The author on a rocky coast in Puerto Rico

15 Best Hikes in Puerto Rico (By a Local)

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?

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

15 Best Puerto Rico Hikes & Hiking Trails

El Toro Trail in El Yunque

Rio Grande

View of the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

Difficult | 4.9 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 45-minute Drive from San Juan | Cost: $2 for a ticket online

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

Isabela

View of a trail path 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 

Guánica

View of the walking trails during a sunny day in Lluberas Trail

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.

👉 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

Orocovis

A muddy path to 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. 

Tres Picachos

Jayuya

View of hills and the clear blue sky in Jayuya

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

Arecibo

View of a Puerto Rican tody on a branch
One of the birds you can see in Cambalache 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.

Arbol Solitario

Salinas

A woman enjoying a swing on a tree

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 the mountain. You can access the official and safest trail from Hacienda Los Maldonado. 

Los Morrillos Lighthouse 

Cabo Rojo

Aerial view of the Los Morrillos Lighthouse in Puerto Rico

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

La Zanja

Fajardo

Aerial view of Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
 Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve from above

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.

Survival Beach

Aguadilla

View of the rocky coastline of Survival Beach

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

Barranquitas

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.

Puerto Ferro 

Vieques

View of a sign in Puerto Ferro

Moderate | 1.4 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 1.5-hour Drive from San Juan to Ceiba + 30 minutes on ferry to Vieques | Cost: free

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.

Charco Azul

Patillas

View of the Charco Azul pond in the middle of a forest

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

Bayamón

Aerial view of the Charco Prieto in Bayamon

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. 

Cerro Mime

Orocovis

View of the Cerro Mime and the clear blue sky in Puerto Rico

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.

🥾 Read All Our Hiking Guides: Hikes near Seattle, Hikes near Denver, Hikes near Boulder

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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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