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
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.
El Yunque National Rainforest, Puerto Rico +1 787-888-1880
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)
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.
Balneario la Monsserate, Luquillo, Puerto Rico +1 787-889-2525
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.
Carabali Rainforest Park, PR-992, Luquillo, Puerto Rico +1 787-889-4954
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.
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.
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.
Hipódromo Camarero, Canóvanas, Puerto Rico +1 787-641-6060
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.