5 Hidden Gems in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is so much more than just beautiful beaches (of course it has that too), but there are also endless adventures, rainforests, rugged mountains, caves, and more! Here's 5 lesser known, but just as beautiful, places in Puerto Rico.
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5 Hidden Gems
1. Cueva del Indio
Located in the northern town of Arecibo, Cueva del Indio is an impressive cave that's surrounded by dramatic cliffs that face the Atlantic Ocean. The cave gets its name from the various pre-Columbian indigenous petroglyphs that are found in the walls of the cave. To access the cave area visitors must pay a $5.00 fee.
Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when visiting the Cueva del Indio as the area is composed of cliffs.
2. Cascada Chorro de Dona Juana
The Chorro de Dona Juana Waterfall (or Catarata Chorro de Doña Juana) is a convenient roadside attraction along the PR-149 that cuts right through the center of Puerto Rico between the towns of Villalba and Ciales. I’ve found that it’s a nice spot to break up the winding and narrow mountain driving though parking around the bridge fronting this multi-tiered waterfall is quite limited.
3. Mosquito Bay
The brightest bioluminescence effect in the world can be found on the magical island of Vieques, but don't take our word for it— it was recognized by the Guinness World Record in 2006. Vieques's breathtaking Mosquito Bay has also been designated as one of the 2020s Seven Wonders of the World by Condé Nast Traveller.
Located to the east of Puerto Rico's main island, the small island of Vieques can be reached either by ferry or via a small plane. Once in Vieques, you'd want to arrange a kayak tour of the bay with one of the island's tour providers (some of them even have clear-bottom kayaks! we booked with Black Beard Sports). When planning your visit, it's important to consider the phases of the moon as the glowing effect is better appreciated during nights with a new or crescent moon.
4. Playa Esperanza
Located in the northern town of Manatí, La Esperanza beach is a peaceful and secluded beach that's perfect for those looking to disconnect. What distinguishes La Esperanza, from other beaches in this part of the island, it's that this beach is part of a nature reserve managed by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, also known as Para La Naturaleza. To reach La Esperanza, you'll have to follow the main road that leads to Hacienda La Esperanza and then drive along a dirt road where you'll find various parking areas with individual trails to the beach.
5. Survival Beach Sea Caves
The breathtaking cliffs and bizarre rock formations at the Survival Beach Sea Caves make this spot a Puerto Rico must visit.
Nestled on Puerto Rico’s northwestern coast, the Survival Beach Sea Caves are a bit tricky to get to even with a car, so getting directions from a Puerto Rican local is a must.
Be sure to bring comfortable shoes for the 20–30-minute hike to the cliffs, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Caribbean.
These are just a few hidden gems on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Although Puerto Rico may be known for its beautiful beaches (of course it has that too), it's so much more than that! If Puerto Rico isn't on your bucket list, you need to add it now!