The Best Places to see Wildlife in Puerto Rico and Directions to Get There

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The wildlife of Puerto Rico
The best places to see wildlife in Puerto Rico
Tips for seeing wildlife in Puerto Rico



The wildlife of Puerto Rico

There is a seemingly endless amount of wildlife to see when you are in Puerto Rico, from exotic birds and bugs to monkeys and manatees. Some are native to Puerto Rico, while others were introduced by humans. However, they are all a rich part of the Puerto Rican landscape today.

Bats are the only native land-based mammals in Puerto Rico, and there are thirteen different species you can encounter while you are in Puerto Rico.

Non-native mammals, mammals that were introduced by people, include donkeys, pigs, horses and monkeys. The monkeys are primarily secluded to a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico called Cayo Santiago. The rest of these mammals are scattered throughout Puerto Rico.

Some of the most sought-after mammals in terms of sight-seeing are of the marine variety. The native marine mammals of Puerto Rico include manatees, dolphins and whales. The whales which are humpback whales and dolphins can be seen via several different sight-seeing tours which you can check out here.

The birds of Puerto Rico are probably the easiest to see of all the wildlife. There are so many types and they are all over the place. The types of birds you can see in Puerto Rico include: hummingbirds, bullfinches, owls, todys, mangos and more.

There are also a bunch of insects and reptiles in Puerto Rico. The insects of Puerto Rico include butterflies, spiders, scorpions, ants and mosquitos. The reptiles are limited to snakes, frogs and iguanas. These can generally be found in the more remote and natural environments such as the rainforest. However, it is possible to see one or two of these make their way to more populated areas. Be careful around these creatures, as some could be poisonous.

The best places to see wildlife in Puerto Rico

If you are interested in seeing any of the wildlife, you will likely need to venture out to different parts of Puerto Rico to do so.
These are the best places to see the wildlife in Puerto Rico:

  • Cayo Santiago – This is known as the island of monkeys in Puerto Rico. This is where most of the monkeys you can see are. The water around the island is shallow, so one of the better viewing experiences is to kayak around the island. Unfortunately, recent hurricanes have taken their toll on the island so the ability to actually get there for viewing might be impacted depending on when you go.

    As this is an island, you cannot get there by car. However, you can take an easy half hour-long kayak trip over to the island. You will be able to see some of the monkeys from your kayak.

  • El Yunque National Rainforest – Easily the best place in Puerto Rico to see the exotic birds and insects, the El Yunque National Rainforest is even a sight of its own. There are a ton of walking tours that you can take to see whatever you would like. Just be sure to research which walking tour will show you what you are particularly looking to see. Different tours go to different areas in the rainforest.

    Most people recommend driving to the rainforest yourself. You can get directions to do so here.

  • Guanica State Forest – You can see a variety of Puerto Rican wildlife in the Guanica State Forest. The environment is dry, so it is different from the rainforest for example. This is a great place to see various birds.

    You can drive to the rainforest and you can get directions here.

  • Rio Camuy Cave Park – Rio Camuy Cave Park is where you will be able to see the various different bats that dwell in Puerto Rico. The types of bats you can see include fruit bats, bulldog bats, brown bats and more.

    The cave park is located on the main island of Puerto Rico so you can drive there. You can find directions here.

  • Cueva Ventana – Another great place to see the various bats of Puerto Rico, Cueva Ventana is also home to several species of snakes and insects. True wildlife enthusiasts won’t want to miss this experience.

    The best way to get there is also by car. Its located just north of the Guanica State Forest, so you might want to consider catching both in the same day. You can get directions here.


Tips for seeing wildlife in Puerto Rico

  • Do not get too close – Some of the insects, such as spiders, might be poisonous. So be sure that you do not get so close that you could end up getting bitten.
  • Be quiet! – You won’t want to scare any of the wildlife off. Be sure that you remain as quiet as possible at all times so that you can avoid doing so.
  • Do not bring your dog – Dogs will scare other animals off, leave your pets at home when you go out to see wildlife.
  • Bring binoculars – With binoculars, you will be able to see animals from a distance without scaring or otherwise disturbing them.
  • Go out with a guide – Unless you are experienced at viewing wildlife in the specific area that you plan on visiting, you should get a guide of some sort who knows exactly where they are going and what they are doing.



Puerto Rico is a fantastic place to see some incredible wildlife. There are a bunch of great spots to check out the animals, birds and marine life.

It does help to have a car in Puerto Rico to get to most of these places. You can rent a car but that will limit you on where you can go and it could get costly pretty quickly. If you have a car in the United States, you can always ship your car to Puerto Rico with the help of the experts here at Puerto Rico car transport.

Category: Car shipment.