Few wilderness adventures in the Caribbean can compare with a trip to Isla Mona, a wild, deserted speck in the ocean some 50 miles to the west of the main island. And although few people ever visit Mona, the 14,000-acre island looms large in the imagination. It’s a place where the beauty of limestone caves and turquoise water coexists with the dangers of a rugged environment.
Bahía de Jobos
Hwy 3, the slow route along the south coast, has a worthy highlight in the sprawling Reserva Nacional de Investigación Estuarina de Bahía de Jobos, which has hiking trails, and a labyrinth of mangrove canals. The marshy reserve borders a nearly abandoned sugar town, Aguirre, another compelling detour.
Bosque Estatal De Guajataca
Despite its diminutive size (2300 acres) and proximity to the northwestern coastal towns, the Bosque Estatal de Guajataca contains more trails (27 miles) than any other forest in Puerto Rico – including El Yunque – and it’s the best place for a wild hike in the region.