Welcome to Puerto Rico – the Caribbean’s most popular travel hub, where lush tropical rainforests meet palm tree studded white sand beaches. The size of the island definitely does not represent the diverse scenery and vibrant culture Puerto Rico has to offer. In fact, there’s so much to see and do, most visitors don’t even scratch the surface. Of course, your trip to Puerto Rico should include the classic must-see tourist spots, but there are 5 noteworthy off the beaten path places that you’ll definitely want to add to your list!
Isla Culebra: For the sunbathers and beach fanatics, a visit to Puerto Rico would not be complete without a trip to the island of Culebra. The island is a part of the Spanish Virgin Islands, also known as the Puerto Rican Virgin Islands, and is home to postcard perfect beaches and beautiful reefs, great for diving and snorkeling. Flamenco Beach is the most popular, for it’s shallow crystal clear waters and classic white sand shores. Don’t forget to take a photo by the abandoned graffiti-covered army tank, an old relic from WWII.
Cascadas de Gozalandia: For a relaxing day trip, head to one of the most picturesque waterfalls on the island! Or two for that matter. The entrance to Cascadas de Gozalandia is a bit hard to find, but once you’re there, the walk to the waterfall is quick and easy. Spend an afternoon swimming in the refreshing blue water, or for the more risky, jump from the top of the falls.
Cueva Ventana: For the adventure seekers, a hike to Cueva Ventana is a must! Once you reach the cave, it’s as if you’re looking through a large window to one of the best views of Puerto Rico you could imagine, hence the name ‘Window Cave.’ Located in Arecibo just off the major highway, it’s an easy place to find, but the hike itself can get rocky and slightly difficult at points. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth the climb!
Vieques National Wildlife Refuge: Also part of the Spanish Virgin Islands, the untouched paradise of Vieques lies just 6 miles from the southeastern coast of mainland Puerto Rico. This is the place to be if you’re looking for a quiet island getaway with an abundance of private beaches. In fact, there’s almost a guarantee you’ll have a beach all to yourself. If this isn’t incentive enough to check out Vieques, then maybe the fact that it’s home to Puerto Rico’s brightest bioluminescent bay is!
Guánica Dry Forest: In the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, the Guánica Dry Forest is one of the most stunning natural regions of the island, differing so much from the popular El Yunque Rainforest, you’ll feel as though you’re on a completely different island. Not only is this a great place for hiking, but it also offers some diverse scenery including mangroves, reefs, and beautiful beaches.
Do you know of any other sights in Puerto Rico that are off the beaten path? If so, share with us in the comments below!