Top 10 Things To See and Do in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

© Todd Van Hoosear/flickr
© Todd Van Hoosear/flickr
Photo of Kris Pethick
25 February 2018

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.

El Yunque National Rainforest

Forest, Hiking Trail
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.

La Coca Waterfalls, PR-191, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico +1 787-888-1880 (Number for El Yunque)

Carabali Rainforest Park

Hit the ATV trails at Carabali Rainforest Park
Hit the ATV trails at Carabali Rainforest Park | © Laura LaVole/flickr
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.

Mt Britton Lookout Tower, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

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.

Bioluminescent Bay, Fajardo, Puerto Rico

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.

Mangroves in Puerto Rico | © Ricardo Mangual/flickr

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.

Shop and dine at the Luquillo Kiosks | © iferneinez/flickr

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