The Beautiful Rio Abajo Forest Reserve

If you are looking for a great weekend spot, the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve is an excellent place to go. This massive reserve covers more than 5000 acres of land and it features limestone caves, underground rivers, beautiful forests and an abundance of wildlife. The Rio Abajo Forest Reserve is quite easy to find since you need only head out on Route 621 then follow the turn off to the reserve. The reserve has a reputation for being a great camping spot and it offers visitors as many as 70 different walking trails that will better enable you to observe as much of the plant and bird life in the area as possible.

The Rio Abajo Forest Reserve was established in 1935 by Puerto Rico’s Reconstruction Administration. The massive reserve is situated between the Dos Bocas Lake and the Tanamá River and this lends itself to the unusual topography of the region. It is quite common to find caves, sinkholes and small hills within close proximity to each other in the reserve. The hills are largely made of limestone and many of them house a number of subterranean cavities that are tempting to explore. However, if you are inexperienced this is not recommended unless you are accompanied by a guide who can keep you safe and prevent you from getting lost. One popular option is that of taking a guided tour of the underground rivers that flow through the region. If you prefer to concentrate on what is above the ground instead of what is underneath it, you will find that the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve is home to more than 200 plant species and as many as 175 different species of wildlife.

The walking trails will take you along dirt roads and forest paths where you will be surrounded by all sorts of plant and birds species. At certain points you will even find yourself next to giant bamboo plants that make for great photographs. The camping facilities are modest but a refreshing swim in the natural spring-water swimming holes more than makes up for this. What’s more, the Camuy Caves are not too far away and can easily be visited if you are looking for a nature-orientated outing whilst camping at the reserve. If you want to visit or camp at the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve, you will have to get permission for your group from the forest supervisor who is quite friendly and full of helpful advice. This excellent reserve is a part of Puerto Rico that every eco-friendly tourist should be sure not to miss!


User Comments & Reviews: 5 Comment(s)

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Team - 2011-03-01 08:16:59

Thank you for posting your comments on We appreciate feedback and personal experiences (good and bad) from visitors to our site. Be sure to explore the rest of and let us know what you think. -- Best wishes, Team

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Sonya - 2011-02-28 05:03:50

Just would like to chime in on this place and probably bring some truth to both sides. I was very disappointed that the visitor center was closed during my visit but that does seem pretty par for the course here. Puerto Rico has so many spectacular attractions that get sidetracked because potential visitors can't even get basic maps or information on how to get there and get around. I spent a few hours here today and was able to find two awesome caves that I was able to explore all by myself - that is the benefit of hidden attractions I suppose. If everyone knew about it, I wouldn't find quite as appealing. This reserve is definitely a hidden gem and has been one of the highlights of my trip. I would strongly suggest getting some more information from either a guide or just someone in the know on the place before your visit so you can really make the most out of it. It will be well worth your time.

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Frank - 2010-11-11 18:19:09

I hate being called close minded! I will try again...but, compared to the other forests in PR, this is the poor cousin.

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