Humacao Natural Reserve

Humacao Natural ReserveThe Humacao Natural Reserve is located on the East Coast of Puerto Rico 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.

Humacao Natural Reserve Front Entrance
Humacao Natural Reserve Front Entrance

History

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.

Humacao Water Pump StationThe original water pump station from the 1930’s is preserved on-site.   Check out my  short video of the water pump station.

The trails lead to the beach at multiple access points.

Humacao El Morillo beach
El Morillo beach

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.Humacao Natural Reserve History sign

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!Humcao Eco Tour Information Center

Activities

  • 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.

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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.

Humacao Water Sports Humcao Bike Rental

Humacao Natural Reserve Puerto Rico Activities Humacao Natural Reserve Puerto Rico

35 thoughts on “Humacao Natural Reserve”

  1. My kids and I are heading to PR in just a couple weeks for 9 days and we’re so excited!! I just stumbled upon your site and I wanted to say thank you for all the great info. A move to PR may be the topic of conversation around our house now! 🙂
    I heard about Monkey Island, and that you can take guided kayak tours around it. If we rent kayaks at Humacao Natural Reserve, can we kayak over near Monkey Island on our own? I know we aren’t supposed to get near the island itself though.

    1. I am so glad that you found useful information on my site! Monkey Island is such a unique experience, the kids will love it. The Kayaks in the Humacao Nature Reserve are at the lagoon, and I do not think they allow the kayaks to go beyond the lagoons. Monkey Island can be seen from the reserve, and the closest point is Punta Santiago, where Kayak Monkey Island departs.
      Have a fantastic vacation in PR!

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  3. In such a lush place are mosquitoes an issue? We always travel with the kids and outdoor fun is always a part of our adventures. We need to prepare for bugs and sun!

    1. The mosquitoes are horrible all over the Caribbean. It was not any worse in the lush nature preserve. The overgrown coconut trees was a great shade canopy, so sun exposure was minimal.

  4. I missed out on this place when I went to Puerto Rico! Only went to Old San Juan when I was there… Shame.. But I’m definitely going back, and will bookmark this post for future reference 😉

  5. Oh I love nature reserves, especially with so many activities available. I keep hearing about Puerto Rico so it definitely needs to go on my travel list I think. Thanks for sharing!

  6. With those peaceful beaches & ancient water pump, this looks like totally my kinda place. I dunno if I’ll be able to visit Puerto Rico myself, so thanks for this virtual tour!!!

  7. I love that there is such a variety of outdoor activities here! I am always down for a good hike or kayak trip. The sugar plantation looks really interesting too, and it would be cool to learn about the history behind that. Hope to visit Humacao one day!

  8. Oh I think I would try out the bike trails and also kayaking. I like to explore the area and the history as well as seeing the view from the water.

  9. This looks like a great place to visit. I have never been to Puerto Rico but I will add it to my visit for when I do visit. I love nature reserves and this looks interesting and would be great to visit the beach too.

  10. The Humaco Natural Reserve looks tantalizingly tempting. A great place to really get lost in the beauty of nature. Biking around the park and Kayaking in the serene waters of the lagoon would be an unforgettable experience. The icing on the cake is definitely the fact that the trails open onto secluded beaches.

  11. Kayaking for $10?!?! I was just in Tulum and they were charging, I KID YOU NOT, over $100… Granted it was a guided tour, but still. This sounds great! Proving to me once again what a gem of a place Puerto Rico is 🙂

    1. Wow, Christie – even the guided tour around Monkey Island is less than $100, and it included kayaking, snorkeling, and MONKEYS!! Yes, Puerto Rico is an inexpensive delight.

  12. I’d love to go to Puerto Rico, but I had no idea it was so diverse. The reserve looks lovely, I like how nature took back what we tried to tame – nature finds a way! It’s important to keep the balance, I think many people forget that now in the name of development.

  13. I’ve been to Puerto Rico a couple of times, but never to the East Coast. I always stay in San Juan. I find the natural beauty of Puerto Rico to be very impressive, and it seems like this would be a great spot to get more of the Puerto Rican environment.

  14. It is a good thing that the park does not charge for admission. 10$ for Kayaking doesn’t sound too bad and looks like a fun way to explore the lagoons. Seeing the natural reserve, you wouldn’t believe that it would open to a beach at various points.

  15. That’s so awesome that they’ve turned a former plantation into a nature reserve! That entrance sure is unassuming, though. You’d never guess there was a whole park back there with tons to do. Free is always nice too!

    1. I have passed by at least a dozen times, you can imagine my surprise when I “discovered” everything behind that small entrance.

  16. Nature reserves are some of our very favorite places to visit on vacation – such a great way to see the area, and you can usually find a quiet, calm, and less touristy area of the reserve where you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. This looks gorgeous.

  17. Ooh, I’d really like to rent a bike and discover the Humacao Natural Reserve, and so good that it’s cheap too! It looks like you took that route, do you have any narrative posts about it? I’d be really curious to hear about it more 🙂
    Kayaking also looks like it would be fun here… Love outdoorsy travel!

  18. This sounds like a great place to spend the day exploring and taking part in outdoor activities. The prices are very reasonable if there is no entrance fee and rental equipment being less than $20. A great place for individuals and families 🙂

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