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“SO much to see!”

Ranked #328 of 612 things to do in Puerto Rico
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Owner description: A series of curvy roads link the island’s east and west coast. The three-day route is studded with small villages and farms.
Reviewed 27 September 2015

we started our drive in Maunabo and drove all the way across the Island to Mayaguez.
and boy it was a trip!!
the roads are very good for most of the drive, some sections are a bit bumpy tho, but nothing major.
definitely bring a map, coz the signs are not always clearly visible, but for most part it is fine.
our first day took us from Maunabo to the Flower Festival in Aibonito and then to a coffee farm close to Adjuntas. (Hacienda Pomarrosa)
it was such a beautiful drive and totally dueable in one day. like I said, we stopped in Aibonito for a couple hours and at a swimming hole along the way for another hour and still made it to the Hacienda before sunset.
the second day we drove all the way to Mayaguez and then back to San Juan. another dueable drive, we left the Haciendo at around 11 and were in San Juan at around 5pm.

we LOVED driving the Ruta Panoramica. so many villages, so many forests, fields, breathtaking views...totally worth it!!

3  Thank heygauthey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 30 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2015

When I asked Tripadvisor how to construct a walking holiday in Puerto Rico, I was met with a lot of silence. Except from one man, juancarlospr, who asked if I'd heard of the Caminata Panoramica.

There's a scenic road that winds through Puerto Rico from east to west called the Ruta Panoramica. 31 years ago, an enterprising group of people split the route into 26 sections, and the annual Caminata Panoramica was born.

From January to March every year, a group of about 100-200 people gather every single Saturday and Sunday, and in 8-25km sections, in 13 weekends they walk the entire length of the island. Some drive to the next location. Some take a special shuttle bus from San Juan. Some stay overnight in a hotel near that weekend's location. And that's how we ended up checking in to a hotel in Adjuntas - not a typical tourist destination!

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early to drive to the end point of the day's walk, to be conveyed back to the start point by yellow schoolbuses chartered for the purpose. Then we paid our $15 daily walker's fee which seemed to cover said transport, walkers' insurance, and an array of cars and buses handing out water, grapes and encouragement as we walked along the route. Also our badge of the day (the sections are lettered A-Z. We were on N and O) which the hardcore regulars collect and use to adorn their hats. They all greeted each other with cheery delight. They all welcomed us interlopers with genuine enthusiasm. In this little village in the heart of Puerto Rico, I couldn't have felt farther from the tourist trail. "Ha, you're probably the only non-Puerto Ricans to ever visit this village," laughed several of our walking companions.

The walk itself is along the road, which has occasional cars. Our section wound up and down, through forest and giving amazing views. At the end, a chinchorro (bar/cafe) with beers and lunch and lots more socializing. Eventually everyone says goodbye... Only to meet up for dinner if it's a Saturday, or the following day, or if it's a Sunday, to meet the following weekend. Most of the people I spoke to were attempting the entire route, many of them for the 10th-20th year in a row. What was fantastic about the experience was not just the sense of doing something cool, the chance to see the rural center of the island, to take part in an impeccably organized walk, or to meet local people... But the fact that the people we met were some of the friendliest, cheeriest, nicest, most welcoming people we'd genuinely ever met. The sounds of birds tweeting and dogs yapping was punctuated by roars of laughter, and people fell over themselves to check we had everything we needed and make sure we told others about how much fun it was. This was a really lovely, unexpected Puerto Rico experience. Thanks to juancarlospr for alerting us to it and making it happen for us! You can do this for a day or a weekend or for a whole three months of weekends. You can drive or get a shuttle bus. There aren't too many other opportunities to see this part of the Puerto Rico countryside. If you're interested, here's more info: http://fondodemejoramiento.org/caminata-panoramica.html

10  Thank ms_scotsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2015

We did the part from Ponce to San Juan and it was well worth it.

I know there are some reviews written by people that either don't know how to drive or are afraid to really go on an adventure and expect westernized security to be in place everywhere. If you are one of those prissy people then don't attempt.

- As for the route. It was great and I wish we had time to do more of it, but don't drive the entire thing in one day. It will take forever and it is kind of stressful.
- Go on a morning, preferably weekend morning when there is little traffic.
- The driving is erratic up there, and the locals know the roads by heart and love to stay in the middle, so be careful.
-There are plenty of places to stop and taking breathtaking pictures. Sure its not everywhere, but I could have stopped for pics at least 50 times on the route.
- The signs are terrible and will get you lost. Take a GPS with you and try to buy some kind of new map.
- I really advise anyone to do this route, but the defensive driving can be tiring, so don't do more than 2-3 hours on the Ruta in one day.

5  Thank jac1886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2015

This may not be every tourist's cup of tea, but if you like unspoiled mountain views, scenic rivers, remote high plains and lush green glades, this is a must-do. Be forewarned, although the pavement is generally very good, the roads are narrow and curvey and the Ruta is very poorly marked, so much so that some locals don't even know their roads has such a lofty name.

We spent a day hiking and enjoying El Yunque the day before, then drove south and stayed in Yabacoa at the foot of Ruta Panoramica to get an early start since we love scenic byways like this in early light. The first segment on PR 182 out of Yabacoa is hard to find, even with a GPS. It is so poorly marked (like most roads in PR), we had to stop a mailman to ask how to get out of town and he wasan't even certain. So follow the 9909 northwest out of Yabacoa, which turns into PR 182. The steep inclines and incredible views come up shortly out of town, but there is nowhere to pull off the road to enjoy them, so just find a straightaway, pull to the side and just stop in the road-it's the PR way!

We had a map of the Ruta from a Fromer's guide that was WRONG about the route. It shows that PR 182 intersects PR181 (N/S), then shows a turn north that was supposed to intersect PR 184 (E/W) to head over to the Bosque National Forest. PR 184 intersects PR 181 SOUTH of PR 182, so this is incorrect, or at least not that our Nat Geo map or a half-dozen locals knew about.

To get to PR184, you have to go SOUTH on PR181 but it's a very pleasant drive. Once you turn west onto PR 184, the scenery gets better and better, over to the Bosque and Lake Carite. There is little traffic, but people drive fast on these curvey roads, so pay close attention while driving.

Since we were short on time, we only did the first section of the Ruta from Yabacoa to Cayay, then headed down to the South Coast to see the small seaside towns and Ponce. When we go back, I want to do the entire Ruta from coast to coast. There is so much to see if you like stunning vistas, small towns and meeting the real people who live in central PR, who are warm and wonderful, even if their English is not.

6  Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2014

Living in Miami, or anywhere in Florida, you don't get many hills and/or curves. It's all flat around here. So when I stumbled upon Ruta Panoramica right before I flew to Puerto Rico, I was thrilled. Road delivered everything I hoped for. Beautiful scenery, great driving roads, few "tricky challenging" curves, hills, cliffs... you name it. I enjoyed my time behind the wheel a lot. Had I known about this road little sooner, I would have rented something nicer than Nissan Sentra.

Some reviews claim that this road is boring and that there is not much to see. Being just a passenger, or even worse, a passenger on the back seat, this route may seem uneventful or even boring, but if you are a driver, you must enjoy it a lot.

Next time I am gonna be on the island, I am going to rent a motorcycle and enjoy the whole road even more.

1  Thank Matej K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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