipelago, Isla de Mona, is a sanctuary for sea turtles and many seabird species. It’s uninhabited, but you can spend a night there on a unique camping adventure with Acampa. It’s a magical experience. Visitors to Isla de Mona are limited to prevent damage to the habitat, so you’ll be part of a small group experiencing a diverse, pristine Caribbean island. Snorkel, explore beaches, learn about the ecosystem, explore caves with Taíno petroglyphs, hike and relax on an island once host to conquistadors and pirates in the course of Caribbean history.
Kayak and Snorkel in Vieques
Vieques is known for its bioluminescent bay, which is a natural wonder you shouldn’t miss while in Puerto Rico. Book a tour on a clear-bottom kayak to experience the glowing waters at night, but don’t stop there. During the day, Vieques is a great place to immerse yourself in nature. You can book a boat excursion for snorkeling along the coastline and reefs or get a bit more of a workout on a paddle boarding or kayaking tour. An experienced guide will help you get the hang of it, then lead you to great snorkeling spots for unbelievable underwater views.
Hike through the Cañón San Cristóbal
One of the top 10 natural wonders of Puerto Rico, Cañón San Cristóbal, is a hiking adventure you’ll remember forever. It’s a biodiverse, naturally protected area with amazing views of the canyon and waterfalls — one of which is over 200 feet high. Take a guided tour to navigate the challenging trails, and you’ll also get to learn about the history and unique flora and fauna of the canyon.
Have Coffee in the Mountains
Coffee is an important part of Puerto Rican culture, and has been grown and carefully processed in the mountains for years. Fresh, dark, smooth Puerto Rican coffee is an experience you’ll love, so go beyond the cup and visit a coffee plantation in the mountains to see where it all begins.
Less than an hour’s drive from San Juan, you’ll find Hacienda Muñoz, a working coffee farm situated on 20 acres that offers visitors a guided walking tour. You’ll learn everything from how the coffee beans grow to the picking, cleaning, and roasting process. Then relax and enjoy a cup in the open-air restaurant.
Another fascinating option is Hacienda Buena Vista, which is both a historical site and a natural protected area. You’ll learn about coffee — as well as other fruits of the land, from cocoa to plantain — in the shade of the subtropical forest.
Take a Birdwatching Tour
Because Puerto Rico is an ecologically diverse island, with habitats ranging from dry to tropical rainforest, it’s also home to many bird species. As such, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers. You can take part in a multi-day birding tour to immerse yourself in the world of Puerto Rican birds. The tours focus on endemic species and subspecies, plus Antillean and Caribbean breeds, and are suitable for individuals, families, and small groups. If you don’t have quite that much time, there are also half- and full-day tours available.
Puerto Rico is a vast natural playground, where the possibilities are unlimited. Be sure to spend a few days relaxing on one of the island’s impressive beaches and enjoying the island’s pristine coastal wonders, but don’t miss the opportunity to delve into some of the island’s other unique landscapes. You’re guaranteed to leave wanting more.