Scenic Travel in Puerto Rico • Panoramic roads #1 -
panoramic roads of puerto rico view of picoeste

With a road map and a rental car you can see it all, a little at a time!

Full days exploring by car:

Circumnavigate Puerto Rico starting east from San Juan.

1. El Yunque rainforest. Luquillo Beach... a full day to see both and go back to San Juan.

2. Seven Seas beach, biobay trip by kayak.

3. Cordillera Islands including Icacos.

4. Petroglyphs and the south side of the rainforest, Humacao Nature Reserve.

5. The south east tip of Puerto Rico. Punta Tuna lighthouse and Maunabo.

6. Guayama and a trip up road # 15 to Jajome Terrace for lunch or early dinner.( open Thurs through Sunday only).

7. The mangrove islands of Salinas ( not easy to get to them, no regular trips)

8. The Coamo Hot Springs. and Ponce. ( Side trip up to Adjuntas )

9. Gilligans Island off Guanica. The dry forest is interesting to walk on winter, coo,l days only.

10. The Cabo Rojo lighthouse and salt flats and beaches. ( Side trip up to Maricao Forest)

11. Heading up the west coast to Rincon, Rincon. Crash boats.

12. starting east on the north coast. Isabella and the beaches just west of Isavella.

13. Arecibo area. The caves ( call first to be sure) and the Radio telescope.

14. Mar Chiquits, Tortuguero Lagoon, back to San Juan.

Southern Explorations and Restaurants

From the lush El Yunque mountain rainforest to the dry hot Guanica forest only takes two hours on a scenic highway! The highest mountain peak is in the Toro Negro Forest Reserve, the road is lined with giant Eucalyptus trees. ..and clouds! Drive on the cliffs above the sea, between Yabucoa and Maunabo. Stop for lunch or dinner at the delicious seafood Bella Vista restaurant with the finest view of the ocean in PR. The winding roads through the mogote valleys in karst country make you wonder if you're in China!

flamboyant tree east end puerto rico
June 2007 flamboyan tree

Flamboyan Trees bloom in June, July and August! A feware still left in October

The information on this website is for your enjoyment and may be of help to you to plan your vacation in Puerto Rico. I offer the best of my experience, but make no guaranties of any kind. I assume no responsibility for the various routes and hotels suggested here. You will need to purchase a good Road Map. The Metro Data Map, available at many gas stations for $3. seems to be the most accurate and the most complete.


April is the month for the flowering oaks. 'Robles'. The variations in elevation make 'spring' flowering vary from place to place around the island! June and July are the months for the spectacular Flamboyan trees. The flowering African Tulip Tree starts off spring.

The beaches on either side of the lighthouse peninsula are very scenic, however, you cannot swim in them because of the dangerous undertows. This little fishing bay could be the exception. The entire area of Maunabo is extremely scenic.

Below: From San Juan head East past the Isla Verde Balneario, on rd# 187 through the Piñones Forest Reserve. There are many very lovely beaches to your left. Good surfing at 'Aviones' Beach, good swimming at Vacia Telega.

Vacia Telega beach in the Piñones area east of San Juan on road #187
Vacia Telega Beach in Piñones rt. #187

* Due to the frequency of theft in this area do not walk away from your car and leave valuables obviously inside. You should stick to areas with other people, this is not a good area to be all alone in. Tourists areas are notably prone to theft.

Once you get onto highway #3 drive (left) East, towards Mameyes, Fajardo (ferries) and Naguabo. The town of Mameyes (also called Palmer) is where you turn right and this leads you into road # 191 and up to the top of the El Yunque rainforest. You can spend a great afternoon walking the trails in the rainforest. You can swim in the waterfalls and pools. You must leave the forest by 5:30 PM. Gate closes at 6.

Your options for the first night out of San Juan are many. The town of Luquillo has the new Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn across the street from the beach ( balconies look out to sea). The beaches of Luquillo town and the Luquillo Balneario are among the best in Puerto Rico, so you could easily spend several days here. See the rainforest lodging page for Sues Villas in the hills above Luquillo or nearby Bills' Rainforest Inn.

around the point Luquillo beach
Luquillo beach

From any location in or near Luquillo you can visit: Luquillo Beach, Seven Seas Beach, Las Croabas Fishing Village (Day trips to Cayo Icacos , Night trips to the bioluminescent lagoon) and visit the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve (with prior reservations and a fee). Accommodations range from the most luxurious El Conquistador Resort and Golf Club to the nicely run, Fajardo Inn. Las Croabas Fishing village has fishermen who will take you to the beautiful Sandy Key called Icacos Cay from the cement dock, ask for Mingo.

The scenic highway # 53 from Fajardo to Naguabo offers beautiful views of the mountains. Get off on the exit AFTER Naguabo. It says 'Rio Blanco- Juncos - exit 22'. Turn right a few miles on rd #31 then take a right onto road#191, just before crossing the metal suspension bridge. This very beautiful area is still unspoiled countryside and the road follows the Rio Blanco. Turn left over the next suspension bridge and wind your way up to the top. (Two great places to stay there, see lodging page, Casa Cubuy Ecolodge and Casa Flamboyant. ( One should spend two nights up here to be able to hike in the lovely, gentle forest or just walk down the path to the river pools).

Panoramic Roads East Continued on page 2


• Guanica (soon)