Puerto Rico is approximately 3,515 square miles of lush, tropical rainforests; sky-high mountains; and beaches all around. With a vast array of areas to explore, a road trip around the island is an ideal way to see it all. Make sure to visit these locations to get the full Puerto Rico experience.
After arriving at San Juan International Airport, rent a car and head to Rincon. This destination is furthest from the airport, about a 2.5-hour drive. Starting in this direction will get the longest day of driving out of the way so you can enjoy the scenery with shorter drives to each of the next locations. Rincon has gorgeous beaches on the westernmost point of Puerto Rico. Sit back and relax on the beach and visit the historical Punta Higuera Lighthouse. At certain times of the year, whales can be seen from the observation deck.
Next, head to Camuy. Just a one-hour drive from Rincon, this scenic drive takes you to the northern hemisphere’s largest-known caves at Rio Camuy Cave Park. To explore the caves, you must make reservations prior to arriving. Make sure to charge your camera — the caves are the perfect spot to snap some photos.
Take a quick, 16-minute drive to Arecibo from Camuy. This city has three different terrains to experience with beaches, caves, mountains and forests. As one of the oldest cities in Puerto Rico, Arecibo is home to pre-Columbian petroglyphs inside a limestone cave at Cueva Ventana. Visit the natural formation while listening to more than 20 different bird species that inhabit the area.
Travel up the mountain to Aibonito to visit the horticultural hot spot on the island. The tallest waterfall lives on the mountain with 749 species of wildlife to see. Take a swim at the base of the waterfall and relax to the hypnotic sound of the rushing waters.
Lastly, before heading to the airport to go home, stop in Fajardo to see the wonders of the Laguna Grande bioluminescent waters. Take a kayaking tour at night to see the waters glow from the dinoflagellates when movement occurs throughout the water. The world only has five ecosystems like this, so book in advance to lock in your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Make your way back to the airport with a 40-minute drive.
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