Puerto Rico is usually thought of as a beach destination, and rightly so. It is a gorgeous island paradise with great food, fascinating culture, and miles and miles of stunning golden-sand beaches fringed with palms. It is also one of the easiest vacation options for a little Caribbean sunshine, as cruising to Puerto Rico from the East Coast of America doesn’t even require a passport!
But Puerto Rico is more than just sun, sea, and surf. The island’s interior boasts incredible rainforests, beautiful waterfalls, and miles of trails that are perfect for backpacking. So, if you are planning a visit to this gorgeous island, don’t write off the opportunity to hit the trails and take in the island’s natural beauty on foot. Here are four of the best backpacking spots in Puerto Rico.
La Mina Trail
One of the most popular (and therefore busiest) trails on the island, La Mina shows off the best of the magnificent El Yunque Rainforest. The trail winds its way through this lush, verdant landscape, across the La Mina River, finishing at the attractive La Mina waterfall. It’s a short trail and therefore perfect for beginners, but there are some tricky and strenuous sections. Overall it’s a great place to start backpacking in Puerto Rico.
Also in the magnificent El Yunque Rainforest, the Caimitillo offers all the sights of La Mina but without the more strenuous sections, making this a more gentle, tranquil introduction to the natural beauty of the island. With great facilities along the way, it’s a very decent option for anyone looking to picnic surrounded by El Yunque’s stunning scenery.
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Cerro de Punta
Puerto Rico’s Cordillera Mountains offer a totally different experience to El Yunque and boast the island’s highest peak in Cerro de Punta. The trailhead up to the summit starts at Hacienda Gripiñas and climbs up through the cloud forest before emerging in the sunlight at the top. On a clear day, you can see the entire island, which is a pretty mind-blowing sight!
If you are interested in Puerto Rico’s wildlife then the protected Guajataca Forest might be the place for you. A dry, subtropical forest in the northwest of the island, it is a haven for birds and butterflies, and the excellent Interpretative Trail takes you on a delightful two-mile adventure through the peace and serenity of this gorgeous area. A truly delightful place to explore and well worth the trip!
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