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Top 10 Hiking Trails Within an Hour From the Metro Area

Discover the ultimate hiking adventure near Puerto Rico's Metro area with our expert-curated list of the top 10 trails

Whether you want a casual stroll or a heart-pounding workout, walking and hiking in Puerto Rico is a great way to get to know the region, get a workout and take in the scenery.  Always be prepared for hiking in the tropics by wearing a hat and sunscreen. Bring lots of water as this is a very humid and warm region and water faucets are hard to come by. In higher elevations, a light windbreaker will be appreciated. Sturdy footwear is a must no matter where you choose to hike. 

Paseo del Morro

Paseo del Morro is a mostly flat, easy 5.6 mile route out and back. You’ll have ocean views and views of Old San Juan along the way. Starting in Condado and ending at Fort Morro this is a great way to explore the old town. As most of this route has a dedicated bike lane it is also a good place to ride one of the many electric scooters parked along the road or you can rent a bike from several shops in the area. As there is very little shade on this pathway make sure you wear a hat and hydrate! Be aware of vehicle traffic.

Paseo la Princesa

Paseo la Princesa is a popular pathway for viewing the historic area of Old San Juan, the San Juan Bay and Fort Morro. The approximately 2.5 mile out and back, tree-lined promenade was built in 1853. Starting at Raíces fountain it hugs the shoreline and ends at Fort Morro. Park at Puntilla Parking where it is $3 all day and head for the fountain to start your walk. P.º de la Princesa

Condado to Piñones

Lineal in Piñones, from Condado out to Piñones and back it is possible to ride bikes or walk/run the 18 miles roundtrip. Much of the route is in the city, but some sections get breathtaking views of the ocean. While most of the route is well paved and marked, parts of the sidewalk and boardwalk are in disrepair. Be aware of your surroundings and pack a tire repair kit if you are cycling. Bring water, wear a hat and put on sunscreen!

Jardín Botánico

Jardín Botánico at University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Open Monday through Friday from 6am until 6pm. For an easy and enjoyable walk you can spend some time wandering around the botanical gardens admiring the flora, numerous ponds and streams. It is free to enter the grounds. There are several trails to take advantage of around the gardens. Restrooms and water fountains are available on site. Check out the website for more information. 

Angelito Trail

Angelito Trail is a short ½ mile hike in the rainforest ending at a deep swimming pool. The well-marked trailhead is accessible outside of the park boundary so a ticket is not needed. You’ll pass over a couple of streams and be able to experience the jungle scenery. The large pool at the end is a popular place to swim. You can climb around on the rocks or swing off the rope swing hanging over the pool. There are fish in the river. It is very peaceful when it isn’t full of people, so go on a weekday if possible. Angelito Trail Head

Caimatillo Trail

There are numerous trails in the El Yunque National Park (you’ll need a pass for the next two) ranging from easy to hard. Caimatillo Trail is in El Yunque National Park at Road 191 km 12.1. The 5.4 mile trail merges with El Yunque Peak Trail, it is a well-marked and challenging trail with great views. You can hike it out to the ridge and back or merge with the Britton Tower trailhead and take the shorter one mile trail back down the mountain. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes for this hike as there are areas where the terrain is rocky and uneven. You’ll experience some great jungle views and walk by some small streams along the way. Pack water as there are no amenities on the trail.        

Britton Trail

Britton Trail is also in El Yunque and is 1 mile uphill and 1 mile downhill out and back hike. The well-maintained trail is good for beginners with numerous places along the way to rest. As of December 2022, there has been an extensive amount of roadwork happening in the park and the trailhead is only accessible by parking close to the ‘baths,’ or Baño de Oro. This adds an extra mile to get to the trailhead making the hike 4 miles roundtrip. The trail itself is very well-marked and maintained. There is a lot of beautiful foliage and greenery. Amazing views from Britton Tower make the climb worthwhile. The trail can be uneven in spots so watch your footing. Torre Mount Britton Trail (Park here)

Cueva Arenales

Cueva Arenales is a 50 minute drive outside of the metro area in Vega Baja. It is truly a one of a kind place with breathtaking caves and pools. Google maps works well to direct you to the trailhead. Pay $5 to park at the top of the hill where the road changes from pavement to concrete. Do NOT go down unless you have a 4x4 as you won’t be able to get back UP the hill in your vehicle! The road gets very slick and since it is very steep it makes it difficult for tires to gain traction. If you park at the bottom of the hill, you will have to go in reverse all the way up the hill as there is no place to turn around. At the bottom of the hill veer to the left where there’s a water access road. It is an easy 10-15 minute walk to the river, then you hike up the river for a bit before you have to swim in the water to get to Charco Azul and Cueva Arenales. It is recommended to pack light, wear water shoes, bring a dry bag with your clothes if you wish or just hike in a bathing suit. Do not leave anything of value in your car. Again, pay to park at the top of the hill, it is worth your peace of mind. Cuevas Arenales Caves

Charco Prieto Waterfall

Charco Prieto Waterfall is in Bayamón, just under an hour outside the metro area.  A “Bienvenidos/Welcome” sign marks the start of the trailhead at a 90 degree bend in the road. It is a challenging one-mile out and back hike. Not recommended for children or elderly as you will encounter some technical climbing. It will take longer than you think to hike the mile as it can be slow going on some sections. There are river crossings, loose rock, and ropes to help you on the trail, as it can be slippery and muddy when wet. A couple of waterfalls are on this route and there is plenty of gorgeous scenery to take in. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet and a bathing suit for swimming in the pools. The trail follows the water so it’s easy to find. No cell service is available, make sure you have your map downloaded before you arrive. Charco Prieto Waterfall

Laguna Tortuguero

Laguna Tortuguero, Camino del Medio is a 3.7 mile moderate hiking loop in Vega Baja, just 50 miles west of the metro area. The freshwater lagoon has lake views and wildlife. The terrain is diverse but mostly flat. There are no bathrooms or amenities. Be aware of your surroundings at all times as the trail is shared with mountain bikers.

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