|Lat/Lon:||18.16667°N / 66.6°W|
|Season:||Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter|
|Elevation:||4389 ft / 1338 m|
Cerro de Punta is the highest peak on the island of Puerto Rico. A future state highpoint perhaps?
Cerro de Punta is located in the Cordillera Central, a range running east-west across the middle of the island. To reach the peak from San Juan, take Highway 52 (high speed, toll road) about 50 miles to the outskirts of Ponce, then head north into the mountains on Route 10 for approximate 10 miles.
Turn right at the intersection with Route 143, also signed as Ruta Panoramica. This is a very narrow and windy mountain road with some sharp turns, steep drop-offs and even some places where part of the pavement has washed out. Travel east on 143 for 10.4 miles and pull off into a large gravel parking area on the left side of the road (unsigned).
There is a one-lane concrete road which leads steeply to the summit. Use your discretion about driving it. If it is rainy, the could be quite treacherous. There are also no pull-outs, so if you happened to meet a vehicle coming the other way you would be forced to back down an extremely steep grade around blind corners. The road is only .6 miles, so it is best and most enjoyable to walk it.
The road passes through a forest of thick, lush vegetation and leads to three different tower installations very near the summit.
The road ends at the third set of towers and the last 50 yards leads up a set of concrete steps to the summit, which is marked only by a concrete monument. If anything official was ever printed on the monument, it is no longer visible. There is now spray-painted grafitti.
There are 360 degree views from the top of Cerro de Punta. To the south you can see the Caribbean Sea (10 miles away) and the city of Ponce (to the SW). In every other direction you have views of the tight valleys and steep mountains of the Cordillera Central.
Return via the same route.
There are several tower installations in the immediate vicinity of the summit. They are protected by razor wire and are posted "Keep out." I have heard the U.S. Navy owns or at least operates these facilities, but as far as I can tell, the road and the summit are open to the public.
No camping that I know of in the area.
America's Roof Page on Cerro de Punta