Puerto Rico Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by joiwatani
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by joiwatani
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by joiwatani

Puerto Rico Off The Beaten Path

  • Luquillo Beach

    San Juan Off The Beaten Path

    We heard that this is Luquillo Beach - one of the most loved beaches in Puerto Rico (other than the Conde Nast winner: Flamenco), and so I was glad when it was included in the tour we got. Truly the beach is amazing – it was not cold at all. The waters were just lukewarm and the twins headed off right into the waters and I was running at them,...

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  • Cueva Ventana!

    This is one of those places that is becoming more well known. I'd still consider this cave off the beaten path, but probably not for much longer. It is really a fantastic journey and view. To begin with you'll park at the Texaco for Route 10. They charge $2 per car. There is a steep dirty hill next to the gas station that leads you on a 15 minute...

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  • Landscaping and Beyond!!

    As you are traveling through the island, I recommend that you look at the front lawns of the homes. Puertoricans can really dress up their yards. I saw things from 15+ yard gnomes on one lawn, horses eating, to maniquins. I loved it!

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  • Road Trip!!

    Yes, Puertorican drivers aren't the safest or most polite. But a road trip on this island is probably the best way to see all that it has to offer! The island is small, about 100 miles by 35 miles. They have some good roads and some bad roads. In the cities, I would recommend caution, because they are litered with potholes. Anyway, don't worry...

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  • Street vendor at the El Morro

    This street vendor who is in front of the El Morro has a lot of information where to go and what to do in Puerto Rico. He has loads of tips, too. He was the one who told me about the trolleys and what time their schedules are.He also allowed me to shade under his big umbrella when it started to rain. He is a very pleasant, very helpful guy!

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  • Street arts in Puerto Rico

    You will see these fixtures in old San Juan. You can walk around and find interesting sculptures with no names on them or who were the artists are.

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  • Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

    This is the only bank I found here that is very close to the El Convento Hotel, which is actually in the heart of the Old San Juan.

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  • The Puerto Rican straw hat

    we have so much fun wearing the Puerto Rican on our way back to the United States. Most of the girls in our group wore the hat that was given to us by the students in Yauco.

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  • The Taino artifacts

    These artifacts are found in the small museum in Indiera Alta in Maricao Province, Puerto Rico. They are kind of similar to the Mayan artifacts.

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  • The bathroom at the El Morro

    The bathroom has a tiny gift shop. The lady at the store ask tourists to pay first before you get in the bathroom. It would be nice if the bathroom is kept clean and with toilet paper.As a tip, I suggest that since you are heading to the castle, just pay the entrance fee and head to the castle and just use their bathroom there- that is if you can...

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  • The Paseo del Morro

    Thinking that I will have a faster route to the El Morro, I walked to the base of the castle! But, I saw the other side of tourism...I saw stray cats, guards taking their lunches, local working class doing their daily routines, etc.This is a nice "paseo" but, make sure that you have a lot of time when you come here. It's a long walk back to the...

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  • There are vendors selling water on the...

    The weather in Puerto Rico gets really hot and humid. So, when you are travelling, make sure to bring water in your backpack. However, there are some vendors of water bottle on the streets of San Juan.

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  • The stray cats in old San Juan

    There are so many stray cats in San Juan. You can see them below the fortress. They just hang around below parked cars.

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  • Arecibo Radio Observatory

    With a reflecting dish 1,000 feet in diameter, and a 900-ton receiver suspended 450 feet above it, this is the largest, most sensitive radio observatory in the world. It can detect radio signals from near-earth space and from billions of light-years away.The visitors center has a theater, small museum, and shop. Even if you're not a scientist, the...

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  • Personal tour guide - get out of San...

    I recently was in San Juan at the front and back end of a cruise with RCL. San Juan did not exactly come recommended as a "destination port" -- so we were not quite sure what to do with the extra day we had on either end. I found a listing of a guy who does Jeep Tours on the island -- and this turned out to be the PERFECT thing. We didn't have a...

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  • The Jibaro Memorial

    Jibaro means something akin to peasant in Puerto Rican Spanish, and the Jibarito sandwich means the country sandwich, or peasant's sandwich. This memorial came as a pleasant surprise along Hwy 52, about halfway between San Juan and Ponce, but you have to be going southbound in order to stop as the northbound lanes have no access. Still in the...

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  • A Sojourn to Culebra

    From Fajardo (1.5hrs. drive from San Juan), one can find ferries that will transport them ($3 USD) to the island of Culebra (30mins. by ferry). One can also take a plane for about $30USD one-way. The island has a small port w/ all the typical nuances of a tourist town. Yet, however, a $10-shuttle (5mins.)--this fee can be split up among those...

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  • Naguabo

    Naguabo is a small beach resort town that seems to cater mostly to locals. I happened to come across it while driving the eastern coast.

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  • Endless Beaches!

    We found Playa Punta Santiago on the day we rented a car to get to El Yunque and to stay at the Casa Cubuy Ecolodge! There are endless places to pull out and check out little visited beaches at this time of year! I could easily have spent 2 full weeks driving around this Island!

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  • El Yunque footwear

    Just got back from PR last night and I spent a full day hiking in El Yunque last Thurs. It was great! I wore a pair of Vasque trail runners. They're studier than tennis shoes and were great on the slippery rocks. I saw a few people out on the trails in flip flops and they were not having a very good time. I did the El Yunque trail and the Mt....

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  • What wonders do these caves hold?

    Pirates treasures? Bat habitats? Moonshine/Drug runners labs? The road from where I took these photos was not safe so I did not hike through the fields of sugar cane to get to the caves.These caves were in the mountains along a small road heading directly south from the dam.

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  • Caguana Indian Ceremonial Site

    The Taino Indians had a village here for centuries before European explorers arrived. Here they lived out their lives, and played a ceremonial ball game called bateyes. Traditional Taino huts have been replicated here. There is also a modest museum.On Rte. 111, west of Utuado, Puerto Rico.

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  • Karst Country

    The term "karst" came from the Balkans, where volcanic activity created this incredibly rugged terrain. The many small but steep hills seem rather surreal. From Highway 2, near Arecibo, follow 129 and turn onto 134. Then go left on 111, and left again on 140. Then take 123 north, and finally Highway 10 north to Highway 2. The scenery is gorgeous,...

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  • Devils Guerite, San Cristobal, San Juan

    The oldest part of San Christobal has the La Garita del Diablo, where it was rumored that Soldiers sent for watch there would disappear randomly. Apparently the truth is that a young Soldier did... running away with his girlfriend instead. The guerite is in the old part of the fort, built in 1634.

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  • Birding Humacao Wildlife Refuge

    Humacao Wildlife Refuge is one of the better places in Puerto Rico to find several species of birds, including West Indian Whistling-Duck, White-cheeked Pintail, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and Green-throated Carib. Numerous other species frequent the marshes, lagoons, and forests, including several of the Puerto Rican endemics.

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  • Hiking Humacao Wildlife Refuge

    There are several miles of trails crisscrossing through Humacao Wildlife Refuge, leading to a variety of habitats including cattail marsh, mangrove lagoons, and tropical forests. The trails typically backtrack, but there is a diversity of birdlife and lots of very large iguanas.

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  • Humacao Wildlife Refuge

    Located approximately an hour from San Juan on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, Humacao Wildlife Refuge is a 2800 acre reserve containing wetlands, mangrove lagoons, and tropical forests. The area, which is managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, is free to visit and offers opportunities for fishing, hiking,...

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  • Birding Maricao State Forest

    Found along Route 120 between Sabana Grande and Maricao, lies the Maricao State Forest. The forest’s main draw for birders is the elusive Elfin-woods Warbler. Unknown to science until the early 1970s, this endemic warbler is found only in the windswept elfin woods and surrounding montane forests of central Puerto Rico. These hyperactive birds looks...

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  • Birding Boqueron Wildlife Refuge

    Outside the hunting season, Boqueron Wildlife Refuge is a decent enough place for birdwatching. More than 120 species have been spotted on the refuge, with shorebirds, waterfowl, and passerines all well represented. The cattail marshes and mangrove tangles harbor herons, egrets, flycatchers, and warblers, and many other birds. During winter,...

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  • Hiking Boqueron Wildlife Refuge

    There are only two “trails” at Boqueron Wildlife Refuge, both of which traverse similar habitats. Emanating from the refuge headquarters, the trails are actually roads closed to public vehicle traffic. One trail is approximately 1.5 kilometers (one way) and runs south from the refuge headquarters along the east side of the refuge. The other trail,...

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  • Boqueron Wildlife Refuge

    Established in 1963 for waterfowl hunting, the Bosque Estatal de Boqueron Refugio de Aves (Boqueron Wildlife Refuge) covers 463 acres of tangled mangroves, cattail marsh, and brackish lagoons. Primarily used by duck hunters and fishermen, the refuge also will appeal to birdwatchers, hikers, and nature lovers and photographers. The refuge is in far...

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  • Birding Guajataca State Forest

    Of all the places I went birdwatching in Puerto Rico, Guajataca State Forest was by far the birdiest. Puerto Rican Vireos called incessantly, and several other Puerto Rican endemics were present in good numbers. Puerto Rican Lizard Cuckoo, Puerto Rican Emerald, Puerto Rican Tody, Puerto Rican Woodpecker, Puerto Rican Tanager, Puerto Rican...

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  • Hiking Guajataca State Forest

    With miles of legitimate hiking trails (as opposed to most of the “trails” in Puerto Rico’s parks, which are abandoned roads), Guajataca State Forest offers some of the best hiking on the island. Many of the trails, including a 1.5-mile interpretive trail lead to or emanate from the campgrounds located near the forest entrance. The trails wind...

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  • Guajataca State Forest

    It takes some work to get to, but the rewards offered by Bosque Estatal de Guajataca (Guajataca State Forest) make it a place definitely worth visiting. This underutilized gem offers some of the best hiking and birding in Puerto Rico, with a fraction of the crowds of more popular destinations such as El Yunque. Miles of hiking trails wind through...

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  • Cabo Rojo Salt Flats

    Serving as the most important stopover site in Puerto Rico for migrating and wintering shorebirds, the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats are well worth a visit. The shorebirds congregate on the flats late in the afternoon and are best observed at that time or early in the morning before they disperse to feed. Species commonly seen include Stilt, Least, and...

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  • Birding Cabo Rojo National Wildlife...

    Sporting a bird list well over 100 species, Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge is another of southwestern Puerto Rico’s most popular birding spots. Puerto Rican Lizard Cuckoo, Puerto Rican Tody, Puerto Rican Woodpecker, Puerto Rican Bullfinch, and Puerto Rican Pewee are some of the more frequently encountered endemic species present. Other common...

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  • Hiking Cabo Rojo National Wildlife...

    For those interested in birds, lizards, insects, or plants, the hiking opportunities at Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge will be of interest. The walks are flat and fairly hot (there is limited shade to be found), and the grass trails appear to be seldom used and poorly maintained. But the habitat is somewhat diverse and includes cactus gardens,...

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  • Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

    The Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Cabo Rojo (Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge) is one of several fine wildlife preserves in southwestern Puerto Rico. Covering more than 500 acres of subtropical dry forest, the refuge is in some ways a poor-man’s version of Guanica State Forest. With a small museum and a 1.5-mile interpretive hiking trail,...

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  • Birding Laguna Cartagena National...

    Home to perhaps the finest freshwater marsh on the island, Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent place to search for raptors, waterfowl, and brush specialists (including many exotic introduced species). A tower overlooking the marsh provides sweeping views of the area, while a small boardwalk allows for more intimate looks....

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  • Hiking Laguna Cartagena National...

    Unless you are interested in birds, lizards, insects, or plants, the limited hiking opportunities at Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge are unlikely to be of much interest. The walks are fairly monotonous and very hot (there is no shade to be found), and the grass trails are seldom used and poorly maintained. There are no stunning vistas...

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  • Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife...

    Appealing mostly to birders and other nature lovers, Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre de Laguna Cartagena (Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge) is home to possibly the most interesting and productive freshwater marsh in all of Puerto Rico. There are several trails to explore, an observation tower, and a short boardwalk into the marsh....

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  • Birding Guanica State Forest

    With species totals and bird populations more than three times higher than El Yunque, the Guanica State Forest is justifiably regarded as one of the premier birding spots in all of Puerto Rico. Seven of Puerto Rico’s fourteen endemic species are relatively easy to find here: Puerto Rican Nightjar, Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo, Puerto Rican Tody,...

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  • Hiking Guanica State Forest

    Unless attuned to the many different plant and bird species, hiking at Guanica State Forest may seem rather monotonous. To the untrained eye and ear, the trails all appear quite similar and unremarkable. But, with more than 700 plant species and 100 bird species, many of which are endangered and endemic, Guanica is much more than it seems. Given...

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  • Guanica State Forest

    Named a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 1981, Bosque Estatal de Guanica (Guanica State Forest) is somewhat of a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The reserve has more than 20 miles of hiking trails which traverse a cactus-studded scrub forest of more than 700 plant species and lead to palm-fringed beaches and mangrove lagoons. Covering nearly...

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  • Puerta de San Juan (Old San Juan Gate)

    The Puerta de San Juan (San Juan Gate) was built in the late 1700s, and was one of six heavy wooden doors in the wall which for centuries were closed at sundown to cut off access to the city and protect the city from invaders. The wall is up to 20 feet thick and up to 40 feet tall. The last remaining of the 6 gates leading into Old San Juan, it was...

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Puerto Rico Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Puerto Rico off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Puerto Rico sightseeing.
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