Winter at Tantora

Off-Roading in Puerto Rico

by Emeri Callahan

Dec 18, 2018

El Yunque National Forest © Dennis Van De Water | Dreamstime

Trends / Adventure

Puerto Rico is a wealth of untapped trails and off-roading pathways for the adventurous soul. Next time you’re on the island, trade a day of sunning yourself on a lounge chair for getting dirty and exploring uncharted terrain. The best paths are ones you discover yourself, but below are three launch points to help you get started.

 

El Yunque National Rainforest

Fun fact: El Yunque is the only rainforest part of the United States. The expansive rainforest has many hidden paths to discover, and you can find your way up 3,000 feet into the cloud forest for breathtaking views of the island. Be on the lookout for the indigenous coqui frogs, a locally beloved animal. If you want to camp overnight, you must apply for a camping permit at least two weeks in advance.

 

Toro Negro Mountain Reserve

Start at the town of Jayuya to load up on car snacks and supplies and then make your way to Lake Matrullas in the mountain reserve in the south-central part of Puerto Rico. This is a less-crowded version of El Yunque, and the natural pools and walking paths are mostly free of other visitors. It has a camping area with gazebos, BBQs and restrooms.

 

Carite Forest

Entering the Carite Forest mean you are on a quest for the Charco Azul, a natural pool located in the border zone between Cayey and Patillas. To get there, take your car through Las Lechoneras Guavate and continue about 20 minutes down road #184. Bring your tennis shoes, you’ll hike another 20 minutes or so to reach the pool.

 

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