A camping tent on a beach in Puerto Rico during sunset

9 Best Places to Go Camping In Puerto Rico (By a Local)

Camping in Puerto Rico can be both relaxing and thrilling. Whether you prefer beaches or mountains, classic camping or glamping, you’ll find a camping option for you on the island.

As a local, I can tell you Puerto Rico’s outdoors will make your camping adventure feel surreal and unique. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you simply can’t miss this popular Puerto Rico activity.

So, if you’re new to Puerto Rico or are unfamiliar with the camping scene, here is a guide to the nine best campgrounds for camping in Puerto Rico.

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9 Best Places to Go Camping In Puerto Rico

Seven Seas Beach

See the sunrise from this beautiful beach

A camping tent from afar in Seven Seas Beach
Camping tent in Seven Seas

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 1 hour | Google Maps | Destination Website | ⛺ Amenities: Bathrooms, showers, RV hookups, gazebos | Reservation Phone #: (787) 863-4013 | Reservation Email: mjmcfajardo@gmail.com

Seven Seas in Fajardo is part of the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, one of the national parks where you can camp.

Located on the east coast, Seven Seas Beach sports white soft sand, and clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. 

Visitors can pay $10 a night per person to stay right on the beach. Bathrooms and showers are available for an additional fee of $1.00. Renting campers and camping spaces is also an option. 

This nature reserve hosts attractions that outdoor enthusiasts will love such as Playa Colora, Playa Escondida, and the San Juan Cape Lighthouse. It’s also close to other Fajardo’s top attractions like Laguna Grande bio bay.

Playuela

Hike, ride, and camp on this breathtaking coast

Clear blue sky over the blue water in Playuela

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 20 hours 35 minutes | Google Maps | ⛺ Amenities: none

Playuela is one of the popular coasts for camping in Puerto Rico. Located on the coast of Aguadilla, Playuela is great for a couple’s retreat. Playuela has surfing beaches, lighthouse ruins, hiking trails, and MTB trails.

The area is easy and free to access, and although there aren’t any facilities, you can visit in camper vans and RVs (if you can get through the muddy road). 

But, if you wish for a more comfortable stay, camp in the area with Playuela horseback rides to have easy access to facilities like bathrooms and showers.

Sun Bay Beach

Enjoy the Caribbean ocean view from your tent in Vieques

A beach blanket near a shoreline in Sun Bay Beach

🗺️ Distance from Ceiba: 30 minutes by ferry | Google Maps | ⛺ Amenities: toilets, showers, changing rooms, and BBQs

Camping in Sun Bay Beach is one of the most popular things to do in Vieques. Staying at Sun Bay is the perfect way to stay close to Vieques’ attractions like the Mosquito Bio Bay and wildlife refuge.

It’s one of the best sites to camp with the family, as you have easy access to bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, BBQs, and gazebos. The beach itself is one of the safest in Vieques, as it has lifeguards and security. 

You need to bring your own camping gear and RVs aren’t allowed in the area. In addition, you do need to coordinate previously and request a permit to stay in Vieques, but you can also arrange it at the on-site office.

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Mona Island

Camp in the Galapagos of the Caribbean

View of the water in Mona Island from the Mona Cave

🗺️ Distance from West Coast: 4 hours boat trip | Google Maps | ⛺ Amenities: none 

Mona island promises one of the best camping experiences you’ll have in Puerto Rico. This offshore island is located outside the west coast, right in between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. 

Mona hides pristine wildlife, caves, hiking trails, and a lighthouse. Camping is allowed from May to November only with a permit from Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. 

You’ll need to be an expert camper to camp and Mona Island, and you’ll have to bring everything necessary for your stay. 

You can download the online application, and mail it to the DRNA office. However, Mona Island Tours and Acampa can organize the trip for you.

Cerro Las Tetas

Camp on top of a popular Puerto Rico mountain

The Cerro Las Tetas and the clear blue sky over it
(photo: Euri Rivera / Shutterstock)

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 1 hour 11 minutes | Google Maps | Destination Website | ⛺⛺ Amenities: bathrooms, showers, common areas for cooking, and bonfire area

Cerro Las Tetas Camping site is on top of one of the popular Puerto Rico mountains, between Cayey, Salinas, and Aibonito. 

This camping site is great for those who want a combination of relaxing nature and a thrilling experience as it offers additional activities like rock climbing. 

You can either book a space for your tent or a special offer that includes camping, meals, and excursions through the area. Although camping vans are welcome, the space is not RV friendly. 

👉 Did You Know? Cerro Las Tetas refers to two mountain peaks in Salinas that got their Spanish name due to their similarity with a woman’s chest. Many people stop on highway 51 to take a picture of the mountain’s two peaks.

Playa Rustica

A beachside camping experience with everything ready for you

Aerial view of Playa Rustica in Puerto Rico

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 2 hours and 52 minutes | Google Maps | Destination Website | ⛺ Amenities: bathrooms, showers, and solar panels | 👉 Book a Night with Booking

Playa Rustica is one of the best camping areas in Cabo Rojo.  

This camping site offers “easy camping” which includes air mattresses, solar fans, pillows and linens, a stove, and even kitchen utensils, so you don’t have to worry about packing your camping tent. 

You can also rent a space for your camper but since there isn’t any electricity on the site, it must have a battery or solar panels.  Camping vans are also allowed.

The dirt road to get there might be somewhat challenging, so visiting in a 4×4 vehicle or SUV is recommended.

Finca Viernes

Camp with a picturesque view of the mountains

View from the Finca Viernes in Puerto Rico

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 2 hours 15 minutes | Google Maps | Destination Website | ⛺ ⛺ Amenities: bathrooms, showers, on-site restaurant, glamping options 

Finca Viernes is located in Utuado overlooking Caonillas lake, one of the popular sites in Utuado

The site has bathrooms, showers, and an on-site Puerto Rican food restaurant. If you don’t have camping equipment, you can stay at one of the glamping sites. 

Finca Viernes also has a BBQ and a space for making bonfires – it’s great for a unique family night. There aren’t any on-site facilities for RVs.

El Yunque National Forest

Spend the night in the only tropical rainforest in the United States

View of the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

🗺️ Distance from San Juan: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Destination Website | ⛺ Amenities: none

Camping in El Yunque National Forest is an outdoor adventure only for experienced campers. In El Yunque, you’ll find multiple camping sites for small or large groups. 

The Pabellon, Molindero, and the Nursery are the easiest camping sites to reach from PR 191. But, if you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can camp in Tres Picachos, which is one of the highest peaks of the tropical rainforest.

None of these campgrounds have facilities so you have to bring everything for your stay. RVs aren’t allowed in these areas. 

To camp in El Yunque, you have to request a camping permit and reservation through the forest service website. As of 2022, the camping services were temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, but the sites are preparing to open towards the end of the year.

👉 Local Tip: If you want to spend a night or two in the rainforest but still would like to have certain commodities, you can check out Hacienda Monterey, Villa Toston, and Rio Blanco Campgrounds.

Flamenco Beach

Stay at one of the top beaches in the world

View of a camping tent in Flamenco Beach
(photo: Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock)

🗺️ Distance from Ceiba: 45 minutes by ferry | Google Maps | ⛺ Amenities: toilets and open showers 

Flamenco Beach is located in one of Puerto Rico’s wildlife refuges on Culebra Island. 

It’s one of the most popular beaches for its white soft sand and clear turquoise waters. That’s why those that can’t get enough of it choose to stay camping in this tropical paradise.

Flamenco Beach campground sports multiple areas for camping. The A area is usually for families. The B and C areas are for youngsters and party-loving people, and the D and E areas are usually quiet zones. 

You can camp in Flamenco all year, and you can even go as a walk-in without any reservation. During the summer season, the campgrounds are crowded, so they aren’t ideal for a relaxing trip. 

There aren’t any facilities besides open showers and bathrooms. RVs aren’t permitted either.

👉 Local Tip: Although it’s said the campgrounds are closed temporarily, multiple visitors in the past two years have camped in Flamenco Beach. If you can’t get in touch with the campground’s management and still want to camp, proceed under your own judgment and risk.

4 Tips for Camping in Puerto Rico

Tip #1 – Check Your Local Permits 

A couple enjoying camping during sunset in Puerto Rico

Camping in Puerto Rico forests, nature reserves, and wildlife refuges is possible, but you need permits to do so. Contact the Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA) in Puerto Rico to get them or pay a local company to do the paperwork for you.

Tip #2 – Choose the Right Season

A couple relaxing on their camping chair near the shoreline of a beach in Puerto Rico

The best time to visit Puerto Rico depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re camping by the beach, then make sure to visit between the summer and spring seasons for calm tides. Visiting the mountains during fall and winter will allow you to enjoy refreshing temperatures.

Tip #3 – Keep it Safe

A group of friends enjoying their night with a bonfire

Camping wherever in Puerto Rico is not recommended. Although Puerto Rico is generally safe, make sure to research everything about your campsite. Check reviews and if possible, camp together with other people. 

Tip #4 – Bring the Right Gear

To make sure you’re bringing all the right things for your camping adventure, check out McKenna’s checklist of camping essentials!

FAQs About Camping in Puerto Rico

Can you camp anywhere in Puerto Rico?

Theoretically, travelers can’t camp anywhere they’d like in Puerto Rico. Generally, an official permit is necessary. That being said, many Puerto Ricans just camp wherever they feel like, often ignoring the official permit paperwork supposedly required to camp on state forests and refuges.

Is it safe to camp in Puerto Rico?

Camping is safe in Puerto Rico if travelers take the right security measures. Not all areas in Puerto Rico are ideal for camping. Visitors should always research the campground or stay at popular camping sites. They should also pack everything they need for camping and avoid bringing valuables.

Can I camp in El Yunque?

It’s possible to camp in El Yunque National Rainforest in the east of Puerto Rico. Campers can choose to stay between four official facilities located at  PR 191 and coordinate their visit through the forest service. But, there are plenty of haciendas around El Yunque that also offer camping facilities.

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Ready to go camping in Puerto Rico? You can now choose your favorite campground and start planning your next adventure! If you’re looking to camp in an area with nearby attractions read our guide to the popular sites to visit in Puerto Rico.

Happy camping!

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