Despite its relatively tiny size, Puerto Rico punches way above its weight when it comes to outdoor adventuring. From El Yunque, the only rainforest in the US National Forest system, to a barrage of gorgeous beach campsites, Puerto Rico is a gem when it comes to camping and outdoor pursuits.
Offering campsites in a remarkable variety of settings and landscapes, as well as some of the most dramatic kayaking locations in the Caribbean, if paddling or sleeping under canvas is your thing then you should consider cruising to San Juan and getting back to nature.
If an adventurous vacation on a paradise island where you don’t even need your passport appeals, then read on for six of the best places for camping and kayaking in Puerto Rico.
With a range of campsites from rustic to glamping, Puerto Rico is well-served for nights spent out under the stars.
Parque Nacional Balneario Seven Seas
If you like the idea of camping out on the sand of a deserted tropical beach, then the Parque Nacional Balneario Seven Seas will be perfect for you. A lovely National Park located near Fajardo, this delightful spot boasts a gorgeous, uncrowded, Blue Flag beach with toilets and showers, where camping is expressly permitted. Booking in advance is mandatory with parking available for $5 and camping pitches for $10.
El Yunque National Rainforest
El Yunque is the crown jewel of Puerto Rico, a magnificent rainforest that boasts stunning trails, towering peaks, and dramatic, surging cascades around every corner. Camping in the only tropical rainforest in the US is a unique and exciting experience, offering the chance to get a much deeper understanding of this amazing ecosystem. Rustic camping is the order of the day, with various sites only accessible on foot. You’ll have the chance to see rainforest and cloud forest, as well as the elusive (and endangered) Puerto Rican parrot and coqui frog.
Parque Nacional Tres Hermanos
If something with a little more luxury appeals, then take a look at the glamping options at Parque Nacional Tres Hermanos. A coastal park near Añasco, there are various rustic campsites, several with electricity and water, and an array of cabins and villas to rent for a touch of luxury.
Paddling in Puerto Rico can be a magical experience, whether you set off from the city or from a tiny remote island, far from civilization.
Laguna del Condado, San Juan
Some of the best kayaking can be found right in the capital city of San Juan itself! The Condado neighborhood borders a calm lagoon, perfect for paddleboarding and kayaking, and offers great alternative views of the historic city from the water. You’ll see turtles, fishes, and manatees as you paddle around the bay, or take a different view with a night-time guided tour, complete with neon face paint!
Laguna Grande, Fajardo
Laguna Grande is just off the coast of the small town of Fajardo and is the most accessible place in Puerto Rico to see the amazing phenomenon of bioluminescence. This remarkable natural wonder makes it an exceptional place to kayak, too. Head out after dark, and start splashing about, and you’ll see the otherworldly blue-green lights in the water start to shine with every paddle stroke.
Mosquito Bay, Vieques
Vieques is a tiny island about six miles off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico, and its remote location makes it a magical place to get out on the water in a kayak. The main reason to come here is, like Laguna Grande, the extraordinary bioluminescence, and Mosquito Bay is renowned as the brightest example of the phenomenon in the world! You can’t swim here, but every paddle stroke will result in psychedelic swirls of bright electric color, making it a truly extraordinary experience.