Rockhounding Puerto Rico: 8 Must-Visit Ideas For Those Who Love Rocks and Travel

Are you looking for some places to go rock hounding in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination due to its unique culture, tropical beaches, and rich history.

However, most people do not know that Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful rocks and minerals due to mining never being a primary focus.

Volcanic activity formed Puerto Rico’s geology, which includes Cretaceous and Eocene rocks.

If you are a rock hunter who loves the Spanish culture, visit these places to broaden your collection.

Below you’ll find the eight best places to go rock hounding in Puerto Rico.

Rockhounding Puerto Rico (A Guide)


The information provided in this article by is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.

Rio Mavilla

In Puerto Rico, the Rio Mavilla flows in Naranjito Municipio, about an hour’s drive from San Juan.

It is also located within the three cities of Naranjito, Vega Alta, and Corozal.

Below are some of the rocks and minerals you can find around the river.

  • Igneous Rocks
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • Copper
  •  Molybdenum

In Puerto Rico, fishing is popular along the river.

Ensure you check for rules and regulations in the area before going rock hunting because there are often anglers in the river.

If you are going rock hounding in the area near dusk, it is wise not to do so because the wildlife is active then.

Central La Plata

On the western slope of Mount Santa, a peak of the Sierra de Cayey range rises the river Rio De La Plata in east-central Puerto Rico.

Lake Carite impounds a part of this stream; the reservoir outlet diverts the water to power a series of hydroelectric stations along the Guamani River in southern Guayama.

The Rio Blanco Formation lies in Central La Plata and is underlain by rocks from the Mesozoic Era.

From 251 million years ago to 65 million years ago, Mesozoic rocks were primarily composed of unconsolidated sand containing a small amount of silt and clay.

If you plan to rockhound in this area, be careful since the terrain is rocky, and be sure to bring a friend with you.

Cabo Rojo

Cabo Rojo is one of Puerto Rico’s favorite beach towns when it’s time to enjoy the sun,  saltwater, and good vibes.

The city’s beaches also have salt flats, among the Islands’ most underrated natural features.

A great place to admire nature on Puerto Rico’s west coast is Las Salinas, one of the best eco-attractions.

Within the salt flats, you can find many of the volcanic rocks that are known to Puerto Rico.

The Salt Flats cover a total of 1,249 acres, so you might be able to spot rare forms of white quartz sand on the beach.

Also, here’s a fun fact: some of the oldest rocks can be found here.

Barranquitas: The Rio Caliente Gold Mine

The city of Barranquitas lies high up in the Cordillera Central mountain range, along the windy and narrow la Ruta Panoramica roads.

The city offers people to embrace the island’s natural beauty and get far away from city life.

Barranquitas is about an hour and a half away from the city of San Juan.

The area has an old mine full of lateritic soil and a pyrite-quartz-sericite section at the southeast of the Barranquitas stock.

There were plans to drill for resources in the 1940s by the Puerto Rico Bureau of Mines, but those plans were abandoned.

People have found these rocks and minerals within the area: gold, copper, and iron.

Sierra Bermeja

The Sierra Bermeja deposit lies within the Bermeja Complex, which consists of silicified rock.

This complex is the oldest in the southwest region of Puerto Rico, mainly composed of serpentinized peridotite, spilite, amphibolite, and silicified volcanic rock.

In addition, a few small barite veins, barite epidote, and barite carbonate veins were also found in the silicified rocks.

Cerro Avispa

Near La Plena, Puerto Rico is the Cerro Avispa Silver Occurrence.  

A small ore deposit has been found at this location, but its exact grade, volume, and extent are unknown.

Aside from routine claim maintenance, there has been no production since the mineral discovery.

Chalcocite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite are the main minerals mined.

Quartz and pyrite are primarily found in the waste material.

In volcanic rocks, pyrite is abundant, and pyrite has caused the rocks to become oxidized and bleached.

Also, samples containing chalcopyrite and sphalerite are known to have had some gold and silver in them.


Guardarraya lies in the municipality of Patillas, Puerto Rico.

The barrio is located in the Cordillera Central Mountains, close to the Caribbean Sea.

The barrios have a rich history of agriculture, fishing, and aromatic oils.

It also has a history of the infamous pirate Roberto Cofresi being captured by the police.

Guardarraya is an hour and thirty minutes away from the city of San Juan and offers tourists a chance to get away from city life.

On the beaches, you can find plenty of river stone rocks and volcanic rocks known in the area.

The locals are fine with visitors looking for stones. Just don’t become too greedy when collecting.

Rio Camuy Cave

There is a cave system in Puerto Rico known as the Camuy River Cave.

There is a park in the northwestern Puerto Rico municipality of Quebrada, between Hatillo and Lares, but its main entrance is located in Camuy.

The Camuy River is the third-largest underground river in the world, and the caverns are part of an extensive network of natural limestone caves and underground waterway systems.

Currently, the Camuy cave system has been mapped for over ten miles, 220 caves, and 17 entrances. 

It is believed that there are still another 800 caves hidden within the entire system.

The public has only access to a small portion of the system.

One of Puerto Rico’s most visited natural attractions, this 268-acre park surrounds the cave system with tours of some of its caves and sinkholes.

There is a fee for tours, and they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Make sure to check the hours and availability before visiting.

The park contains a wooded area with picnic and plays areas for kids, walking trails, a small restaurant, and a souvenir shop.

During a tour of the cave, you can see the beautiful rocks and minerals that have formed over thousands of years.

You may not actually be able to go rock hounding in the area, but you may be able to find gems and crystals in the souvenir shop.

Also, as the shop is on the Caribbean sea, you may be able to find jewelry made out of the beautiful Larimar stone that you can bring home with you.

Wrapping Up

You might not find the most exotic crystals in Puerto Rico, but you can find the most beautiful rocks known to the world, which is just as great as finding a rare gemstone.

When you go rock hounding in Puerto Rico, make sure to always have a friend with you as it can be dangerous to adventure the island on your own.

What did you think about our take on rock hounding in Puerto Rico? Did we miss anything?

If we did, please let us know in the comments below.

You might also like our rockhounding articles about Belize, Jamaica, and Costa Rica.

rockhounding puerto rico