“Picturesque” hardly does justice to Puerto Rico's outdoor attractions. From the island’s waterfalls and beaches to its rugged cliffs and mystical caves, so many of Puerto Rico’s destinations are bonafide displays of nature at its most majestic. Hiking trails inside official parks and hidden locales will guide you to incredible sights and unique treasures through which travelers can experience the true wonders of Puerto Rico.

El Yunque National Forest
This national forest is a truly special place, and exists as the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. The biodiversity is extraordinary, as the forest is home to thousands of native plants, including 50 native orchids, hundreds of tree and fern species, 50 varieties of birds and many different breeds of bats, lizards, coquí frogs, fish and more.

The forest features a network of trails, including paths to the stunning La Coca Falls and La Mina Falls, both of which offer varying degrees of difficulty. For more information about the park’s many trails, be sure to visit El Yunque’s website.
Camuy River Cave Park
Las Cavernas del Río Camuy in Quebrada, Camuy — located about an hour west of San Juan — are part of a breathtaking 300-acre park. It’s not only a gem among the island's outdoor spectacles, but also a certified global treasure. With more than 10 miles of caverns and at least 220 caves, the Camuy River Caves stands as one of the largest cave networks in the world and is home to the third-largest underground river on the planet.

A trolley ride down the mountainside covered with thick, lush foliage takes you to concrete walkways leading into Cueva Clara. The tunnels inside are immediately striking, and visitors are soon treated to a view of a 17-foot-high stalagmite. Continue walking and you’ll come across a pool that mirrors the Empalme Sinkhole, which rises 419 feet above it. The trail continues winding through these ancient rock formations until, finally, you reach the trolleys for a return ride out of the caves. It's a magical and one-of-a-kind experience, all soundtracked by dripping water, the squeaks and flutters of bats and the rushing river beneath.
Cueva Ventana
One of the most iconic and most photographed of Puerto Rico's natural wonders is Cueva Ventana, or “Cave Window.” It's easy to arrive to it in Arecibo, and the hike is only about 15 minutes long — if you're with a tour guide. You'll see stunning cave formations and even learn about Taíno history and the petroglyphs inside. The biggest prize, of course, is the “window,” located just inside the cave: From its ledge, the view is immense, offering a seemingly endless stretch of green landscape and beautiful blue sky.

Cueva Ventana is an important part of the Ruta Taína, a sacred tour through the land of Taínos. This route also includes Cueva del Indio, or “Indian’s Cave,” to the north, which is one of the most visited cavern systems in the island.
Guajataca Forest Reserve
Bring a flashlight to explore the limestone caves at the Guajataca Forest Reserve around the northwestern areas of Isabela, San Sebastián and Quebradillas. While smaller than the Camuy River network, they are just as magical, with their beauty magnified by the forest’s unique topography. The area’s limestone deposits were created through volcanic eruptions that took place millions of years ago and helped to craft a landscape filled with canyons, sinkholes and underground rivers, as well as the rolling hills and the mystical caves the area is most famous for.

The 2,289-acre park includes 25 miles of trails. The primary path leads to Cueva del Viento, or “Cave of the Wind.” You'll spot the trailhead easily at the parking area, then pass an observation tower offering panoramic views of mountains and valleys. Returning to the main path, you'll ultimately reach the cave itself, with otherworldly stalagmites and stalactites galore.
The Gozalandia Waterfalls are a locally beloved spot in San Sebastián. This hidden gem is a natural waterpark, featuring a sizable, deep pool of water beneath an impressively tall cascading waterfall. If you're feeling adventurous, you can plunge into the water from the rocks about 30 feet above, then swim to the right of the falls, where there's a tucked-away underwater cave to explore (with room to surface and breathe, of course!).

The name Gozalandia means “Fun Land” and it's exactly that — even the hike from the parking area and gate is illuminated by sun and bright foliage. Past the main falls, there's another set about a quarter-mile hike up, where there's a rope swing you can use to launch yourself into the pool below.

While the beaches of Puerto Rico certainly boast a glittering allure, if you dig a bit deeper and hike a bit further, there’s even more enchantment to be found. These remarkable sights are the stuff of traveler’s dreams — natural spectacles you’ll never forget.

Now’s the time to lay new roots in nature with a trip through the various rugged regions of Puerto Rico.