Puerto Rico’s Countryside

What's New — By Melissa Alvarado Sierra on April 1, 2012 at 3:08 am

Tired of the same touristy areas? Do you consider yourself a traveler and not a tourist? This list will keep you out of the busy concrete jungles of San Juan and take you to the heart of Puerto Rico. Hidden and dramatic ocean views, panoramic routes and mountain towns is what for sightseeing. And as I always say, rent a car and dare to discover the other side of Puerto Rico; off-the-beaten-path.

1. Luquillo Beach: You can visit both El Yunque and Luquillo Beach on the same day. Then drive back to San Juan to spend the night there.

2. Seven Seas beachbiobay trip by kayak. Drive to the east side on a different day and enjoy one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico and a a show of light courtesy of nature itself in the biobay.

3. Cordillera Islands including Icacos.

4. Petroglyphs and the south side of the rainforest, Humacao Nature Reserve.

5. The south east tip of Puerto Rico. Punta Tuna lighthouse and Maunabo.

6. Guayama and a trip up road # 15 to Jajome Terrace for lunch or early dinner.( open Thurs through Sunday only).

7. The mangrove islands of Salinas ( not easy to get to them, no regular trips)

8. The Coamo Hot Springs. and Ponce. ( Side trip up to Adjuntas or Jayuya )

9. Gilligans Island off Guanica. The dry forest is interesting to walk on winter, coo,l days only.

10. The Cabo Rojo lighthouse and salt flats and beaches. ( Side trip up to Maricao Forest)

11. Heading up the west coast to Rincon, Rincon.

12. Isabella and the beaches just west of Isabella.

13. Arecibo area, Crash Boat beach.

14. The caves and the Radio telescope.

15. Mar Chiquita, Tortuguero Lagoon.

From lush El Yunque  to dry and hot Guanica forest only takes two hours on a scenic highway. The highest mountain peak is in Toro Negro Forest Reserve, where the road is lined with giant Eucalyptus trees. Drive over cliffs above the sea, between Yabucoa and Maunabo. Stop for lunch or dinner at the delicious seafood Bella Vista restaurant with the finest view of the ocean in PR. The winding roads through the Mogote valleys in karst country make you wonder if you’re in China!