Getting Oriented in El Yunque and the Northeast

If you seek an alternative to the hectic urban environs of San Juan, head to the pristine coastal towns and charming inland locales found along Puerto Rico's northeast corridor. Easily reached by car, El Yunque and northeast Puerto Rico are convenient enough for a quick day trip but beg exploration of at least two days. Kayak the lagoon in Piñones, take a surf lesson in Luquillo, sunbathe at Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo, horseback ride in the foothills of El Yunque—the list of exciting and/or relaxing activities in this region goes on and on.

  • The Northeastern Coast. Head southeast and inland of San Juan to escape the city crowds and discover Río Grande's natural green land and its long strips of pristine beach. Its closest neighbor is the region's magnificent natural wonder, El Yunque, a park you can explore in the air-conditioned comfort of a car in a few hours or hike for days and still not see all the greenery, waterfalls, and views. Nearby, Balneario de Luquillo (Luquillo Beach), Reserva Natural Las Cabezas de San Juan, and Fajardo are all worth exploring.
  • The Eastern Coast. Puerto Rico's eastern coast is home to some of the island's most popular attractions. Be sure to check out the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear snorkeling conditions of Fajardo before heading south to Naguabo. Naguabo is said to be the birthplace of the pastelillo de chapín, a popular dish that consists of trunkfish wrapped inside a deep-fried flour dough. Farther south and west, travelers will discover Humacao, home of the island's exceptional Palmas del Mar.

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