Climbing is not just for the brave
There are two types of people: those who like to admire a mountain from below and those who prefer to climb it. Puerto Rico offers great opportunities to start climbing.
A harness, ropes, the right footwear and safety equipment: the technical equipment is the easiest thing to get hold of when preparing to go climbing. The rest (bravery, strength and a will to overcome your fears) are a little harder to find. There are those who liken rock climbing to ‘scrambling’, ascending rocky mountains usually without ropes. However, unlike scrambling, you use your hands for more than just keeping your balance. They also have to bear the full weight of your body. Climbing demands a great physical and mental effort where stamina and agility are constantly put to the test.
Puerto Rico is the perfect destination to improve your technique or get started in this thrilling sport, thanks to its climate. The best months for climbing are March and April. It’s best to avoid the rainy season at the end of September, October and December. Although you may not mind getting wet, it is advisable to visit when the rocks are as non-slippery as possible.
In deep water soloing, if you slip you fall straight into the water
Photo: Jim Aikman
The island has the perfect terrain to practice the three most popular types of rock climbing. In sport climbing fixed anchors are used, where the rope is attached to the rock. Bouldering consists of climbing using blocks that are no more than two metres high. The most dangerous type of climbing is deep-water soloing. Reserved solely for expert climbers, it’s a controversial speciality that consists of climbing cliffs above water without any safety measures. In the event of a fall, the water cushions the impact.
The island has the perfect terrain to practice the three most popular types of rock climbing.
In Puerto Rico there are several places where you can climb freely, although we recommend that you always climb in pairs. You can also book routes or courses with various companies such as Climbing PR. If you don’t even know where to put your legs in the harness, there are also courses for beginners.
The green Puerto Rican scenery can be a distraction
You can choose between the established routes in San German, Ponce, Juncos, Cayey, Ciales, or the Toro Verde Adventure Park. The climbing specialties and the difficulty levels vary depending on where you choose. Bayamon has one of the largest sport climbing areas on the island and offers numerous routes within the Julio Enrique Monagas National Park. The only problem is that the scenery might distract you. Try to concentrate on keeping your eyes fixed on the rocks!