Aerial view of El Morro, a historic fortress located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with waves crashing against the rocky coastline, under a partly cloudy sky.

National Parks in Puerto Rico: Explore the only Puerto Rico National Park

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the Caribbean Sea. This former Spanish colony is home to a unique Hispanic Creole culture that is a mix of indigenous, African, and European elements. Head over to San Juan to check out the only national park in Puerto Rico.

In this article, we will explore the only National Park in Puerto Rico. We will provide a brief overview of the park, things to do in the Puerto Rico National Parks, and provide a map of the National Parks of Puerto Rico.

  • Map of the Puerto Rico National Parks
  • Puerto Rico National Parks Guide
  • FAQ about Puerto Rico National Parks

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Table of Contents


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Map of National Parks in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico National Parks

San Juan National Historic Site

Ground-level view of the historic El Morro fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with its massive stone walls and lush greenery surrounding the structure. Palm trees and colorful buildings are visible nearby, along with the ocean in the background under a cloudy sky.

San Juan National Historic Site protects the three Spanish colonial forts and the city walls of Old San Juan.  The island of Puerto Rico was important to the Spanish control of the Caribbean.  As such, they need to protect the harbor in San Juan.  To this end, they built the forts of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, and Fortín San Juan de la Cruz.

These masonry forts were built in the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s.  All three forts saw action against the British pirate Sir Frances Drake in 1595 and against the United States in 1898.  The forts were captured by the United States and Puerto Rico became part of the United States.  These forts were in active military use until the 1960s.

Today, visitors can explore the forts at their leisure.  Look closely at the forts and you will be able to see a mix of the Spanish masonry combined with World War II armament.

San Juan National Historic Site was created on February 14, 1949. On December 6, 1983, the site was declared a World Heritage Site.

  • Things to do: Ranger Led Programs, Tour the Forts, Junior Ranger Badges, Bird Watching, Walking, Fly a Kite, Stargazing
  • How to get there: San Juan National Historic Site is located in Old San Juan. Parking is available at the Ballaja Barracks.
  • Where to Stay: There are many lodging options in San Juan.
  • Entrance Fee: $10 per person or free with an America the Beautiful Pass.
  • Official Website: Click Here
  • Map: Download

List of National Parks in Puerto Rico

There is 1 National Park in Puerto Rico, and it received 1,314,819 visitors in 2023 and generated over $87 million in tourism economic benefits.

  • San Juan National Historic Site

There are 6 National Historic Landmarks, 5 National Natural Landmarks, 172 Places recorded by the Heritage Documentation Program, and over 600,000 objects in the Puerto Rico National Parks Museum Collections. There are 4 Archaeological Sites in the Puerto Rico National Parks.

Puerto Rico is home to 36 Nature Reserves and 19 State Forest.

Frequently Asked Questions about Puerto Rico National Parks

How many national parks are there in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has one national park. San Juan National Historic Site does not hold the title of National Park, but it is managed by the National Park Service and is considered a national park by them. El Yunque National Forest is a popular tourist spot in Puerto Rico, but it is managed by the US Forest Service and is not part of the National Park System.

What is the name of the national park in Puerto Rico?

The name of the only National Park in Puerto Rico is San Juan National Historic Site.

A picturesque waterfall cascading into a serene, green pool surrounded by lush vegetation and moss-covered rocks in a tropical forest setting.

Can I use my National Park Pass in Puerto Rico?

Yes, it will cover the San Juan National Historic Site entrance fee. The pass will save you $4 per adult at the El Portal Visitor Center in El Yunque National Forest. It does not cover any of the Puerto Rico State Forests or Natural Protected Areas

What parks are in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has a rich collection of National Parks, State Forests, Nature Reserves, and National Forests. Plus about 3,000 beaches. The most well-known parks in Puerto Rico include

  • San Juan National Historic Site
  • El Yunque National Forest is a tropical rainforest known for its lush vegetation, diverse wildlife, and stunning waterfalls.
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is a protected area renowned for its rich biodiversity, picturesque coastal landscapes, and the historic Fajardo Lighthouse, and various ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs, and bioluminescent lagoons.
  • San Cristóbal Canyon Natural Protected Area is an awe-inspiring gorge known for its dramatic cliffs, lush vegetation, and the pristine San Cristóbal River.
  • State Forest of Guajataca is a verdant woodland area celebrated for its diverse plant species, scenic trails, and the serene Guajataca Lake.
  • Guanica State Forest is a unique subtropical dry forest known for its rich biodiversity, extensive hiking trails, and pristine beaches.
  • Tres Picachos State Forest is known for its rugged terrain, dense vegetation, and the three prominent peaks that give it its name.

What is the name of the Fort in Old San Juan?

There are three forts in Old San Juan. They are

  • Castillo San Cristóbal
  • Castillo San Felipe del Morro
  • Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo)

Which fort is better in San Juan?

Castillo San Felipe del Morro (or El Morro) is the more well-known of the forts in San Juan. El Morro is an imposing fortress located at the northwestern point of the islet of Old San Juan. This fort is also the oldest fort in San Juan. Its construction started in 1539, and its main purpose was to defend the port of San Juan.

How much does it cost to visit El Morro?

It cost $10 per person to visit El Morro and includes entrance to the other forts in San Juan National Historic Site. If you have an America the Beautiful Pass entrance is free for up to four adults.

What does El Morro mean in Puerto Rico?

Translated from Spanish, El Morro means promontory or headland.

Why is El Morro important?

El Morro was built to protect the port of San Juan.

Puerto Rico’s Nearby States

Planning to visit a few of the National Parks in Puerto Rice and wondering about what national parks are in neighboring states. Here are the list of National Parks in surrounding states.

Final Thoughts on the National Parks of Puerto Rico

I hope this guide to the National Parks of Puerto Rico is helpful as you plan to explore these amazing National Parks. Do you have any questions about Puerto Rico National Parks or need help planning your National Park trips? Let me know in the comments below or join me in my National Park Trip Planning Community!

Pin for Later: National Parks in Puerto Rico: Explore the only Puerto Rico National Park

The national parks in Puerto Rico protect over 500 years of history along with the historic city walls. Learn more about the Puerto Rico National Park.  national park puerto rico / national park in puerto rico	/ puerto rico national parks / san juan national park puerto rico / national historic site puerto rico / san juan national historic site


  • Greg

    PR is not a nation even though the people think it is. The US National Parks run and maintain the national parks.

    • Jennifer Melroy

      The National Park Service maintains national parks in several of the US territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Island, and American Samoa. Both US Virgin Islands and American Samoa have NPS units that hold the title of National Park. Puerto Rico is home to San Juan National Historic Site which is managed by NPS so its a US national park.

Hi, I'm Jennifer!

Welcome to the wonderful world of National Parks. I'm here to help you plan your NEXT amazing adventure through the United States National Parks and beyond. I want the national parks to be accessible to all.

I live in Tennessee, and when I'm home, you can find me hiking in the Smokies and the Cumberland Plateau.

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