Ruta Panoramica, or the "Panoramic Route," is really a loose network of some 40 roads covering approximately 165 mi/265 km. It twists and turns along the central spine of Puerto Rico.
The roads are narrow and signs difficult to see, so take along a map (and a camera—the scenery is incredible). It is possible to do this circuit in a day, though you could spend up to three days if you stopped at all the interesting sites along the way. Starting in the town of Yabucoa on the southeast coast and ending in Mayaguez on the far west coast, the route passes dramatic shorelines, forests, mountains and quaint towns. Stop at Toro Negro Forest Reserve to see 4,390-ft/1,338-m Cerro Punto, the island's tallest peak. Phone 787-867-3040.
Just north of the mountains in central Puerto Rico is Utuado, where you can visit the Caguana Indian Ceremonial Center and Museum (petroglyphs and ball courts). The center is open Wednesday-Sunday. Phone 787-894-7325. http://www.icp.gobierno.pr.
Note: Puerto Rico sustained severe damage during Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Steep and winding mountain roads are now marked by deep potholes, and there are large stretches without working street lights. Driving at night is not recommended.
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