Puerto rico where to go: The Island of Puerto Rico
39 Places to Visit in Puerto Rico in 2022 (By a Local)
If you’re looking for places to visit in Puerto Rico, but you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
While you can read about Puerto Rico tourist attractions almost everywhere, some Puerto Rico destinations are hidden gems that only a Puerto Rican would know about.
Lucky for you I am a Puerto Rico local. And I’ve put together this list of the 39 best places to visit in Puerto Rico, so you don’t miss a single thing!
Table of Contents
- 39 Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico
- Old San Juan
- El Yunque National Forest
- Rio Camuy Caves Park
- Playa Flamenco, Culebra
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro
- Mosquito Bay, Vieques
- Isla Verde
- La Parguera
- Las Cuevas de Desecheo
- The Pork Highway in Guavate
- Luquillo Beach
- Los Morrillos Lighthouse
- Mar Chiquita
- Isla Culebrita
- La Placita de Santurce
- Cueva del Indio
- Casa Bacardi
- San Germán
- Guanica State Forest
- Cueva del Viento
- Castillo de San Cristóbal
- Carolina Beach
- Seven Seas Beach
- Punta Tuna Nature Reserve
- The Written Stone
- Bahía Viva Cataño
- San Cristóbal Canyon
- Jobos Bay Reserve
- Hacienda Tres Angeles
- Cayo Santiago
- FAQs About Visiting Puerto Rico
- What part of Puerto Rico should I visit?
- What is the most beautiful part of Puerto Rico?
- What should you avoid in Puerto Rico?
- How many days do I need in Puerto Rico?
- Is Puerto Rico expensive?
- What are the nicest parts of Puerto Rico?
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!
39 Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
Walk a historical city that mixes ancient and modern times
Me on the green in front of El Morro in Old San Juan
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Top Old San Juan Hotels on Booking
Old San Juan is full of history, food, and culture. In this relatively small area, you will find many of the most popular things to do in Puerto Rico.
Old San Juan offers the best of both worlds: a historical landscape for history buffs, and modern energetic nightlife for party lovers. As you walk through the cobblestone streets, make time for some of the best activities to do in San Juan like visiting the San Juan’s Gate, La Capilla del Cristo, El Paseo la Princesa, and La Fortaleza.
📍 Planning to Stay in San Juan? Bookmark my full guide to staying in San Juan for hotel suggestions and neighborhoods to consider.
El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the US national forest system
Me chasing waterfalls in El Yunque
Google Maps | El Yunque National Forest Website | 👉 Browse Rio Grande Hotels on Booking
Known as the only tropical rainforest in the United States national forest system, El Yunque National Rainforest is one of the best Puerto Rico destinations for nature lovers. You can explore dozens of hiking trails, rivers, viewing towers, and some of the best waterfalls in Puerto Rico, like La Mina Falls and La Coca Falls.
Bookmark my full El Yunque rainforest guide for tips and practical info for your visit.
A Caribbean paradise with breathtaking scenery, just off the coast of the main island
Google Maps | Vieques Website | 👉 Best Places to Stay in Vieques
There is a lot to stuff do in Vieques. Besides boasting a bioluminescent bay, Vieques has some of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico, including Playa Negra, the only black sand beach in the country, and other paradisiacal beaches like Navío Beach, Sun Bay, and La Chiva. History enthusiasts can’t miss the Puerto Ferro Lighthouse and the Fortin Conde Mirasol Museum, the last Spanish fort built on the American continent.
Rio Camuy Caves Park
Discover a unique underground world in the Rio Camuy Caves System
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Rio Camuy Cave Park on Booking
The Rio Camuy Caves are one of the unique places to see in Puerto Rico. The Rio Camuy Caves were created by the Camuy River, the third-longest subterranean river in the world. The cave system sports 220 caves and caverns with massive stalactites and stalagmites that will impress any traveler.
For more caving adventures, check out my guide to the 11 best caves in Puerto Rico.
Playa Flamenco, Culebra
Relax under the palm trees of a paradisiacal beach
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Culebra Hotels on Booking
Boasting white sand and turquoise calm waters, Playa Flamenco in Isla Culebra makes the ideal getaway trip. Not only is it one of the paradisiacal beaches in Puerto Rico, but it’s also one of the top beaches in the world.
To get there, you’ll need to plan a visit to the small Culebra, which lies a 45 minute ferry right off the main island.
👉 Don’t want to stay in Isla Culebra overnight? If you’re staying in San Juan you can take a day trip to Flamenco Beach by booking this Culebra day trip Catamaran from Fajardo. They even offer pick-up from some hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico!
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Discover a fortress with more than four centuries of history
Google Maps | El Morro Guide | 👉 Browse San Juan Hotels on Booking
Castillo San Felipe del Morro, also called El Morro, is a 16th-century fortress built by the Spaniards to defend the country from sea attacks. El Morro is one of Puerto Rico’s iconic landmarks for its historical value and amazing architecture.
Immerse yourself in the history of the South Pearl city
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Ponce Hotels on Booking
Although partially similar to Old San Juan, Ponce sports its unique charm and travelers will find many things to do in Ponce, like visiting the oldest firehouse in Puerto Rico, feeding pelicans in La Guancha, and admiring the Flaming June painting in the Ponce Museum.
Beach hop between the best beaches of this west coast
Google Maps | Tourism Association of Rincon Website | 👉 Browse Rincon Hotels on Booking
With all the things to do in Rincón, you can experience your dream Caribbean island vacation. Besides having breathtaking sunsets, you’ll also find that many Rincón beaches are perfect for surfing and watching humpback whales. The city’s center sports great restaurants, galleries, and souvenirs shops.
If you go, be sure to bookmark my guide to the best places to stay in Rincon.
Mosquito Bay, Vieques
Kayak in the brightest of the world
Google Maps | Vieques Website | 👉 Browse San Juan Hotels on Booking
Owner of the title for the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, Mosquito Bay in Vieques is one of the places to go in Puerto Rico. While this is not the only bio bay in Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay is the most stunning (and the best-preserved after Hurricane Maria).
👉 Pro Tip: Getting to Vieques from the main island can be stressful if it’s your first time visiting Puerto Rico. Instead of driving yourself, you can book this transfer from San Juan to the Ceiba ferry so you can forget about following the GPS and enjoy a guided ride instead.
Stay in beachfront resorts a few minutes from the airport
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Isla Verde Hotels on Booking
Isla Verde is where to go in Puerto Rico if you want to stay close to the airport, but still get a taste of the beautiful beaches. This beachfront neighborhood has top-notch hotels, popular restaurants, and the best nightlife on the island.
Embrace the rich culture of the artsy neighborhood of San Juan
You’ll find Instagram-worthy spots all over Santurce
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Santurce Hotels on Booking
Santurce is San Juan’s modern cultural center where young travelers and culture enthusiasts can enjoy art, performances, and shows in theaters, music halls, and even the streets of the city.
Brand stores, fine dining restaurants, and the beach all in one place
Ventana al Mar in Condado
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Condado Hotels on Booking
If you’re looking for brand stores, luxury hotels, beach bars, and fancy restaurants without missing out on the beach view, then Condado is for you. This district is home to some of the best hotels and restaurants on the island with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
🧳 Always Forget to Pack Something? Just use my Puerto Rico Packing List to check off everything you need to bring!
Swim or kayak in a glowing bioluminescent bay
Google Maps | La Parguera Lajas Website | 👉 Browse Lajas Hotels on Booking
La Parguera in Lajas is one of the most famous places in Puerto Rico for having one of the bioluminescent bays on the island. Once in La Parguera, you can’t miss the chance to taste the local cuisine in El Malecón or go scuba diving in La Pared.
📆 When Should You Visit Puerto Rico? Check out my guide to the best time to visit Puerto Rico by month to learn the best seasons and times of year to vacation in Puerto Rico.
Eat everything you can at Puerto Rico’s fritter capital
Eat your favorite Puerto Rican dish by La Pocita
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Carolina Hotels on Booking
Piñones is Puerto Rico’s fritter capital! You’ll find dozens of Puerto Ricans in every kiosk enjoying traditional Puerto Rican foods like alcapurrias and bacalaítos. Piñones is also famous for its beach boardwalk and La Pocita de Piñones, a family-friendly beach.
Las Cuevas de Desecheo
Dive into a unique underwater cave system
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Rincon Hotels on Booking
Desecheo Island is one of the least known Puerto Rico attractions that should be on the list of every diving enthusiast. While Desecheo is an uninhabited island forbidden to any visitor, the surrounding coral reefs and underwater caves are open for exploration.
🚗 How to Get There: You won’t find tours to Desecheo on your typical booking site. If you don’t want to miss the experience, you can only visit by booking a tour with Taino Divers.
The Pork Highway in Guavate
Taste the most popular dishes in this gastronomic route
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Guavate on Booking
La Ruta del Lechón, also known as The Pork Highway, refers to a route in Cayey with dozens of kiosks and restaurants that sell the most popular Puerto Rican dish, roast pork, along with other local dishes like arroz con gandules.
Sunbath on the beach while eating a Puerto Rican snack
(photo: Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock)
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Luquillo Hotels on Booking
Luquillo Beach is one of the top Puerto Rico tourist attractions for multiple reasons including its location close to El Yunque, strong surf, facilities, and its food kiosks that sell every traditional Puerto Rican dish.
🏖️ Want More Beaches? I wrote another epic guide to all the best beaches on the island. Bookmark it now and come back after you’ve read this article!
Fall in love with this city’s natural beauty
Swimming in the Guayaney Spring in Manatí
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Manatí Hotels on Booking
Although most other travel guides won’t mention it frequently, you’ll find a lot of fun things to do in Manatí for outdoor enthusiasts like water springs, natural pools, caves, biking trails, and beautiful beaches.
👉 Need a local guide? This hidden gems tour takes you to all the best places of Manatí, including the Guayaney Spring.
Los Morrillos Lighthouse
Admire the best view on the west coast
Google Maps | Cabo Rojo Website | 👉 Browse Hotels in Cabo Rojo on Booking
Although Los Morrillos Lighthouse itself holds historical value, the main draw of this popular attraction in Cabo Rojo is the surrounding scenery with cliff and rock formations that seem like out of a movie.
Soak in the waters of a natural beach pool
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Manatí Hotels on Booking
Mar Chiquita is a natural pool formed by rock formations in Manatí. A few years ago, it won the Travel Lemming Emerging Destination award as one of the top emerging destinations in North America.
Besides swimming on the beach in Mar Chiquita, visitors can’t miss the view from the top of the rock formations.
Snorkel with sea turtles in the Caribbean
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Culebrita on Booking
Isla Culebrita, a small island that belongs to Culebra, hides one of the top beaches in Culebra, where you can swim with sea turtles and see the best coral reefs in the entire Caribbean.
🚗 How to Get There: You can only get to Culebrita by private boat. If you’re already in Culebra, you can book this Culebrita boat day trip to spend the day snorkeling with turtles on the eastern coast.
La Placita de Santurce
Mingle and party with the locals
(photo: fincioenj / 123rf)
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Santurce Hotels on Booking
La Placita de Santurce is a nightlife spot in San Juan where you can eat at some of the best restaurants in San Juan and meet local Puerto Ricans surrounded by a lively atmosphere full of music, and dancing.
Cueva del Indio
Explore a cave with Taino petroglyphs
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Arecibo Hotels on Booking
A history buff must visit Cueva del Indio if he’s wondering where to go in Puerto Rico. Located on the coast of Arecibo, Cueva del Indio displays ancient Taino petroglyphs left behind hundreds of years ago.
👉 Read Next: Best Places to Visit in US Virgin Islands
Tour the largest rum distillery in the world
Google Maps | Casa Bacardí Website | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Casa Bacardí on Booking
The Bacardí Rum Factory near San Juan is one of the popular tourist attractions in Puerto Rico. Known for its long history, connoisseurs can take a tour to learn about the rum-making process, do tastings, or take mixology classes.
Stroll through the second oldest city in Puerto Rico
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to San German on Booking
San Germán is the second oldest city in Puerto Rico and it offers wanderers full insight into the past lifestyle of the Spaniards on the island. The historic city center sports two churches from the 17th century, cobblestone streets, museums, and excellent restaurants.
Guanica State Forest
Hike through the beauties of a national forest
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Guanica Hotels on Booking
The Guanica State Forest is one of the largest natural reserves in the world and a paradise for hikers and outdoor adventurers. An alternative to El Yunque National Rainforest, hiking in the dry forest and swimming in the surrounding beaches are popular activities in Guánica.
Cueva del Viento
Descend into a world of stalagmites and stalactites
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Isabela Hotels on Booking
Isabela is home to some of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico including La Cueva del Viento. You have to hike 30 minutes deep inside the Guajataca Forest to get to the cave, but the views inside it are worth the trip.
👉 Pro Tip: Make sure to ask the park rangers for information, as there are many trails inside the forest. Don’t forget to bring flashlights with you and to wear shoes with a good grip.
Castillo de San Cristóbal
Roam through the hidden passages of a military fort
Google Maps | Castillo San Cristóbal Website | 👉 Browse Old San Juan Hotels on Booking
Even if El Morro is more popular for its history, San Cristobal Castle also holds an important place in the military history of Puerto Rico. While El Morro protected the island from the sea attacks, the San Cristóbal Castle defended the territory from land attacks.
Kayak, paddleboard, or snorkel at a familiar beach
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Carolina Hotels on Booking
Carolina Beach is perhaps Puerto Rico’s most popular urban beach. Just a short drive from the airport, the beach offers tourists a water park for kids and watersports rentals for kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. While there, check out my list of fun things to do in Carolina.
Dip into a refreshing waterfall’s pool
Google Maps | 👉 Browse San Sebastian Hotels on Booking
Gozalandia is a natural water park in San Sebastian with a splendid waterfall that is both fascinating and easy to access. You’ll find a designated parking lot and stairs down to the waterfall.
Seven Seas Beach
Camp on a delightful beach
Google Maps | Seven Seas Beach Website | 👉 Browse Fajardo Hotels on Booking
Seven Seas Beach is one of the top Fajardo attractions for its golden sand, calm waters, and facilities like bathrooms, showers, and gazebos. The beach is also a popular Puerto Rico camping spot.
👉 Love Snorkeling? Seven Seas is one of the favorite spots in Fajardo for snorkeling. If you’re a beginner, take this snorkeling tour to see the reefs on the beach.
Visit the Vatican city of Puerto Rico
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Aguada Hotels on Booking
The city where it’s believed both the Spaniards and the Americans entered Puerto Rico, Aguada has charming beaches, historical buildings, the only Earthship on the island, and multiple farms where you can buy local products.
Punta Tuna Nature Reserve
Find the hidden beauties of a nature reserve
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Maunabo Hotels on Booking
Nature reserves are the best part of Puerto Rico to visit for budget-friendly and non-crowded activities. The Punta Tuna Reserve in Maunabo boasts a historical lighthouse, impressive cliffs, and beachside hiking trails to enjoy a stress-free day.
The Written Stone
Find the carved drawings left by the Taino
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Jayuya on Booking
Known as La Piedra Escrita, the written stone is a huge boulder that stands in the middle of a river in Jayuya. What makes it unique is the dozens of Taíno petroglyphs carved in it that reflect the island’s ancestors’ lifestyle and beliefs.
Bahía Viva Cataño
Hop between the picture-perfect spots of Cataño
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Cataño Hotels on Booking
Cataño’s beachfront offers entertainment for all the family. This beachfront boardwalk with a view of Old San Juan, boasts multiple picture-perfect spots, fishing bridges, food stalls, restaurants, bars, and a playground for kids.
San Cristóbal Canyon
Adventure into the deepest canyon of the Antilles
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Aibonito Hotels on Booking
Located between Aibonito and Barranquitas, this 500 feet deep trench hides the Usabón river, dozens of waterfalls, impressive cliffs, and a beautiful forest. You should visit the San Cristóbal Canyon only with guides as it’s more challenging than El Yunque National Forest.
Jobos Bay Reserve
Kayak in the Black Sea of Puerto Rico
Google Maps | Jobos Bay Reserve Website | 👉 Browse Guayama Hotels on Booking
The second-largest estuary in Puerto Rico, the Jobos Bay Reserve offers nature lovers options for hiking, kayaking in the “Black Sea” lagoon, or swimming on the beach. Keep in mind some trails are outgrown after Hurricane Maria.
👉 Local Tip: Another way to discover the Jobos Bay Reserve is through a boat tour. This Private Day Sale Tour takes you to all the highlights of the reserve and customizes the experience for every visitor.
Hacienda Tres Angeles
Drink a cup of freshly brewed coffee
Google Maps | Hacienda Tres Angeles Website | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Hacienda Tres Angeles on Booking
Besides drinking a cup of fresh coffee at Hacienda Tres Angeles in Adjuntas, coffee lovers can take a coffee-making tour every Saturday at 10:00 am with a previous reservation. It’s one of the top coffee farms in Puerto Rico.
Travel to a cay with a peculiar population
Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hotels Close to Cayo Santiago on Booking
Cayo Santiago is a small island that is famous for its unusual population: Monkeys! Also called Monkey Island, the cay is home to hundreds of monkeys that tourists can see on a boat tour.
FAQs About Visiting Puerto Rico
What part of Puerto Rico should I visit?
Popular parts of Puerto Rico to visit include San Juan, Vieques, Culebra, and Carolina Beach. If you are short on time, you should visit the northern area of Puerto Rico, which is closer to the airport in San Juan. That way you can enjoy both the crowded city lifestyle and the nature of the countryside too.
What is the most beautiful part of Puerto Rico?
The most beautiful parts of Puerto Rico include the west area of the island, for its beaches and breathtaking sunsets. Other beautiful areas include Vieques, Culebra, Fajardo, Utuado, and Manatí.
What should you avoid in Puerto Rico?
In Puerto Rico, it’s recommended for visitors to avoid driving in the central area of the island if they aren’t skilled with driving on curvy and narrow roads. See our full Puerto Rico driving guide for more info.
How many days do I need in Puerto Rico?
Travelers need from 7 to 10 days to explore Puerto Rico’s main attractions and the surrounding islands and cays. If you would like to cover attractions off the beaten path, extending your Puerto Rico itinerary to two weeks is ideal.
Is Puerto Rico expensive?
Puerto Rico ranges on the higher side of the price range. Even if there are many free things to do, hotels and car rentals aren’t as cheap as in other destinations in Latin America. Travelers can step out of the tourist area to find better prices for restaurants and hotels.
What are the nicest parts of Puerto Rico?
The nicest parts of Puerto Rico include western Puerto Rican cities like Rincón, Aguadilla, Aguada and Cabo Rojo. Other nice parts include El Yunque National Forest, Ponce, Guánica, Utuado, Vieques and Culebra.
👉 Want More Local Tips? Don’t miss Travel Lemming’s list of my favorite 49 things to do in Puerto Rico!
That was the list of 39 places to visit in Puerto Rico! From white sand beaches to historical fortresses, Puerto Rico offers something to every visitor.
What’s the thing you’re looking forward to visiting? Scroll down and leave a comment!
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15 Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico
There are really two Puerto Rico’s. The one known for rest, relaxation, and cocktails, and the one beloved by outdoor adventure adrenaline junkies.
If you’re the one looking for your next beach holiday, you’d do well to consider Puerto Rico – it’s the stuff that Caribbean daydreams are made of. With fantastic beaches, incredible waves, and stunning coral reefs, you’ll find a beach to suit your mood.
If you’re looking for action try hiking through the rainforests, considered some of the wettest on Earth, or head into the mountains for some awe-inspiring views.
Puerto Rico’s culture is unmistakably fun and includes incredible cuisine, dance, and sports fanatics.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Puerto Rico:
1. San Juan
Source: flickrSan Juan
Tucked inside a tiny islet that protects the harbour, San Juan is an old town, settled by colonists roughly 100 years before the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts.
This incredible town balances an intense modern energy with bona fide historical roots as one of the oldest settlements in the Americas.
Surrounded by walls that are 15 feet thick, the city isn’t just a museum of artefacts, though you will be amazed at what’s been preserved, it’s a complex system of growing neighbourhoods filled with unbelievable restaurants, galleries, night life, and shopping.
And of course, you can’t forget the beaches. The north of the city is lined with crystal blue water with great resorts along the shore.
2. Rio Camuy Caves
Source: flickrRio Camuy Caves
About one hour’s drive from the capital of San Juan is where the planets third largest river carves out roughly 220 caves over the course of ten miles.
You can visit with one of the many organized tour groups or find an adventure operator who will show you what spelunking was meant to be.
Geologists hypothesize that there could be as many as 800 undiscovered caves there. Run by the Parques Nacionales, the caves are located in a 300-acre park and park guides offer walking tours of the area.
This is nature at her best and most stunning. And if you’re wondering what that heat is, it’s the heat that’s given off by the hundreds of sleeping bats that nest at the top of the caves.
3. Culebra & Vieques
Source: flickrPlaya Brava, Culebra
Just seven miles from the mainland, the two spectacular gems of Puerto Rico’s Caribbean are Vieques and Culebra.
After 50 years of military occupation (now over), you’ll be surprised by the completely laid-back atmosphere and the towns populated by expats, locals, and sailors on leave.
There’s a ton of delights waiting to be discovered on the islands: endangered turtles and herds of beautiful wild horses. Most people go for the incredible beaches.
Several are deserted, which allows you to stretch out and sink in and many say that Vieques and Culebra have the best beaches in all of the Caribbean.
All in all, the islands haven’t been over developed yet which allows them to keep their quaint vibe.
4. Mosquito Bay
Source: flickrMosquito Bay Vieques
If you’re going to be spending time on the island of Vieques, most travellers will tell you that Mosquito Bay needs to be your home base.
If the calming view of Sun Bay isn’t enough, the seclusion that you feel is often one of the major draws here.
The beach is about two miles long, one of the few with public facilities and life guards on the island, and people love the feeling of getting away from it all.
For that very reason, the beach is most popular in the evening time, around sunset.
5. El Yunque National Rainforest
Source: flickrEl Yunque National Rainforest
The only tropical forest in the entire United States National Forest Organization, El Yunque is a huge favourite among those who love hiking and being in nature.
Just 35 miles east of San Juan, the park receives over 100 billion gallons of precipitation each year.
Remember to wear waterproof clothes and bring waterproof gear as well.
There are 13 trails that range from easy to difficult. Be sure to check out Big Tree Trail and La Mina – both of which follow La Mina River and wind up near La Mina Falls.
Another necessity is to plan for at least two days. Camping is a great option but there are plenty of accommodations in the area as well.
6. La Vuelta Cycling Tour
Source: vueltaprLa Vuelta Cycling Tour
If you’re looking for a way to see the entire country at the perfect pace, consider participating in the La Vuelta Cycling Tour.
You’ll see all 375 coastal miles of the country from the seat of your bike. Don’t be intimidated by the name, it’s more of a tour than a race, and people from all over enjoy the spirit and the community of it all.
For three days each January, riders cycle through tropical rainforests, marinas, coconut plantations, cover some fantastic beaches, and go through over 42 towns.
You probably do need to be relatively fit to enjoy La Vuelta, but the organizers set up rest stops along the route and many riders break and relax for a while during the day in order to take in their surroundings.
At night, there’s incredible food and Puerto Rican hospitality to enjoy.
Many consider Puerto Rico’s second largest city to be reflect the essence of the country.
The often repeated saying, Ponce es Ponce (Ponce is Ponce) reflects its reputation for being a bit unique.
When you walk through town and see the lovely fountains in the square, or stroll down the narrow lanes of the historic centre, you’ll get a sense of the wonderful history of the place.
You’ll find all the urban problems of a modern city – like traffic congestion and crowding, but you’ll also find over a dozen museums, wonderful colonial architecture, and a fabulous boardwalk filled with restaurants worth visiting two or three times each.
8. Fort San Cristóbal
Source: flickrCastillo San Cristóbal
Built to protect old San Juan from attacks, Fort San Cristóbal isn’t on many of the travel guides (like the more popular Fort El Morro), but it’s worth your time to get a sense of the history of Puerto Rico.
The views of the shore from the fort are worth the trip alone. Spend an hour or two wandering through the sprawling complex, visiting the dungeons and picturing life gone by as you stand in the courtyard and take it all in.
If you’ve come to Puerto Rico for the beach, it’s entirely possible that you’ll never get any farther than Condado.
Located in the middle of some unbelievable high rise towers and resort, Condado is the place for beach bars and any water sport you can think of.
This is a beach in the heart of the city so it’s lively and something is always happening there. Waiters will cater to your every cocktail whim and its close proximity to so many hotels makes it easy to spend a day in the sun and then head out into the city at night.
10. Carolina Beach
Source: flickrCarolina Beach
Also in San Juan, Carolina is a public beach that’s popular with both tourists and locals.
Families love it because the tides aren’t too strong and there’s a life guard on duty during the day.
It’s popular, which translates to often crowded, but for many, that kind of energy is what makes a beach great. Great water sport rentals here too so plan to bring a cooler of your favourite beverages and spend a day relaxing.
11. Guanica State Forest
Source: wikipediaGuanica State Forest
Calling all nature lovers! Guanica was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 and this dry forest is one of the best in all of the Caribbean.
Guanica is also well-loved by birds. More than 50 percent of Puerto Rico’s bird species make their home here.
There are over 36 miles of trails to hike and discover the more than 700 plant species in the forest – 48 of which are, unfortunately, endangered.
The forest covers about 1000 acres and gets about 30 inches of rain each year (compared to El Yunques’ 200+ inches!) – enough to keep it green and beautiful. Bring your binoculars and enjoy.
12. Fort El Morro
Source: flickrFort El Morro
Jutting out from San Juan harbour is El Morro, strategically placed there in the 16th century to defend the city against sea attacks. This six story fort is massive and is considered the number one place to explore when travelling in the city. The views are inspiring and the history is intriguing. If you’re feeling adventurous, go underground and explore the prison cells and extensive tunnels. It’s recommended that you plan half a day for El Morro as there is plenty of ground to cover here.
13. Las Cuevas of Desecheo
Source: flickrDesecheo Island
Designated as one of Puerto Rico’s “Galapagos of the Caribbean,” Desecheo’s history is a little bizarre and definitely unique.
The interior is off limits due to the possibility of unexploded ordinance left over from military training in the 1940’s.
There’s also a ton of Rhesus monkeys on the island. They were brought there in the 1960’s as part of a science experiment.
Out by the shore, underwater, lie the real reasons you visit Desecheo. There’s an extensive network of undersea caves and canyons that make this the perfect destination for scuba diving.
Just 12 miles from the mainland, the island is uninhabited and you’ll love relaxing on its beautiful beaches between dives.
14. Mona Island
Source: flickrMona Island
Mona Island is 22 square miles of uninhabited ecological reserve. If you’re looking for unspoiled and pristine Puerto Rico, this is the place.
The island has park rangers that oversee the camping facilities and you can stay there from May to November.
Explore the island and discover ancient carvings created by the Taino Indians who once made the island home.
Another of the “Galapagos of the Caribbean” islands, this place exudes mystery and rugged beauty. If you want off the grid you won’t do better than Mona Island.
15. Hell Mile Extreme Race
Source: gustazosHell Mile
In Cerro de Nandy in San Lorenzo, you can take part in a killer extreme race known affectionately as Hell Mile.
Attracting extreme athletes and wide assortment of interesting characters, the course is a one-mile run up and down a rather intense mountain.
But it’s not just up and down once. During round two you make the same trek with a 15-25 pound bag. And then in round three the bag gets heavier.
And if that isn’t enough, they hold the race in July, one of the hottest months everywhere. This well-known race is a point of pride not just for the survivors (er, participants), but also for the locals.
If you’re not feeling up to three rounds of Hell Mile, consider stopping by and watching the extreme fun. Sure to make for some great stories back home.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Puerto Rico
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Hotel Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, Puerto Rico from 17188 ₽ — Yandex Travel
Hotel Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, Puerto Rico from 17188 ₽ — Yandex Travel Grande, 6000 Rio Mar Boulevard See on the map
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Content of the article:
- A little history
- state with a special status of
- Island on the map of the world
- Puerto Rico on the Canary Islands
- Capital Tropical Paradise
- Old Town, guarded UNESCO
- Famous Flamenco Beach
- Non -handed monuments
- Luminous bays
- Where another
- ramps for elements
- Reviews of tourists
- cryptor or cryptopur
RASKA, one coast of which is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and the other, and the other, and the other, and the other, and the other is the Caribbean. The island of Puerto Rico has long been popular with travelers who are attracted by white-sand beaches, virgin nature and more. For several centuries, several cultures (African, Indian, Spanish, American) have mixed here, which gives the state a special flavor.
A bit of history
The secret of Puerto Rico’s unique atmosphere lies in its history. Initially, the island, which was discovered by H. Columbus, was owned by the Spaniards. It is believed that they are to blame for the death of all the natives. The colonialists brought to earth a huge number of diseases from which the Indians died. The Europeans used the island of Puerto Rico as a fortification and trading port.
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At the beginning of the 19th century, when political and socio-economic problems in the world worsened, Europeans fled here to escape from difficulties. In 1898, after the Spanish-American War, the lands became owned by the United States. And hundreds of thousands of Americans rushed to where the island of Puerto Rico is located to relax on local beaches.
State with special status
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Now this territory, which is limited by the US constitution, is under the control of the United States of America, and the highest official (governor) is elected by local residents. Despite the fact that Puerto Ricans have American citizenship, they cannot cast their vote in presidential elections. The state has its own system of self-government and the status of «unincorporated organized territory». The Americans made the island of Puerto Rico a link between South and North America.
Puerto Rico has been granted autonomous status by the US, but political parties have been fighting for long-awaited independence for decades. True, an increasing number of islanders insist on joining the United States as 51 states.
The country, located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, is divided into 78 municipalities, which are divided into districts, which in turn are divided into sectors. The first municipality was formed in 1521. This is San Juan, the capital of the island.
Island on the world map
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A tropical paradise exuding amazing aromas of exotic flowers and admirable «emerald» greenery, valued for its cosmopolitanism and openness. On the one hand, tourists feel as if they came to the USA, on the other hand, they find themselves in colorful Latin America. Travelers who are going to spend their holidays in an amazing place are interested in where the island of Puerto Rico is located. According to tourists, it is not difficult to find it on the world map.
The state of Central America, which is part of the Antilles archipelago, is located in the Caribbean Sea and consists of the main island of the same name and many small islands (Vieques, Deseceo, Mona, Culebra, etc.).
In the west, its borders are adjacent to the Dominican Republic, and in the east — to the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico is a large state with an area of more than 9 thousand km2, and overpopulation is considered its main problem. However, in recent years, local residents are leaving their homes and leaving for the United States in search of a better life.
Puerto Rico in the Canary Islands
Tourists dreaming of a memorable vacation in a paradise place should be very careful. The fact is that in the south of Gran Canaria, one of the largest islands of the Canary archipelago, there is a tiny resort of Puerto Rico, famous for the beach of the same name. Travelers often confuse a small town in the Canary Islands with Puerto Rico, an island nation in the Caribbean.
The capital of a tropical paradise
The administrative center of Puerto Rico is the city of the same name, founded by Europeans. Located in the north of the state, it is one of the most ancient settlements on our planet. The capital has been perfectly preserved thanks to the efforts of the authorities, who have achieved a ban on the construction of new buildings.
A major tourist destination that is the natural harbor of the Caribbean Sea, combining the past and the present.
Old Town, protected by UNESCO
The capital of the island with numerous shopping centers and cozy restaurants cherishes a real treasure — the historic center, whose cobbled streets are covered with blue cobblestones brought by the Spaniards. Old San Juan resembles an open-air museum. Its priceless exhibits are buildings with ancient architecture. So, in the Plaza del Cinto Centenario area, you can admire amazing examples of the colonial style, as if vacationers are transferred to past eras.
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Here is one of the main attractions of the city — the powerful fortress walls of La Muraglia, left over from colonial times. Once they protected the inhabitants from enemy raids, but now they only remind of their former greatness.
Fort San Felipe del Morro, named after the King of Spain, is perfectly preserved in its original form. Built in the 16th century, it is of historical and national value. The six-level citadel, approximately 42 meters high, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Old Town is a starting point for many travelers, because it is from here that fascinating excursions begin. Each building of the historical center has its own architectural features that attract tourists from different parts of our planet. Pretty colorful houses and cobblestones with a blue tint are reminiscent of the Spanish colonial era.
The famous Flamenco Beach
The coastline of the island is full of various beaches where you can be completely alone, surf or scuba dive. One of the most interesting excursions is a ferry ride to Culebra Island, located 27 km from Puerto Rico. The small coral island is famous for its beaches, which are long stretches of white sand. The most famous is Flamenco Beach, surrounded by emerald hills.
The legendary Flamenco beach on the island of Culebra (Puerto Rico) is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. And many vacationers can’t even believe their eyes when they see it! White soft sand, crystal clear water that changes its color, coral reefs, tropical vegetation — all this makes an indelible impression.
Monuments not made by hands
Delightful natural beauty attracts all lovers of ecotourism. The El Yunque Rainforest is a biosphere reserve that amazes with the diversity of flora and fauna found here. Beautiful waterfalls, mangrove trees, hundreds of species of ferns, lost paths delight vacationers fascinated by a marvelous corner of natural origin.
Also of great interest to tourists is the Camuy Caves system, which is one of the largest in the world. It consists of 228 karst caves, although speleologists claim that their number reaches 800.
A large underground river flows nearby, and adventurous tourists can raft down it.
The unique natural attractions of the island of Puerto Rico, whose photos invariably excite the imagination of Russian tourists, are three bays: La Parguera, Mosquito and Laguna Grande. The best time to visit bioluminescent bays is at night, when the water seems to light up with a pleasant bluish-green light, there is a feeling of something unreal. This is due to the high concentration of luminous algae in the water.
Romantics and couples come here to enjoy the unearthly beauty of «neon» lighting.
Where else to go?
Mona Island, located about 60 km from Puerto Rico, is a godsend for those who are tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city. Tourists have even nicknamed it «Jurassic Park» because thousands of bats live here and huge iguanas roam.
The island is said to have the cleanest waters in the region, with visibility reaching over 50 m. Surrounded by coral reefs and mysterious grottoes, Mona has a unique ecosystem.
The elements are rampant
Last fall, Hurricane Maria hit the island, causing severe flooding and plunging Puerto Rico into darkness for a long time. The historical center of the capital was badly damaged, the streets of which were littered with stone debris and fallen power lines.
The restoration of the state is proceeding at a very slow pace, since the authorities, which have declared bankruptcy, have no funds. Its infrastructure is in a very deplorable state, and the United States does not consider saving the territory under its control a priority.
A fairy-tale corner that suffered from the elements needs tourists more than ever in order to recover faster, because tourism is the most important area of activity that brings income to the state. It is very easy to help people, for example, to bring medical supplies or food. And it is no coincidence that now a lot of volunteers, combining leisure and voluntary assistance, are rushing to where the island of Puerto Rico is located.
Travelers admit that they are completely delighted with thoughtful service and excellent service. They offer luxurious beaches, nightclubs, shopping and entertainment centers, water parks.
Newlyweds, lovers of extreme sports, couples with small children come here. Holidays in Puerto Rico are a great opportunity to combine beach pastime with excellent shopping, and during exciting excursions, tourists get acquainted with the rich history of the island and its picturesque surroundings.
Luxurious beaches with the finest sand, gentle Caribbean sun and warm sea attract thousands of guests from different countries. Surfers also rush here, competing in the ability to catch high waves. And beginners can test their strength in quiet bays. Puerto Rico is a real paradise for divers, because the coastal waters of the picturesque island are recognized as the cleanest in the world.
In addition, the people of the state are very friendly towards tourists.
Cryptoroy or cryptoutopia?
Curiously, just a few months after the hurricane, American entrepreneurs began to migrate here, attracted by tax incentives. If in other countries they tightened the regulation of the circulation of digital money, then the authorities of the island of Puerto Rico, who are looking for new ways to revive the economy, provided businessmen with all the conditions for the development of a cryptocurrency business.