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Best Hiking Trails in Puerto Rico

Overview

Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the US, is a mountainous island in the Caribbean.  One of the most popular areas (and with well established trails) is the El Yunque National Forest, containing trails to El Yunque, El Toro and La Mina Waterfalls. Other areas include Toro Negro State Forest, Guajataca State Forest, Guanica State Forest and many peaks within the mountains outside of state forests, such as Cerro de Punta, the commonwealth’s highest peak. The best months to hike in Puerto Rico are December to April. Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Puerto Rico. 

Capital: San Juan

When To Hike in Puerto Rico?

December – April: Driest period; in some areas, the best months are December – March
May – November: Rainy period; hurricane risk in some of these months

Climate: Tropical – which means a hot, rainy season and a cool, drier season; rainier in the mountains.  Rainiest on the northern slopes of Cordillera Central.

 

Puerto Rico Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – Hard: El Yunque National Forest is set up very well for hiking along with a few other state forests. There are trails outside of these but hard to get proper information on accessing those.  There is information on hiking these trails in the websites listed below  You can do some trails independently but for many you should have a guide.

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Puerto Rico for hiking:

  • El Yunque National Forest
  • Villalba
  • Aibonito

Most popular hikes in Puerto Rico

The Cordillera Central runs through the centre of the island. There are many forest reserves scattered throughout but hiking infrastructure hasn’t been developed to a large extent in Puerto Rico. El Yunque National Forest, run by the USDA, has good information on hiking trails within the national forest. There are many peaks within the mountains that can be accessed but are not within a state forest. Highest Mountain: Cerro la Punta (1338 m).

Filter out hiking places of Puerto Rico by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Cerro de Punta

  • Highest peak in Puerto Rico
  • Hiking trail to summit

Bosque Estatal de Guánica (Guanica State Forest)

Bosque Estatal de Guajataca (Guajataca State Forest)

  • More than 40 km of trails here but not well marked or organized in comparison with El Yunque; Cueva del Viento (a cool cave)
  • All Trails – Guajataca State Forest – just lists 1 trail

El Yunque National Forest

  • AKA Caribbean National Forest – most popular hikes are here (most are easy).  Some of the hard ones going to peaks listed below – El Yunque National Forest – Hiking 
    • El Yunque Trail
    • El Toro Wildnerness Trail
    • La Mina Trail
    • La Coca Trail
    • Mt Britton Tower Trail
  • NorEste Trail – long distance trail through here

Bosque Estatal de Carite (Carite State Forest)

  • Trails have been destroyed by hurricanes so there may only be a couple that are open and usable

Bosque Estatal Toro Negro (Toro Negro State Forest)

Long Distance Trails of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Puerto Rico Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

 

Puerto Rico Hiking Associations/Clubs:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Puerto Rico:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • NorEste Trail
  • El Yunque – El Yunque National Forest
  • Los Tres Picachos
  • Cañón San Cristóbal
  • El Toro Wilderness Trail – El Yunque National Forest
  • Cerro de Punta – Jayuya region, highest peak
  • Árbol Solitario
  • La Coca Trail – El Yunque National Forest
  • Mount Britton Tower – El Yunque National Forest
  • Fuerte Capron – Guanica State Forest

Easy Hiking Trails in Puerto Rico:

  • La Mina Trail – El Yunque National Forest
  • Caimitillo Trail – El Yunque National Forest

 

Puerto Rico Hiking Websites:

 

Puerto Rico Weather Website:

 

Puerto Rico Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Puerto Rico Hiking Apps: 

 

Puerto Rico Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Beaches
  • Bioluminescent bays
  • Rio Camuy cave system
  • Coffee 
  • Salsa

Other Important Points

  • Puerto Rico was severely affected by Hurricane Maria & Irma in 2017