One of the best destinations in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is a great place to visit! It has gorgeous beaches, a city, a rain forest, snorkeling, live music, and many historic forts!
- Snorkeling off Fajardo – The Caribbean has some of the best snorkeling in the world and Puerto Rico is no exception. A boat trip off the east coast can take you to some amazing reefs and also stop at some of the less frequently visited beaches and islands off the mainland. The water is incredibly clear and beautiful so I strongly recommend taking a boat trip!
- Old San Juan – One of the oldest cities in the Americas, founded in 1521 there is plenty of old world charm in this colorful part of the city. Walking around the main square gives you a chance to see the old homes and shops, and is close to the Cathedral of San Juan Baptiste as well as two forts. Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castille San Cristobal are two of the oldest forts in the Americas and provides an interesting historical experience on the island.
- El Yunque Rain Forest – Puerto Rico is home to a rain forest filled with tropical 2earlier in the day. Many companies offer tours but it is not very difficult to drive a rental car to the forest and hike the trails. There are many maps and the trails are marked well.
- Guavate – On the weekends, pig roasts can be found in the mountains of the center of the island. Lechon is the term for roasted pig and they can be found at lechonerias which are along the highway in Guavate. They have live Puerto Rican music and dancing to create a celebratory atmosphere. The highway can have pretty bad traffic so I’d suggest arriving before 1pm.
- San Juan Lagoon – San Juan has a lagoon that is much calmer than the ocean so it’s a great place for kayaking and paddleboarding, which can be rented along the water.
- Pinones mangrove forest – Definitely off the beaten path but a great alternative to the rain forest. The area is a nature preserve with a long boardwalk that goes on for miles. There are millions of crabs and lizards and very few people so it’s a good way to see some of the wildlife of the islands.
- Baseball Stadium – The stadium is a little different then the ones in the U.S. but definitely a worthwhile experience. There are very few people that attend the game so you can walk up to the gate and get tickets right before the game starts and sit front row.
- Casa Bacardi – In San Juan, you can book tours of Casa Bacardi, the rum distillery and see how rum is made and have a few drinks.
What to eat and drink
- Lechon – roasted pork that is mainly found in Guavate on the weekends
- Mofongo – a traditional dish that is traditionally meat or seafood stew surrounded by a mound of a mixture of rice and plantains
- Plantain Sandwiches – sandwiches with plantains as a substitute for bread
- Rum- Puerto Rico is home to many rum distilleries that can be visited but there are also many rum bars and Old San Juan is said to be the home of the original Pina Colada
Transportation and logistics
Flying – There’s one main airport in Puerto Rico that offers many flights to the U.S. and some to the Virgin Islands.
Public Transportation– There’s almost no public transportation. There is a bus system in San Juan but the buses don’t run past 8 pm and come about once an hour.
Cars – Renting a car is one of the best options as it allows you to move the most freely but be sure to book in advance as there are only a limited amount on the island.
Taxis– It is easy to taxis around San Juan but it can get expensive to take taxi’s to the rain forest, airport, and other parts of the island.
What to know before you go
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory but the main language is Spanish. It has one the larger islands in the Caribbean and offers a lot of things to do aside from just beaches.
San Juan is in the north of the island and has many beaches, however, there can be very strong currents here. The eastern side of the island has the most amazing beaches and the calmest and clearest water.
The U.S. dollar is accepted throughout the island and prices can be high, but are still relatively low for an island.