Natural Attractions in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is rich with natural beauty

Photo credit: © Jason P Ross | Dreamstime.com
 

The topography of Puerto Rico is extremely diverse - there are both tropical and dry forests, flatlands and mountains, beaches and sinkholes. Visitors interested in spending time outdoors exploring nature's bounty will find plenty of diverse opportunity in Puerto Rico.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

El Yunque National Forest

Do you hope to enjoy more of your vacation seeing the local flaura and fauna? You may be happy to find out that the island has a good selection of nature preserves on it.

El Yunque National Forest is a nature preserve located in eastern Puerto Rico. As the only tropical rain forest in the United States, El Yunque is a prized possession in Puerto Rico. Explore its nearly 28,000 acres of dense forests and rough mountain landscape through their hiking trails, lookout towers, or driving through its main road and simply looking around.

Attractions Map

Travelers looking to locate a another great natural attraction will be interested in seeing choices like Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. An official national wildlife refuge of the United States, Cabo Rojo was established in 1974 as refuge for migratory birds and several tropical bird species that call the area home year-round.

Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve: Visitors will be led on a tour throughout the reserve, showing you some unique aspects of Puerto Rico and the different natural environments on the island. With a guide, you will be able to ask questions and really gain an understanding for the situation in Puerto Rico.

Look through the following chart to learn more.

Nature Preserves and Hiking On Puerto Rico
Name Type Location
Boqueron Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo
Bosque Estatal De Boquerón Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.5 mi. South of Central Cabo Rojo
Bosque Estatal De Cambalache Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.3 mi. East of Central Arecibo
Bosque Estatal De Carite Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.6 mi. East of Central Cayey
Bosque Estatal De Ceiba Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.6 mi. Southeast of Central Fajardo
Bosque Estatal De Cerrillos Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ponce
Bosque Estatal De Guánica Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.8 mi. South of Central Yauco
Bosque Estatal De Monte Guilarte Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 8.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Yauco
Bosque Estatal De Piñones Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.4 mi. North of Central Carolina
Bosque Estatal De Río Abajo Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.1 mi. South of Central Arecibo
Bosque Estatal De Susúa Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.2 mi. Northwest of Central Yauco
Bosque Estatal De Toro Negro Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Puerto Rico
Bosque Estatal De Tres Picachos Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Puerto Rico
Bosque Estatal De Vega Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.1 mi. West of Central Vega Alta
Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Betances
Cana Gorda State Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.0 mi. Southeast of Central Guánica
Cayos De La Cordillera Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.0 mi. East of Central Fajardo
El Yunque National Forest Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.7 mi. Southeast of Central Rio Grande
Guajataca State Forest Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Isabela
Humacao Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.3 mi. East of Central Humacao
Isla Caja de Muerto Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 10.1 mi. Southeast of Central Ponce
La Parguera Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.7 mi. East of Central La Parguera
Laguna Tortuguero Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.2 mi. South West of Central Sandin
Lake Luchetti Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.1 mi. North of Central Yauco
Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Fajardo
Parque Las Cavernals Rio Camuy Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 11.9 mi. South West of Central Arecibo
Punta Melones Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 0.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central El Combate
Punta Pitahaya Nature Area Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.6 mi. South of Central Cabo Rojo
Refugio De Aves De Boqueron Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.9 mi. South West of Central Betances
Reserva Natural Laguna De Joyuda Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Cabo Rojo
Tres Palmas Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.4 mi. South West of Central Aguadilla

Waterfalls and Caves

La Coca Falls

Although most visitors to the area are attracted by the beaches, that isn't the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Puerto Rico offers multiple choices, including 6 waterfalls and 4 caves.

You might want to visit La Coca Falls, which is situated in eastern Puerto Rico. The waterfall is easy to get to and is located just off Highway 191 that dips into El Yunque National Park.

Another place worth considering is Chorro de Oro Waterfall. It is located within western Puerto Rico. This waterfall is located within the town of Guayanilla on the south of the island. Once in the town, just ask around and someone will point you in the right direction.

The following chart provides a few details regarding waterfalls and caves.

Waterfalls and Caves On Puerto Rico
Name Type Location
Camuy Caves Cave 1.3 mi. Southeast of Central Quebrada
Camuy Caves Park Cave 1.2 mi. Southeast of Central Quebrada
Chorro de Oro Waterfall Waterfall 4.4 mi. South of Central Arecibo
Cueva del Indio Cave 6.5 mi. East of Central Arecibo
Gozalandia Waterfall 9.6 mi. South of Central Isabela
Juan Diego Falls Waterfall 6.2 mi. Southeast of Central Rio Grande
La Coca Falls Waterfall 6.1 mi. Northeast of Central Juncos
La Mina Falls Waterfall 6.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Rio Grande
Rio Camuy Cave Cave 1.1 mi. Southeast of Central Quebrada
San Cristobol Canyon Waterfall Central Puerto Rico

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Caguas Botanical Garden

Travelers can enjoy one of the many parks, or a botanical garden on Puerto Rico.

Parque Del Litoral is Mayagüez, in western Puerto Rico. Much like the Centennial Olympic Park was built in Atlanta, Georgia for the Olympics, in 2009, Parque Del Litoral was built when Puerto Rico was selected to host the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games.

A second popular choice in this category is Caguas Botanical Garden. The botanical garden in Caguas exhibits some of the natural floral life in Puerto Rico, as well as some art work and presentations on the farming history of the island. This is a nice attraction for anyone looking for a relaxing walk while learning a little more about the island.

The parks and gardens worth considering are shown in the chart below.

Parks and Gardens On Puerto Rico
Name Type Location
Area Recreativa Orlando Lopez Martinez Park 0.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Sabana Grande
Area Recreativa Real Patillas Park 6.9 mi. North of Central Arroyo
Ballaja Plaza Park 0.3 mi. Northwest of Central Old San Juan
Balneario Publico De Boqueron Park 1.2 mi. South of Central Boqueron
Bosque Urbano De San Patricio Park 3.3 mi. North-Northeast of Central Guaynabo
Caguas Botanical Garden Botanical Garden 2.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Caguas
Cancha Arquelio Torres Ramirez Park 8.3 mi. East of Central Cabo Rojo
Cancha Ernesto Vaquez Diaz Park 0.1 mi. West-Southwest of Central Patillas
Cancha Lauro Davila Park 5.5 mi. West of Central Bayamon
Centro Plaza Lajas Park 6.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo
Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente Park 3.6 mi. Northwest of Central Carolina
Complejo Deportivo Carcano Alicea Park 0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Bayamon
Complejo Deportivo Jose Changy Diaz Park 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Maricao
Complejo Recreativo Angel Lile Medina Park 14.1 mi. South of Central Arecibo
Estadio Manuel Carrasquillo Herpen Park 3.1 mi. Northwest of Central Carolina
Estadio Municipal Guaynabo Park 0.9 mi. North of Central Guaynabo
Estadio Osvaldo Gutierrez Park 5.0 mi. South West of Central Yauco
Isla Verde Park Park 2.8 mi. East of Central San Juan
Luis A. Wito Morales Park Park 5.2 mi. Northeast of Central Ponce
Palmer Plaza Park 0.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Caguas
Park La Ventana Al Mar Park 1.2 mi. North of Central San Juan
Parque Alejandro Jerena Colon Park 5.8 mi. West of Central Arecibo
Parque Angel Guifo Montalvo Park 2.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Liborio Negron Torres
Parque Angelita Linda Park 0.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Patillas
Parque Arturo Lluveras Park 0.7 mi. East of Central Yauco
Parque Barbosa Park 1.6 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Juan
Parque Bomberos Park 5.2 mi. South West of Central Yauco
Parque Central Park 0.5 mi. West of Central San Juan
Parque Damaso Rivera Park 6.9 mi. West-Northwest of Central Fajardo
Parque De Las Flores Park 6.6 mi. South West of Central Yauco
Parque De Las Palomas Park 0.1 mi. South West of Central Old San Juan
Parque De Pelota Park 0.6 mi. West-Southwest of Central Guayama
Parque De Santo Domingo Park 7.2 mi. East of Central Cabo Rojo
Parque De Valenciano Park 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Juncos
Parque Del Litoral Park 0.5 mi. West-Northwest of Central Mayagüez
Parque Del Pino Villalba Park Central Puerto Rico
Parque Del Sol Park 0.4 mi. East of Central Patillas
Parque Don Pedro Albizu Campos Park 0.1 mi. Southeast of Central Penuelas
Parque Evaristo Varo Boldan Park 4.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central Caguas
Parque Felipe Diaz Torres Park 0.6 mi. West of Central Juncos
Parque Frain E Jesus Park 5.3 mi. West of Central Bayamon
Parque Herminio Ortiz Park 7.3 mi. East of Central Cabo Rojo
Parque Infantil Park 0.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central Barceloneta
Parque Infantil Julio Rojas Reyes Park 4.1 mi. East of Central Yauco
Parque Jesus M. Freire Park 4.6 mi. North of Central Cayey
Parque Jose A Mendez Frangu Park 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central Camuy
Parque Juan Cheo Lopez Caba Park 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central Camuy
Parque Juan Ramierz Ortiz Park 2.2 mi. East of Central Florida
Parque La Juventud Park 2.3 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo
Parque La Merced Park 1.6 mi. South of Central San Juan
Parque Las Delicias Park Downtown Ponce
Parque Luis Cruz Park 5.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Las Flores
Parque Luis Munoz Rivera Park 1.1 mi. East of Central Mayagüez
Parque Managas Pista Atletica Park 0.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central Caguas
Parque Manolo Fontanez Park 5.1 mi. West-Northwest of Central Caguas
Parque Marcelino Blondet Park 0.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Guayama
Parque Munoz Rivera Park 1.7 mi. East of Central Old San Juan
Parque Nacional Isla De Cabras Park 1.4 mi. West of Central Old San Juan
Parque Pedro Millan Clara Park 0.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central Caguas
Parque Recreativo Pasivo Julio Rodriguez Olmo Park 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central Arecibo
Parque Suau Park 0.3 mi. North of Central Mayagüez
Paseo La Princesa Park 0.2 mi. South West of Central Old San Juan
Patriot's Park Park 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central Mayagüez
Plaza Antonia Quinones Park 0.9 mi. North of Central San Juan
Plaza Arturo Somohano Park 0.3 mi. East of Central Old San Juan
Plaza Colón Park Downtown Mayaguez
Plaza Darsenas & La Casita Park 0.2 mi. Southeast of Central Old San Juan
Plaza De Armas Park 0.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Old San Juan
Plaza De Beneficencia Park 0.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Old San Juan
Plaza De Cayey Park 0.4 mi. West-Southwest of Central Cayey
Plaza De La Rogativa Park 0.2 mi. West of Central Old San Juan
Plaza Felisa Rincon De Gautier Park 0.1 mi. West of Central Old San Juan
Plaza José De Diego Park 0.6 mi. East of Central Mayagüez
Plaza La Barandilla/ La Barandilla Stairs Park 0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Old San Juan
Plaza Salvador Brau Park 0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Old San Juan
Plaza V Centenario Park 0.2 mi. Northwest of Central Old San Juan
Plazoleta Del Canton Park 1.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Bayamon
Punta Algarrobo Park 2.6 mi. Northwest of Central Mayagüez
Punta Boca Morena Park 1.3 mi. Northwest of Central Mayagüez
Punta Moja Casabe Park 0.7 mi. West of Central El Combate
Punta Papayo Park 11.2 mi. Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo
Riverside Park Park 1.8 mi. Northeast of Central Bayamon
Space Rocket Plaza Park 1.9 mi. North of Central Bayamon
Stadio Rosario Francisco Paoli Park 11.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Humacao

Zoos and Aquariums

Mayaguez Zoo

If the idea of spending some time with interesting animals sounds like fun, consider visiting Mayaguez Zoo. The largest zoo in Puerto Rico, the Mayaguez zoo features at least 75 different animal species spread out over about thirty exhibits. While it will not stand up against the larger zoos of the world, it provides a great educational experience and a good way to spend the day.

Take a moment to read the chart below to learn more.

Zoos and Aquariums On Puerto Rico
Name Type Location
Mayaguez Zoo Zoo 1.3 mi. Northeast of Central Mayagüez
Plaza Aquarium Aquarium 7.6 mi. West-Southwest of Central Bayamon

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to go see some of the more interesting area land formations. Fully natural attractions like these on Puerto Rico are summarized in the table below.

Land Formations On Puerto Rico
Name Type Location
Bahia Demajagua Bay 3.5 mi. South-Southeast of Central Fajardo
Bahia Las Cabezas Bay 3.2 mi. North of Central Fajardo
Bahia de Fajardo Bay 1.2 mi. East of Central Fajardo
Bahia de Guanica Bay 0.8 mi. South West of Central Guánica
Bahia de Puerca Bay 4.1 mi. Southeast of Central Ceiba
Boca de Cangrejos Bay 5.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Carolina
Cerro de Punta Mountain Central Puerto Rico
Coamo Thermal Hot Springs Hot Spring 0.7 mi. South West of Central Las Flores
Ensenada Comezon Bay 4.4 mi. Northeast of Central Rio Grande
La Bahia Fosforescente Bay 13.1 mi. Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo
Lago Caonillas Lake Central Puerto Rico
Lago Carite Lake 4.7 mi. Southeast of Central Cayey
Lago Cerrillos Lake 6.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ponce
Lago de Guajataca Lake 13.5 mi. West-Southwest of Central Arecibo
Laguna Cartagena Lagoon 5.8 mi. Southeast of Central Cabo Rojo
Laguna Joyuda Lagoon 3.7 mi. North-Northwest of Central Cabo Rojo
Laguna Tortuguero Lagoon 2.4 mi. South West of Central Sandin
Laguna del Condado Lagoon 1.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central San Juan
Port of San Juan Harbour 1.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Old San Juan
Puerto Medio Mundo Bay 5.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Fajardo

Needless to say, you'll find plenty of other kinds attractions available. You can read this page which is all about even more attractions if you're seeking some more details.

The awe-inspiring magnitude of El Yunque Mountain, anomaly of the bioluminescent bays, and diversity of both wet and dry forest on the island offer visitors the opportunity to experience nature in ways they may never have the chance to see again. Even if hiking and nature isn't your thing, it might be worth stepping out of your comfort zone to experience some of the beautiful natural sites available in Puerto Rico.

 

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