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Are you planning on moving to Puerto Rico? Excellent choice — especially if you love the great outdoors.
This sun-kissed Caribbean haven has everything an adventurer could ask for in a tropical paradise: fascinating history and culture, delicious food, beautiful beaches and mountains, rest, relaxation, and exciting new experiences. Puerto Rico is a unique place to enjoy hiking. These five hikes in Puerto Rico will leave an impression, whether you are looking for a short stroll or a strenuous expedition.
El Toro Trail
Take a hike through the rainforest on the El Toro Trail, about 50 minutes outside San Juan. This El Yunque National Forest trail is rated “moderate” in difficulty and is about 5.4 miles out and back with a 1,300-foot elevation gain.
Expect a challenging — and muddy — climb through the tropical terrain. The views from the observation deck in the cloud forest at the top are well worth the effort. Of course, you’ll want to stop and jump in a few waterfall pools along the way.
Meseta Coastal Trail
From the rain forest to the dry forest, Puerto Rico offers varied terrain experiences. The Meseta Coastal Trail in Guanica Forest Biosphere Reserve is a don’t-miss for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers, bikers, and birders love the trail as it offers beachfront views and varied forest ecosystems.
This UNESCO-designated site in the southwest part of the island is known as a pristine example of a “dry forest.” The Mesta trail is about 6.7 miles out and back. It’s rated “moderate,” with an elevation gain of just over 500 feet.
Guajatica Forest Interpretive Trail
The Guajataca Forest encompasses almost 2,300 acres, much crisscrossed by trails. This hilly region near Isabela, PR, is known as a hiking destination. One of the most popular trails is the Interpretive Trail.
This packed earth trail makes an easy loop about 2 miles long with little elevation gain. Along the way, you’ll find markers that offer fascinating facts about the area. You can get more of a workout by climbing the stairs to the observation tower or taking a side trip to see the limestone Cave of the Wind.
Julio Enrique Monagas National Park
Head to Julio Enrique Monagas National Park for a hike just a short distance from the city. Just a few miles from San Juan, the park offers 200 acres to explore.
Trails cross through forests and offer stunning ocean views. Along the way, you’ll see long-deserted bunkers. Be prepared to share the trail with mountain bikers, rock climbers, runners, and birders.
La Zanja translates to “the trench,” which you’ll find at the end of this hike. This trek is about 5.6 miles long and starts at Seven Seas Beach in Farjado’s Cabezas de San Juan Natural Reserve.
Along the way, you’ll follow the coastline for miles until you reach the cliffs of volcanic rock. Here, you’ll definitely want to put on sturdy shoes before climbing up the rocks, then back down again. At the bottom, you’ll be rewarded with La Zanja, a stunning natural rock pool. Keep the tides in mind when you plan this hike.
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