The Humacao Natural Reserve is located on the East Coast of Puerto Rico mid-way on the island near the community of Palmas del Mar. Behind the small unassuming entrance awaits big adventure exploring the lagoons, swamps, and wetlands.
The walking and bike trails are well maintained throughout the reserve. Kayakers can enjoy the calm lagoon waters in a secluded section of the reserve. Fishing is a common sight from the bridges and docks. There are multiple floating docks along the lagoons for fishing and unobstructed views over the lagoon water. The majority of the natural reserve is shaded by the lush foliage making it a pleasant destination year round.
The trails lead to the beach at multiple access points.
The beach near El Morillo offers excellent water conditions, views of nearby Monkey Island, and old bunkers are located a slight walk up the hill.
Information signs (in both English and Spanish) are spaced along the trail for easy navigation. Printed maps are available at the privately owned & operated bike and kayak rental locations. Most employee are bilingual and helpful to visitors.
The Humacao Natural Reserve is an excellent destination for nature lovers. Be sure to include this on your next visit to Puerto Rico!
- Walking the trails around the swamps and lagoons, exploring the water pump station, up to the bunkers, through the Fern trail, and along the beach.
- Riding bicycles along the trails. Bike rentals are available Wednesday through Sunday at the front entrance.
- Fishing from the bridges, docks, and from the lagoon shore.
- Kayaking in the lagoons. Kayaks and pedal boat rentals are available Wednesday through Sunday at the front entrance.
- Eco tours are available for a nominal fee; walking, bike, and kayak tours are available.
- Covered gazebos overlooking the lagoons are available for picnics and events.
Humacao Natural Reserve Information
- The reserve is open to the public (free admission) every day.
- There is a small parking area within the reserve, and additional parking across the road (PR-3).
- Kayaks can be rented for $10 per person to explore the Mandri lagoon.
- Bikes are available for adults and children. Adult bike rental is $7 for a basic bike, and $15 for a nicer mountain bike. Bikes can be reserved ahead of time, or upon arrival.
Sugar Production in the Area
Much of the agriculture and economics of Puerto Rico is directly influenced by the Sugar industry. Sugar production was brought to Puerto Rico in the 1500’s. Sugar production continued in Humacao through the 1960’s. The area that is now the Humacao Natural Reserve was previously drained to support the sugar cane farming and cattle grazing. Heavy rains in 1979 flooded the area and filled the basin for the former lagoons. The restored natural lagoons and wetlands became the first Eco Touristic Natural Reserve of Puerto Rico in 1986.
The original water pump station from the 1930’s is preserved on-site. Check out my short video of the water pump station.