Porta Cordillera (Central Region)
Porta Cordillera the Central Region of Puerto Rico is distinguished by the Cordillera Central a mix of rugged mountain peaks, pristine lakes and lush forests. Some of the islands highest peaks and deepest canyons can be found in this central mountain range running east to west. The area is rich in Taino history and culture. The Tainos were one of the indigenous people living on the island of Puerto Rico at the time of Columbus' landing. Porta Cordillera is also the home of the time-honored Jibarito Puerto Rican Farmer.
Porta Cordillera's many attractions include the Caguana Indian Ceremonial Center in Utuado. This pre-Columbian archaeological site is a showcase of ceremonial plazas and petroglyph etched stones in a beautiful setting. A coffee and agricultural area, Utuado offers visitors a myriad of other attractions; Dos Bocas lake where complimentary boats will ferry you to lakeside creole restaurants and a wonderful meal, the Río Abajo Forest and Cueva Ventana among others. The significantly historical town of Lares known for sparking the famous rebellion against colonial Spanish rule is located in this region and worth a visit for history buffs.
Southeast of Utuado, the Toro Negro Forest provides spectacular views from the highest elevation in Puerto Rico.
Continue east to Aibonito for a visit to the Mirador Piedra Degetau (Rock Lookout) for some great photo opportunities. Aibonito is also home to an annual Flower Festival held every year at the end of June.
On weekends many San Juan natives like to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and head to the Carite National Forest where they can enjoy the wonders of nature while dining at the many restaurants perched along the mountain slopes. No visit to the area would be complete without a trek along the Ruta del Lechón (Pork Route) in Guavate. Here you can stop at any of the many restaurants and outdoor stands and enjoy succulent lechón (spit-roasted pig) with all the fixings.
For those adventurers that a physically fit, there is the San Cristóbal Canyon between Barranquitas and Aibonito. This ravine drops 650 feet and is not for the faint of heart or physically weak.
Less physically demanding but no less exhilarating is the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park in Orocovis, they have many zip-line including La Bestia , at about 4,745 feet, one of the longest in the world. There are also biking and hiking trails for your enjoyment.
La Bestia Zip-Line Starting Point
If you are a fan of lush green mountains, pristine lakes and cool rivers, Porta Cordillera and all the attractions it has to offer is a must visit destination during your trip to Puerto Rico!