15 Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Rico (2022)

Puerto Rico has lots of fun outdoor activities that you can enjoy during your vacation.

As a Puerto Rican myself, I can say that you would be missing out if you don’t adventure into Puerto Rico’s outdoors.

From bioluminescent bays to national parks, Puerto Rico has it all!

In this article, I’ve put together a list of the top 15 outdoor activities in Puerto Rico.

 

1. Kayaking in a bioluminescent bay

Puerto Rico has three bioluminescent bays.

Mosquito Bay is one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, and is the brightest bay in the world according to Guinness World Records.

Witness millions of bright sparkles at night as you kayak through these magical bio bays.

image of man swimming in bio bay
Person swimming with bioluminescence.

Mosquito Bay is in the south of Vieques, and you can visit it on a kayak tour. 

Tour guides will paddle with you around the bay and make stops to explain the glowing phenomenon that happens due to the high concentration of bioluminescent plankton. 

Below is a video that shows the bioluminscence at Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico:

Learn how you can experience this adventure by reading our Bioluminescent Bays of Puerto Rico Guide.

 

2. Caving in the Río Camuy Cave Park

The Camuy Caves make up the largest underground cave system in Puerto Rico, and exploring them is something worth adding to your Puerto Rico outdoor activities. 

The Camuy Caves offer walking tours to Cueva Clara and Empalme Sinkhole but, if you want an immersive experience, visit Angeles Cave with Aventuras Tierra Adentro

You’ll rappel, swim, dive and climb through the cave. Needless to say, you should be somewhat fit for this tour, but you don’t need any experience.

See the tour of Aventuras Tierra Adentro in the following video:

To get to Camuy, you should rent a car in San Juan, and drive an hour and a half to the following point:

See more of the Camuy Caves in our guide.

image of a cave

 

3. Hiking in a tropical rainforest

El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the United States Forest System and has multiple hiking trails that vary in levels of difficulty. 

Beginners can try out the Angelito Trail, which takes about fifteen minutes and ends up in the Mameyes River where you can take a dip. 

Here is the exact location:

image of a river

Expert hikers can try out El Toro Wilderness Trail which leads to the highest peak of El Yunque, and it’s one of the most difficult hiking trails in Puerto Rico.

On this trail, you’ll get wet and dirty, and climb over trees and rocks. Depending on your pace, you’ll get to the peak in two or three hours. Pin it below:

Check out El Toro Wilderness Trail in the following video:

Getting from San Juan to El Yunque takes 40-minutes by Uber, taxi, or rental car. 

But, a taxi or Uber won’t get to the top of PR-191, and you need to walk from the security checkpoint in La Coca to the other attractions inside the forest. 

Below is the entrance of El Yunque National Rainforest in PR 191:

If you’re visiting any of the trails in PR 191, make sure to book your ticket here, and continue reading our El Yunque National Rainforest Guide to learn more.

image of a view over El Yunque

 

4. Ziplining through the mountainous center

Ziplining is a popular activity in Puerto Rico, and you’ll find the longest zipline in America in Orocovis. 

This zipline known as “The Monster” is 2.5km (2530m, 8300ft, 1.57mi) long and you can ride it superman-style through the mountains. 

“The Monster” is part of Toro Verde Adventure Park, where you’ll find all kinds of zip lines, even bike zip lines. 

To visit, you need to book a tour on their website. You must also rent a car and drive an hour and fifteen minutes from San Juan. Very few taxis do the route. 

Below is the exact location:

Check out “The Monster” in the following video or continue reading our guide on Toro Verde Adventure Park

image of people passing through a hanging bridge

 

5. Paddle boarding in the Condado Lagoon

If you love paddleboarding, you can’t miss the chance of doing it in the Condado Lagoon.

The Condado Lagoon is 20 minutes away from the airport by taxi, Uber, or rental car. 

See the exact location below:

It often has calm waters where you can paddle board comfortably. The best time to paddle board is during the afternoon when the sun is less strong. 

You can bring your board, or you can rent one here or here

Most companies will rent their equipment for two hours, more than enough time to enjoy the lagoon. If you’re lucky, you can spot a manatee during your trip.

See the lagoon in this video:

image of people in paddleboard

 

6. Snorkeling in Tres Palmas Marine Reserve

Snorkeling in Puerto Rico is an out-of-this-world experience! 

Visit the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve in Rincón to see one of the largest elkhorn coral communities in the Caribbean. 

Here is how to get there:

You can also find marine species like blue tang, parrot fish, surgeonfish, and yellowtail fish. 

But the highlight of snorkeling in Tres Palmas Marine Reserve is the chance to see hawksbill turtles and even bottlenose dolphins. 

See more of Tres Palmas in this video:

Only visit during the summer season, when the tide is low and calm. image of underwater view

 

7. Scuba diving around a forbidden island

Desecheo Island is also known as “the forbidden island”. You can’t visit the island itself, but the surrounding waters are a diver’s paradise with underwater caves and diverse marine life.

The visibility is high and due to the lack of transit in the waters, you’ll get to see wildlife at its best. 

If you are not certified, visit Desecheo with Taino Divers. See their location below:

The boat ride from Rincón to Desecheo takes 40 minutes. Here is Desecheo’s exact location:

See the experience for yourself in the video below:

image of a diver underwater

 

8. Skydiving above Arecibo’s Coast

For thrill-seekers, one of the best outdoor activities in Puerto Rico is skydiving.

You can do it with Xtreme Divers at the Antonio Juarbe Airport in Arecibo. The trip from San Juan is a bit over an hour.

Pin the following location:

Even if you’re not a certified skydiver, you can do a tandem dive with a certified instructor. After taking an airplane at the airport, you’ll elevate to 10,000 or 14,000 feet. 

Then you’ll free-fall at 120 mph for about 20 seconds, before opening the parachute. Meanwhile, you’ll get an amazing view of Arecibo’s coast while your instructor takes pictures with you.

See the skydiving experience below:

image of skydiving

 

9. Canyoneering through the Cordillera Central

Exploring the San Cristóbal Canyon is the most challenging activity you can do in Puerto Rico.

You will need every skill from hiking to rappelling to explore the 5.6 miles (9 km) of this canyon between the cities of Aibonito and Barranquitas. 

Some areas of the canyons are 2,140 feet over the ocean level and during your visit you’ll come across multiple waterfalls and the Usabón River.

Exploring certain zones of the canyon is only possible through private tours because of the high risks. 

You can visit with Para La Naturaleza, Go Hiking PR, and Montana Explora. Here is the canyon’s location:

See some of San Cristóbal’s amazing visuals in the following video:

image showing canyoneering activity

 

10. Riding ATVs in a historical hacienda

One of the outdoor family-friendly activities in Puerto Rico is to ride ATVs in Hacienda Campo Rico. 

During the 2-hour tour, you’ll explore 2,200 acres of land with mangroves, lagoons, and amazing views of the mountains. Your guide will also talk about Puerto Rico’s wildlife during your breaks!

You can either ride a single ATV or a double one. Regardless, you’ll enjoy a muddy experience!

Book your tour at Campo Rico Trails and check out the following video of the ride:

Hacienda Campo Rico is 15 minutes away from the airport by taxi. Below is the location:

image of people riding in ATV

 

11. Beach hopping in Vieques

If you want to spend your time outdoors beach-hopping, the best place to do so is Vieques. This small offshore island of Puerto Rico has 40 beaches. 

You can choose between beaches for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, fishing, or sunbathing. 

Visit the Vieques Wildlife Refuge and spend the day beach hopping from Red Beach to La Chiva, to Navío, or Secret Beach. 

Don’t miss out on  Black Sand Beach nearby the refuge, where the black sand and coastal cliffs will enchant you.  

To get to Vieques you can take a direct flight from San Juan or the ferry from Ceiba. Pin the location below:

And if you need evidence of  the beauty of Vieques’ beaches, see the following video:

Continue reading our guide to Vieques.

image of a beach

 

12. Surfing at Domes Beach

Domes Beach is home to multiple local and international surfing contests. 

This beach is located on the southwest coast, and during the winter, hundreds of surfers visit it to ride waves. Domes Beach has deep and clean waves, which allows surfers to do all kinds of tricks.

But the currents are also strong, so it’s not a place for beginners or kids.

Parking and entrance are free, and if you don’t have a board, you can rent one in Rincón. 

To get to Domes Beach, you need to rent a car at the airport and drive to Rincón for almost three hours. See the exact location below:

See Domes Beach in the video below:

image of a beach

 

13. Horseback riding in Aguadilla

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Puerto Rico is horseback riding, and in Isabela, you can do it on the beach!

Isabela’s coast boasts golden sand beaches that you can explore on a horseback riding tour with Tropical Trail Rides.

You will cross an almond forest before reaching the beach. After spending a while on the beach, you’ll go west until reaching Survival Beach in Aguadilla.

The tours are in groups, and various tour guides will accompany you during the ride. 

Pin the location below:

See Tropical Trail Rides in the video below:

image of people ridding a horse

 

14. Birdwatching at the Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge

If you’re into birdwatching, visit the Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge.

Around the Pinks Salt Flats, you’ll spot migratory and endemic species like the yellow-shouldered blackbird, the house sparrow, and the Puerto Rican woodpecker. 

Here are some of the birds you can find:

image of a bird chart

See the yellow-shouldered blackbird recorded in Cabo Rojo’s Pink Salt Flats in the video below:

And check out the refuge here:

To Cabo Rojo in a rental car from San Juan takes about two and a half hours. Here is the exact location:

image of a bird sitting on branch

 

15. Biking in the Humacao Nature Reserve

The Punta Santiago Nature Reserve in Humacao has nine tracks you can explore on your bike. The trails vary in difficulty, but you’ll be able to tour the beach, lagoon, and swamps on the reserve.

If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one on location. There aren’t any dramatic drops in the routes, so you can visit along with your family. 

During your visit, make stops at the beach, do birdwatching, and snap Instagram-worthy photos at the military bunker in El Morrillo.

The ride from San Juan Airport to Humacao is under 1-hour. You can take a taxi or rent a car. Here is how to get to the reserve:

See one of the biking trails in the video below:

image of bike trail by beach in Humacao Nature

 

Final thoughts

Thanks for reading! Those are my top 15 outdoor activities in Puerto Rico! 

Witnessing the bioluminescent bays and exploring the Camuy Caves are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and are the best outdoor activities in Puerto Rico. 

If you are looking for more exciting things to do, then check out our article where we cover the top 45 things to do in Puerto Rico.  

Article by

Vanessa Ramos

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’m an avid traveler and freelance writer from Puerto Rico. I love the outdoors, coffee, hiking, and letters. When I’m not inside typing letters on my laptop, I’m out exploring the hidden treasures that Puerto Rico has to offer!

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