Located only three hours by air from Miami, Puerto Rico is an easily accessible spot for an adventure vacation. From dramatic underground cave systems to towering waterfalls, the varied Puerto Rican landscape is an outdoor playground; you can explore its natural wonders on your own or with a tour company. Whether your idea of adventure travel involves kayaking over glowing waters or rappelling into the depths of a sinkhole, Puerto Rico has something for everyone.
Puerto Rico offers adventure travel opportunities above and below the water.
Step 1Identify your top choices for adventure travel experiences in Puerto Rico. Make a list based on your preferences and the people who will be traveling with you; although a group of adults might enjoy rappelling in San Cristobal Canon, a family with young children might be more comfortable spotting wildlife in the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. Choose from Puerto Rico’s endless adrenaline-inducing activities, such as single-track mountain biking through the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park or backcountry hiking through the El Yunque rain forest.
Step 2Book accommodations in one of Puerto Rico’s adventure centers, choosing a city that is central to your top activity choices. For water adventures, look for hotels on Isla Mona; for biking and caving, choose the island of Vieques. For a mountain vacation, head to Bosque Estatal de Carite. If you have only a short time in the country, choose a hotel in San Juan and use the city as a base for day trips to the zip line over the El Salto waterfall or rock climbing in the Limestone Forest.
Step 3Find adventure tour companies that operate out of your chosen city. Before reserving a spot on a tour, compare different options, taking note of the length of time, type of transportation, included costs and required fitness level. Ask the company for safety records and look at customer reviews. Acampa, Adventuras Tierra Adentro and Island Venture Water Excursions are all highly rated tour companies that offer a range of adventure options around Puerto Rico.
Step 4Plan a visit to one of Puerto Rico’s memorable bioluminescent bays, or “biobays,” where flagellates in the water glow when disturbed, creating otherworldly trails in the water. Choose from Mosquito Bay, Fajardo or La Parguera. Book a tour or rent a kayak to experience the way the water lights up when the boat passes through or fish swim by.
Step 5Book a rental car in Puerto Rico if you prefer a do-it-yourself adventure over organized tours; a vehicle with a four-wheel drive option allows convenient access to the country’s best spots. Head to Rincon to surf on the breaks offshore, rent a kayak and paddle through El Yunque in the island’s interior or explore the dramatic Camuy Caves trail system on foot to see the underground river and labyrinth of tunnels. If you’re looking for underwater adventure, plan to snorkel around the reefs off the coast of Isla Mona. For DIY adventures, bring your own equipment or rent it in one of Puerto Rico’s larger cities.
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