If you’re looking for things to do in Puerto Rico, you should know that the list is huge.
There’s a reason why Puerto Rico is considered one of the best vacation spots in the Caribbean.
Not only does it offer tons of attractions, but it also boasts a dual nature that has been fascinating visitors for centuries.
On one hand, Puerto Rico is a mecca for vacationers and honeymooners. There’s sun, surf, rum and adventure around every corner.
You can swim in beautiful beaches and zipline through exotic rainforests; you can jump from towering cliffs and descend into creepy underground caves.
There’s no limit to cool experiences to have on the island.
On the other hand, there’s a deeper side to Puerto Rico.
It has some of the oldest, most carefully-preserved architecture in the world, and it’s filled with landmarks of great cultural and historical value.
You can learn a lot about pre-Columbian civilization with a trip to its museums, galleries, churches, cathedrals and military fortresses.
Which Puerto Rico do you want to see? What kind of trip do you want to have in the Caribbean?
If you’re wondering what to do in Puerto Rico, here are just a few ideas!
Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico
1. Flamenco Beach
If you’re traveling to Puerto Rico, you want to go to the beach. That’s a fact.
No one flies to Puerto Rico to see its air-conditioned government buildings. You want fun in the sun.
The good news is that Flamenco Beach will live up to your daydreams and then some.
Not only does it offer white sand and blue water that shimmies on the horizon, but it also boasts bathrooms, lifeguards, food kiosks, volleyball nets and tourist stations where you can rent equipment for things like snorkeling and scuba diving.
It’s a tropical paradise that will give you just about every vacation experience that you could want in Puerto Rico.
Are you keen to test yourself against the waves? Hit the horseshoe bend for great surfing opportunities.
Are you traveling with family? Let the kids build sandcastles while mom and dad sip piña coladas under the shade of a lounge chair.
Flamenco Beach is such a picture-perfect destination that it’s often ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean by travel guides.
If you’re looking for amazing places to visit in Puerto Rico, grab your towel and do the flamenco.
2. Castillo San Felipe del Morro
There’s a bloody history of conquest behind the bright, rum-soaked beaches of the Caribbean.
Everyone wanted a piece of the New World, and everyone was willing to fight to get it. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Known to locals as “El Morro,” the Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a gargantuan citadel that was built in Puerto Rico in the 16th century to defend the island against pirates, soldiers, slavers and anyone else who wanted to test their strength against its massive walls.
It has an entire assembly of cannons, turrets, bunkers, sentry towers, lighthouses and other places of interest.
Today, of course, it’s a lively tourist attraction where people take selfies while kids play hide-and-seek in the hidden nooks of the great stone garitas.
Families fly kites on the grass. Vendors sell snacks.
Once upon a time, however, the Castillo San Felipe del Morro was the most important fortress in Puerto Rico, and its huge walls will take your breath away when you realize how much history that they’ve seen.
Address: 501 Calle Norzagaray, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
3. The Pork Highway
Officially known as La Ruta del Lechón, the Pork Highway is exactly what it sounds like: a three-mile stretch of road where every restaurant specializes in pork.
The most popular type of pork is lechón, a special dish in Puerto Rico that involves spit-roasting an entire pig with a blend of sauces and spices.
It’s considered the main attraction of the highway, so be prepared to see all kinds of open-air smoke pits with whole pigs slowly turning on skewers.
If you don’t like lechón, the Pork Highway has other tasty items to offer as well.
You might enjoy morcilla (blood sausage) or arroz con gandules (rice and beans), or you might be tempted by various stews, sandwiches, casseroles and veggie dishes.
If it’s made in Puerto Rico, the Pork Highway probably has it.
Another draw of the Pork Highway is its festive atmosphere. The restaurants are loud and crowded, and there’s always drinking and dancing to go along with the roasted pig.
It’s one of those places where you can make a dozen friends before you finish a single meal.
The Pork Highway is basically one big block party. If you want to cut loose in Puerto Rico, drive down the highway and prepare yourself for a great time.
4. Toro Verde Adventure Park
Get your blood pumping with a trip to the Toro Verde Adventure Park in central Puerto Rico.
It offers ziplines, rope courses and rock climbing challenges that are guaranteed to make you pee your pants a little when you realize just what you’ve gotten yourself into!
The park’s main attraction is “The Beast,” which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest zipline in the world.
You’ll be strapped into a horizontal, full-body harness that will send you careening through the open air for 4,745 feet.
Other attractions include “The Wild Bull,” a series of hanging rope bridges that will sway in every direction as you cross them, and “Escape If You Can,” an adventure course that includes everything from ziplining to rappelling down a rock wall.
Thrill seekers won’t want to miss Toro Verde Adventure Park. Puerto Rico is a crazy place, but some of its vacation spots are even crazier.
If you laugh in the face of danger, this is definitely one of the top things to do.
Address: PR-155, Orocovis, 00720, Puerto Rico
5. Old San Juan
With cobbled streets, busy plazas and colorful homes that stack together like building blocks of yellow, blue, green, orange and turquoise, Old San Juan is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Puerto Rico.
It’s technically a historic district, and you can see evidence of its past in the abundance of churches, cathedrals and colonial homes.
There are even tourist attractions in the form of ancient tombs that hold the remains of famous Spanish explorers.
If you’re a history buff, this is one of the most educational places in Puerto Rico.
Most visitors, however, come to Old San Juan for commerce. There are shops and museums; there are casual sidewalk cafes and fancy candlelit restaurants.
A free trolley rambles through the neighborhood if you want to hop between destinations.
Old San Juan tops our list of best places to go in Puerto Rico.
Whether you’re headed there for the markets or the memorials, you definitely won’t want to miss it!
6. Isla Culebrita
There’s a certain charm to the lively, rowdy crowds of Puerto Rico, but no one will blame you if you need to escape the noise every once in a while.
This is why places like Isla Culebrita exist.
Isla Culebrita is an uninhabited island off the coast of eastern Puerto Rico. It’s only about a mile long, and access is restricted to ferries and water taxis.
Many tourists don’t even realize that it exists.
Its isolation, however, makes it one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico. The beaches are neat and clean; the shopping centers don’t have long lines.
You can dive for coral reefs or wade through tide pools without anyone else around.
There are also fun landmarks to explore on Isla Culebrita, including an old-fashioned lighthouse and a special beach where sea turtles lay their eggs.
You can take your time with these attractions since there won’t be busy crowds hurrying you along.
If you need a break from the chaos of the mainland, consider jetting off to Isla Culebrita.
It’s one of the hidden treasures of Puerto Rico, and in the true spirit of a pirate, it’s yours for the taking.
7. Museo de Las Americas
There are many museums in Puerto Rico, but only a handful are actually about Puerto Rico. The Museo de Las Americas is one of these precious places.
It has artifacts, tokens and textiles from dozens of indigenous groups that lived in Latin America before it was colonized, and it can take you on a multi-continental journey through history.
One of the coolest things about the Museo de Las Americas is that it’s housed in a series of old army barracks.
In the 1800s, the doors led to bedrooms, kitchens, cafeterias and jails; today, they lead to art galleries and recreated scenery rooms.
Another fun thing about the museum is that it’s more than just a series of objects behind glass. They don’t celebrate it as an exciting attraction in Puerto Rico for nothing!
There are interactive stations where kids can touch and hold things; there’s an audio-visual room where adults can learn more about tribal traditions through short, informative films.
The Museo de Las Americas has a lot going for it. Not only will you be awed by its location, but you’ll also take in the important people and places of Caribbean history.
The Museo de Las Americas is one of those places in Puerto Rico that will be both entertaining and educational.
Address: Calle Beneficencia, San Juan, 00926, Puerto Rico
If you like to eat, Mayaguez is the city for you.
It’s home to everything from fine dining establishments to open-air cafes with big, colorful umbrellas, so you’ll have plenty of options when your stomach starts growling.
A fun fact about Mayaguez is that it’s known for the creation and production of several famous dishes in Puerto Rico:
- Brazo Gitano is a type of sweet dessert roll made with jelly-filled sponge cake.
- Sangria de Fido is an alcoholic drink made with rum, fruit juice and burgundy wine. The creator was offered $250,000 to sell his recipe to a big-name liquor brand, but he refused.
- The coffee of Puerto Rico is known around the world for its rich, smooth flavors. The beans are harvested in volcanic soil with a perfect amount of shade and rainfall, so they’re in high demand as a luxury product.
Mayaguez will let you enjoy all of these delights, and it has a few other intriguing menu items, too.
If you’re looking for good places to chow down in Puerto Rico, stop by Mayaguez.
9. El Yunque National Forest
Covering more than 28,000 acres, the El Yunque National Forest is a lush, humid rainforest where dense foliage covers everything from slithering snakes to croaking tree frogs.
It’s the only tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico, and visitors come from all over the Carribean to witness both its beauty and biodiversity.
Hiking is the most common activity in El Yunque National Forest.
It has all kinds of sightseeing trails for rivers, crags, waterfalls, meadows and mountains, so your camera will get a nice workout as you go exploring.
Maybe you can start a Puerto Rico scrapbook!
If you want a little more excitement than just walking around, consider camping, swimming, biking or picnicking in one of the forest’s designated recreational areas.
You can also stop by the visitor’s center for information on any tours or nature walks that are on schedule.
Oh, and if you’re looking for Puerto Rico travel hacks, here’s one that could save your life:
Don’t travel to El Yunque National Forest during the rainy season!
It already gets a ton of precipitation to sustain its flourishing ecosystem, so during the rainy season, the area can become downright flooded.
The best time to visit the forest is during the drier months of Puerto Rico.
10. Los Morrillos Lighthouse
Located in the city of Cabo Rojo on the southernmost tip of Puerto Rico, the Los Morrillos Lighthouse is one of those gorgeous places that you can only find in the Caribbean.
It’s perched on top of white limestone cliffs that are surrounded by salt marshes and lagoons, and the waves crash against the cliffs with a violence that’s startling but beautiful.
The lighthouse itself is a simple structure; you’ll find many just like it in Puerto Rico.
However, the views from its observation deck are top notch, and the friendly staff will take you on a tour anytime.
You can also explore the grounds surrounding the lighthouse. The sea is a good 200 feet below the cliffs, and there are no guard rails to hold you back.
Venture close enough to the edge and you can even see where parts of the limestone have crumbled beneath the feet of past visitors.
It’ll be too dangerous for the kids, but daring adults can toe the cliffs and test their luck. Make a memory of Puerto Rico that you’ll never forget!
Address: Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Ponce is a bustling city in Puerto Rico where you can find everything from pink houses to pineapple ice cream shops.
It has such a vibrant, colorful atmosphere that it’s been called “the most Puerto Rican city in Puerto Rico.”
What makes Ponce so special?
For starters, it’s filled with some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.
Whether you’re a fan of parks, plazas, museums, shopping malls, restaurants, monuments or movie theaters, Ponce will keep you busy.
Another great thing about Ponce is that it hosts dozens of festivals throughout the year.
Some of them are local carnivals and parades that showcase the art and culture of the Caribbean; others are international marathons and music events that draw massive crowds.
Ponce is definitely one of the best places in Puerto Rico. If the tourist attractions don’t reel you in, the local culture will.
12. Cayo Santiago
Cayo Santiago is a small stretch of land off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.
From a distance, it looks like any other tropical Caribbean landscape filled with hills, beaches and cliffs.
When you get closer, however, you’ll see the furry little heads peeking through the tree canopies, and you’ll realize why “Cayo Santiago” translates to “Monkey Island.”
Cayo Santiago was created when a group of monkeys was imported from India to Puerto Rico in the 1930s.
Researchers wanted to study their behavior without human interference, so they let the monkeys run wild on an unclaimed island.
They probably didn’t expect the monkey population to swell to 1,000, but that’s the circle of life for you.
Humans aren’t allowed on Cayo Santiago, but you can go snorkeling or kayaking in the surrounding waters for a closer look at the curious little creatures.
There’s also a sunken barge nearby for further diving fun.
The best things to do in Puerto Rico are the ones that you can’t experience anywhere else. They’re unique to the island and its inhabitants.
Cayo Santiago is one of these unforgettable places, so call up your travel planner and ask them to perform some monkey business.
13. Vieques National Wildlife Refuge
If you’re willing to travel a little outside of the actual island of Puerto Rico, hop on a ferry and visit the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.
Hundreds of species call it home, including birds, lizards, monkeys, manatees and sea turtles. There are even wild horses roaming the shoreline!
As for activities, you’ll have your choice of fun things to do and amazing places to visit on both land and sea.
If you want to splash around, you can swim, snorkel and scuba dive; if you prefer to stay dry, you can go hiking, biking or horseback riding.
You can also check out the visitor’s center for cool exhibits of seashells and manatee skeletons.
Lots of people wonder what to do in Puerto Rico, but only a few realize the potential of a destination just a bit off the coast.
Don’t be afraid to go beyond the boundaries of your map and visit the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.
Address: State Rd 997 km 3.2, Vieques, PR 00765, United States
14. Arecibo Observatory
You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate the world’s largest radio telescope.
Towering more than 1,600 feet above the lakes and fields of Puerto Rico, the Arecibo Observatory is a testament to the power of man and the importance of scientific research.
It operates 24/7 and transmits data to people from all over the globe.
It’s one of the best places in Puerto Rico for scenic views, too.
You can take a tour of the observatory through the science and visitor center, and when you’re done learning about its value to everything from radar astronomy to atmospheric science, you can end your visit with a climb to the observation deck.
You’ll be so high that the birds will be below you!
There’s a reason why the Arecibo Observatory has been featured in films and shows such as GoldenEye, The X-Files and Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
It’s a sight that manages to be both humbling and empowering, and it’s a top-tier destination in Puerto Rico.
Address: PR-625, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
15. Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique isn’t like any other restaurant in Puerto Rico. If you’re looking for unique dining establishments, this one takes the whole empanada.
The first thing to know about Jose Enrique is that it’s based in a simple green house without any signage.
If not for the enticing smells wafting from the windows, you could walk right past it without even realizing that it’s there.
It also has a relaxed, informal atmosphere where locals and tourists mingle freely. Reservations aren’t accepted; it’s first come first served.
The menu is written on a whiteboard that the waiters carry from table to table, and it changes every day, so you might be eating almojábana on Monday and plátanos maduros on Tuesday.
Some people might not like the casual setting of Jose Enrique, but it’s one of the best places to experience Puerto Rico like a native.
If you aren’t one to stand on ceremony, you can find the house, kick off your shoes, order something delicious and even bring your own beer.
Jose Enrique welcomes anyone who can appreciate good food and a festive atmosphere.
Address: 176 Calle Duffaut, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico
16. Guajataca Tunnel
Are you afraid of the dark?
Known to locals as “The Black Tunnel,” Guajataca Tunnel is a pitch-black underpass carved into the side of a river canyon that stretches for more than 500 feet.
It used to belong to the national railway system, and in its heyday, it connected several different regions of Puerto Rico for the quick, easy transport of things like sugar cane.
Today, Guajataca Tunnel is a ghost site that’s been forgotten by the transportation department.
It’s become something of a tourist attraction as people dare each other to walk through its completely lightless caverns.
If you can make it to the other side, you’ll be greeted with dazzling views of Guajataca Beach.
If you lose your nerve, you’ll have to double back and take one of the outdoor walking trails.
Guajataca Tunnel is one of the more low-key things to do in Puerto Rico, so don’t expect it to provide hours of entertainment.
It’s just a fun challenge for anyone who is already traveling through the area.
It’s the kind of thing that can become a great story when you’re back home from your trip to Puerto Rico; you just have to be brave enough to attempt it!
Address: Av. Noel Estrada, Isabela, 00662, Puerto Rico
17. Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center
Before it was “discovered” by explorers, Puerto Rico was home to a number of indigenous tribes. They had their own art, culture, tradition, medicine and athletic games.
The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center ensures that none of it will be forgotten.
Founded on 800-year-old soil, the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center carefully preserves the landmarks of the area while also inviting visitors to take a walk in the shoes of the people who came before them.
Its most famous attraction is the collection of “ball courts” where the Taino people played games among large, carved stones decorated with monoliths and petroglyphs.
There’s also a small museum filled with artifacts and a botanical garden where traditional Taino plants are grown.
History buffs won’t want to miss the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center.
The Caribbean wasn’t always a boozy tourist destination, and it’s important to remember the native people that nurtured the land before anyone else had even heard of Puerto Rico.
Address: Carr.111 Km. 12.4, Utuado, 00641, Puerto Rico
18. Plaza Las Americas
It’s okay to experience a little dizziness when you walk into Plaza Las Americas.
Not only is it the biggest shopping mall in Puerto Rico, but it’s also the biggest shopping mall in the entire Caribbean!
Three stories are home to everything from upscale fashion boutiques to modest phone kiosks.
There are more than 300 businesses in total, and they’re spread across a staggering 2.2 million square feet of retail space.
There are stores, restaurants, offices and fountains; there’s a food court filled with menus from all around the world; there’s even a cineplex that runs both English and Spanish movies.
Speaking of languages, you’ll find the Plaza Las Americas to be very accessible to tourists who are new to Puerto Rico.
While a lot of the signage is in Spanish, many of them have English printed right below it, and the logos of famous brands tend to be universal anyway.
If your pesos are burning a hole in your pocket in Puerto Rico, make a stop at the Plaza Las Americas.
You’ll end the day with your arms filled with shopping bags and your heart filled with the joy of retail therapy.
Address: 525 Av. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, San Juan, 00918, Puerto Rico
19. Gilligan’s Island
Yes, you read that correctly!
Though it’s officially named Cayo Aurora, this small piece of land is more commonly known as Gilligan’s Island, and it can provide a real-life taste of the tropical paradise that you saw on TV.
Gilligan’s Island is one of the lesser-known islands of Puerto Rico. It’s located off the coast of Guanica, a more popular beach destination, and it’s quite small.
You can explore the entire thing by foot.
What the island lacks in size, however, it makes up in beauty. The waters of Gilligan’s Island are breathtakingly clear, and the waves are always calm and mild.
It’s one of the best places in Puerto Rico to observe marine life.
Whether you’re swimming, snorkeling or kayaking, you can see every shade of the colorful fish darting below the surface.
You’ll also enjoy the solitude of Gilligan’s Island.
It’s never as crowded as the big beaches, so you can teach the kids to swim or cuddle up with your sweetheart by the mangrove trees without any interference from loud tourists.
Take a three-hour tour with the Gilligan’s Island of Puerto Rico.
You won’t find the Professor or the Skipper here, but you’ll enjoy plenty of other Caribbean delights!
20. San German
San German is the second-oldest city in Puerto Rico, and as soon as you see its cobblestone streets and square-cut colonial buildings, you’ll realize that it never really left its past behind.
Hundreds of historical sites might make it obvious, too.
San German is a premiere destination for travelers who are interested in the history of Puerto Rico.
It boasts churches, cathedrals, museums, plazas, cemeteries and cultural centers as far as the eye can see.
From preserved art collections to authentic stained glass windows that depict important religious events, San German has it all.
Another nice thing about San German is that it’s very walkable.
Most of its important landmarks are within 30 minutes of each other, so you can take a stroll and visit all of the best places in a single afternoon.
San German isn’t for everyone. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, for example, you might want to look for more death-defying things to do in Puerto Rico.
But if you’re someone who enjoys ancient scrolls and scrubbed tombstones, San German will be right up your cobbled alley.
21. Mosquito Bay
Located just off the coast of Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay is one of the most stunning sights in the world.
It’s home to thousands of bioluminescent organisms that make the water sparkle like bright blue gemstones!
The exact science of Mosquito Bay is something of a mystery, but it’s thought that the organisms have a natural luminescence that thrives in the nutrient-rich waters of Puerto Rico.
There are two other bays like this around the island, but Mosquito Bay is the brightest.
You might question the wisdom of visiting places with names like “Mosquito Bay,” but rest assured that the title has nothing to do with bloodsucking insects.
It comes from an old pirate named El Mosquito who used the bay as a hideout.
You won’t get stung or bitten when you visit, and you’ll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you paddle through its bioluminescent waters.
The one downside of Mosquito Bay is that you’ll have to paddle; swimming isn’t allowed, so you’ll need to take a kayak ride to get close to the sparkles.
The best time to visit is at night. The moon will light up the glittering blue waves like something out of a movie.
If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Puerto Rico, put Mosquito Bay at the top of your list.
It’s one of the rarest sights in the whole Caribbean, so it’s worth going a bit out of your way.
22. Palmas del Mar
Are you visiting Puerto Rico for more than a weekend or spring break? Are you looking for cool places to see that won’t require extensive travel away from your hotel?
You might want to consider a long-term vacation rental in Puerto Rico, and you might want to look into places like Palmas del Mar.
Palmas del Mar is a sprawling resort community that covers more than 2,500 acres.
It has all of the traditional fares like beaches, restaurants, tennis courts, golf courses and horse stables, but it also offers essentials for everyday living like schools and banks.
People aren’t just tourists in Palmas del Mar. They’re residents.
If you choose to join the community, you can either buy or rent from the network of vacation homes and beach villas in the area.
It’s the long-term solution for people who aren’t just in the Caribbean for short-time fun.
If you’re looking for the best places to stay in Puerto Rico that aren’t single-serve hotels, consider Palmas del Mar.
It will offer all of the amenities that you need for a great tropical trip.
23. Casino del Sol
Gambling is completely legal in Puerto Rico, and you can’t throw a rock in places like San Juan without hitting a hotel or resort with a casino attached.
The only question is which casino will give you the highest chance at a jackpot!
While not the biggest or grandest building in the area, Casino del Sol has a good reputation as a gambling establishment.
It offers more than 14,000 square feet of slot machines and card tables, and that isn’t even getting into its raffles, lotteries and off-track horse betting.
There’s a little something for everyone no matter how they like to roll the dice.
Casino del Sol is also just a heartbeat away from the famous Picante Lobby Bar and Lounge of Puerto Rico, so when you’ve worked up a thirst at the blackjack table, you can step aside for a minute and enjoy a cocktail at the bar.
You might even be able to catch a night show with a singer or salsa band.
Sink your feet into the plush carpets of Casino del Sol and take advantage of the lax gambling laws of the Caribbean.
You won’t be able to enjoy this experience anywhere else, so it’ll be exclusive to your Puerto Rico vacation!
Address: 7012 Calle Avenue Boca de Cangrejos, Carolina, 00979, Puerto Rico
24. Cueva del Indio
History can take many forms, including artwork carved into cave walls between the years of A.D. 1200 – 1500. This is what you’ll see when you visit Cueva del Indio.
Located in La Piedras, Puerto Rico, these caves are a prehistoric rock site where history comes alive in a series of paintings, sculptures and petroglyphs.
Not only will you get to venture deep into the moss-covered tunnels that make up the cave network, but you’ll also be able to look at genuine artwork left behind by the indigenous people of Puerto Rico.
Another nice feature of Cueva del Indio is that it won’t cost you a dime.
It can be put on your list of “free things to do in Puerto Rico” for the days when your budget is stretching a little thin.
If you enjoy art, culture and indigenous history that dates back to pre-Columbian times, consider a visit to Cueva del Indio.
It’s one of those beautiful places that has to be seen to be believed.
Address: Arecibo 00612, Puerto Rico
25. Playa Sucia
Consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Playa Sucia is so pristine that you might feel guilty about laying down your towels and drink coolers.
You’ll need to get over this instinct if you want to fully experience a beautiful Puerto Rico destination!
The water is the first thing that you’ll notice.
It’s so clear that you can see every grain of sand between your toes, and it’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, wading, diving and paddle boarding.
There are some fun places beyond the beach as well.
A lighthouse is within walking distance, and a wildlife reserve is a short drive into southern Puerto Rico if you can tear yourself away from the water.
The single best thing about Playa Sucia, however, is its paradore.
Paradores are old-fashioned Spanish inns that will treat you like royalty, and Puerto Rico has strict guidelines to keep them authentic.
Being able to bunk in a paradore is a real treat, so it’ll be the icing on the cake of your exotic beach vacation!
Another quick travel hack: “Playa Sucia” occasionally goes by the name “La Playuela,” so you might see it listed differently on maps of Puerto Rico.
It’s just a regional thing. It’s the same beach.
26. Casa Bacardi
You aren’t really vacationing in the Caribbean until you’re sipping on a fruity cocktail with an umbrella stick. Fortunately, Casa Bacardi can turn these daydreams into a reality.
Casa Bacardi is the distillery of the world-famous Bacardi brand. It offers tours, tastings, mixology classes and other special events that celebrate their passion for liquor.
Visitors can take the afternoon and learn all about the secrets of a good daiquiri or the history of the mojito.
Famously, the Casa Bacardi tours will get you buzzed from the moment that you step into the building.
The first drink is complimentary, but you’ll be tempted with all kinds of cocktails and coconut drinks as you complete the tour.
If you take a mixology class, you can even drink your creations when you’re done!
There’s no shortage of good-time drinks in Puerto Rico, but if you’d like to taste some of the very best that the island has to offer, consider a trip to Casa Bacardi.
Address: PR-165, Cataño, 00949, Puerto Rico
27. Las Cascadas Water Park
Las Cascadas Water Park used to be the largest aquatic park in Puerto Rico.
It might still hold that title, but it’s hard to be sure with the rise of so many luxury attractions in the greater Caribbean area.
Either way, Las Cascadas Water Park will definitely keep you cool on a hot day.
You can splash in rides, rivers, tunnels and kiddie pools, and refreshing drinks and frozen desserts are only a kiosk away.
If you feel like testing your bravery, you can strap in for El Laberinto (“The Maze”) or El Torbellino (“The Twister”).
If you’d prefer something calmer for the kids, try Rio Tropical Pasivo (“The Tropical Lazy River”).
Visit Las Cascadas Water Park for some good old-fashioned summertime fun.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s the biggest aquatic park in Puerto Rico.
It will still let you throw yourself down a gigantic purple water slide, and that’s the most important thing.
Address: 2 Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Pueblo, Aguadilla 00603, Puerto Rico
There are many places to visit in Humacao, a southeastern city in Puerto Rico.
You can tour local churches and museums; you can hike to the top of an astronomy tower; you can dive into the depths of its snorkeling sites.
If you’re looking to have the best time in Humacao, however, you’ll wait until the festival season.
The city transforms itself every year with celebrations that draw people from all over Puerto Rico.
The Breadfruit Festival is probably the most famous.
Held every September, it celebrates the versatility of this exotic Caribbean fruit by dishing it up in every way that you can imagine.
There are savory breadfruit skewers with meats and veggies; there are tart breadfruit desserts that will jolt your tongue with every bite.
The festival will also keep you entertained with arts, crafts, games and sports that celebrate Puerto Rico.
Another big festival is the Fiesta Patronal held in December.
Originally a religious occasion, it’s evolved in recent years to become a fun, festive event that includes everything from live concerts to flower parades.
If you like rubbing shoulders with partygoers in Puerto Rico, you won’t want to miss Humacao.
It’s a hot spot for cultural celebrations, and you might even form some new friendships that will last when your vacation is over.
29. Charco Azul
Go off the beaten path in Puerto Rico with a trip to Charco Azul.
It’s located deep within a forest in the Cayey region, and you’ll need to walk down several trails and across a series of bridges before you reach it.
Literally translated as “blue pond,” Charco Azul offers a bit more than its name suggests.
It’s a freshwater swimming hole that extends a good 30 – 40 feet across, and it can reach depths of 10 – 15 feet in the center.
You’ll be able to swim, dive, float, tube and observe the fish with ease. You’ll also be able to relax in a quiet, natural setting.
While it’s true that Charco Azul isn’t a grand destination in Puerto Rico, it’s one of those beautiful and tranquil places where you can enjoy an afternoon splash without any stress.
A small waterfall will provide gentle background music as you swim, and a couple of boulders will act as diving spots if you’re feeling courageous.
Many tourists can’t even find Charco Azul on a map of Puerto Rico, and the locals would like to keep it that way.
If you’re planning a trip to this aquatic oasis, keep it hush-hush!
30. Kikita Beach
Puerto Rico is home to hundreds and hundreds of beaches, so it takes something amazing to make one shoreline stand out from the rest.
Kikita Beach has that kind of shoreline.
Known as the surfing paradise of Puerto Rico, Kikita Beach is heaven for anyone who wants to practice their aerials and alley-oops.
It’s surrounded by cliffs and rocks that give it amazing waves, but the water itself is clear and mild, so it’s the perfect setting for finally nailing those tricks.
Swimming is discouraged at the beach because of the choppy nature of the waves, but the rest of your family doesn’t have to sit in silence while you surf.
They can explore the rocks, observe the marine life, play in the sand and eat some seafood at the local dining establishments.
Kikita Beach might be known as a surf spot, but it has other amenities to offer as well.
Are you looking for cool, natural places to visit in Puerto Rico? Consider Kikita Beach.
If you can’t master a cutback there, you can’t master it anywhere.
31. Hacienda Buena Vista
Caffeine junkies, this one is for you.
Hacienda Buena Vista is an agricultural complex built around a 19th-century coffee plantation where history, culture and java all come together in a heavenly-smelling brew.
Once upon a time, Hacienda Buena Vista was one of the most important coffee plantations in Puerto Rico.
It harvested beans that were shipped all around the world; even the Vatican couldn’t get enough.
Today’s coffee farms operate differently.
They tend to be impersonal, high-volume areas meant for the mass production of future lattes, and that “original touch” element has been lost everywhere except for specialty farms like Hacienda Buena Vista.
Instead of conforming to the new standard, it still operates the same old-fashioned machines that it did in 1833.
Visitors to Hacienda Buena Vista can walk the grounds, crank the machines, feed the livestock and learn more about traditional coffee harvesting in Puerto Rico.
They can also enjoy authentic, freshly-brewed Spanish coffee until they burst.
Hacienda Buena Vista is one of the best places in Puerto Rico if you need a fix.
Not only will you enjoy its brews, but you’ll learn a little something about where they come from as well.
Address: Km 16.8, PR-123, Ponce, 00728, Puerto Rico
Pinones is one of the most unusual places to go in Puerto Rico.
It’s not a city, and it’s not really a neighborhood. It’s mostly just a strip of land along a local highway where people go to eat.
What makes Pinones different from other stomach-patting places?
It specializes in chinchorros or roadside food stalls where you can find all kinds of traditional Caribbean dishes.
From sweet fried bananas to sticky rice bowls filled with pork and pigeon peas, chinchorros serve it all.
The locals have even turned them into a verb: to chinchorrear means to wander from stall to stall and enjoy various foods and snacks.
Pinones isn’t the only region in Puerto Rico where you can chinchorrear, but it’s the best.
It’s absolutely packed with tables, chairs, grills, fire pits, smokehouses and food trucks.
You’ll have your choice of menu items, and you’ll get to enjoy a festive atmosphere to boot.
Consider a trip to Pinones if you’re looking for memorable things to do in Puerto Rico.
You’ll never forget the time that you ripped into a platter of meat skewers under a dirt-stained umbrella while little kids ran around your feet to the sounds of their grandmother’s old-fashioned radio.
33. Camuy River Cave Park
Say goodbye to the sunlight with a trip to Camuy River Cave Park.
As the largest underground cave system in Puerto Rico, Camuy River Cave Park is one of those places that feels forgotten by time.
As you venture deeper and deeper into the complex labyrinth of tunnels, caverns and sinkholes, you’ll hear the flutter of bat wings and the pitter-patter of water dripping from stalagmites and stalactites.
The sunlight will slowly fade and disappear. The rocks will become bigger than humans.
It’s perfectly safe, of course; there are lights and walkways for visitors, and tour guides are everywhere to point out sights that you might have missed.
You can even take a trolley ride through the caves if you’re tired or disabled. Puerto Rico is always accommodating.
The amenities don’t take away from the atmosphere, however.
They don’t dim the jaw-dropping beauty of an underground cave network that’s more than 45 million years old.
If you want to marvel at the scenery that’s straight out of Batman, consider a visit to Camuy River Cave Park.
Address: Quebrada, Camuy 00669, Puerto Rico
34. Seven Seas Beach
Located in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, the Seven Seas Beach is a great place to string up a hammock.
In addition to white sand, blue water and pink alcohol, you can also use the location as a central hub for further travel.
You see, Fajardo is a well-connected city. It’s right on the eastern shore of Puerto Rico, so it’s a viable launching pad to dozens of other islands and islets.
It’s also the home of Puerto del Rey Marina, the largest marina in all of the Caribbean.
As for the Seven Seas Beach, it will offer tons of opportunities for water adventures in Puerto Rico.
It’s only a few miles from well-known snorkeling and scuba diving sites, and it’s home to cool tourist attractions such as lighthouses, luxury resorts, mangrove fields and sugar cane refineries.
You might not want to spend your entire trip at the Seven Seas Beach, but if you’re just looking for good places to drop your bags before you go exploring deeper in Puerto Rico, it will serve you well.
35. Guanica State Forest and Biosphere Reserve
A trip to the Guanica State Forest and Biosphere Reserve is one of the most unique things to do in Puerto Rico.
It’s located within the “rain shadow” of its mountainous landscape, so instead of being a humid, muggy rainforest, it’s a “dry forest” that receives very little precipitation throughout the year.
What does this mean for the views?
They’re still beautiful, but they look different from other nature reserves. They have a stark, craggy appearance with rocky cliffs and dry fields of cactus-like shrubs.
You might forget that you’re in Puerto Rico when you’re standing in the middle of a desert!
One flaw of the Guanica State Forest and Biosphere Reserve that it can get pretty hot; temperatures can climb as high as 100°F in areas without shade.
The best time to visit is during the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t blazing directly overhead.
You’ll enjoy a more moderate climate, and you’ll get to see the sunset over the hills as well. The glow will look different than anywhere else in Puerto Rico.
36. La Guancha Boardwalk
Maybe you like munching on shaved ice as you stroll down the beach.
Maybe you like playing arcade games or pushing your kids on a swing set.
Maybe you like salsa dancing with complete strangers!
Anything can happen at La Guancha Boardwalk, so it’s easily one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico.
As its name suggests, La Guancha Boardwalk is a boardwalk that faces the Caribbean Sea.
For the people just passing through, it sells snacks and souvenirs from kiosks and food stalls; for visitors who want to sit down and kick up their feet, there are bars, cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.
There are also fun, active things to do at this Puerto Rico boardwalk.
You can feed the tarpon at a special pier where they gather in numbers; you can rent a pedal boat to go exploring in the water.
You can play games at the arcade or the playground. You can watch a sidewalk artist work his magic or join an outdoor jam session with a street band.
Some boardwalks can be hit or miss in Puerto Rico, but La Guancha Boardwalk is a home run.
Whether you’re looking to eat, drink, shop or just people-watch, it’s one of the top things to do on the island.
Address: Calle C, Ponce, 00716, Puerto Rico
37. Cemi Museum
The cemi or zemi is an artifact of great significance in Puerto Rico. It refers to both the deities of the indigenous people and the spiritual objects that represent them.
They can have all kinds of faces and forms, including ones that are quite animal-like; the most important part is that they’re created with reverence.
The Cemi Museum takes this idea and ramps it up to 11.
The entire building is shaped like a cemi: Its front doors open in the mouth, and visitors walk through the face and into the humpbacked, frog-shaped body.
Once inside, you’ll be treated to a collection of indigenous murals and artifacts that date back centuries.
Some of the more uncommon objects include things like carved tongue depressors that were used in religious ceremonies with ritual vomiting.
The Cemi Museum is one of the more obscure destinations of Puerto Rico, but that’s exactly what makes it worthwhile.
Where else can you examine vomiting instruments while standing inside of a gigantic stone god from hundreds of years ago?
The Cemi Museum is an unusual but awesome attraction in Puerto Rico.
Address: PR-144, Jayuya, 00664, Puerto Rico
Rincon means “corner” in Spanish, and the city is tucked away in the northwestern corner of Puerto Rico.
It isn’t mentioned in a lot of travel guides. It isn’t considered one of the major points of interest of the island.
If you like to wander off the beaten path, however, you’ll find Rincon to be a hidden gem of Puerto Rico.
The major draw of Rincon is surfing.
It hosted the World Surfing Championship in 1968, and once surfers realized that they’d been missing out on the wild waves of Puerto Rico, they started flocking to Rincon in droves and never stopped.
Rincon is also a great observation spot for the annual migration of humpback whales.
The best time to visit is between January and March; hundreds of these majestic creatures will pass by the beaches of Puerto Rico as they move into different Caribbean waters for the season.
Rincon isn’t one of the boisterous places of Puerto Rico. It’s quiet and calm, and it will let visitors enjoy a tropical getaway without the noise and traffic of a major tourist town.
If this describes your ideal vacation, put Rincon on your list of potential destinations!
Puerto Rico is known for its crazy, colorful locations, but Santurce takes the cake.
Graffiti is sprayed on buildings and bridges with elaborate, larger-than-life murals; houses come in every shade of the rainbow.
Old shipping containers are painted with bright colors and converted into food trucks.
If it sounds trendy, you’re absolutely right.
Santurce has been called everything from “a hipster haven” to “the Brooklyn of Puerto Rico,” and it’s known for being hip, stylish and artistic.
Things weren’t always this way.
Santurce used to be a poor, unsafe neighborhood, and you can still see the remnants of harsher times in its run-down buildings and cluttered strip malls.
Travel tips often advise tourists to be careful walking around Santurce at night.
For the most part, however, Santurce has been gentrified to the point of becoming one of the major points of interest of Puerto Rico.
It’s a neighborhood where art lives on the walls and bars have salsa dancers spilling onto the streets.
It’s loud, happy, boozy and genuine, so it’s worth a visit if you want a taste of authentic Spanish culture in Puerto Rico.
Ciales is a landlocked town in central Puerto Rico.
It doesn’t look like much on a map, but if you’re willing to peer a little closer, you’ll realize that it has many neat opportunities for tourists.
For example, did you know that horseback riding is alive and well in Ciales? People ride their ponies right through the town square.
This kind of thing isn’t possible in the busy, crowded streets of major Puerto Rico cities, but it doesn’t raise an eyebrow in a quiet town like Ciales.
Ciales is also a nice pit stop on the way to other Caribbean adventures.
It’s right on the route to the famous Yuyu Cave, and it’s just a short drive from Tres Picachos State Forest where you can hike through the vegetation to reach beautiful, picturesque waterfalls.
You don’t have to do wild things in Puerto Rico to have a good time.
You can enjoy your trip with nothing more than a good coffee cafe or a pet to a friendly horse, and Ciales can provide that.
It’s one of the best places on the island for lazy, leisurely fun.
41. Rio Abajo Forest Reserve
Covering more than 5,000 acres of central Puerto Rico, the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve is one of the craziest places in the Caribbean if you enjoy unusual geography and topography.
It’s basically several forests packed into a single area, and depending on your compass, you might wind up in a dry cave, humid rainforest, barren sinkhole or lush ravine.
It’s recommended that you hire a tour guide for your trip to the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve.
While there are some places in Puerto Rico that are safe to explore on your own, the ever-changing conditions of this particular forest can make it hard to navigate without help.
If you’re willing to put in the effort, however, the Rio Abajo Forest Reserve is definitely one of the coolest places in Puerto Rico.
It’s even home to several different endangered species.
Because of the diverse environmental conditions of the area, things like parrots, boa constrictors and broad-winged hawks can share the same land.
The forest is one of the only places to see these rare creatures in the wild, so grab your camera and click that shutter!
42. San Juan Catamaran Sunset Sail
As the curtain closes on your vacation in Puerto Rico, say goodbye to the island with the San Juan Catamaran Sunset Sail.
It’s the perfect way to bid adios to all of the places that have brought you joy, wonder, excitement and buzz.
You’ll start your sailing adventure by boarding a 37-foot catamaran in the bay.
The captain will offer you complimentary beverages of beer, punch, sparkling wine or rum and coke.
Once you’re away from the shoreline of Puerto Rico, he’ll cut the noisy engine and let the sails do the rest of the work, propelling you through the wind and water as the sun sets over San Juan.
The views will be incredible.
You’ll pass everything from El Morro to the Governor’s Mansion, and it will sparkle with the reflection of the water and the warm glow of the sunset.
You might even spot a few dolphins swimming along the side of the catamaran.
Say a gentle farewell to your vacation with the San Juan Catamaran Sunset Sail.
It’s a beautiful, peaceful activity, and it’ll be the perfect way to end your trip to Puerto Rico.
Start Planning Your Trip To Puerto Rico
These are just a few ways to live it up in Puerto Rico.
Whether you’re interested in thrill-seeking adventures or quiet explorations of historical sites, there’s a little something for everyone on this famous Caribbean island.
If you’re wondering how to plan a trip to Puerto Rico, start with these suggestions!