Cayos/ Keys :
Natural La Cordillera. DRNA. A string of about 10 sandy islands/keys
off the northeast tip of Puerto Rico. Easy to reach by local fishermans
sailboat or motorboat. Sandy beaches, snorkeling. Turtle nesting
Natural Caja de Muertos Island DRNA ( off Ponce) No public tranportation
to the island. 8.5 nautical miles out to sea. Mangroves, coral reefs,
beaches, cliffs and caves.
Island. US Fish and Wildlife. 12 miles out to sea, west of Rincon.
You can take a scuba trip here, by boat, from Rincon.
Island. Flamenco Beach has the nicest campground in all
of Puerto Rico on the most beautiful beach! and it is well maintained
and supervised. Lots of North Americans come here in the winter
and lots of locals in the summer. Summers are overwhelmingly crowded.
Culebra has many Wildlife Sanctuaries that are administered by the
US Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
Natural Bahia Puerto Mosquito, Vieques Island' or, locally called,
'Caño Hondo'. Camping is allowed here.( There is alot
of petty theft in this area) This reserve includes the western worlds
most brilliant Biobay. It includes three world class beaches
and several lagoons and mangrove canals. This is a turtle nesting
site for 3 species of turtles, including the endangered Leatherback
Turtle. Kayaking is a popular way to see this reserve. The beaches
are accesible by jeep.
Island is part of the Guanica Dry Forest Reserve. You can get
there by private boat from the end of the road to the right just
after the entrance to the Copamarina Resort. Great swimming and
snorkeling in very clear waters, white sand.
de Mona. DRNA. Island 50 miles offshore between Puerto Rico
and the Dominican Republic. Mona is surrounded by cliffs and riddled
by limestone caves. Photo above of cave drawing. Cliff climbing
and rapelling is now prohibited. A small percent of the shoreline
is pristine white sand beaches with turquoise water and excellent
snorkeling. Camping permitted with permit. Mona has an endemic
Iguana (Cyclura stejnegeri). Photo below.
Island Iguana photo Tom Weiwandt
Dry Forest. DRNA. No camping allowed.
Office at end of road # 334 ( not marked) Miles of varied trails
but very hot hiking. Not for the casual visitor. Nearly 50 endangered
plant species, of which 16 are endemic, UNESCO Biosphere
Reserve because of its biological diversity. 100 species of birds
(endangered Whippoorwill, PR nightjar and Yellow shouldered blackbird).
1,000 year old lignum vitae tree. Ruins. Easier to see by hiking
in from the beach from the end of road # 333. The time to hike in
this forest is early morning. Afternoons would be nice too but it
closes at 4 PM ( the supervisor does stay late often when hikers
have not returned to their cars by closing time). This forest Reserve
includes Gilligans Island.
Ballena Reserve. CT. No camping allowed. Contiguous with the
Guanica Dry Forest Reserve. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because
of its' coastal ecosystem. Site of Hawks bill turtle nesting, crested
toad, Manatees. Mangrove forest. Beach access off end of road #
de Jobos. DRNA. No camping allowed. Hiking, kayaking, birding.
Forest Reserve. DRNA. No camping yet. Boardwalk through mangroves.
Kayaking on canal.
Reserve. DRNA. No camping allowed. Subtropical moist forest.
Mangroves. Just East of Isla Verde, San Juan. Very beautiful beaches.
(Lots of theft in area). Scenic drive through Piñones, Aviones
(surfers) and calm Vacia Telega beaches on rd # 187. Sea Turtle
de Vida Silvestre de Boqueron' Boqueron Bird Sanctuary. DRNA.
No camping allowed. Subtropical dry forest, estuary and mangroves.
50 bird species, several endangered. Consists of three pieces of
land. Includes Faro (lighthouse) Cabo Rojo area. Tel.851-41951 7:30
Am to 4 PM). There have been reported 135 species of endemic and
migratory birds. Birds can be hunted during the season. Cabo Rojo
Lighthouse area is a part of this reserve. No camping allowed. A
spectacular place due to the cliffs below the lighthouse, the white
sands beaches and salt flats. Sun sets out to sea, as this is the
southwest tip of PR. Several good places to stay nearby. Nearest
camping would be in the Susua Forest Reserve.
Natural La Parguera' La Parguera Nature Reserve. DRNA. No camping
allowed. Mangroves, many mangrove keys, estuaries, coral formations
and good water clarity. (giant iguanas on UPR Cay) Exceptional wind
surfing area. Bioluminescent bay. Great ride by small boat through
mangrove canals, monkeys overhead (introduced). Good snorkeling
around small mangrove cays. Town offers zoo-like atmosphere on weekends,
many fish restaurants. Tel. 899-3295 (8:30-12 & 1-5 PM) This
includes the bioluminescent bays. The biobay here has lost its potency.
Due to nutritive content change and nearby pollution this biobay
has had a change of inhabitants and the prevalent plankton here
is not bioblumenescent. There are enough left, however, to give
some effect on a moonless night.
Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve. CT. No camping allowed.
Northeast tip of PR. With prior reservation and fee they trolley
you through to the lighthouse, rocky beach and mangrove boardwalk,
knowledgeable guides. Call ahead for reservations, hard to get.
The bioluminescent lagoon can be accessed by boat from Las Croabas
dock or rent a kayak.
Guaniquilla Reserve and Bird Sanctuary. CT. No camping allowed.
Very diverse. Arid w/palm and mangrove forests. Unusual limestone
formations in 2 lagoons, caves, cactus, swamp, varied flora. Dramatic
rock formations. Migrating bird haven. West Indian whistling duck,
Ruddy duck and Caribbean coot. 30 minute hike from Buye Beach. Not
really attended nor open to the public.
Natural Reserve. DRNA. No camping allowed. Limited facilities,
water sports , 30 bird species. Southeast coast of Puerto Rico on
the beach.Includes a Pterocarpus Forest, lagoon system. Bird Sanctuary
with over 90 species observable. Great kayaking here, you
can paddle out to the little island populated by monkeys ( Do not
go ashore, the monkeys are not friendly). Especially good birding
here. Some of the time there is a boat from Naguabo Playa that makes
excursions to monkey island.
Forest, CT. No access. Largest pterocarpus trees in Puerto Rico.
On the East coast near Humacao.
Tuna Lighthouse (U.S. Coast Guard) and DRNA. Limited access
allowed. Pretty beach just east of lighthouse, can be rough. Surfers
Maria Mendoza Nature Reserve (Punta Yegua). CT. No access allowed.
Peninsula by the sea, South east tip of PR. Drive by on #901, great
views. Habitat of the endangered: PR bull finch, Black whiskered
vireo & the Grasshopper sparrow. Very rare evergreen trees (Ortegon).
Lagoon Nature Reserve DRNA. No camping allowed. Fishing for
chopas in this fresh water lagoon. Kayaking. Introduced,
fresh water crocodiles, lots of birds. Unique in that it's
fed by fresh water springs and flows into the sea. It is hard to
see very much here without a boat. It has a boat ramp.
of several carniverous plants surrounding Tortuguero Lagoon
Tortuguero, in Vega Baja, is the largest natural body of fresh
water in Puerto Rico. Its surroundings are characterized by its
great scenic beauty and by its ecological importance. The flora
of the Natural Reserve has been identified as the fourth of major
importance on the island. Around 717 known species exist belonging
to 119 families. Of these, 132 species are "juncos,"
78 grasses, 38 species are ferns, and 20 species are orchids.
There are 144 rare species and/or species in danger of extinction.'
Forest Reserve, Arecibo DRNA. Camping allowed in two
areas. Rd # 682 km 6.6. Water and showers, 8 trails and nearby beach.
Good mountain biking here.