The Ruta Panorámica, or Panoramic Route, is an overland journey that reveals rugged beauty and tranquil woodlands not found anywhere else in Puerto Rico. It's an unruly road that clambers its way through the forests of the island's mountainous interior. Towering trees create canopies over the narrow roads, and in their shade pink and purple impatiens bloom in profusion. You'll drive through sleepy colonial villages named for their Taíno ancestors, discover trails leading to secret waterfalls, and behold one breathtaking vista after another.
The grandiose name may lead you to think that the Ruta Panorámica is a highway, but it's actually a network of mountain roads that snakes through the central region, or Cordillera Central. Some are nicely maintained, while others are little more than gravel. But the Panoramic Route certainly lives up to its name, rewarding travelers with sprawling scenery around every bend of the road.