While some may be lured to Puerto Rico for its white or pink sand beaches, vibrant culture or for leisurely strolls while admiring the architectural and cultural treasure chest that is Old San Juan, others come to enjoy adrenaline surging caving, rock climbing, ziplining and rappelling adventures.
Puerto Rico is home to one of the world’s largest cave networks made of natural limestone caves and underground waterways carved by the third-largest underground river in the world, the Río Camuy. The island is dotted with all manner of geographical features including the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Park System–El Yunque National Rainforest. It also has mountainous terrain, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, and even deserts.
This topographical diversity offers many opportunities for thrill seekers who want to take their hike up a notch. Keep reading to learn about caving tours by Aventuras Tierra Adentro, named by National Geographic as one of the “500 world’s greatest trips.” Also featured is the Canyoning Adventure by Rocaliza Adventure Tours, and the unique, off-the-beaten path, “only insiders know” excursions by Borikua Tours PR.
Rocaliza Adventure Tours
Let the highly-rated Rocaliza Adventure Tours satisfy your adventure fix with tours including the “El Salto” Tour, Canyoning Adventure, or its full- or half-day Rock Climbing tours.
The El Salto tour takes you to a rainforest near Caguas to experience a full or half day of hiking, waterfall climbing, rappelling and ziplining. This tour gives you the opportunity to not only observe amazing nature and scenery–you get to be fully immersed in it. Secured ropes are used to hike and climb the waterfalls and rappel down the El Salto waterfalls and you will zipline on five different ziplines.
Canyoning Adventure takes you through canyons formed by the Emajagua River. An exhilarating day of hiking, river trekking, waterfall rappelling, thrilling waterfall slides, and plunges into refreshing natural river pools is punctuated by an open-air meal in the mountains. This tour includes transportation from San Juan, lunch, and canyoning gear.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush while exploring the breathtaking beauty of this island, book your space with Rocaliza Tours today.
Camuy River Cave Park
Known as one of the world’s largest cave networks and the First Natural Charm of Puerto Rico, the Camuy River Cave Park is an experience you cannot miss when you visit the island.
Located in a 300 acre park complete with lush foliage and trees, walking trails, and picnic pavilions, the cave park has cavern ceiling heights of 10 storeys in some areas. It is a large network of natural limestone caves and underground waterways carved by the third-largest underground river in the world, the Río Camuy (Camuy River). The park is managed by Puerto Rico National Parks Program and the guided tours are offered in both English and Spanish.
This is a cave system so be prepared to stare in awe at overhead stalactites and underfoot stalagmite mushrooms, hear the gurgling sound of the Camuy River, and bypass a colony of bats in the main cave, Cueva Clara. Visitors are transported through the cave system by trolley and ziplining over the Camuy River is also available.
Before you go, check out the Puerto Rico National Parks Program website or the park’s Facebook page. The cave park is open Wednesdays to Sundays and on most holidays from 8:30am to 5:00pm with the last excursion starting at 3:30pm.
Aventuras Tierra Adentro
Go on a cave excursion, canyoning, or rock climbing with Aventuras Tierra Adentro. Led by internationally recognized rock climber and speleologist Rossano Boscarino who is known for his achievements in vertical technique rope climbing.
The company’s Caving Adventure in Puerto Rico takes you on an exciting daylong exploration of the Rio Camuy cave system aided by rappelling and a series of ziplines. You and your cave explorer mates will swim in the river and underground lakes and climb over large boulders illuminated only by your headlamps. You will also be delighted by the visual kaleidoscope of stalagmites, stalactites and other strange formations in Angeles Cave.
The tours include transportation, state-of-the-art equipment, and certified guides and it is recommended that you bring lunch and other snacks. Aventuras Tierra Adentro also has a Rope and Rescue School that teaches rock climbing, tower climbing, and other courses.
Book this experience for the ultimate caving adventure!
Explore the diverse Puerto Rican landscape with knowledgeable staff led by Robert Moreno, an internationally recognized travel photographer and Puerto Rican native. Borikua Tours offers both land and water-based tours like the popular Cave Land Tour, Bio Bay Parguera, Hiking El Yunque Rainforest Tour, and Loiza Tour.
On the Cave Land Tour, you will explore the Las Cabachuelas de Morovis network of caves in Puerto Rico’s northern region with multi-lingual guides who have been granted access to caves on private lands. This tour includes lunch, protective gear, and round-trip transportation to and from San Juan.
The Hiking El Yunque Rainforest Tour is perfect for nature lovers and those who yearn to reconnect to nature. After a 40 minute drive from San Juan, your first stop is at the Yokahu observation tower for a panoramic view of the reserve. Other stops on this tour include secret waterfalls not known to many and a dip in a pristine natural pool. Snacks, walking sticks, backpacks, fruit, and the rainforest entrance fee is included in this tour.
Not to be missed is the Loiza Tour. Loiza is the center of African culture in Puerto Rico. Here you will participate in a one-hour class of bomba, mingle with local artist Samuel Lind, owner of Estudio de ARTE, and savor Loiza’s unique gastronomic offerings. This is truly one of the most unique stops in Puerto Rico.
Your three-hour adventure tour with Yunque Ziplining starts in a secluded rainforest with stunning views of El Yunque Rainforest. Six ziplines, exciting rappelling (optional), and an educational hike are included in the experience. The ziplines are from 100 – 800 feet long and the easy rock rappel is 40-feet high.
The Yunque Ziplining Base Camp area is in Luquillo so if you’re staying in San Juan, you can request transportation to base camp for an additional cost. Uber or taxi is also available. Be sure to double check their website for weight and height restrictions.
Keep reading to learn about more exciting tours in Puerto Rico!
Atabey Tours was established by ecotourism champions, world travelers, and Puerto Rican natives Andrés and Ale Carrero. With environmental commitment at the core of its mission, tours are designed to explore Puerto Rico’s natural wonders, engage its local communities, and, in some cases, enhance the experience by delving into legendary folktales.
The Yukiyú Coast to Rain Forest Adventure is a full-day tour that takes you from San Juan to an Afro-Puerto Rican beach neighborhood. During this tour you will be taken on a drive along a virgin coastline, trek through sections of the El Yunque Rainforest and take a dip in a mineral rich waterfall shower.
The Alternative Old San Juan Tour is a three-hour walking tour of Viejo San Juan that takes you beyond the typical tourist experience. On this tour, you can explore La Perla, a historic and colorful shantytown known as the oldest barrio in San Juan.
The Magical Mystery Tour takes you to a secret waterfall that carved a canyon that is only accessible by Atabey Tours and unknown to most Puerto Ricans. Here you can enjoy the uninhibited freedom of cliff jumps into a deep river pool, lather yourself with purifying mud bath, and wash the mud and your cares away under a majestic waterfall.
There are many adventure tour companies that regularly explore and guide thrill seekers through Puerto Rico’s cave systems. In addition to the popular Rio Camuy Cave Park, other caves to try are Cueva Ventana and Cueva del Indio in Arecibo, Cañon de Tanamá in Utuado, Cueva del Viento in Isabela, Cueva Encantada in Florida, a small municipality east of Arecibo, and Cuevas El Convento located in the El Convento Natural Protected Area in Guayanilla.
With these featured and many other tour operators willing to show you the ropes, rock climbing, rappelling and ziplining options are plentiful. Be sure to choose trained experts who will guide you along the way, ask about the equipment, find out about safety training and certifications, and have fun!