Top Things To See and Do in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Jobos Beach
Jobos Beach | © Discover Puerto Rico
Kris Pethick

Rio Grande, on the northern coast of beautiful Puerto Rico, is an often-overlooked area that should be a go-to location for tropical living and golfing enthusiasts. Coco Beach is one of the most secluded beaches on the island and home to a lush resort and one of the best golf courses around. It’s an ideal location for first time visitors due to its proximity to San Juan and El Yunque, the lush rainforest maintained by the US Forest Service. Being hit hard by both Hurricane Irma and Maria means clean up is still in process, but this is still a gorgeous area to visit. Book your trip to Rio Grande today and spend time experiencing these amazing excursions. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

El Yunque National Rainforest

Expect the odd shower when you’re traversing the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica

El Yunque on Puerto Rico’s east side is the only rainforest included in the US National Forest Service and it is known for its rare trees and birds. The threatened species of iguaca, or Puerto Rican Parrot, and the coqui, the symbol of Puerto Rico, can be found here. It is one of the smallest rainforests, but has a diverse habitat. As of February 2018 El Yunque is closed as it recovers from the massive damage sustained during Hurricane Maria, but you can continue to check their website and plan a trip as soon as it reopens.

La Coca Waterfalls

La Coca Falls may not be one of the most stunning waterfalls you have visited, or even the biggest in El Yunque (check out La Mina Falls), but it is one of the first falls you will encounter when you travel into the rainforest and is relatively easy to access. It is a great place to take photos and you can get close to the water and walk, carefully, on the rocks.

Balneario la Monsserate

Also known as Playa Luquillo, this tranquil spot is popular with locals and tourists alike. It is a lovely beach with clear calm waters and many kiosks and vendors selling food, drinks, souvenirs and more. It is a fun spot to take the family and has everything that you need. There is a small fee per person, but is worth every penny.

Carabali Rainforest Park

This park is for the island adventurer. You will never get bored at Carabali. Explore the rainforest on horseback, ATV/UTV or a relaxing hayride. Rent a mountain bike for the day to get some island exercise or take a hike to explore. Have some family fun at the go-kart track, or go top luxury with a day trip on the elegant yacht. There is something for everyone at Carabali and you will always enjoy.

Mt Britton Lookout Tower

One of the highest elevations in El Yunque is the Mt Britton Lookout Tower. Mt Britton trail takes you to the stone tower made by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, which you can climb up, see for miles ahead and take incedible photos. This short .8 mile (1.3 km) trail takes you through Sierra Palm Forest where you can also look for the many reptiles and amphibians of the rainforest.

Maji Lina Gallery and Art Center

Between action and adventure, take some time to slow down and enjoy a different kind of beauty the island offers through the works of local artists. Tour the gallery and view oils and acrylics, sculpture and more.

Bioluminescent Bay

Puerto Rico is home to some of the brightest bioluminescent bays in the world, and from Rio Grande you can take the quick 30-minute drive to Fajardo and book a bio-bay excursion. There are kayaking trips available as well as snorkeling trips of Bahia Bioluminescence and Mosquito Bay. Make sure you call ahead for reservations.

Pinone Mangrove Forest

When you think of the trees of the tropics, the first thing that comes to mind are swaying palm trees followed at a close second by mangroves. Mangroves are characterized by the fact that they are able to withstand the brackish coastal waters of high tide, and the tangled roots of mangroves are the symbol of beach time for some people. The Pinone Mangrove Forest is great for kayaking and having some coastal quiet time.

Hipódromo Camarero

For a truly different experience, check out the horseracing of Puerto Rico at Hipódromo Camarero. This track is more than just racing and betting, as you will also find fine dining and a children’s park. The race track is just a 15-minute drive from Rio Grande and will provide a unique experience that will thrill for a lifetime.

The Luquillo Kiosks

Luquillo is famous for its 60+ kiosks selling food, drinks, souvenirs, jewelry, art and so much more. Hit the beach for some fun in the sun and then walk the streets and alleys to find the perfect gifts for loved ones back home, and a little something special for yourself.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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