Do you plan on going to Puerto Rico and don’t want to miss out on any of the best activities there?
I’m here to assist you. I’ve compiled this list of 10 unique things to do, places to see, and unique activities in Puerto Rico. We’ll discuss the best of Puerto Rico’s history, environment, cuisine, and hospitable culture.
There is a lot to discover in Puerto Rico. But that also means that if you don’t have the proper knowledge, you could miss out on some incredible events! Therefore make sure to finish reading this list.
Let’s get started with my top suggestions for things to do in Puerto Rico:
1. Old San Juan (San Juan Viejo)
With its stunning colonial buildings and commanding forts, Old San Juan’s streets transport you to another time and place. Give this city time on your itinerary because it’s one of Puerto Rico’s top tourist destinations.
Old San Juan, the second-oldest city in the Americas with a history of over 500 years, combines Puerto Rican culture with Spanish colonial history. With hundreds of restored Spanish colonial buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, some of these stunning older buildings can be used for dining, shopping, or lodging.
Fort El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro), which sticks onto a peninsula above the coast and is just a short stroll from the city center, is the primary draw. El Morro, constructed in 1539, is one of the top tourist destinations in the nation due to its history, location, and maintenance.
Some of the most critical locations in Old San Juan include La Fortaleza, the Castillo de San Cristóbal (Fort of San Cristóbal), and the Cathedral of San Juan, which contains Ponce de León’s tomb.
2. El Yunque National Forest
At the El Yunque National Forest, discover Puerto Rico’s lush interior beauty. The only rainforest in the US National Forest System is the El Yunque National Forest, which covers the Luquillo Mountains, including El Yunque Peak. The El Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the US National Forest System.
Hikers can get a closer look at 240 tree species and hundreds of plant species by following the hiking routes that wind through the forest. (only 50 types of orchid), as well as a profusion of little fauna. Three-quarters of the island’s last remaining virgin forest are within the 43 square miles of El Yunque’s forest, whose highest point rises 3,500 feet above sea level.
One of the most well-liked natural attractions is El Yunque National Forest, which is frequently traveled to on day trips from San Juan. El Yunque National Forest’s principal attractions are the Yokah Tower, Bao Grande, Bao de Oro, La Coca Waterfall, and Yokah Falls.
La Coca Waterfall, a popular attraction in El Yunque with an 85-foot waterfall over rock formations and a convenient location close to the highway, welcomes visitors.
Anyone looking for local knowledge is welcomed at the El Portal Rainforest Center. The Yokah Tower, a public climbing tower built in the 1930s nearby with stunning views of the rainforest, is close by.
The weather is substantially cooler and wetter here than at the shore and lower elevations. El Yunque National Forest was severely harmed in 2017 by back-to-back hurricanes. Restoration and healing have The park has been slowly recovering, but it is now starting. For the most recent information, contact the nearby providers.
3. Culebra Island (Isla Culebra)
Even though Culebra and Vieques are frequently used interchangeably, this tiny island with stunning beaches and green hills has its distinct personality. Here, the environment is laid-back, and the rhythm is tranquil. Ecotourism is significant on the island, and expats run many tourist attractions.
Culebra, a Caribbean island barely seven miles long and three miles wide with 23 islands off its shore, is located around 17 miles east of Puerto Rico and 12 miles west of Saint Thomas. Some of the Caribbean’s most incredible coral reefs are thought to exist in this area.
Flamenco Beach, shaped like a horseshoe, is the island’s most well-known and ideal beach. The crystal-clear, calm water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and palm palms flank the white sand.
The entire Culebra coast and more than 20 offshore keys are included in the Isla de Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, a well-preserved area of the natural world. A small island west of Culebra called Cayo Luis Pea, and more than a third of Culebra are classified as Culebra National Wildlife Refuges. The coves and rough terrain offer interesting but challenging trekking options in this area.
4. Vieques and Bioluminescent Bay
Eight miles off Puerto Rico’s main island, Vieques has developed into a well-liked beachfront resort with upscale boutique hotels, eateries, boutiques, and galleries. Vieques turned its attention to tourism after the American army left the island in 2003.
The stunning beaches are now supported by a top-notch tourism infrastructure that draws visitors from outside Puerto Rico who can reach the island. Large hotels and apartment buildings with multiple stories are not present. Vieques is the largest of the Spanish Virgin Islands, measuring 21 miles long and 5 miles wide, but it retains a little island vibe.
The island is also well-known for a Mosquito Bay-specific occurrence (Bioluminescent Bay). A high concentration of phosphorescent dinoflagellates causes the nighttime illumination of water movement.
See this natural wonder by journeying in the bioluminescent bay at night, either by boat, canoe, or kayak. While this phenomenon can be found everywhere in Puerto Rico, this is the most excellent location to witness it. Ferries leave from Fajardo for Vieques, and both ways to get there are available.
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5. Surfing and Whale Watching at Rincon
Puerto Ricans refer to Rincón as a “gringo paradise” and frequently refer to it as “Pueblo del Surfing” and “Little Malibu.” With many foreign surfers and other ex-pats calling this city home, English is the most widely spoken language there.
After the 1968 World Surfing Championships, Rincón gained international attention because of photos of the spot and its regular 15-foot waves. Not your thing to surf? The majority of the city’s stunning swimming-friendly beaches are to the south.
One of the primary locations in Puerto Rico for whale-watching tours is Rincón. While humpback whales are present in the area, mid-January to March is the prime time for whale watching. In the city, organizing tours is simple.
6. Luquillo Beach
Luquillo is a fantastic quick getaway from San Juan’s crowded beaches. A short distance from town, Luquillo Beach is a palm-lined stretch of golden sand that provides a lot of peace because there are no nearby high-rise structures or other constructions.
The nearly kilometer-long beach is perfect for walking, and the water is typically calm enough for swimming. There are contemporary restrooms, showers, and changing areas with lockers on the property covered by coconut trees. Food sellers are located right outside the entrance.
El Yunque National Forest day trips can include a stop at the beach.
7. Rio Camuy Caves (Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy)
The vast 268-acre Rio Camuy Cave Park has what is regarded as the third-largest cave system in the world. Visitors are taken by trolleybus to Cueva Clara Empalme, a 200-foot-deep cave or abyss currently pristine.
The caves contain several rooms, some with exceptionally high ceilings, stalagmites, stalactites, and rivers along the base. You go through the Clara Empalme cave on the guided tour. In addition to the cave system’s natural beauties, it’s important to note that indigenous peoples have long exploited the caves for various purposes.
8. Ponce’s Historic City Center
Ponce is a sizable city typically off the beaten path for tourists traveling through Puerto Rico. Still, its historic downtown is a delight with its architecture from the 17th century and open plazas. Visitors should start at Plaza Las Delicias, which has cafes and benches in the parks for convenient people-watching.
The City Hall, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was built much more recently, and the old Ponce fire station with its red and white striped roof are particularly significant in this area. The Museo de Arte de Ponce is one of many excellent museums abundant in Ponce.
9. Isla Verde
Isla Verde is the ideal destination for all-inclusive travelers looking for great resorts and a good beach close to a busy airport. This place has everything a tired, beach-loving traveler might desire, except Puerto Rican culture. Isla Verde is a tropical hideaway with all the comforts, featuring calm waters bordered by a white sand beach, palm trees, and spas.
This region is a suburb of San Juan, and for those who want to leave the resort without traveling too far, Old San Juan’s picturesque streets are only a short cab ride away. The El Yunque National Forest can be visited similarly as a brief side trip for a beach vacation.
10. Seven Seas Beach
Seven Seas Beach is a tranquil beach with calm, clean waters, and first-rate amenities only 30 miles from San Juan. Family-friendly picnic tables, restrooms, food stands, and convenient parking are located right behind the sand at the beach.
The beach has a gently sloping surface with golden brown sand. There are no boats allowed, and the swimming area is fenced off. The beach’s most sociable area is on its western end; its eastern end can be rocky.
Climate and Weather of Puerto Rico
The Caribbean Sea surrounds an island of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico, to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. It is situated east of the Dominican Republic, whose east coast is in front of the western Puerto Rican coast (beginning from Punta Cana southward) and west of the Virgin Islands. Venezuela’s shoreline is located further south.
Puerto Rico has a tropical environment with mild temperatures all year round. Nonetheless, there is a noticeable variation between the beaches and the highlands, with the mountain’s highest point seeing the coldest temperatures.
Similarly, the island’s south is a little warmer than the north. In June, for instance, San Juan may experience less heat than Ponce during the peak months. The two seasons of the year, from December to April, are known as dry and rainy, respectively. Like many Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico is vulnerable to being hit by powerful storms from August through October.
Puerto Rico’s weather is very humid during the rainy season. Be aware that precipitation is heavier on the eastern shore, which is more exposed to the trade winds, than on the western coast. Pick Mayagüez in Palmas del Mar as an example if you travel during this time.
The dry season in Puerto Rico has the perfect climate, with high temperatures, little rain, and no hurricanes. It is perfect for a sunny getaway, whether you want to be active or unwind.
When to go to Puerto Rico?
The entire year can be spent in Puerto Rico. The region’s “rainy season,” which lasts from April to November, is not always the best time to visit due to the threat of hurricanes and excessive precipitation. High humidity can result in unpleasant sulfates, creating painfully high temperatures.
Even though the Caribbean is undoubtedly peak season during the finest vacation season from December to April and many hotels are fully booked months in advance, you will be much better advised during the dry months. Because of the giant waves, the months of May through August are particularly well-liked by surfers. However, the months immediately following the conclusion of hurricane season are better for a beach getaway or a cruise.
Frequently Asked Questions: Things To Do In Puerto Rico
What is the best time to visit Puerto Rico?
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is during the winter, from December to April. The weather is lovely during this time, with warm temperatures and less humidity.
It is also the busiest time for tourists when many concerts and events happen. But remember that prices and crowds may be higher at popular places. If you want to go when there are fewer people and the fees are lower, try going in the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November).
What is the best way to get around Puerto Rico?
In the historic old town of San Juan, it’s all about walking. The streets are narrow and you will want to take your time to check things out. If you are arriving by cruise ship, the port is only a 10-minute walk away.
If you plan to explore the rest of the island, car rental is easy and affordable. The same traffic rules apply as in the continental United States.
There are intercity buses, called guaguas, but the routes and schedules are not ideal for tourist use. For short trips between cities or around town, ride a crowd. These are minibuses and they are very inexpensive. You can stand on the side of the road and say hello to them.
Is Puerto Rico famous for anything?
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and U.S. territory with a landscape of mountains, waterfalls, and tropical rainforest. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and Spanish Caribbean culture with an American twist.
Is Puerto Rico expensive?
That being said, Puerto Rico is still more expensive than the majority of countries around the world and is one of the most expensive areas in Latin America, so don’t expect things to be as cheap as they would be in Thailand or Vietnam.
Where should you not stay in Puerto Rico?
Other spots to avoid at night are the neighborhoods of La Perla (next to Old City) and parts of Puerta de Tierra. Stick to the neighborhoods of Old San Juan, Isla Verde, Miramar and Condado at night, where there are regular police patrols. Should you have an emergency, call 911 as you would in the US.
How many days do I need in Puerto Rico?
We recommend spending 4 to 5 days in Puerto Rico. While the island is quite small (about the size of Connecticut) there’s lots to see, do and eat!
Do Puerto Rico have all inclusive resorts?
Puerto Rico, including the capital of San Juan, does not have any true all-inclusive resorts that bundle rooms, meals, activities, and gratuities into one price, such as those found in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Is San Juan Safe?
There are safety concerns, however. A recent change in administration turned violent, with demonstrations in Old San Juan. Like Mexico and some other Caribbean islands, there’s a high level of gun crime, drug trafficking and gang activity, and the homicide rate is relatively high.
Is Jamaica or Puerto Rico better?
Compared to Puerto Rico, Jamaica has a much broader all-inclusive resort offering. Travelers suggest choosing Jamaica for a primarily AI experience. Jamaica is a little rough around the edges but an incredibly beautiful island. Jamaica has tourist attractions in most parts of the island except for a few areas.
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