A youth group visits El Yunque and its natural pools.

Explore Puerto Rico’s Natural Wonders

Gorgeous scenery and nature abound in Puerto Rico—there’s truly no other place like it.

If traveling to the island with students, consider these outdoor-centric activities to take your Puerto Rico adventure to the next level.

Venture inland for an eco-tour of lush El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. There’s plenty to do: You could hike the La Coca and El Angelito trails; birdwatch for woodpeckers, green mangos and Puerto Rican parrots; zipline; horseback ride through the foothills and more! Because El Yunque receives more than 120 inches of rain per year, students should bring jackets if they’re in the business of staying dry.

Getting an up-close and personal look at nature has never been quite this cool! Students can examine and even interact with the aquatic life that call the beautiful waters of Puerto Rico home. In a natural pool, students listen as local fisherman share their catches from earlier that day, describing what makes each animal special. Undersea creatures students could see range from octopus and lobster to hermit crabs, sea urchins, starfish, and more. Once the presentation is over, the fishermen return the creatures to their habitats. Since they never know exactly what they will catch that morning, every presentation is different!

Explore Puerto Rico's Outdoors

Kayaking at La Parguera in Lajas.

There’s no experience more surreal than seeing your body light up like a mass of twinkling stars as you swim at night in a bioluminescent bay. This eco-friendly experience is only found in five rare ecosystems in the world, with Puerto Rico home to three. As students swim at night in La Parguera in Lajas or kayak at Mosquito Bay in Vieques and Laguna Grande in Fajardo, they’ll see the water light up when they paddle or splash, thanks to microscopic, single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates. Students simply won’t believe their eyes—and will tell everyone they know.

Iguanas are aplenty on the island! Students will likely see them roaming around and might even get a chance to feed them, by taking a private eco-boat tour of La Parguera’s mangrove cays. Guides will explain how mangroves provide a safe habitat for a number of threatened or endangered species, in addition to being a source of food.