In puerto rico: The Island of Puerto Rico

Top Places to See in Puerto Rico

Ancient history, rich culture, beautiful colonial architecture, perfect weather, fun attractions, delicious food, and warm people make this Caribbean island a timeless favorite destination.

If you’re wondering what some of the most popular “can’t miss” places in Puerto Rico are, here are a few recommendations to get you started.

Explore Old San Juan to discover centuries-old city walls, forts, mansions, and plazas.

Old San Juan

Spanning 500 years of history, Old San Juan is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic and treasured places in Puerto Rico. Wander the cobblestone streets to soak up the unique architecture and colorful streets. You’ll find fun local shops and lively restaurants and bars scattered throughout the old city.

Free golf carts called Garita Carts can take you around the most important landmarks such as El Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, Cuartel de Ballajá, and La Fortaleza, among others. You can also take guided tours to learn more about the history of the many 500-year-old buildings, local cuisine, and even visit the place where one of the most popular drinks was born, the world-famous piña colada.

Landmarks Not to Miss When You Visit Old San Juan

Enjoy the many scenic views and natural adventures El Yunque has to offer. 

El Yunque Rainforest

Río Grande

Located on the east side of the Island, El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest that is part of the U.S. National Forest System. Home to more than 240 types of trees, unique birds, native species like the coquí frog, and beautiful scenery, the forest spans 28,000 acres of land that includes 25 waterfalls, several rivers, and ancient petroglyphs of Taíno deities.

Only a one-hour drive from San Juan, you can either navigate El Yunque on your own or take a guided tour to get to the most popular locations. Choose between hiking, ziplining, or horseback riding, and fall in love with the astonishing view from the top of the forest overlooking the region’s lush valleys.

Note: You must reserve your visit in advance through www.recreation.gov.

Visit El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, and one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved natural gems. The park has a very diverse ecosystem, with hundreds of unique plant and animal species, including Puerto Rico’s famous coquí frog.

Piñones is a great place to grab delicious authentic Puerto Rican street food. 

Piñones

Loíza

Just minutes from San Juan and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), you can find the Afro-Caribbean coastal neighborhood of Piñones. Full of delicious authentic street food, made in the traditional fogón, the many little chinchorros (small dining stands) offer fritters made from plantain, fresh fish, oysters, and a lot sazón. You can also buy cold coconut water to drink straight out of the coconut, or try the crabmeat alcapurrias and bacalaítos (codfish fritters). The weekend is particularly busy if you’re looking for a bustling local scene. If you want to relax before you eat, be sure to bring your swimsuit and dive in at a nearby beach—just wait 45 minutes after eating before you swim!

Seven Days of Puerto Rico for First Time Visitors

Santurce is a hub for arts and culture and its streets are filled with murals. 

Santurce

San Juan

The Santurce neighborhood, home to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, among many other galleries and local shops, is located very close to the Condado district, and about 20 minutes from Old San Juan. The area has become an arts and culture hub with many buildings displaying murals, and galleries showing works by local artists.

Food is also a big deal in Santurce. You can find elegant restaurants alongside little pop-up eateries at gastronomy parks like Lote 23. La Placita de Santurce (Santurce Marketplace), offers tradition, live music, culture, and authentic local food, all in one vibrant stop. Farmers sell their fresh produce during the day, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and local dishes, and a block party-style celebration takes place on weekend nights.

A Street Art Tour of Santurce

Visitors relax in the clear water in La Parguera.

La Parguera

Lajas

A trip to La Parguera in Lajas might be a two-and-a-half-hour journey from San Juan, but it is definitely worth it. Located on the southwestern side of Puerto Rico, the village has many reasons to visit. Eat local food and drink an authentic Puerto Rican cocktail in the Malecón, a waterfront area with colorful souvenir shops and beautiful views. If you are an adventurer, you can snorkel in the nearby bioluminescent bay, experience some of the Island’s best scuba diving, go hiking, biking, or birdwatching, or charter a boat to see dozens of tiny mangrove islands. Find different species of birds and sea creatures in Caracoles, Mata la Gata, or Cayo Enrique. If you stay for a while, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of a dolphin or manatee.

Six Days of Underwater Fun at La Parguera

You can spot sea turtles at La Parguera.

From colorful reefs to schools of fish, The Wall is a diving experience like no other. 

Dare to explore the Island’s marine life?

Discover the underwater wonders Puerto Rico has to offer. 

Come have the Distrito T-Mobile experience! 

Distrito T-Mobile

San Juan

Since opening in 2021, Distrito T-Mobile has become a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. This five-acre entertainment venue at the heart of the Convention Center District in San Juan has something for everybody to enjoy, whether you’re looking for a chill daytime hang out or an exciting night out. Distrito T-Mobile’s 10 restaurants and bars range from high-end Puerto Rican cuisine at La Central by Mario Pagán to Spanish tapas at Barullo Taberna Española to bar bites and beers at Arena Medalla. Walk around the space and take in beautiful works of art by local artists and be wowed by the giant screens that bring the main plaza to life. Stick around to catch a movie at Caribbean Cinemas VIP (which has the first ScreenX Theater in the Caribbean), enjoy a concert at Coca-Cola Music Hall, or ride the zipline at Toro Verde Urban Park.

See the ultimate guide to Distrito T-Mobile

 

Don’t miss a perfect photo-op at an old abandoned tank in Flamenco beach. 

Vieques and Culebra

Vieques and Culebra are two nearby islands you should definitely add to your list of places to see. Vieques, known as la Isla Nena, is located 15 nautical miles from Fajardo, on the east side of Puerto Rico. Culebra is 19 miles from the coast. Both islands have some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere and are frequently included on lists of the world’s best beaches. Whether you take a ferry or travel by air, the trip is not too long and a visit can be made as a day trip, for an overnight, or longer. You can camp on the white sand in selected areas of Flamenco beach (Culebra), or stay at a local bed & breakfast or rental house. Experience the bioluminescent bay in Mosquito Bay (Vieques), walk around the small towns, or simply relax and enjoy the laid-back vibe.

Discover Culebra, Puerto Rico

Located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, on the east side of Puerto Rico, the island of Culebra can be reached by small plane or boat. The whole island is about 10 square miles and is divided into six barrios (districts). Culebra is surrounded by more than 20 cays bustling with marine life, making it an absolute haven for underwater adventurers and casual beachgoers alike.

Discover Vieques, Puerto Rico

Just six miles off the coast, Vieques is home to a pristine wildlife refuge and the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. Vieques offers breathtaking scenery, unparalleled beauty, unexplored spaces, and laid-back experiences.

Discover Puerto Rico: Mosquito Bay

Did you know that Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico, is the brightest bio bay around the world? This recognition was awarded by Guinness World Records in 2006.

Guavate is well known for its lechoneras, outdoor eateries specializing in slow-roasted pork.

Guavate

Cayey

If you want to experience what locals do to have fun during the weekends, eat authentic tasty food, and enjoy inspiring panoramic views, then Guavate is a must. Guavate, part of the town of Cayey in the center of the Island, is well known for its lechoneras, outdoor eateries specializing in slow-roasted pork. Located high in the mountains, you’ll find amazingly tender pork, live music, a friendly atmosphere, and cooler temperatures.

A few lechoneras to visit: El Rancho Original, Lechonera El Mojito, Lechonera Los Pinos, and Lechonera Los Amigos.

A Guide to Guavate and La Ruta del Lechón

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Port of Entry | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Port Name Location Address Field Operation Office
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico — 4901

Rafael Hernandez Airport
Hanger 405 Bromon Drive
Aguadilla, PR 00604
United States

San Juan
Fajardo, Puerto Rico — 4904

U. S. Customhouse
500 Union Street
Puerto Real, PR 00740
United States

San Juan
Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Puerto Rico — 4913

Ave. Baldorioty de Castro
Isla Verde, PR 00937
United States

San Juan
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico — 4907

31 Gonzalez Clemente Ave.
Mayaguez, PR 00680
United States

San Juan
Ponce, Puerto Rico — 4908

63 Calle Bonaire
Ponce, PR 00716
United States

San Juan
San Juan, PR (Area Port), Puerto Rico — 4909

City View Plaza-Suite 3000
#48 Rd. 165 Km. 1.2
Guaynabo, PR 00968-8000
United States

San Juan

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Hotels in Puerto Rico. Book your hotel right now!
Booking.com

  • San Juan

    230 vacation rentals

  • Rincon

    57 vacation rentals

  • Ponce

    10 vacation rentals

  • Culebra

    14 vacation rentals

  • Vieques

    12 vacation rentals

  • Isabela

    37 vacation rentals

  • Cabo Rojo

    40 vacation rentals

  • Fajardo

    26 vacation rentals

  • Aguadilla

    29 vacation rentals

  • Dorado

    20 vacation rentals

  • Arecibo

    11 vacation rentals

  • Bayamon

    5 vacation rentals

  • Humacao

    19 vacation rentals

  • Rio Grande

    35 vacation rentals

  • Carolina

    12 vacation rentals

  • Caribbean

    12243 vacation rentals

  • Northern Puerto Rico

    365 vacation rentals

  • South Puerto Rico

    21 vacation rentals

  • 9. 3
    Perfect
    138 reviews

    Villas at Aguada Sea Beach is located in Aguada. It offers an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and free private parking.

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  • 9.6
    Fabulous
    113 reviews

    Beautiful Ocean Front Pool View Villa with Outdoor Pool and Balcony is approximately 2.9km from the water park Playa Colon.

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  • 9.6
    Fabulous
    146 reviews

    Set in Fajardo, 2.8 km from Seven Seas Beach and 31 km from El Yunque Rainforest, Waterfront Studio at Fajardo, Puerto Rico offers a garden and air conditioning.

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  • 9. 0
    Perfect
    140 reviews

    SEGOVIA STUDIO UNITS is located in Isla Verde, 2.9 km from Carolina Beach. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and free private parking.

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  • 9.2
    Perfect
    612 reviews

    Itza-Bella Suites is located in Isabela in the North Puerto Rico region. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi.

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  • 9.4
    Perfect
    109 reviews

    San Juan Home is located in San Juan, 19 km from Fort San Felipe del Morro and 11 km from Barbosa Park.

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  • 9.1
    Perfect
    988 reviews

    MAR DEL NORTE is located 300 meters from Isla Verde. It offers a garden, a terrace and air-conditioned apartments with a balcony and free Wi-Fi.

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  • 9.8
    Fabulous
    101 reviews

    Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a patio, Eden’s Garden Apartment is located in Isabela. Aguadilla is 21 km away. The property offers free private parking.

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  • 9.4
    Perfect
    113 reviews

    B&B Finca Victoria is located in Vieques. It offers an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, a bar and a garden.

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  • 9.7
    Fabulous
    105 reviews

    Featuring free WiFi and a patio, Modern Suite #0 — best location is located in Aguadilla.

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