If you’re an outdoors lover, you’ll be happy to know Puerto Rico is home to some great hiking destinations. You can find everything from chill seaside treks to challenging routes hidden in the mountains regardless.
I am a Puerto Rico local and I’ve hiked in many of these places on the island. In this post, I’ll spill the beans on all the best hikes in Puerto Rico, so you can choose your next hiking adventure.
Let’s dive in – but first, could you bookmark my guide to the best activities to do in Puerto Rico?
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Puerto Rico Hikes & Hiking Trails
- El Toro Trail in El Yunque
- Cueva del Viento in Guajataca State Forest
- Lluberas Trail in Guánica Dry Forest
- El Bolo in Toro Negro State Forest
- Tres Picachos
- Cambalache State Forest
- Arbol Solitario
- Los Morrillos Lighthouse
- La Zanja
- Survival Beach
- Cañón San Cristóbal
- Puerto Ferro
- Charco Azul
- Charco Prieto Waterfall
- Cerro Mime
- FAQ’s About Hiking in Puerto Rico
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15 Best Puerto Rico Hikes & Hiking Trails
El Toro Trail in El Yunque
El Toro Trail is one of the different trails you can find in El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the National Forest System. The climb is challenging for how muddy it is, and takes 3-5 hours to finish the route but reaching the top “Cloud Forest” makes up for the trip.
👉 Local Tip: If you’re visiting El Yunque, wear swimwear underneath or bring an additional set of clothes so you can bathe in one of the waterfalls. Read my list of the top things to do in Puerto Rico to learn about other amazing activities.
Cueva del Viento in Guajataca State Forest
Moderate | 2.6 miles | Google Maps | 2-hour Drive Time from San Juan | Cost: free
The Guajataca State Forest in Isabela offers multiple trails for hiking lovers. Trail #1 takes you to Cueva del Viento, and trail #9 leads you back to the entrance. For warming up, take the side trail to the observation tower, where you can enjoy the panoramic views.
👉 Local Tip: Keep in mind that the stairs to get inside the cave are in bad condition, so you should use them cautiously. Drink lots of water as the forest is hot and bring a flashlight to explore the cave. The ALIPRET headlamp is great since it helps you to keep your hands free.
Lluberas Trail in Guánica Dry Forest
Moderate | 10 miles | Google Maps | 2-hour Drive Time from San Juan | Cost: free
The Lluberas trail is the longest trail in Guánica Dry Forest, but what makes it a difficult route is the heat you’ll be experiencing. This trail takes you down to Ballena Beach where you can enjoy the Caribbean Sea views. Make sure to stop at the ranger station next to the parking lot to get your map.
While you are in the area, be sure to check out the many fun things to do in Guanica.
👉 Local Tip: Guánicas State Forest is hot, especially during the summer. Make sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated during the hike. The Mubasel Insulated Hydration Backpack stores up to 2 liters of water, plus it sports space for snacks and a waistband for your important items.
El Bolo in Toro Negro State Forest
Difficult | 3.9 miles | Google Maps | 2-hour Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
Home to a cloud forest and Cerro de Punta, one of the highest peaks in Puerto Rico, the Toro Negro State Forest stretches between different cities and offers multiple trails for hikers, camping areas, and some of the best Puerto Rico waterfalls.
Trail #1 known as El Bolo, leads to an observation tower from where nature lovers can admire the view.
Expert | 2.8 miles | Google Maps | 2-hours Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
The Tres Picachos is a challenging trail in Jayuya full of fallen trees, spiders, overgrown grass, and around a dozen rope climbing sections that can take up to 5 hours to complete. The trail gets muddy when it rains so it’s advisable to go with dry weather.
👉 Local Tip: Wear hiking boots with grip for muddy routes like Tres Picachos. These Columbia boots are waterproof and have a slip-free rubber sole.
Cambalache State Forest
Moderate | 5.09 miles | Google Maps | 1-hour Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
The Cambalache State Forest in Arecibo offers well-maintained and identified hiking and biking trails, plus areas for camping. You can choose your trail and the distance you’ll be walking according to your taste, and enjoy the variety of species of birds and trees.
Moderate | 3.16 miles | Google Maps | 1-hour Drive from San Juan | Cost: $5 for parking
This hike, also known as Cerro de los Cielos, is a popular place to visit among Puerto Rico locals for different reasons. One of those reasons is the Instagramable tree with a swing sitting alone on top of the hill and the view from the top of one of the best mountains in Puerto Rico. You can access the official and safest trail from Hacienda Los Maldonado.
Los Morrillos Lighthouse
Easy | 1.5 miles | Google Maps | 3-hour Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
One of the hikes with more scenery in Puerto Rico, Los Morrillos Lighthouse trail is easy to walk and is fit for any type of hiker. Once inside the Wildlife Refuge, you can check out attractions like the Salt Flats, Playuela Beach, or the Observation Tower close to the visitor’s center.
📚Bookmark for Later: My Guide to the Top Puerto Rico Beaches
Moderate | 5.6 miles | Google Maps | 1-hour 15 minutes Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
This trail runs along the coast of Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo and you’ll be crossing the beach with scenic views until the last section where you’ll go uphill until reaching La Zanja, a natural water pool. Always take into account the tide before visiting.
👉 Local Tip: You should wear swimwear under your clothes and shoes that are good for hiking and dry quickly. The UBFEN Water Shoes are great for both doing watersports and hiking and they’re quick drying.
Difficult | 2.7 miles | Google Maps | 2-hour Drive Time from San Juan | Cost: free
Along the coast of Aguadilla, you will find a trail that will lead you to a hidden beach with giant boulders. The trail sports beautiful scenery but has many ups and downs, tree roots, spiky floor, and boulders.
Cañón San Cristóbal
Expert | 3.47 miles | Google Maps | 1-hour 15-minute Drive from San Juan | Cost: Private Tours Only
San Cristóbal Canyon features multiple trails that either intertwine with the river or are full of vegetation and rocks. Exploring it can take up to 5 hours if you visit the waterfalls and swimming holes. You can only visit with a private tour you can book either with Go Hiking Puerto Rico or Para La Naturaleza.
Inside the Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find the Puerto Ferro trail. Although short, the trail is rocky and challenging under the heat of the Caribbean but it leads to Puerto Ferro Lighthouse Ruins and the best panoramic views of Vieques.
Easy | 1 mile | Google Maps | 1-hour Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
Charco Azul is an easy hike all family members can do. Located in Patillas, this mostly-paved trail leads to a swimming hole and it takes around 20 minutes to get to it. Although the area is a bit neglected, the swimming hole is still open to the public.
Charco Prieto Waterfall
Difficult | 1 mile | Google Maps | 48-minute Drive from San Juan | Cost: free
Located in Bayamón, this hiking trail is difficult as it crosses water pools, fallen trees, and parts of the river until reaching a beautiful waterfall. The trail starts behind an abandoned house and it’s marked in certain areas to guide you.
👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do in Bayamon
Moderate | 1.1 mile | Google Maps | Drive Time from Name | Cost: $5 for parking
Cerro Mime is off the beaten path, but the views the trails offer are worth the visit. Although short, the trail is challenging as it’s uphill and rocky between overgrown grass. Depending on your fitness level, the round trip can take 1 or 2 hours.
FAQ’s About Hiking in Puerto Rico
Is hiking in Puerto Rico safe?
Overall, hiking is safe in Puerto Rico. Visitors should take overall safety measures like staying on existing trails, visiting during daylight hours, wearing the right clothes, staying hydrated, and taking enough supplies for their trip. Hikers should also consider hiking with a partner. Learn more in the Puerto Rico safety guide.
Can you hike in El Yunque?
El Yunque National Forest is one of the popular destinations for hiking in Puerto Rico. The rainforest features multiple trails of different difficulty like La Mina Trail, El Yunque Trail, and El Toro Trail, with great scenery, waterfalls, and a variety of flora, and fauna. Some trails are temporarily closed after Hurricane Maria.
You’ve made it to the end of the best hiking trails in Puerto Rico! If you’re looking for more activities to do, you can’t miss my list of popular Puerto Rico destinations.
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