Of Puerto Rico’s diverse landscapes, from the beaches to the rainforest and beyond, the mountain route of Caguas, Cayey, and Aguas Buenas offers an abundance of incredible options for immersing yourself in the destination’s natural setting. Here you can appreciate the Island’s rich culture and history, activities that help minimize your footprint, and delicious cuisine made with local ingredients. This four-day eco-friendly trip centers around getting outdoors in this scenic locale, with visits to sustainable coffee farms, creative concept restaurants, and botanical gardens—which will all keep you wanting to see and experience more of this tropical treasure nestled in the heart of the Caribbean. It’s easy to do with the Island in easy reach for U.S. citizens who don’t need a passport to visit Puerto Rico.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Day 1Aguas Buenas and Caguas
After settling in your hotel room, grab your camera and comfy shoes, and get ready for the day ahead. Take a short drive to Caguas, a city full of culture and green areas. Stop by the Plaza Palmer to check out the scene, where you can also pick up lunch from one of the cafés.
Head to Jardín Botánico de Caguas, celebrated for its spacious gardens with tropical and native plants and artwork. Sit back and have a lovely picnic for lunch, while glimpsing the natural beauty of the kapok tree (locally known as a ceiba), and walk the trails. The cultural center offers exhibitions on Puerto Rican heritage, and you can take educational tours that give the opportunity to birdwatch, practice wood or rock carving, and learn how modern agriculture has evolved in a way that assists in the involvement of farmers and sustainable flora and fauna.
After a day of admiring all the highlights in the botanical garden, head to O-MRKT for dinner. Located in Las Catalinas Mall in Caguas, this farm-to-table spot’s motto is “Eat fresh and local.” Fuel up on nourishing fare and look around the mall if you’d like before going back to the hotel for a peaceful rest.
Day 2Tour the Mountains by Helicopter
As you prepare for take-off from the hotel’s helipad, take a sip from a craft cocktail. During your flight, you’ll gaze at perhaps one of the most amazing views you’ll see in your life—waves crashing on the coast and mountains changing color as the sun sets over them. Your hotel has many other tour services at hand, including its very own helicopter tour located on the premises, which will also be part of this itinerary. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy many of them throughout the following days.
Day 3Adventure in Caguas and Dine in Cayey
Roam about and ask as many questions as possible about ecological topics, sustainable farming, and more. You can have lunch during a community tour and meet other travelers who come from all over the world to get a taste of Puerto Rico’s Central Mountain Range, its transcendent beauty, and its sustainability. Depending on how many people are in your group, you may arrange a personal group experience tailored just for you.
In the evening, change into clothes for dinner in nearby Cayey at Bohemia Cocina en Movimiento. With a blend of Argentinian and Puerto Rican cuisine, this experience is top-tier for any gourmand—or anyone who enjoys a great conversation with a glass of wine. Located on the mountainside, the restaurant’s perch means that, in addition to savoring expertly prepared dishes, you’ll have stunning views as the sun sets. Check into the suite here for the next two nights, where you’ll stay among the misty and calm mountain environment.
As the sun sets, take a 30-minute ride to Aibonito, a small central mountain town known for its festivals, coffee, and flowers. As you arrive for your reservation at El Maná you’ll get a short introduction about its culinary philosophy and nutritional goals. Dig into the restaurant’s famous microgreen dinner, which consists of farm-grown vegetables, fish, and meats, that you can enjoy under the stars.