When it comes to outdoor pursuits, Puerto Rico is predominately known for its beautiful beaches and excellent surf. Look a little further inward, though, and you’ll discover that there are many opportunities for outdoor lovers to spread their wings. Here are just a few of the awesome adventures available on the U.S.A.’s favorite Caribbean island.
Puerto Rico offers up some of the best surfing in the Caribbean with the waves off the western coast of the island popping up in many “Best of” lists around the world. While Playa Aviones holds the title of most popular, and populated, beach for premiere surfing on the island, it’s the oft-overlooked strip of stand along Dorado that really stands above the rest. Kikita, as it’s known, has some of the most pristine sand in all of Puerto Rico as well some devilish waves where the Rio la Plata meets the ocean. The waters here are no joke with swells that occasionally reach nine feet—it’s not fit for amateurs, which means you won’t find beginners here to get in your way.
La Islita is the de facto home for stand up paddleboarding in Puerto Rico, thanks to excellent water conditions and a plethora of perfect days. It also houses many “paddle for the cure” events to take part in and is a great location for families. Admittedly, it can get a little packed here during the high season, but that shouldn’t deter you from having a look. Whether you’re interested in a relaxing day on the water or a little competition La Islita has you covered.
As home to the U.S.’s only tropical rainforest, you’d be a fool not to slip on a pack and spend a couple of days checking it out on foot. El Yunque National Forest is 28,000 acres of giant ferns and frolicking parrots and one of the most beautiful treks in the Caribbean. El Yunque Trails offer the most strenuous hiking in the forest by forcing you to summit both Roca Marcas and the Yunque Rock peaks. Things get better when The Big Tree Trail swerves straight through to the beautiful La Mina waterfall and some great post-hike swimming.
Deep within the Julio Enrique Monagas Urban Park lies the region is known as Bayamon II, the go-to place for seasoned rock climbers in Puerto Rico. With over 130 routes to traverse, it’s easily the most exceptional spot on the island and provides a plethora of single pitch ranging from 5.8 to 5.13, with most climbs somewhere in the 5.10 area. It might not be the most challenging climbing in the world, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had and enough to keep you busy for days.
Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, the best of which being La Laguna Grande in Fajardo. Kayaking opportunities here are plentiful and it’s one of the best places to witness the microorganisms light up beneath the waves as you paddle along. Each stroke causes them to flash in the night, so you’ll obviously want to wait for the sun go down before putting your butt in the boat. Alternatively, you can head north to Mosquito Bay, which locals say offers a brighter experience due to more organisms swimming beneath the surface.