Nestled in the Caribbean sea, Puerto Rico is one of the most magical places you’ll visit in your life, with its colorful aquatic life, dreamy beaches, and green vegetation.
Even if relatively small, this beautiful island offers countless things to do and visit, but it could be quite hard to plan your time around them if you don’t know the island and your options in advance.
Well, today you’re lucky: I have just what you need! Since I lived there for 3 months, I decided to save you some precious time and write this guide with all the best things to do in Puerto Rico.
Whether you want to explore its rich marine life, join some water sports, visit the most popular tourist attractions, or check out art galleries or historical sites, I’ve got you covered! Plus, I also included some useful information about how to get around and the best hotels and restaurants.
NOTE: If you want to explore any place outside San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, you HAVE to rent a car. There is no public transport in Puerto Rico, only in the San Juan metropolitan area, and tours are available only for some attractions, so you don’t really have a choice!
Well, now you are ready to start reading, let’s go!
If you are in a hurry
If you just want to check out the top tours on the island, check out the best things to do in Puerto Rico here below:
Here are the main things to book in advance in Puerto Rico:
And here are the best hotels in Puerto Rico: La Concha Renaissance San Juan (Luxury), Villa Herencia Hotel (Mid-range), Fortel Hostel (Budget)
Here’s a map for you to easily visualize where all the best things to do in Puerto Rico are located:
1. Join a walking tour of Old San Juan
If you are in Puerto Rico, one of the first things you should do is definitely visit its capital, the bustling city of San Juan. This is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico and the starting point of most of the tours in the island!
A very charming part of Puerto Rico’s capital is the Old San Juan historical center, rich in history, culture, and street art… What better way of exploring it is there than with a guided tour?
On this walking tour, you will explore Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets and most notable landmarks with an expert local guide, who will tell you everything about the history of Puerto Rico, its ties to the United States, and its Spanish/Taino Indian/West African heritage.
The guide will also bring you to discover Puerto Rico’s impressive past represented by it’s old defensive system. Places like Calle de la Fortaleza and La Puerta de San Juan (San Juan Gate) are great representations of this and today is also a picture-perfect spot… a great souvenir to bring with you from Puerto Rico!
But you can definitely stroll around the old San Juan by yourself, just make sure you don’t miss the Casa Blanca Museum, the Cathedral de San Juan and Calle del Cristo for shopping.
There are also many delicious restaurants to try here, check out the section at the end of the post to see them all!
Book Your Walking Tour
2. Check out all the beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers some of the most stunning beaches in the whole world, where you can lie on its white sand, swim in turquoise waters, explore its rich marine life or even surf the great waves of the Atlantic ocean!
Since the whole island hosts more than 300 beaches, I selected the best ones in Puerto Rico and included here below something for any interest, but if you want to see the full list, check out my post all about the best beaches in Puerto Rico!
2.1 Snorkel at Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island
Only a 1-hour ferry trip from the east coast of Puerto Rico, you will find the magical island of Culebra, hosting one of the most stunning beaches you’ll ever see in your life: Flamenco Beach!
This white sandy beach, framed by palm trees and green vegetation, offers coral reefs, warm waters, and colorful sea life… you’ll literally have to pinch yourself to understand that you’re not dreaming!
Needless to say, this is the perfect place for snorkeling, scuba diving, and discovering all the tropical fishes… I saw a small shark there for the first time in my life!
Another plus of Flamenco beach is that it is fully equipped with toilets, showers, kiosks, picnic areas, umbrella rentals etc, so you don’t have to bring any beach gear, just your snorkel!
There are many other dreamy beaches on Culebra Island, but they are secluded and hard to reach if you don’t have a boat. So if you want to discover them (I totally suggest you to do so), check out this 1-day Kayak & Snorkel tour from Puerto Rico, including round trip ferry tickets.
PRO TIP: Literally 15 minutes from where you take the ferry to Culebra, you’ll find another incredible beach for snorkeling: Seven Seas Beach, featuring turquoise blue waters and green palm trees.
Kayak & Snorkel tour Price: $110
Book Your Kayak & Snorkel Tour
2.2 Chill at Crash Boat Beach
Crash Boat Beach, located about 2 hours from San Juan and close to Aguadilla town, is the perfect place for both beach bums who want to spend a leisure day with friends, and scuba divers!
Even if some Puerto Ricans say the beach is smaller after Hurricane Maria, Crash Boat is definitely worth a visit!
In fact, in summer Playa Crash Boat is still a very popular spot among locals and tourists: you’ll find people listening to music from their big speakers, drinking Medalla (the typical beer from Puerto Rico), or just chilling in the crystal clear waters.
But if you are more of an active person, here you can join many fun activities, from beach volleyball to snorkeling and scuba diving.
I suggest you stay here until the end of the day to watch the sun going down from one of the many restaurants and bars, like the Coccoloba Beach Bar, offering tropical cocktails, great food, and live music.
2.3 Surf some great waves at Dome’s Beach
If you are a surf addict like me, then you probably already know that Puerto Rico is surfers’ heaven, offering incredible waves from October to February.
The best surf area is Puerto Rico around the northwest coast, and the most popular surf town is Rincón. Here you’ll find the world-famous Domes beach, offering turquoise blue waters, golden sand, and amazing waves for all levels… but it depends on the day!
In fact, in winter waves can get up to 15-foot-high, the reason why the beach hosts yearly surfing competitions… Whether you want to participate or to just watch, this is definitely a must-see if you are in Puerto Rico at this time of the year!
And if you don’t surf, in Domes Beach, you can enjoy whale watching from mid-January to March or just relax under the palm trees!
As I said, there are many great beaches for surfing, here’s some other options:
- Jobos Beach: located in the coastal town of Isabela, this popular beach is perfect both for surfers and beach bums. In fact, here the waves’ breakpoint is far from the shore, so you can either dip in the water, or catch some good waves!
- Surfers Beach: located close to Aguadilla town, this beach offers incredible waves for both short and long borders. Most of them break on the right, but there are also some good lefts if you are goofy.
- La Ocho: located in San Juan and accessible from Escambron Beach, this beach is ideal for experienced surfers. Anyways, there are many schools and surf shops offering surf lessons and board rentals if you are a beginner, like La 8 Surf Shop.
Book Your Surf Lesson in San Juan
3. Spend a day in nature at el Yunque National Forest
If you are a nature lover and you are in Puerto Rico to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, El Yunque National Forest, located on the island’s east coast, is definitely a MUST for you!
El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the United States, offering stunning waterfalls, tide pools, and fresh rivers where you can swim, as well as exciting hikes, and some of the best views of Puerto Rico’s north coast.
Even after Hurricane Maria, the El Yunque National Forest system hosts an incredible biodiversity. Here, you’ll find more than 240 tree species as well as many lovely animals, like Puerto Rico’s Coqui mascot, a small endemic frog.
Since it is a super popular tourist attraction in Puerto Rico, there are many tours bringing you to El Yunque National Rainforest, like this group tour from San Juan.
On the guided day trip, you will hike through the lush jungle, spot the local wildlife, learn about the diverse plants, and take a dip in one of the park’s pristine waterfalls… How great is that?
Yunque Tour Price: $76
Explore El Yunque National Forest
4. Get your adrenaline pumping at Toro Verde Adventure Park
If you are an adventure seeker, you need to check out the Toro Verde Adventure Park, offering rope courses, team games, climbing towers, zipline bicycles (yes, they exist!), and the longest zipline in Latin America, 4,745 feet long!
This zipline is called “The Beast” and is the main attraction in the park, but there are many more, like “The Wild Bull,”: a series of hanging bridges and “Escape If You Can,” an adventure package that will give you access to ziplining, rappelling down a rock wall and much more.
Depending on how many adventures you want to experience, there are different packages you can buy, each one with a different price and access to different attractions. Check them all out here!
The Toro Verde Adventure Park lies 1.5h from San Juan, and you can spend the whole day there. The place also hosts a delicious restaurant where you can relax and take a break between one activity and the next.
Price: from $15
5. Check out the beautiful Puerto Rican art
I bet the first thing you think of when I say Puerto Rico are white beaches and transparent waters, but you will be surprised to know how many art galleries you can find on the island, either in San Juan or in other towns.
Art galleries and museums are a great occasion to get to know Puerto Rican amazing artists and their different styles and get closer to the Island’s mixed culture and history. I gathered here below the best ones in Puerto Rico, check them out:
5.1 Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Located in the Santurce neighborhood in San Juan, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is definitely a must for art lovers, hosting more than 1,000 Puerto Rican artworks, among which paintings, sculptures, photographs, and much more, some of them dating back from the 1600s.
The museum is divided into two wings: the west one is a neoclassical structure while the east wing is a modern building designed by native architects, and spread across the two you’ll find 24 exhibition galleries!
The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is open from Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (apart from Thursday which stays open until 8 pm) and takes about 3 hours to be visited.
5.2 The Museo de Arte de Ponce
Located 1.5h from San Juan, The Museo de Arte de Ponce, is actually the largest museum of European art in the Caribbean, hosting both pieces from European and Puerto Rican artists, so you’ll see many different styles here!
The museum is huge, so I suggest you allow yourself at least 3 hours to visit it all. It hosts a permanent collection of paintings from the 14th century to modern art, and many temporary exhibitions.
And even the architecture of the building itself it’s beautiful, so if you are an art lover, go check it out. It’s open from Thursday to Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm (Saturday it stays open until 5 pm).
5.3 The Contemporary Art Museum of Puerto Rico
If you are more into contemporary art, well, the name of this museum speaks for itself and is calling you: the Contemporary Art Museum of Puerto Rico, located in San Juan.
This unique museum, founded in 1984, hosts a permanent collection with 1,200 art pieces from Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as family-friendly activities, movie nights, and special events (check out their website!).
The structure of the building is super cool, with its rhythmic arches and a contemporary space frame, and the art inside it is super evocative and emotional, you’ll find exhibits about fragmentation, temporality, place, and identity.
If you want to visit it, the museum is open every day except for Monday and Tuesday from 11 am to 5 pm and takes about 1.5 h to visit it.
6. Learn about the history of Puerto Rico at El Morro
Another way to deep dive into Puerto Rican culture, is to visit San Felipe del Morro castle (aka “El Morro”): a striking Spanish military fort from the 16th century that used to protect the island from sea attacks, and one of the largest Spanish fortresses in the Americas.
This Puerto Rican iconic landmark is located in Old San Juan, and hosts six floors of tunnels, prison cells, dungeons, and barracks, plus a lighthouse, and an interior courtyard… history buffs will love it!
Here you will travel back in time as soon as you walk through the old, narrow entrance, and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean straight after!
The castle is quite big, so I suggest you allow about 3 hours to visit it all (don’t forget to wear comfy shoes!), and is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm every day.
7. Join some adventures at the Carabalí Rainforest Park
If you are always looking for adventures, you will love the Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park, a huge park on the foothills of the famous El Yunque tropical rainforest, featuring zip lines, a go-kart track, horseback rides, mountain biking trails and ATVs.
This is definitely a great activity to do with your family or friends, and it also offers a delicious Bar & Grill Restaurant, serving Puerto Rican traditional dishes in a casual atmosphere, open for both lunch and dinner.
Depending on how many activities you will join (check them all out on the official website) you will pay different prices and spend a different amount of time there, usually from 2 hours to half a day… but you could spend the whole day there if you feel like!
And if for some reason you cannot rent a car in Puerto Rico, the park also offers transportation service between Carabalí and Old San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, or any hotel or Airbnb in the San Juan Metro Area, starting from $90 for 1-3 people.
8. See the bioluminescence at Mosquito Bay, Vieques Island
Another unique experience you can join during your holiday in Puerto Rico is this tour to Mosquito Bay, in the magical Vieques Island, where you will see the brightest bioluminescent out of the 5 in the world certified by The Guinness Book of World Records!
You will start the tour hopping on a 24-foot electric catamaran in Vieques, which will bring you to see the organism that lights up the water like if it was a starry sky… you will feel like you’re in a movie!
NOTE: The tour lasts about 1 hour, and in order to join it you need to stay 1 night in Vieques (check out La Esperanza Inn) and already have the ferry boat tickets to Vieques!
Make sure you check out the tour starting hours and book your tickets in advance accordingly, or they might get sold out and you could lose the tour and money (some past visitors couldn’t make it to the tour because they didn’t prebook their ferry!).
Book Your Bioluminescence Tour
Are you a shopping addict? Then you cannot miss going to Plaza Las Americas, in San Juan, the largest mall of the Caribbean and the top shopping mall in Puerto Rico!
Here you can browse the many brand stores, eat in the countless bars and restaurants, check out the movie theater, and even find some occasional exhibitions, contests, and events… you can literally spend the whole day there if you want!
If, like me, you’re not really into shopping malls, instead I suggest you check out Calle del Cristo, in San Juan, known by locals as ‘the shopping street’.
This cobblestone street features maany shops, restaurants, coffee shops and bars to check out, and it is just beautiful to stroll, observing the colorful architecture of the buildings along the way (even if you don’t buy anything)!
10. Explore la Cueva del Indio
Apart from stunning beaches, in Puerto Rico you will find a lot of caves, but only a handful are worth a visit in my opinion, and one of them is Cueva del Indio, located in Arecibo about 1.5h from San Juan.
In the cave you will get to see ancient Taino (the indigenous inhabitants of Puerto Rico) petroglyphs carved on the walls, dating back from hundreds of years ago, prior to the period of Spanish colonization, as well as stunning ocean views!
Another must-see cave in Arecibo is Cueva Ventana (the Window Cave) offering some of the most impressive views in Puerto Rico!
This cave got its name because it is literally a natural window: its location on top of a limestone cliff gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the Island countryside! But that does mean you will have to do a half an hour hike to get there.
A nice way to visit Cueva del Indio is combining it with this day trip to the ‘Taino Stonehenge’, a stone circle covered by even more petroglyphs, that used to be a sacred ceremonial site for the Taino indigenous, for $227.
Join the Taino Route!
11. Have fun on a Jet Skiing Tour
One of the most fun things to do in Puerto Rico is definitely joining one of its amazing water sports, and one of the most popular on the island is Jet Skiing (you will see so many people doing that!).
All over Puerto Rico’s coastline, and especially on the northern coast, you will find many great jet ski spots where you can rent them, but if you want to have a unique experience I suggest you book this Jet Ski Tour from Cangrejos Yacht Club to Isla Verde.
During this 2 hours thrilling adventure, you will go through the tropical waters of Puerto Rico’s north coast, and explore the mangroves of the San Jose Lagoon and the beaches of Isla Verde, one of the most beautiful spots on the island.
And when you go back to the coastline of Puerto Rico, just soak in some of the most incredible views the island has to offer!
Book a Jet Ski Tour!
12. Visit the charming town of Cabo Rojo
The charming Cabo Rojo town, located on Puerto Rico’s west coast within about 3 hours from San Juan, is one of my favorite places on the island! Why?
Here you can really feel the local culture! If you just stroll around the colorful town center (The “Pueblo of Cabo Rojo”), you will find countless street food trucks, local family-owned restaurants serving fresh seafood, and a lively square where locals gather to play dominoes, have a drink or dance salsa!
But the Cabo Rojo surroundings also have many great things to offer, from golf courses to deep-sea fishing, and the Salinas de Cabo Rojo, part of the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, known as the Pink Lake.
With its salt ponds made of pink, pale rose and snowy white waters, this is definitely a must-see during your holiday in Puerto Rico!
Another must in the Cabo Rojo area is going to see the sunset and panoramic ocean views from the Los Morrillos Lighthouse, sitting on top of a cliff, and marking the place where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean in the Mona Passage!
NOTE: The Lighthouse is usually open from 9 am to 5:30 pm but is currently closed for remodeling, but you still can go close to the attraction to admire the panorama, which is definitely worth it!
13. Discover the underworld of Camuy River Cave Park
One of the island’s most popular attractions is the Camuy River Cave Park, an impressive subterranean system located in Puerto Rico’s northwestern region, just 1.5h from San Juan.
This extensive cave network covers 286 acres underground and three towns – Camuy, Hatillo, and Lares – and was shaped millions of years ago by the River Camuy, the third-largest underground river in the world!
When you enter this underworld, you will discover natural limestone caves, underground waterways, and caverns with stalactites, stalagmites, and sinkholes.
The whole park hosts 10 miles of caverns, 220 caves, and 17 entrances, but only a small part of the complex is open to the public: to visit it you should allow yourself around 2 hours.
You can visit the Camuy River Cave park from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (with the last entrance at 3.30 pm). Make sure you wear non-slip shoes and that you are used to walking, the walkway is moderately difficult!
14. Relax in Puerto Rico’s Coamo hot springs
I am sure you are going to Puerto Rico also to enjoy some deserved relaxation and what better way to do that than soaking up in some hot natural pools?
Nestled in the verdant hills of Coamo, on the southwestern side of Puerto Rico about 1h from the capital, you will find the Coamo hot springs… The perfect place to escape from the bustle of the metro area!
Here you can enjoy different pools with different water temperatures, get massages at the on-site spa for very accessible prices (starting at $1 per minute) and have a snack at the café.
A local legend says these waters have some magical powers and they are Juan Ponce de León’s coveted Fountain of Youth, but what is sure is that the pools’ mineral waters help ease circulation problems, respiratory issues, joint pain, and even diabetes!
The complex is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm, so it gives you the flexibility to fit this among the other activities you’ll do in Puerto Rico.
15. Go on a boat cruise to Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve
If you’re looking for the ultimate snorkeling experience, you need to check out Puerto Rico’s Icacos island, part of the Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve Icacos, whose aquamarine waters are full of colorful fish… all to discover!
The best way to do that is taking this half-day boat tour from Fajardo, which will bring you to explore some of Puerto Rico’s best waters for snorkeling, and offer you at the same time a fun experience!
In fact, after your first stop snorkeling surrounded by the rich marine life, they will give you refreshing local drinks at the onboard bar, as well as a tropical-style lunch to regain energy, including fresh island fruits, cold pasta, local bread, and local pastries for dessert!
After that, you will sail on to Cayo Icacos beach to hike and chill the crystal clear waters of the cay, to then return to the marina to enjoy stunning views and relaxing music… doesn’t it sound like a dream? And all this is only for $105!
Join a Snorkeling Boat Cruise!
16. Enjoy Puerto Rico’s nightlife
Did you know that Puerto Rico is the capital of reggaeton? Almost all the most famous reggaeton artists are from there, among which Daddy Yankee, Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny just to name a few… so you cannot leave the island without dancing to Latin rhythms!
Whether you are staying in the capital or in other towns on the island, you will find a way to enjoy the nightlife!
San Juan has several trendy nightlife districts, like the famous Calle Loíza, brimming with clubs, rooftop bars, lounges, and many restaurants. Alternatively, try Condado, or La Placita de Santurce: San Juan’s hottest street party, with live music venues and bars open until late hours!
And if you want to get in the mood for the night, you could join this 2 hours cocktail walking tour in the late noon, during which you will sip rum-infused cocktails at 3 bars and to learn why Puerto Rico is considered the ‘Rum Capital of the World’ from a local guide, for $86.
And if you are coming to Puerto Rico for your spring break, you should definitely check out the coastal town of Mayaguez, where one of the main universities in the city is located. At night, its streets and varied clubs get super lively with university students!
Book Your Craft Cocktail Walk in San Juan
17. Take a romantic horseback ride
No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without going on a romantic horse ride, either through the island’s green countryside or at the beach!
You can find places offering horseback riding in any corner of the island, but if you want to book your experience in advance, I suggest you join this horseback riding tour from the coastal town of Isabela, around 2 hours from Puerto Rico.
During this 2 hours tour, you will go through secluded beaches and tropical forests, while enjoying views of the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. And when you get to the end of the beach, you’ll take a break to let the horses rest, during which you can either hike up the cliff to see other great panoramic views.
You can either join the morning ride at 9 am, the perfect way to start your day, or the one at 3.30 pm to see breathing sunsets… it’s up to you!
Tour Price: $103
Go Horseback Riding on The Beach!
18. Swim with beautiful turtles!
As we already saw through the article, the transparent waters of Puerto Rico host an incredible variety of marine life, and one of my favorite underwater creatures are the beautiful sea turtles!
In Puerto Rico there are 3 main types: the hawksbill, leatherback, and green sea turtles… do you know the difference? If not, you can discover it on this amazing snorkeling adventure from Escambrón beach, in San Juan.
During this 2 hour tour, you will receive a snorkeling lesson from a professional diver and swim with brilliantly-colored tropical fish and tons of sea turtles… an experience that you will never forget, especially because you’ll be able to take home a GoPro video of your outing!
Tour Price: $60
Go on a Snorkeling Adventure
19. Learn how to dance salsa!
Salsa dancing is a big part of Puerto Rican culture, so you definitely cannot leave the island without going to move your hips in one of the many salsa clubs, like in Taberna Los Vazquez.
And if you are a beginner, you can practice your moves in this entertaining Salsa class, limited to a maximum of 10 people for a personal experience.
You will meet your instructor in a scenic, open-air location in San Juan, and learn the basic salsa and cha cha steps for a 2 hour session until you’ll get confident with your moves and rhythm… but I warn you, you will fall in love with this dance!
Book a Salsa Class in San Juan!
|?️ Best museum:||El Morro|
|?️ Best beach:||Flamenco Beach|
|??♂️ Best free activity:||Old San Juan|
|? Best attraction for kids:||Toro Verde Adventure Park|
|? Must try food:||Mofongo|
|✈️ Cost of traveling:||High|
BONUS: Top restaurants to eat the best food in Puerto Rico
One of the most important parts, when you’re visiting a new country and exploring a different culture, is definitely trying its cuisine, and if you’re a foodie like me I am sure you will agree!
That’s why I gathered here a list of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico, where you can try the delicious traditional cuisine in a local setting or enjoy a stunning view of the sea. I included also a vegan and fusion option, check them out:
- La Alcapurria Quemá – This small restaurant in San Juan serves authentic and absolutely delicious Puerto Rico dishes, for very wallet-friendly rates (but the portions are quite big!), the reason why it is a favorite among locals! Here you cannot miss their fried pastelillos and empanadas, filled with meat, fish or veggies, and I suggest you the fried yuccas as a side (my favorite thing ever!).
- La Copa Llena – If you want to have a dinner with a view, this restaurant is for you, located in Rincon on a breezy seaside spot. Copa Llena offers a Puerto Rican fusion menu centered on seafood: every dish is just delicious, but if you get undecided I suggest you the fish curry, which comes with coconut rice and plantains.
- Uma’s Jobos – Located in Playa Jobos (Isabela), a great spot for surfing, this beachside bar and restaurant is the perfect spot to relax after a surfing session or get the energy before that! In fact, here you can get healthy breakfasts, small bites, delicious lunches/dinners, and tropical cocktails. This place is super cool, and the staff are very friendly!
- Bakku – For sushi addicts like me, I included one of the best japanese restaurants in Puerto Rico, located in the surf town of Rincon. The food here is super fresh and just delicious, from the rolls to the appetizers, make sure you try at least one of them (you cannot go wrong with the spicy tuna cones!). This is a small intimate restaurant, perfect for a romantic dinner, just call to book it in advance if you want to find a spot!
- Frescura Vegan Kitchen – This vegan restaurant serves hearty portions of exquisite Puerto Rican food in a very comfy and chill environment. Whether you want to have a healthy lunch or vegan-friendly junk food, here they have an option for you, and they also offer the best coffee in Bayamon. Dishes range from wraps, quesadillas, and burgers to bowls and salads… all delicious!
And if you want to try all the delicious flavors of Puerto Rico at once, you can also join this food tour in Old San Juan, during which you will deep dive into the Island’s culture through its local cuisine and cocktails!
During the 3 hours tour, a local guide will bring you to many restaurants and bars of the area and make you try traditional cocktails and dishes, like the popular mofongo, made of lots of different plantain types, for $157.
Book Your Food Tour!
Where to stay in Puerto Rico
If you are visiting Puerto Rico, the best city to stay in, or at least the best starting point for your holiday, is its beautiful capital, San Juan.
Within the city, the best area where to stay in San Juan is its historical center, the Old San Juan, where all the main attractions and areas of interest are located, so I gathered here below some amazing hotel options for any kind of budget, check them out:
- Luxury (US$400 and up): La Concha Renaissance San Juan – Overlooking Condado Beach, this 4 star luxury resort offers an outdoor infinity pool, a 24-hour casino and many fine dining restaurants, as well as large guest rooms with private sea view balconies!
- Mid Range (US$150 – US$350): Villa Herencia Hotel – Check out this great hotel featuring local artwork decorations and exotic rooms with tiled floors and a private patio! Here you can relax on the outdoor terrace, library, or at the on-site bar.
- Budget (up to US$150): Fortel Hostel – If you want to save some money during your holiday in Puerto Rico, this budget hotel is for you, offering shared dorms with access to a restaurant, a shared kitchen, and with free WiFi throughout the whole property!
Check the rates here
How to get around in Puerto Rico
Let’s check out all the different ways you have to get around Puerto Rico:
Renting a car
As I said at the beginning, unless you want to stay just in the San Juan metropolitan area, the only way to get around Puerto Rico and do many of the activities on this list is to rent a car at the airports in San Juan, Aguadilla, and Ponce.
In fact, there is no public transport in Puerto Rico, so you don’t really have a choice unless you want to waste a lot of money on taxis and ride-share apps!
But this also depends on the type of vacation you will have. If you stay on the island for a short time, you could stay in San Juan for the whole duration of your holiday, the only place in Puerto Rico where there is a train system, and join tours from there to get to the attractions you want to visit.
If instead, you stay in Puerto Rico for a longer period and you want to get to know the whole island and the most secluded beaches (you’ll have to drive through some Off beaten path roads for that!), you should definitely rent a car.
Toll roads in Puerto Rico are moderate, costing around $4 for a 2 hour drive (for example from San Juan to Aguadilla) and they accept cash. Anyways, most of the rental vehicles come with an AutoExpreso tag so that you can travel through the Island freely, and your operator will bill you when returning the car.
The gasoline on the other hand is quite expensive, costing around $1.13 per liter.
Public Transport in San Juan
As I said, the only area hosting a public transport system in Puerto Rico is San Juan, so let’s check out all the options you have in the capital.
NOTE: During your stay in Puerto Rico you might hear about “Públicos”, some buses that, supposedly, go all over Puerto Rico. Well, do NOT take them into consideration! They rarely show up and, if they do, they take forever to get anywhere you want to go!
The train system in the capital is the Tren Urbano, a single-line rapid train, including 16 stops from San Juan to Guaynabo and Bayamón.
This is definitely the most popular and affordable option to get around the metropolitan area, with a train ride costing $1.50.
The train works daily from 5.50 am to 11.30 pm, with a frequency of about every 10 minutes from any station you take it, apart on the weekends, public holidays and after 6 pm, when it is every 15 minutes.
If you want to see all the stops that the train covers, check out this map!
Only in the Old San Juan area, there is a free trolley running every day from (and back to) terminal Covadonga, stopping at the most popular tourist attractions of the area, including El Condado Beach, Playa Escambron, and Fortaleza beach, just to name a few.
This is also a great alternative to the walking tour if you want to visit the Old San Juan!
The free trolley runs from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 5 pm, and on weekends from 9 am to 1 pm.
If you need to do shorter distances in Puerto Rico, it is convenient to use the ride-sharing app Uber, although rides are quite expensive, about $15 for a 10 minute trip.
Just take into consideration that once you get out of the San Juan metro area you will find less availability of rides, especially in the parts of the Island that aren’t very populated.
Another option you have is to take a normal taxi, which is often located outside the main tourist attractions, hotels’ front doors, and, of course, airports.
Otherwise, you can hail taxis on the towns’ street, or call one to come to pick you up (ask your accommodation, they will give you the number!).
Fares are fixed around the designed “tourist zones” and they change depending on where you want to go, but they range more or less from $12 to $20 for a 10-minute trip, and can be paid only by cash.
NOTE: Be aware that tolls and tips are not included and they could charge you an extra fee for luggage, late-night, and airport drop-off!
If you want to explore the other beautiful islands around Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, there are ferries leaving from Ceiba ferry station, about 1h from San Juan.
Ferries leave every 30 minutes from Ceiba (check out all the timetables here!) and trips can take between 30 minutes and 1.5h, depending on the destination, boat and the water/weather conditions.
NOTE: Ferries also have a limited number of spaces for vehicles, but most rental car companies don’t allow them to bring rented cars outside the mainland!
FAQs about things to do in Puerto Rico
? What are the best things to do in Puerto Rico?
The best things to do when visiting Puerto Rico are exploring Old San Juan cobblestone streets on a walking tour, going scuba diving at Flamenco Beach or visiting the tourist attraction San Felipe del Morro.
? Which are the best things to do in Puerto Rico for couples?
?️ Which are the best beaches in Puerto Rico?
The best beaches in Puerto Rico are Seven Seas Beach or Flamenco Beach (in Culebrita Island) if you want to snorkel, and Domes Beach if you want to surf.
? Which are the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids?
Can you believe it? We made it to the end of this complete guide about the best things to do in Puerto Rico, including the best Puerto Rico tours!
Whether you want to join thrilling and fun things, observe marine life, try new water sports, or explore San Juan’s cobblestone streets, there is something for you and much more in this article!
And if you are also looking for where to stay on the island, don’t forget to check out this blog with the top areas in Puerto Rico!
I hope you enjoyed this guide as much as I did sharing all my tips with you, and if you have any questions or suggestions for me, please share them in the comments below, I am looking forward to answering you!
Have a dreamy holiday!
Pin it for later!
Pin it for later!