Away from the coast is la Cordillera Central, Puerto Rico’s interior mountain region, which runs from East to West through 15 municipalities. With a history and culture rooted in agriculture, this region has diverse vegetation and produces most of the island’s coffee, which you can taste at several haciendas.
POINTS OF INTEREST
This mountainous municipality, known as the heart of Puerto Rico, is the geographic center of the island, located amid the Sierra de Cayey. The area is home to four rivers and two lakes (the result of dams). One of them, the Matrullas, is one of the largest reservoirs on the island and is used to produce hydroelectricity. It is also popular for sport fishing and water activities such as kayaking. The mountains offer a variety of experiences and adventures for visitors.
One of the area’s most popular attractions is Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, which includes eight ziplines of varying lengths and degrees of extremity. Here, you’ll find the longest zipline in America, The Monster, which is 1.5 miles long and reaches speeds of up to 94 miles per hour! There is also The Beast, which stretches 4,745 feet and will make you feel like you are flying over a stunning range of mountains.
The adventure park also has a restaurant with an excellent atmosphere and is a nice spot to relax for those who do not wish to participate in bigger adventures. You can sit down to eat and drink on the balcony with a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains and zipline riders.
This beautiful waterfall is accessible from the road and relatively easy to find. It is a good spot to take photos and cool off with a dip in the freshwater pool below. Keep in mind that this is a natural location, not a developed tourist attraction, so there are no bathrooms or changing areas. You should pack out whatever you bring with you in order to help protect this beautiful place. The Chorro de Doña Juana, as it is known among locals, is located in a region that is part of the Toro Negro State Forest.
If you are adventurous and in search of more extreme experiences in nature, like rappelling in waterfalls, then you’ll love a canyon expedition in Orocovis. The company Canyoning PR offers guided training and tours for people with different levels of expertise and knowledge. Please note that canyoning activity involves facing serious heights, strenuous hikes, traversing through slippery and rough terrain, all of which require excellent physical condition and coordination throughout.
Puerto Rico measures approximately 100 miles by 35 and in this precise place you can observe both the north coast and the Atlantic Ocean, and the south coast and the Caribbean Sea. There are gazebos where you can have a picnic and enjoy the incredible views. It is also a good stop to take a break and before continuing on to your next adventure.
Splendid mountains and a peaceful breeze set the backdrop for Ciales, a highland town nestled in the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico. Known as the “town of the brave,” the appeal of Ciales includes coffee plantations, cave systems, and mesmerizing views. Located a little over an hour from the San Juan airport, enjoy the rustic serenity that going isla adentro (inland) provides, and discover the charm and adventures of the inner regions of the island.
If you like to be in touch with nature, take a walk through town to reach Las Delicias Falls, in the photogenic Tres Picachos State Forest, which looks like it was plucked from a tropical fairytale. The road to the waterfalls is long and has many curves but, once there, the effort will be justified.
When you arrive, park at the edge of the road and walk towards the first waterfall and its natural pool. Continue over some rocky terrain and you will reach Las Delicias.
The paseo lineal is a space to walk, take photos, appreciate the views of nature, and enjoy a delicious coffee or refreshing frappe before continuing your adventure. From the promenade, you can see the Río Grande de Manatí, as well as the majestic mountains of the Cordillera Central. On weekends, there are kiosk selling fritters and other goods.
Covering an area of about 115 square miles, Utuado’s name comes from the Taíno word otoao, which means “between mountains.” This stretch of land, planted among dense vegetation, is the most mountainous area of Puerto Rico. Here, visitors will find rich indigenous history alongside numerous opportunities for outdoor activities.
Along the Tanamá River you’ll find a range of activities available, whether you want an adventure or to simply enjoy beautiful natural environments. Through companies like Tanamá River Adventures you can go cave tubing, rappelling, caving, kayaking, jumping off the waterfalls, and hiking through the forest to see caves. Meanwhile, with Batey Zipline Adventures you can choose between hiking across a hanging bridge, ziplining, horseback riding through a picturesque coffee farm, and more. These are all family-friendly activities guided by experienced professionals whose priority is the safety of their group, first and foremost. Keep in mind that there are alternatives to choose according to the level of challenge you want. If you want to have fun in an environment away from the beaches, definitely consider one of these tours.
Studies estimate that the place was built more than 800 years ago by the Taínos, Puerto Rico’s native ethnic group. The historic site features a small museum with Taíno artifacts and additional information, a gift shop, more than 20 large, well-preserved petroglyphs, and 10 plazas — known as bateyes — that were used for ceremonial purposes or to play games during about 300 years until the Spanish arrived. The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park is thought to be the largest ceremonial site created by the Taínos anywhere in the Antilles. This is a beautiful and quiet place where you feel a connection to a much deeper history of the region. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Utuado is located about an hour and a half drive from San Juan, and about an hour away from Ponce.