15 Best Things to Do in Guanica (in 2023)
With calm and inviting beaches, a giant dry forest, and multiple cays, there are plenty of things to do in Guanica, Puerto Rico for year-round adventures.
Located in the south of Puerto Rico, and off the beaten path of many visitors, Guanica is one of the best Puerto Rico destinations for beach bums and nature lovers. You won’t get enough of the beautiful crystalline beaches or the nature of the dry forest.
As a Puerto Rican local and a major fan of our mesmerizing forests and beaches, I can assure you Guanica will not disappoint.
Not convinced yet? Check out these 15 amazing things to do in Guanica.
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Things to Do in Guanica, Puerto Rico
- FAQs About Guanica
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15 Best Things to Do in Guanica, Puerto Rico
Guánica State Forest
Hike through Puerto Rico’s dry forest
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 821-5706 | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily
Part of the United Nations International Biosphere Reserve, this dry coastal tropical forest hosts hundreds of flora and fauna species that nature lovers can discover through various hiking trails. The Guanica Dry Forest also leads to some of the best beaches Puerto Rico has to offer.
👉 Did you know? The Guanica Dry Forest is one of the largest tropical dry coastal forests in the world. That’s why it’s one of the top things to do in Guanica and one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico.
Cayo Aurora (Gilligan’s Island)
Snorkel in crystal clear waters
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 821-4941 | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Tues-Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $10 per person, $6 for coolers
Cayo Aurora, also known as Gilligan’s Island, is a mangrove island close to the coast of Guanica. You can reach this popular cay either by taking a ferry or renting a kayak. Cayo Aurora is home to shallow crystal-clear waters great for snorkeling. Keep in mind there might be jellyfish in the water.
👉Local Tip: As of January 2022, Gilligan’s Island is temporarily closed. Before visiting, call 787-821-4941 to know if the island has opened back up to the public.
Take a stroll on the beachfront
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Book a Tour to El Malecón on Viator
If you want to take a relaxing walk, go for a run, or take your kids for a bike or scooter ride, then El Malecón in Guanica is your best option. From this oceanfront boardwalk, you can see small fish boats on the bay, the abandoned sugar mill, and the Caprón Fort. While there, make a stop at La Piedra de Guanica, a rock carved by the American troops when they landed in Guanica during the 1898 invasion.
Punta Ballena Natural Reserve
Discover a unique reserve
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 722-5844 | Website
Located inside the Guanica Dry Forest, Punta Ballena Natural Reserve features a cay known as Isla Ballena and there is an isthmus you can cross between it and the mainland. Besides the peculiar vegetation, the reserve’s coast also sports beautiful beaches like Playa Ballena, where you can spend the evening swimming or sunbathing.
Finca El Girasol
Get lost between sunflowers
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (939) 402-7967 | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm Fri-Sun only | Entrance: $1.25
Finca El Girasol is an ideal stop for couples. The farm features a field with hundreds of sunflowers where you can take pictures, stroll through the fields, and buy sunflowers to take home. Call before visiting to make sure they’re open, as sometimes the weather affects the opening hours.
✈️ First time to Puerto Rico? Check out these best activities to do in Puerto Rico to help plan your itinerary!
Guanica’s Lighthouse Ruins
Witness history at a fallen lighthouse
📍 Google Maps | (787) 612-2167 | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily
Also located inside the dry forest, Guanica’s XIX century lighthouse ruins are barely standing, but they represent the damages made by the 2020 earthquakes. This lighthouse was the first to spot the American ships during the invasion in 1898.
Admire the best view in Guanica
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 821-5706 | Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm daily
Although the original fort dates back to the Spanish occupation era, the current fort was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1930. More a tower than an actual fort, Fuerte Caprón offers beautiful views of Guanica Bay. The Fuerte Trail is a 6-mile long trail of average difficulty but there are other two trails you can take to get there.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Guanica is a top destination with outdoor attractions that make the perfect Caribbean getaway. You can stay at Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa to have Guanica’s beaches a few steps away.
Discover another world underwater
Besides being a popular public beach in Guanica for its calm waters, farther outside Playa Santa, 100 feet underwater, you can find La Pared. Translating to “the wall” this underwater elevation is full of coral reefs and sea life that will delight any diving enthusiast. You can book a tour with Paradise Scuba.
Guanica Town Center
Search for street art in the town center
Following the trend of urban art in cities like San Juan and Yauco, Guanica also created its route of street art in the city’s town center. The project known as Guánica Color y Vida includes a total of 17 murals you can find on 25 de Julio street, Calle B, and Calle A.
🚗 How to Get There: If you’re staying in San Juan, your best option for getting to Guanica is to rent a car. Use Discover Cars to compare agencies and find cheap prices for car rentals.
Cayo Don Luis
Soak in the shallow waters of a cay
If you love Gilligan’s island, you can’t miss Cayo Don Luis. This small cay located less than a mile from the main island features channels among mangroves you can explore and shallow turquoise coastal waters that will make you feel like you’re walking over the ocean.
Cross the city’s hanging bridge
For those that like to hunt for curious sites, a quick visit to Puente Hamaca in Guanica is something they can’t miss. This is one of the hanging bridges in Puerto Rico and it dates back to 1956.
📚 Related Reading: Is Puerto Rico Safe for Traveling?
Caña Gorda Beach
Enjoy a family beach day
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 821-5016 | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm Wed-Sun, 9 am – 5 pm Mon-Tues | Entrance: $4 parking
Families looking for an easy access beach with facilities, head over to Caña Gorda. This beach has calm waters where everyone can swim, bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, gazebos, picnic tables, and lots of trees for shade. You can also rent watersports equipment.
La Jungla Beach
Explore the beach mangroves
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 7 am – 5 pm Tues- Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $2, adults, free under 12
Playa La Jungla is a shallow beach surrounded by mangroves you can explore by kayaking, swimming, or snorkeling. Visit during the weekdays to enjoy a calmer atmosphere. There aren’t any facilities close by, so bring along everything you need for a day trip.
Escape to a hidden beach
📍 Google Maps | Entrance: $2, adults, free under 12
If instead of doing watersports, swimming, or mingling with the locals, you just want to enjoy the landscape and sunbathe on the sand, Playa Jaboncillo is your go-to beach. This half-moon-shaped beach is less crowded than Playa Santa and Playa La Jungla and it’s surrounded by rock formations that make a nice hike along the beach.
📚 Bookmark for Later: Best Season to Visit Puerto Rico
Bio Bay La Parguera
Take a night trip to a bio bay
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse La Parguera Tours on Viator
A short ride away from Guanica you’ll find the bio bay La Parguera, one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. La Parguera in Lajas is the only bio bay where you’re allowed to swim in the water, but kayaks and boat rides are an option too. Be sure to visit during the new moon to appreciate it better.
📍 Looking for more nearby attractions? Check out our list of the best things to do in Ponce!
FAQs About Guanica
What is Guanica known for?
Guanica is known for being home to Guanica’s Dry Forest, a 9,000-acre land part of the United Nations International Biosphere Reserve, with amazing biodiversity, and ecosystems.
Is Guanica Puerto Rico safe?
Overall, Guanica is a safe city for tourism. As in every part of Puerto Rico, pickpocketing and theft are common crimes and travelers should take common safety precautions. Also, since 2019, the city is prone to experiencing small earthquakes.
What is the best time to visit Guanica?
The best time to visit Guanica is from December through February for fresher temperatures in the city. From August to November visitors will find cheaper prices in hotels, and fewer crowds, while the summer is the best time to find good tides on the beaches.
Where should I stay in Guanica?
Guanica visitors should stay in Carenero, Guanica Pueblo, Montalvo, and Ensenada for a prime location close to the top attractions and the best things to do in Guanica.
How do I get to Guanica from San Juan?
Visitors will need to rent a car to get to Guanica, as public transportation doesn’t reach the city. The fastest route from San Juan to Guanica is through PR-52, crossing Caguas, Cayey, Salinas, and Ponce among other cities.
Thanks for reading the best things to do in Guanica! If you’re looking for more fun options, check out other fun activities to do in Puerto Rico.
Have fun in Guanica!
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