PHOTO: Zip line, Toro Verde Ecological Adventure Park, Puerto Rico. (photo by Michelle Rae Uy)
One of the many reasons why Puerto Rico wins as a vacation destination is its sundry of attractions.
It’s got charming buildings and formidable forts for architecture lovers, a rich history for history buffs, a vibrant street art scene for aesthetes, alluring seashores for beach nuts and an amazing cuisine for gourmands.
It’s also brimming with fun and thrilling exploits to be had in its lush jungles and spirited waters. Soar over trees, walk underwater or see a bay light up under a moonless night. Whatever spins your wheels, Puerto Rico will most likely deliver.
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While daunting at first, zip lining may be the most thrilling experience you’ll have in the air, short of bungee jumping and skydiving. With Puerto Rico being home to some of the world’s most incredible zip lines, it’s THE place to jump on the bandwagon and see for yourself what the fuss is about.
After your first zip, you’ll probably want to do it over and over again.
Some of the island's best zip lines are at Toro Verde Ecological Adventure Park, home to the famous Monster and The Beast lines. If you’d rather stay close to San Juan however, Campo Rico Ziplining Adventures might fit the bill.
Hiking the Tropical Rainforest
Pack up your hiking boots before you go, as Puerto Rico is home to the only tropical rainforest in the United States; There are many great, if muddy, trails to take. They will lead you to picnic areas, opportunities to see wildlife, overlooks and even waterfalls.
Two of the most popular hikes are the challenging 5-mile (RT) El Yunque Trail—which takes you to the peak of El Yunque—and the well-paved Big Tree Trail that leads to La Mina Falls, one of the forest’s most beautiful. Other trails to consider are La Mina Trail, Caimitillo Trail and Bano de Oro Trail.
READ MORE Delicious Digs in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kayaking to a Bio Bay
Revel in the enchantment of bioluminescent bays, lit by the dinoflagellates living in the water, before they all disappear forever. Three of the world's few remaining ones are located in Puerto Rico, and they are easily accessible by kayak, so there’s no excuse not to do check them out.
Not only is it an adventure to get to one, (kayaking in the dark), but the terminus is also magical, even if it wouldn’t be quite as bright as it might be in the photos.
The three bio bays on the island are Laguna Grande, La Parguera, and Mosquito Bay, which is currently the brightest in the world.
Walking Tour of Old San Juan
It might not be the great outdoors, but an exploration of Old San Juan is certainly in order when considering an outdoor activity in Puerto Rico. The historic old city, established in the very early 1500s, served as a defensive bulwark to protect gold and silver transports. Many of the fortifications that the Spanish built are still well preserved to this day and are certainly worth visiting.
Between your fort visits, meander about in the old city along its blue cobblestone streets and be awed at the vibrantly painted Spanish colonial buildings, old chapels and churches, outdoor sculptures and Caribbean panoramas.
READ MORE: Why You Must Visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, During San Sebastian Festival
SNUBA with Aqua Adventure
Curious to see how it (kinda) feels like to moon walk, or just want to know what it feels like to (actually) walk on the sea floor? SNUBA might just be calling your name.
This underwater adventure is a mix between snorkeling and scuba diving, allowing you to go deeper in the water and be surrounded by marine life without having to obtain a diving certification.
With Aqua Adventure at Caribe Hilton—the first place on the island to offer SNUBA excursions—you wear a heavy, air pressurized helmet instead of a diving mask, and walk at the bottom instead of swimming. It might sound a little daunting at first, but it’s actually a lot of fun and a unique experience.