Whether you’re looking for beautiful beaches or unique experiences, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer. From stunning inland rainforests to the bioluminescent wonder of Mosquito Bay, there’s something for everyone here.
If you’re a history buff, there’s no better place to explore the past than Old San Juan. Here, you’ll find buildings dating back to the 1500s and a vibrant culture full of restaurants and pubs.
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1.Old San Juan.
Old San Juan is a charming and historical district with plenty of sites, restaurants, bars, and shops that are within walking distance of most hotels. It’s a great place to stroll, eat, and explore with the whole family.
To really immerse yourself in the history and culture of Puerto Rico, book a guided walking tour with a local expert who will tell you fascinating stories about the city. You’ll get to see the best of Old San Juan, hear about the era’s most important events, and learn about the island’s rich history, all in just three hours!
You can also enjoy a walk along the famous Paseo de La Princesa (Spanish for promenade of the princess) that extends a quarter-mile down the south side of the city walls. This promenade is a popular location that becomes lively during festivals and cultural celebrations.
Another must-see in Old San Juan is Castillo de San Felipe Del Morro, a magnificent fort that was built over 250 years to defend the city from sea attacks. The fort has a lot to offer, from the gorgeous garitas that sentries once looked out from to the fortress’ main entrance and its many levels. It’s one of the most iconic sights in the Caribbean, so make sure to visit it!
The cultural hub of Puerto Rico, San Juan is a vibrant place where the old meets the new. It’s a sun-kissed Caribbean paradise filled with rich history and culture, exceptional food, pristine beaches, and majestic mountains.
The island’s largest city, San Juan is a bustling hub of festivals and events throughout the year. This makes it a great place for families to enjoy a fun-filled vacation.
There are lots of things to do in this historic city, from museums to UNESCO sites to beautiful parks. There’s also a lot of shopping and nightlife.
One of the most iconic sights in San Juan is La Fortaleza, a gorgeous historic building that is the official residence of the Puerto Rican governor. Guided tours are offered Monday through Friday until 3.15 pm, and you’ll have the opportunity to admire the intricate decorations and lush gardens outside.
If you’re looking for a hotel that’s a little more up-scale, but still within walking distance of Old San Juan, the Caribe Hilton is your best bet. This large, lively hotel is ideal for cruisers, families, groups, retirees, and conference-goers. It offers 17 acres of bird-filled tropical gardens, multiple restaurants, a lively bar, and gorgeous pools.
If you’re looking for a laid-back Caribbean vacation with plenty of activities, look no further than La Parguera. A two-hour drive from San Juan, this quiet fishing village is home to a stunning bioluminescent bay and a series of mangrove channels.
One of three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, it glows when microscopic organisms agitate the water. You can tour it on a boat or kayak.
There are several options for day trips to La Parguera, ranging from hourly boat rentals that skip around all the ocean mangroves to full-day charters with a captain. Johnny’s Boats, located in the town marina, has hourly tours that can accommodate up to five people and is a good option for those who want to enjoy a relaxing day.
You can also snorkel and camp at the beautiful cays that are scattered throughout this area. There are 30 or so cays in total, but the most popular are Caracoles, Enrique, Medialuna, Majimo and Laurel. All of these islands are surrounded by coral and tropical fish, and make for excellent snorkeling.
Often described as the ‘South Pearl’, Ponce offers a vibrant historic town centre with many top Puerto Rico landmarks. It is a must visit when visiting the island, and there are lots of fun things to see and do in this historic city.
In addition to its famous landmarks, such as Parque de Bombas and the first fire station in Puerto Rico, Ponce also boasts a number of restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques that are worth exploring. There is even a popular boardwalk that offers delicious food and drinks that will have you craving to return again and again.
Its location on the shores of La Guancha makes it a great place to enjoy a stroll along the beach. There are also a variety of water sports that can be enjoyed in the area, including surfing and scuba diving.
Its educational facilities are excellent, with a variety of schools to choose from. The staff is always happy and welcoming, and the teachers are well-educated and professional. They are also able to work with any level of student, including those who have been disadvantaged and have been kicked out of other schools.
Rincon is a quaint and relaxed surf town that’s slowly becoming a go-to travel destination for visitors to Puerto Rico. It boasts top notch beaches, delicious local cuisine, and plenty of historical buildings that travelers can visit during their stay.
Rincón is also one of the best places to watch humpback whales during winter, as well as enjoy some incredible scuba diving and snorkeling adventures. The warm and clear blue waters of the Mona Passage, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, are great for fishing year-round.
If you’re a big foodie, you’ll definitely want to check out Rincon’s first indoor food truck park called Gastropark@115. This is where you can find a variety of dishes from around the world as well as many delicious local treats.
You can also visit Punta Higuera Lighthouse, which is a relic of the Spanish colonial period. It has an observation tower that offers spectacular views. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the area.
6.El Yunque National Rainforest
The only tropical rain forest in the US National Forest System, El Yunque is a must-see for nature lovers. Its dense forests and mountain peaks get over 200 inches of rainfall a year, which creates a jungle-like setting with lush foliage, waterfalls and rivers.
The northern entrance, 25 miles east of San Juan, attracts the most visitors, but the southern side close to Naguabo has a more wild, pristine feel. Check the USDA Forest Service website before you go to make sure there aren’t any closed areas or alerts.
Hiking through the rainforest is a great way to experience its beauty. You can choose from short and paved trails that are suitable for all abilities, or longer, steeper hikes that lead to rushing rivers and breathtaking ocean views.
You can also rent a bike and pedal along the trails for an extra challenge! It’s best to wear a good pair of walking shoes and pack plenty of water.
Take a guided tour to see the highlights of the rainforest and learn more about its natural history from a professional guide. You can book a tour through your hotel’s concierge, or find one through an online search.
7.Vieques and Culebra.
Located about 40 kilometers east of Fajardo, Vieques and Culebra are a must-visit when you’re in Puerto Rico. They’re smaller, more laid-back islands off the coast of the mainland and offer a true Caribbean island vibe.
In addition to gorgeous beaches, both islands are home to a rum distillery and historic ruins worth exploring. They’re also a great place to relax and disconnect from the world for a few days.
There are two main ways to get to the islands: by air or by boat. You can take a direct flight to Vieques from the capital of San Juan or to Ceiba, an east-coast town in Puerto Rico, from which you can then board a ferry for a trip to Culebra.
If you’re more interested in learning about the history of these islands, visit Fortin Conde de Marisol, the last Spanish fort built in the Americas. It is located on top of a hill and offers a majestic view of both Puerto Rico and Culebra.
If you want to see some artwork that captures the essence of this island, head to Arte Fango. This multimedium gallery features artworks from local artists. You’ll find paintings, sculptures and illustrations of everything from the natural beauty of Culebra to its cultural roots.
Located on the island of Vieques, this bioluminescent bay is the brightest in the world. It’s a must-visit for any traveler visiting the island, and kayak tours are the best way to see it.
This stunning sight is the result of dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms that glow when agitated. They live in the bay’s “S”-shaped opening, surrounded by mangrove trees that provide them with the nutrients they need.
When a dinoflagellate senses movement, it releases a bright blue-green glow. It’s also thought to ward off smaller fish that may try to feed on the dinoflagellates.
Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, with Mosquito Bay being the most luminous and accessible. Other biobays are Laguna Grande in Fajardo and La Parguera in Lajas.
All three bays were devastated by Hurricane Maria in late 2017, but local guides and researchers report that both Mosquito Bay and La Parguera have rebounded. The slow exchange of water between the ocean and the bays helps keep dinoflagellates healthy and prevents their count from falling too low.