Postcard From Puerto Rico

• 2 trails
• 1.6 mile trails
• Easy & Medium difficulties
Puerto Rico
• Driving Directions: See trail reviews

Occasionally we venture outside of our usual territories and would like to share some of our trail explorations with you. This year we took our first ever trip to Puerto Rico, renting a car and staying in an AirBNB in the Rio Grande area just an hour east of the airport. Puerto Rico is a popular destination for New Englanders looking to escape winter weather and there are several airlines that will fly you there in around four hours, often quite cheaply.

Puerto Rico is the fourth largest of the Caribbean islands both by geography and population and is located due east of the Dominican Republic, around a thousand miles south of Miami. A Spanish colony since Christopher Columbus' 1943 arrival, the island was acquired by the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. As a US territory Americans don't need a passport to visit and will find much here that reminds them of home, including the likely need for car rental.

We only had time to experience a couple of trails on our short visit to the east side of the island, and we list them below. Additionally worthwhile is an exploration of San Juan, the United States' oldest city and the capital of Puerto Rico. This charming town's cobbled streets are eminently walkable, and offers a vibrant mix of historical sites, restaurants and shopping opportunities. Enormous cruise ships also dock here on most days, and it may enefit you to know the cruise ship schedule when planning your visit.

Mount Britton 4★
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
1.6 miles out-and-back, Medium difficulty, Gain 570 feet | El Yunque National Forest boasts the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest system and is considered to host some of the best hiking trails on the island. This pleasant and relatively short hike provides a rainforest trek and excellent views.

Bioluminescent Bay Kayak 5★
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
1.6 mile round trip paddle, Easy difficulty | One of the few places on Earth where these microorganisms illuminate the water with a sparkling glow. This night kayak tour is great for most ages and levels of fitness.

Note that like many parts of the island, El Yunque National Forest is still recovering from the devestating category 5 Hurricane Maria back in September 2017. This includes significant trail closures and reconstruction efforts. Please check the park's website before visiting to determine what's available and to understand any reservation system that may be in place.


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