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Home > Interests & Activities > Nature > Camping
Camping is all about getting back to nature. Well, in Puerto Rico you have your choice of nature to get back to.
From beaches to forest clearings and remote islands to mountain peaks, we have numerous campgrounds located around Puerto Rico. Many are managed by the government-sponsored Compañía de Parques Nacionales, ensuring a clean, well-maintained and safe environment with proper facilities for our campers.
Our campsites are budget-friendly, very accessible and free of any large predators (although you might run across a mongoose here and there). Add in near-perfect year-round weather, and it’s easy to see why some visitors come to our islands to camp for months on end. Join them, and see what it’s like to get back to nature, Puerto Rico-style.
As one of the most beloved places in Puerto Rico and the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, El Yunque is a favorite destination for campers. This is camping at its rustic, back-to-basics best. There are no established facilities, although there are a few basic huts scattered around hiking trails. There’s also no cost to camp here, although you will need a permit, available at the Palo Colorado information center and picnic site.
As this is a rainforest, expect plenty of rainfall, and make sure to dress appropriately. Bring a waterproof jacket and expect lower temperatures at night if you’re camping near the peak.
Where to Camp
El Yunque has no designated camping areas. You can camp anywhere you find a suitable place, as well as along all roads and trails except areas that are shown as closed on the map.
Four Walls and a Roof
If you prefer traditional lodgings in the rainforest, El Yunque is dotted with small inns and B&Bs, many of them with private trails to delicious natural pools and streams.
Among the largest and most complete campgrounds in Puerto Rico can be found beside our most spectacular beach on Culebra Island. Scores of visitors set up camp by Flamenco Beach each year for a chance to stay close to its idyllic shores. The campgrounds are divided into five zones and include bathrooms, shower facilities, barbecue grilling stations, water cisterns, and designated parking areas.
Which Zone are You?
Where you camp at Flamenco Beach depends on who you are. Zone A is for families; Zone B and C are for singles and young adults; Zone D is left to the camp management’s discretion, while Zone E is a designated quiet area.
An added perk of camping at Flamenco Beach is the cluster of kiosks located by the parking lot. From food and drinks to beach accessories, these can be a veritable supermarket during your stay.
Thanks to regular trips by Públicos, the vans that serve as taxis in Culebra, Dewey is never more than 10 minutes away, in case you need the services of the island’s only town.
The Balneario de Monserrate, also known as Luquillo Beach, is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular destinations. A large beach with neat rows of palm trees fronting the calm waters of the Atlantic, it also offers ample campgrounds. Among the facilities at the beach are showers, bathrooms and picnic areas. You can rent a space with or without water and light, depending on your preference.
While you’re camping here, don’t miss a chance to visit the nearby Luquillo Kiosks, a string of more than 60 rustic shacks serving everything from authentic Puerto Rican food to gourmet burgers to snacks.
Luquillo Beach Kiosks
You don’t have to leave the beach to enjoy kiosk dining. There are two located at the beach, and additional kiosks serve concessions and drinks.
Rincón gets a lot of attention as the surfing capital of Puerto Rico, but those who enjoy surfing and camping will love Luquillo. Its two best surfing beaches are La Pared (“The Wall”) and La Selva (“The Jungle”).
Seven Seas Beach
Seven Seas Beach on the east coast of Puerto Rico is one of the most picturesque areas of our island. The beach is part of a national park that also offers well-maintained campgrounds in an unspoiled nature reserve. Among the facilities here are showers, bathrooms and basketball courts. You can rent a camping space or even a gazebo with electricity. There’s also a restaurant on site and a guard on duty.
Cabezas de San Juan
While you’re here, visit the Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, which gives you a chance to tour several ecosystems and visit a beautiful lighthouse.
Camping at Seven Seas Beach places you near one of Puerto Rico’s most unforgettable natural wonders: the Fajardo Biobay.
Snorkel Seven Seas
When you camp at Seven Seas Beach, don’t forget your snorkeling equipment. The reef here teems with marine life.
The Camuy Caves present one of the most dramatic natural settings that Puerto Rico has to offer. Set deep within a valley of lush tropical foliage, the extensive cave system runs through the third largest subterranean river in the world. The national park extends beyond the caves and includes ample picnic and camping areas. Facilities include showers, bathrooms and light, as well as a well-stocked gift shop.
Camping at Camuy is, in and of itself, a memorable experience due to its verdant surroundings. But a visit to the awe-inspiring underworld of the Camuy Caves is a must-do while you’re here.
Located near Camuy is the Arecibo Telescope, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world. The facility is open to visitors and should not be missed while you’re in the neighborhood.
Located near Camuy is the town of Lares, home to a defining moment in Puerto Rico’s colonial history, when a rebellion that became known as the Grito de Lares swept through the public conscience in 1868.
Those who enjoy camping by the beach will love Sun Bay, the only public beach on Vieques Island. In addition to having direct access to a wide, smooth crescent of white sand facing the azure waters of the Caribbean, you’ll also have showers bathrooms, and wide green areas.
The Other Beaches
Part of the fun of staying here is the chance to explore the path that leads beyond Sun Bay to two other beaches: Navío and Media Luna.
The Puerto Ferro Man
Across the street from the entrance to Sun Bay, you’ll find a nondescript marker that leads to a clearing strewn with massive boulders. This is the site of the Puerto Ferro Man, an archaeological dig that uncovered the bones of a man who lived on this island almost 4,000 years ago.
The closest town from Sun Bay is Esperanza, which lies just a few minutes away by car. Come here to stock up on supplies and enjoy the restaurants and boutiques along the malecón, or boardwalk.
Puerto Rico’s numerous and diverse state forests are managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. This group offers permits for camping at each of these forests, which include the Cambalache State Forest, Carite State Forest, Guajataca State Forest, Monte Guilarte State Forest, Susua State Forest, Río Abajo State Forest and the Toro Negro Forest Reserve. If your idea of camping is to be surrounded by lush foliage and be serenaded by bird (and coquí!) song, these should be at the top of your list of where to set up your tent. To obtain your permit, contact the Department at Rte. 8838, Km 6.3, Sector El Cinco, Río Piedras, San Juan, or call 787-999-2200.
The most popular camping forest in Puerto Rico, after El Yunque, is Toro Negro, which is also one of the most visited destinations on the island for adventure tourism.
Don’t Fear the Fauna
You know those horror stories of campers being attacked by bears? Those people weren’t camping in Puerto Rico! Our forests are gentle, with no large predators to disturb your tent.
Most of these forests are available to campers for just $5 a night per person, making them the most budget-friendly lodgings in Puerto Rico.
Camping in Mona Island is not just a luxury; it’s practically a necessity! After a six-hour boat ride, the last thing you want to do is take another six-hour boat back to the mainland. Fortunately, camping is allowed at three beaches in this remote natural jewel off the west coast of Puerto Rico. Of course, the chance to spend a night or two in a place that’s been called the “Galapagos of the Caribbean” is more than enough reason to want to spend the night here. Among its abundant wildlife, watch for free-roaming goats, iguanas and sea turtles, and at night, don’t forget to enjoy some truly inspired stargazing.
Diving and Snorkeling
Mona is equally prized among divers and snorkelers for its incredible marine life. Take advantage of one of the top dive destinations in Puerto Rico when you come here.
Contact Adventours for a private tour to Mona Island. It’s one of several camping adventures offered by the company.
Mona Island is not entirely uninhabited. You’ll find a few rangers and a resident biologist from the Department of Natural Resources here year-round.