Maricao State Forest

Maricao State Forest is the largest of the 20 Puerto Rico State Forests, but it is dwarfed in size by the El Yunque National Forest. Maricao State Forest is located in the southwest region of the island of Puerto Rico with the small town of Maricao, known for its coffee, to the north of the state forest. The state forest is about 10 to 20 miles inland from the coastal city of Mayaguez depending upon which portion of the forest you are trying to get to.

Maricao State Forest is a mountainous terrain with narrow winding roads through the tree-covered mountains. The area can be quite humid with fog covering the mountain tops, and it can be quite beautiful with its high peaks providing distant views and the lush forest giving the sense you have escaped the modern world.

Although Maricao State Forest provides great hiking opportunities and amazing views, the hiking trails are not well marked or maintained so if it helpful to brings maps as well as a GPS for navigation. The hiking in some areas can be treacherous with steep inclines and narrow paths and ridges, but there are still plenty of less challenging hiking trails and areas within the 10,000 acres of the state forest. Trail guides for hire are also somewhat difficult to find, so you may be on your own to explore.

In addition to great hiking trails, Maricao State Forest also provides camping areas (permit required), picnic areas, picturesque roads with overlook areas, and some good bird watching.

Maricao State Forest is open weekdays from 7am to 3pm and weekends from 8am to 4pm. To get additional information or obtain a permit for camping, call the forest rangers at 787-838-1040.