The Panoramic Route corkscrews continually on day two. The drive to Maricao and Hacienda Juanita, another coffee plantation parador, switchbacks up and down lushly forested peaks. Stop in Adjuntas for picnic provisions to eat along the way, as the route passes several scenic parks.
From here, the Panoramic Route continues to Mayaguez, but unless you have an obsession with completion, scratch it and drive similarly squiggly roads north to the Arecibo Observatory, the vast radio telescope made famous in the Jodi Foster movie Contact that picks up sounds from outer space, among other scientific endeavors. Once you've made it this far, you owe yourself a look at the awesome 20-acre dish and an overnight at the laid-back former plantation inn Casa Grande in Utuado.
DETAILS: Carite Forest Reserve, (787) 745-4545. La Piedra, (787) 735-1034. Hacienda Gripinas, (787) 828-1717, www.haciendagripinas.com, $125 for a double including
dinner and breakfast. Hacienda Juanita, (787) 838-2550, www.haciendajuanita.com, $130 per double including dinner and breakfast. Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, (787) 894-3939, www.hotelcasagrande.com, from $80. Arecibo Observatory, (787) 878-2612, www.naic.edu.
Elaine Glusac is a Chicago-based American Way contributing editor who recently road-tripped Hawaii, New Mexico, Northern Spain, and Puerto Rico. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Shape, and other publications.
TOP RESORTS RETREATS
Had enough movement? Ready, set, do nothing at these outstanding Puerto Rican resorts.