Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Puerto Rico, one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean and home to numerous natural wonders including reef systems, canyons, caves, lagoons, salt flats and rainforest. Here are three of the most impressive must-see natural wonders in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s top natural wonder, El Yunque Rainforest, is a sub tropical rainforest located on the eastern side of the Luquillo Mountains within the boundaries of El Yunque National Forest Reserve. The rainforest is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life including the coquí tree frog and the Puerto Rican parrot. Well-marked hiking trails lead throughout the park passing by streams and waterfalls and offering scenic views of the island. El Yunque day trips are easy, and camping is permitted for visitors wishing to stay overnight in the reserve.
Rio Camuy Cave Park
Made up of a spectacular series of natural limestone caves, sinkholes and underground waterways, the Rio Camuy Cave Park is one of the largest underground cave systems in the world. The park is located on the north coast of Puerto Rico near the town of Arecibo and accessible at Cueva Clara (Clara Cave). The Rio Camuy Cave Park covers 268 acres – just a small portion of the complete Rio Camuy Cave System – yet it offers up some of the most dramatic scenery on the island. The park can be visited on day trips from the capital city of San Juan.
Puerto Rico is home to three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays. Bioluminescence is a fascinating natural phenomenon that occurs when a type of marine plankton called dinoflagellates are agitated causing them to illuminate. When disturbed all at once, a high concentration of dinoflagellates can cause the ocean to appear as if it is glowing. Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays are located in the village of Las Croabas, the small town of La Parguera and on Vieques Island. A nighttime kayak tour on a dark evening is one of the best ways to experience this spectacular natural wonder.