Attractions Near Rincon

Puerto Rico has both a dry and, by contrast, a rainforest. The Guanica Dry Forest is located in Guanica, between Mayaguez and Ponce. Designated a biosphere reserve, the forest has 36 miles of trails, varying in difficulty. You'll see 700 types of plants, along with Gumbo Limbo trees, a Guayacan tree, which is 500 to 700 years old, limestone caves and 40 species of birds. Contact the forest reserve office. 787-821-5706

 

El Yungue is the only tropical rain forest in the US Forest Service. The 28,000-acre preserve, made up of varying micro-climates, is located on the eastern side of the Luquillo Mountains. Hike around waterfalls and pools, 240 species of tropical trees and 50 varieties of orchids. The forest is also home to 68 bird species, including the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. 787-888-1810; www.elyunque.com

 

Visit the Arecibo Observatory to see the world's largest radiotelescope, through which scientists study each of the planets and Near Earth Asteroids. It's 1,000 feet in diameter and covers about 20 acres. You may have seen it in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, as well as in Jodie Foster's Contact and on the X-Files. 787-878-2612; www.naic.edu

 

The Rio Camuy Cave Park covers 268 acres of dramatic caves, sinkholes, waterfalls and even an underground river. You'll be able to walk through the illuminated 170-foot-tall Cueva Clara and overlook the 400-foot-deep Tres Pueblos Sinkhole. We recommend the trip, as the cave system is one of the three largest in the world. Just be sure to call first for tour hours. 787-898-3100

 

Gilligan's Island is part of a biosphere reserve near Guanica. For about $7, a small ferry will take you about a mile to the island on which the '60s TV show was based. Soak in the mangrove cays or float along the crystal clear canals. There are picnic facilities and grills. Tip: if you aren't able to get on the ferry, which runs back and forth several times per day, local fisherman will likely give you a ride over. Gilligan's Island typically is not crowded, and you can always find your own tranquil space. 787-821-5706