Last Updated on October 2, 2022 by Wandering our World

Updated October 2022

Puerto Rico has some fantastic options for people who want to take a short hike just to see a little bit of the island, as well as those who want full-fledged hikes through mountains so they can enjoy a bigger adventure.

This island has rainforests, deserts, coastlines, and even caves that you can explore, and hiking is a fabulous opportunity to get out and explore all these different landscapes that Puerto Rico has to offer. And of course to work off some of that holiday food you’ve been eating!

We share some of our favorite easy, medium and difficult trails in Puerto Rico right here with you.

If you’re a family with small children, then some of the more challenging trails will not be possible, but you can still explore the island with your kids on the easier and shorter trails.

The more difficult trails on our list definitely offer more adventure and better photo opportunities though, as they will take you to the top of mountains or further into the wilderness.

Whichever option you prefer, you’ll be sure to see some fantastic sights while hiking in Puerto Rico. Let’s go!

iStock.com/demerzerl21

Walking and Hiking in Puerto Rico: Easy Trails

Many trails in Puerto Rico have been created to give tourists a taste of nature without walking too far into rugged terrain.

The easy trails we share with you below will allow you to see some of the natural beauty of Puerto Rico, while still being close to civilization. That makes them easy for children, older adults, and people that don’t have enough time to do longer hikes.

The great thing is, you can experience a lot that Puerto Rico and the area has to offer in the short 30-minute to an hour hikes below:

1. La Mina Trail

The La Mina Trail is the busiest of the hiking options in Puerto Rico, primarily due to its accessibility and short distance. You’ll only have to hike about 45 minutes in each direction, though this is definitely a hike and not a leisurely stroll through the park!

However, if you don’t mind walking with a lot of other tourists, you will see some fantastic views of the El Yunque Rainforest on this trail, and will even cross over the La Mina River. You will end up at the stunning La Mina Waterfall where you can get some great photos with the family, and even go for a swim in the refreshing natural pool.

As the day progresses, the trail gets busier, so leaving early would be a good idea for anybody looking for some privacy on this hike, though that’s not often possible on this busy but beautiful Puerto Rico hiking trail! (Related: The Best Waterfalls in Puerto Rico to Visit).

Location: El Yunque National Forest

iStock.com/AlishaBube

2. Caimitillo Trail

If the La Mina Trail sounds a little strenuous, you can take a leisurely walk on the Caimitillo Trail, which is also located in the El Yunque rainforest. You will see much of the same scenery as La Mina, but it has a flatter walking area and even a paved trail so it’s an easier hike.

This trail will only take you 20 minutes in each direction and is less than 1 mile long. You can even have a BBQ or picnic when you reach the end at one of the picnic huts that are available.

It’s also a good starting point if you want to check other trails in the area, as many continue from the end of the Caimitillo Trail.

Location: El Yunque National Forest

3. Angelito Trail

The Angelito Trail is a 0.7-mile long hike and is considered easy for most people to enjoy. It’s located in the El Yunque rainforest along with the La Mina and Caimitillo trails.

You’ll be able to observe a range of wildlife and different flora than what you see higher up the mountain. You can even see a broader range of nocturnal animals if you decide to hike at night, which is possible on the easier and shorter trails like Angelito.

When you reach the end of the trail, you’ll find the Las Damas pool in the Mameyes River and that’s a great place to refresh and take a short dip. There can be some traffic on the paths, as with any of these shorter trails, but they’re still worth doing.

Location: El Yunque National Forest

iStock.com/dennisvdw

Walking and Hiking in Puerto Rico: Medium Difficulty Trails

There are many medium level trails for hikers willing to push themselves a little harder, providing access to better views and longer hikes.

You’ll often be able to do many of these hikes within 1-2 hours, especially if you’re not spending time doing other sub-hikes on the way. Many trails do offer an option to veer off into other areas via different trails, so you can make your Puerto Rico hiking adventure longer if you wish.

1. Meseta Trail

The Meseta Trail is located in Guánica and is classed as a moderate difficulty hike, so ensure you’re adequately prepared for some rugged hiking along the coastline. It’s about a 4 mile round trip, and you’ll have an opportunity to see what types of plants can survive the harsh conditions on the Puerto Rican coast. The plants here are constantly under attack from seawater spray, never-ending wind, and often extreme heat. You’ll also have to handle the same elements, so ensure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen!

You can explore the areas around the trail, such as the cliffs, and see some fantastic views. However, don’t go too far off the trail and get lost as the environment is not friendly at most times of the year. You will have an opportunity to see many of the local birds on the trail, so if you’re an avid bird watcher, this is an excellent hike for you. Look out for iguanas too, who were introduced to the island by accident through the pet trade.

Location: Guánica Dry Forest Reserve

iStock.com/Javier_Art_Photography

2. Cueva del Viento

Cueva del Viento, or Cave of the Wind, is accessible via Trail #1, a 2.7-mile trail. It’s a moderate hike through the Guajataca forest, which has some interesting flora for you to enjoy, as well as plenty of native birds and butterflies flying around!

Trail #1 will take you to Cueva del Viento where you will make a descent into a limestone cave via a somewhat dubious wooden staircase; make sure you bring a flashlight to explore properly. Once inside the cave, you will be able to explore and see all of the stalagmite and stalactite structures as well as bats flying around inside.

Take the Interpretive Trail once you leave the cave, which is 2 miles long and is another moderate trail that will take you back to the main visitor center.

You can also take a short detour off the Interpretive Trail to visit the observation tower and see some incredible views. However, this detour is a little strenuous due to its steepness.  (Recommended: Dangerous Spiders in Puerto Rico).

Location: Guajataca Forest in Isabela

3. Lluberas Trail

The Lluberas Trail is located in Guánica and it’ll take you through the Guánica Dry Forest Reserve. It’s almost 10 miles long for the entire hike, and there are many shorter hikes that branch off from it that will take you down to the beach, or you can even join the Cueva Trail that will take you to limestone caves that you can explore.

The trail takes you through the forest with excellent bird watching opportunities and is great for many skill levels, though the most challenging part of this hike is the heat you can experience. That makes it a lot more difficult than many initially think.

You won’t see a lot of animals on this trail, but it’s an opportunity to see the diverse flora available in the dry forest – such as the many cacti – which is very different from what you get in the rainforests of Puerto Rico.

Location: Guánica Dry Forest Reserve

iStock.com/shakzu

Walking and Hiking in Puerto Rico: Difficult Trails

Many of the trails in Puerto Rico aren’t incredibly long, but they can be extremely steep and challenging to climb. So the time it takes will depend on how quickly you can get up the trail, rather than how long you can walk a mile.

Fitness level and agility will be a must for most of the trails below, as will adequate clothing and shoes, so make sure you are dressed well. You should also ensure that you have a lot of water when doing them as many of these trails will expose you to the very hot sun.

1. El Toro Wilderness Trail

The El Toro Wilderness Trail takes you around 3 – 4 hours one way and is 4.9 miles long. You’ll be hiking Puerto Rico’s steep El Toro Peak (3,524 feet) in the Luquillo Mountains, of which El Toro is the highest peak. It’s a challenging hike requiring you to climb over rocks and under fallen trees in often muddy conditions. So it’s definitely not a Puerto Rico hiking trail for everyone.

This is a much more secluded and less used trail in the El Yunque National Forest area, so you won’t run into too many other hikers on your way allowing you to have the stunning landscape all to yourself. You’ll also notice distinct changes in the trees of the forest the higher you go up, with Tabonuco trees, then Sierra Palms trees, and finally, near the peak, the cloud forest with many stunted trees and shrubbery.

This trail was built in the 1930s and is sometimes partially closed but even when it is you can still reach the peak. You may come across a wide range of wildlife while hiking, including the Elfin Woods Warbler, Puerto Rican Boa, the Desmarest’s Red Fig-Eating Bat, the Puerto Rican Parrot, and a host of other interesting wildlife. (Related: Snakes in Puerto Rico).

Location: El Yunque National Forest

iStock.com/dennisvdw

2. Los Tres Picachos

The Los Tres Picachos trail is located in Jayuya. This is a three-peaked, almost 4,000 ft high mountain, with incredible views when you reach the top. What you’re going to find, though, is that the ascent is so steep that there’s ropes in place to help pull you up and get over any objects in your way.

This is an incredibly challenging hike that not everybody will be able to do, so it shouldn’t be attempted unless you are experienced or very physically fit. However, you will definitely have bragging rights, and a spectacular view, once you reach the summit. It will take you around 2.5 hours round trip unless you have to stop to catch your breath too often.

Location: Jayuya

3. Cañón San Cristóbal

Cañón San Cristóbal is located between Aibonito and Barranquitas and is a 5.6-mile hike that requires a guide and safety equipment, so you will need a tour operator to take you on this challenging hike. The trail was created by tectonic movements that split the mountain open and formed what is now the trail – so it’s quite a special experience to trek here.

At the base of the trail, you have great swimming spots and waterfalls to enjoy at the start and end of your hike. The ascent and descent are exceptionally steep and challenging, which is why you need guides and equipment. One exciting option you can take when descending is to repel down instead of hiking down, making the hike a lot quicker.

Ensure you check what each tour will entail. For example, many tour operators include rappelling and more extreme options in the hikes than others, so make sure you pick a tour operator that matches your comfort level and skill level.

Location: Aibonito and Barranquitas

iStock.com/jacoblund

4. Árbol Solitario

Árbol Solitario, or “The Lonely Tree” is a trail located in Salinas. The trail will take around 90 minutes but is a 2000 foot ascent up the mountain. It’s rugged terrain, with no ropes or assistance to get up, so it requires a good fitness level.

Once you reach the top, you get fantastic panoramic views throughout the entire area and even out across the Caribbean Sea.

The mountain is actually called Cerro de Los Cielos, but the trail name refers to the lone mango tree at the top of the mountain. The tree has swings for you to enjoy, and you’ll even find some historic flags along the trail path. Overall this is a challenging trail but has big rewards along the way, and visiting the top of the mountain is well worth it.

Location: Salinas