Natural Wonders in Puerto Rico
We’ve been saying in Puerto Rico–Hurricane Maria didn’t destroy the island, we were simply renovating!
As we continue to renovate the island, you’ll continue to see the bright green buds, almost florescent, coming out of the tree limbs and the ground, reminding us that we definitely need to take a moment to reflect on some of the natural beauties in Puerto Rico.
Our list of Puerto Rico Natural Wonders includes a number of places in Puerto Rico that have a unique natural component to it–something so exclusive it can’t be found anywhere else but in Puerto Rico.
- Cueva del Indio (Arecibo, Puerto Rico). We’d consider this the gem of Arecibo. If you’re a history buff and want to experience petroglyphs, this is your spot. Cueva del Indio is nestled beneath a mountain of somewhat sharp limestone while overlooking soothing, yet crashing waves against adjacent cliffs with key hole views. While walking atop the limestone, use caution and close-toed shoes. One must use a ladder to climb down into the cave where you’ll find a large number of petroglyphs. Reportedly, the cave has the largest number of petroglyphs along the coastal regions of Puerto Rico. But don’t stop there! Hike east atop the limestone and along the water–the views get even more amazing with the natural arches, resembling eagles’ heads. Keep hiking a tad more and you’ll reach a somewhat private beach that rarely has visitors.
- Cabo Rojo Natural Bridge (Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico). This natural bridge is located as far south west as you can go in Puerto Rico. But don’t worry! The drive is definitely worth it. You’ll find plenty of things to do along the way and once you get here, including a tour of the well-preserved lighthouse. Not far from the lighthouse, and along one of the small mountain bike trails, you’ll find this natural bridge. Created from years of wave crashing and erosion, this unique bridge is fragile, yet has withstood natural elements and humans so far. As such, for your safety and to help preserve this magnificent view for more centuries, there is signage stating for individuals to not walk onto the natural bridge. We recommend taking photos from afar and using another trail which leads you to the base of of the natural bridge. Here you will find a few small caves and better angles for photographing the natural bridge. Keep in mind, your safety is of utmost importance. Many people fall off the cliffs every year and die. As proof, you will see various memorial plaques around the cliffs surrounding the lighthouse.
- Mar Chiquita (Manati, Puerto Rico). Approximately 45-minutes west of San Juan, Puerto Rico you’ll find a simply noteworthy beach with a unique appeal. This cozy beach is separated from the Ocean by a somewhat large mountain of limestone, with one way for the water to enter. Not always the best place to go swimming, as it’s known to have many sea urchin and (at times) the waves are extremely rough, but still a great place to enjoy natural beauty and how Mother Nature created this nice cove. Feel free to walk along the limestone to take better photos, but be care, walk with shoes. The limestone is extremely sharp and can grow hot as the temperatures increase with the sun. If you walk east of the beach, you’ll find another somewhat secluded beach past the vendors. Here, you can find a few pieces of seaglass to add to your collection.
- Biobay. There are only 5 bioluminescent bays in the world. Of those 5, 3 of them are in Puerto Rico–La Parguera; Fajardo; and Vieques. This amazing glow, depending on the cleanliness of the water, the moon, how much debris is in it can either be really dull or extremely bright to read a book in darkness. The phenomena is most usually caused by microorganisms suspended in the water and emit a glow when moved. Post-hurricane Maria, the bays were all slightly damaged (ie, mangrove trees lost their leaves (but growing back); and the glow seemed to diminish for a while (but seems to be back in its prime). If you plan to make this trip, try to get one of the latest available boat/kayak trips; inquire about the moon and the best days to go.(We would normally post photos of this, but it’s difficult to capture the glow of the bio bay. If you google biobay+Puerto Rico, most of the images you see are photoshopped for tour groups. But knowing this, this should not deter you from experiencing the Bio Bay. It does glow, it’s just difficult to capture on film.)
- Guanica Dry (State) Forest. (Guanica, Puerto Rico). Everyone is familiar with El Yunque rainforest. But did you know that Puerto Rico has something equal and opposite?–a dry forest! Yes, imagine a barren landscape with dry grasses and forests of cacti that reach the sky. This area is known for some of the best rocky beaches; and driest forests on the island. It is considered the most preserved dry forest in the Caribbean. There are also a few well maintained trails of rolling hills and a forest ranger station who can help with directions. Along one of the trails you’ll enter a large overlook into the ocean and have the opportunity to climb to a fort for great photos. The hike isnot as steep as El Yunque Forest. However, with the constant and slow incline coupled with the heat, it’s still quite exhausting.
Let us know some of your favorite natural wonders in Puerto Rico!