The best place to stay in puerto rico: Places to Stay in Puerto Rico
Where To Stay In Puerto Rico: 14 Best Areas
In this post I have outlined the best places to stay in Puerto, along with special highlights and points of interest, to ensure an unforgettable visit.
Frequently cited as one of the most stunning locales in the world, Puerto Rico has remained an immensely popular destination for well over a century.
With its diverse cultural heritage, unbeatably beautiful beaches, endless activities, and idyllic day-to-day living, it’s no wonder Puerto Rico is often regarded as the ultimate Caribbean getaway.
Whether you wish to hit up the beach or learn about Puerto Rico’s Spanish colonial history, indulge in local cuisine or visit one of the region’s sacred wildlife refuges, you’re bound to find something for everyone during your stay in Puerto Rico.
Table of Contents
1. San Juan, where to stay in Puerto Rico for sightseeing
San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, as well as its largest city, and is the second-oldest European-founded city in the United States.
Situated on the Atlantic coast, San Juan is famed for its cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial architecture, sweeping fortresses, beguiling beaches, and vibrant culture.
Old San Juan is the perfect place to find your feet and step back in time to the 16th century, with landmark sites including the El Morro and La Fortaleza, as well as the impressive citadel of Castillo San Cristóbal.
After a stroll along the bayside Paseo de la Princesa promenade, why not explore San Juan’s tremendous museum offer.
The district offers such must-sees as Casa Blanca, home of Ponce de León, Museo de las Américas, located in an old military barrack, the Museum of Art and History, the Maritime Museum, or Felisa Rincón de Gautier Museum.
Shopaholics won’t want to miss out on the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Américas, which hosts an array of boutiques and department stores alike, as well as recognizable chain retailers, eateries, and even a movie theater.
For an especially high-end shopping experience be sure to pay a visit to the Mall of San Juan, the city’s go-to for luxury department stores, noteworthy local designers, and upscale international fashion, furnishings, and interior art.
There is no shortage of dining and nightlife options in San Juan, and visitors will have their work cut out for them deciding among the many mouthwatering eateries showcasing both local and fusion cuisine, along with the plentitude of cocktail lounges, clubs, and bars to suit every palate.
There are a number of lodging options to consider during your stay in Puerto Rico, and San Juan in particular is where you can find a range of hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels, and private rentals for every budget.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SAN JUAN
- ($$$) Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
- ($$) Hotel El Convento
- ($) Navona Studios
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Santurce, where to stay in Puerto Rico for nightlife
This hip neighborhood of San Juan is a celebration of Puerto Rican arts & culture, and is often compared to Miami’s Wynwood Arts district.
Home of the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, Santurce additionally houses the experimental C787 and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), which exhibits mixed and multimedia works from around the world.
Lovers of the performance arts will most definitely want to check out the Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré, an award-winning venue that recently hosted Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit Hamilton during a much-celebrated three-week run on the island.
Visitors are also encouraged to look into the island’s yearly-occurring Santurce es Ley and Los Muros Hablan festivals, respectively.
Santurce offers plenty of dining and nightlife possibilities, and guests lodging in the neighborhood will find a unique assortment of trendy and boutique hotels.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SANTURCE
- ($$$) O:Live Boutique Hotel, A Small Luxury Hotel of the World
- ($$) AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan Condado
- ($) Avila Guesthouse
FIND SANTURCE HOTEL DEALS
3. Isla Verde, great place to stay in Puerto Rico for couples and families
This popular resort strip’s greatest draw is its namesake Isla Verde Beach, lined with hotels, bars and eateries.
This area is located very close to San Juan Airport and Old San Juan’s tourist attractions.
Here is where beachgoers will truly find their paradise, thanks to the area’s proffering of water sports and various aquatic activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking.
Located just a little ways down from Isla Verde is the smaller Carolina Beach, a favored local haunt. With its glimmering white sands, azure waters, and all the facilities one could require, offers a calmer, more laid-back retreat from the greater San Juan tourist scene.
The Isla Verde strip is an idyllic spot to find yourself at night, thanks to its lively beach clubs, casual and fine dining options, and late night shopping.
Isla Verde is one of the most relaxing places to stay in Puerto Rico, and is ideal for couples and families looking for a more organic, unhurried experience.
Most of Isla Verde’s hotels are located along the beach and feature all of the desirable amenities such as dining, sight-seeing, and car rentals.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ISLA VERDE
- ($$$) Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
- ($$) Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan – Hotel & Casino
- ($) TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde
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Culebra, a beach paradise
This modest island is where visitors will find nothing short of a paradisiacal escape.
Diamond-white beaches, sparkling cerulean waters, stunning cays, and sumptuous wildlife are just a few qualities that make Culebra one of the most desirable places to stay in Puerto Rico.
Totaling just 10 square miles, what Culebra lacks in size it more than makes up for in natural beauty.
For over a century more than 20% of Culebra has been preserved as a National Wildlife Refuge, serving as a designated habitat for endangered aviary and aquatic species.
Divers will no doubt be in their element exploring the cays and rich underwater landscapes, with plenty awaiting them once they return to shore.
The most visited beach in Culebra is Flamenco Beach, a lush and hip spot to relax, swim, explore, and hang out like a true beach bum.
Additionally accessible and making up the Luis Peña Natural Reserve are Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario beaches.
History lovers will appreciate the Museo Histórico de Culebra, where visitors can learn about the island’s native and military history, ongoing ecological efforts to preserve its natural habitats, and view Spanish artifacts.
As with Isla Verde, most of Culebra’s hotels are located along the beach, as well as private villa rentals for ultimate seclusion during your stay in Puerto Rico.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUERTO RICO IN CULEBRA
- ($$) Club Seabourne Hotel
- ($) Palmetto Guesthouse
- ($) Villa Ensenada Honda
FIND CULEBRA HOTEL DEALS
Read also: Best places to stay in Miami, best places to stay in Orlando, best places to stay in Republica Dominicana, best places to stay in The Bahamas
Mayaguez, a mix of natural beauty and exciting cultural to-dos
This sizable municipality is the third-largest in Puerto Rico, and is widely-regarded for its mix of sumptuous natural beauty and exciting cultural to-dos.
While an earthquake in 1918 destroyed many of Mayaguez’s landmark buildings, much of the city’s old world European charm has been maintained.
Plaza de Colon is the main square of Mayaguez, and often cited as one of the most stunning plazas in all of Puerto Rico. Here locals and visitors alike gather for year-round markets and events, with great efforts taken to preserve the plaza’s architectural integrity.
Mayaguez is home of the Zoológico de Mayagüez, Puerto Rico’s only zoo. The zoo is a fun excursion for families of all ages, and young ones will especially delight in the array of tropical species that reside on the 45-acre habitat.
There is also the Teatro Yaguez, Mayaguez’s much-celebrated theater, which was initially constructed in 1909 and destroyed by a fire a decade later, only to be rebuilt in 1921.
The theater has since undergone a full renovation to restore it to its original rendering, and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Thanks to its ease of accessibility and pedestrian-friendly streets and plazas, Mayguez is an idyllic area to stay in Puerto Rico, with plenty of lodging options for every traveler, taste, and budget.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MAYAGUEZ
- ($$) Mayaguez Resort & Casino
- ($) Holiday Inn Mayaguez & Tropical Casino, an IHG Hotel
- ($) Mayaguez Plaza Hotel; SureStay Collection by Best Western
FIND MAYAGUEZ HOTEL DEALS
6. Rio Grande, where to stay in Puerto Rico in a tropical oasis with lots of outdoor activities
Travelers looking for an irresistible tropical oasis will feel right at home in Río Grande. Home of the El Yunque rainforest, the town offers some of the best panoramic views of the sea and surrounding emerald greenery, with plenty of activities for the outdoor enthusiast.
Hiking, waterfall chasing, rappelling, and swimming are just some of the excursions available in Rio Grande, and guests can find it all in the aforementioned El Yunque, which covers 28,000 acres of land, contains over 240 plant species, and is the only rainforest included in the US National Forest Service.
La Coca Waterfall is an absolute must along the rainforest route, and is sure to make for some truly epic vacation portraits!
The Yocahú Observation Tower is where guests can ascend the 98 steps to take in breathtaking vistas of El Yunque, with the tower itself named after a protective deity in Puerto Rican mythology.
The Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park will definitely be of interest to outdoor daredevils thanks to its dizzying assortment of go-kart racing, mountain bike trails, and even a UTV adventure tour.
For the less adrenaline-starved, the ranch also offers horseback riding and outdoor activities geared towards younger age groups.
Rio Grande is highly recommended for its quality chain resorts and upscale boutique hotels, as well as private villas and spa lodgings.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUERTO RICO IN RIO GRANDE
- ($$$) St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
- ($$$) Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico
- ($$$) Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort
FIND RIO GRANDE HOTEL DEALS
7. Luquillo, fantastic beaches and unspoiled natural beauty
Conveniently located just 40 minutes from San Juan, Luquillo is popular for its myriad of fantastic beaches which include the government-run Balneario Monserrate, roped-off Playa Azul, surfing hotspot Playa La Pared, and La Selva, now officially known as the Northeast Ecological Corridor.
Aquatic activities abound on Luquillo’s beaches, with plenty of bars, lounges, shops, and restaurants to keep you entertained.
Because of its laid-back approach and unspoiled natural beauty, Luquillo is ideal for travelers looking for a more low-key–but none-the-less stimulating–locale.
For this reason private beachside cottages and villas are especially popular, with larger resort options in the nearby area of Rio Grande. Accommodation in Luquillo is substantially cheaper than in Rio Grande.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN LUQUILLO
- ($) The Surfing Turtle
- ($) Yunque Mar Beach Hotel
- ($) Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn
FIND LUQUILLO HOTEL DEALS
8. Rincon, best place to stay in Puerto Rico for surfers
Renowned as Puerto Rico’s surfing capital, hitting the beach is at the top of the list of Rincon musts.
With its relaxed environment and peaceful blend of local and expat communities, Rincon is where visitors can slow down and take in Puerto Rican life the way it was meant to be savored.
You don’t have to be a world-class surfer to try your hand at riding Rincon’s giant waves, as classes are available for all ages and levels. There is also the Surfing Museum, or Galeria del Surfing, to satiate the true surfing enthusiast.
Besides surfing there are also all the in-demand aquatic offerings such as diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and catamaran sailing.
The Punta Higüeras Lighthouse is the perfect spot to picnic, relax, and maybe even do some whale-watching. Built in 1892, the lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in 1918 and rebuilt in 1922 as it appears today.
While there are plenty of delicious restaurants and cafes to be found in Rincon, make sure to check out the town’s popular food trucks, which offer a variety of local specialities and beachside favorites.
Visitors will find recognizable hotel names as well as boutique options while exploring lodging options in Rincon, with everything from funky private beach cottages to pet-friendly inns available.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN RINCON
- ($$) Rincon Beach Resort
- ($$) Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel
- ($) Casa Verde Hotel
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9. Isabela, natural beauty and local vibes
This exquisite coastal town is punctuated by tall cliffs, mountain peaks, flawless beaches, and pirate-worthy coves.
The wells of Pozo de Jacinto and El Pozo Brujo are striking monuments to Puerto Rico’s natural and equally rich storytelling histories, while Blue Hole Beach is where you can spot sea turtles, tropical fish, and even manatees in their habitats.
The Guajataca State Forest is famed for its 40 acres of vegetation, tunnels, underground water systems, and caves, while the Guajataca Tunnel, built in the early 20th century for the American Railroad Co, offers visitors a fun–and decidedly unique–exploring experience.
The rock carving of Chief Mabodamaca, slain by the Spanish during the Indigenous Rebellion of 1511, is an especially poignant site, and stands as a reminder of the courage and resilience of Puerto Rico’s native people.
The Plaza de Recreo de Isabela has been a hub of activity since the ceremonial cross was planted in its park in 1818.
Since then the plaza has hosted year-round markets, events, festivals, and important gatherings to highlight crucial concerns such as preserving Puerto Rico’s ecological treasures.
Isabela offers guests a plethora of elegant lodging options, from serene seaside rooms and rentals to more centrally-located hotels, hostels, and Airbnb-style properties.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUERTO RICO IN ISABELA
- ($$$) Royal Isabela
- ($$) Villa Montaña Beach Resort
- ($) Itza-Bella Suites
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10. Fajardo, where to stay in Puerto Rico for beach and island hoping
Often referred to as La Metrópolis del Sol Naciente or “the city that guards the sun of the Caribbean,” Fajardo is where visitors can expect plenty of sunshine and unmatched views of the Caribbean.
Water sports are the order of the day in Fajardo, with such activities as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sailing available in abundance.
The coral reefs and active animal habitats of Icacos Island are a special draw, and just a short boat ride away.
Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is actually comprised of ten islands that can be reached by boat from Las Croabas.
Here visitors can glimpse sea turtle hatchings and various marine life in action, as well as visit the Faro de Las Cabezas de San Juan lighthouse, which was built in 1882 and played a significant role in the Spanish–American War.
Because of its photo-worthy scenery and ongoing roster of activities, Fajardo is a highly-recommended region to stay in Puerto Rico. Accommodation is limited to a few hotels and some private options.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN FAJARDO
- ($$$) El Conquistador Resort – Puerto Rico
- ($) Sueños del Mar
FIND FAJARDO HOTEL DEALS
11. Vieques Island, where to stay in Puerto Rico for a unique and unforgettable experience
Located off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, Vieques Island offers extensive boat tours of its bioluminescent waters and vast wildlife refuge.
Covering almost 20,000 acres of protected land and a further nine nautical miles of marine reserve, Vieques has since gone on to become a rumored paradise among travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.
The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is arguably the island’s biggest visitor draw, covering more than 60% of Vieques’ land mass, which includes a number of beaches, bays, and inner trails.
Hiking, beach-hopping, horseback-riding, wildlife spotting, and countless water activities are all on offer, and visitors can easily fill a day or more with excursions in and around the refuge.
Fortín Conde de Mirasol, a small Spanish fort overlooking the town of Isabel Segunda, is where guests can explore the grounds and barracks, as well as visit the art & history museum dedicated to Caribbean culture, which also includes an exhibition exploring the struggle between the United States Navy and people of Vieques.
The bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the brightest and most spectacular in the world due to its high concentration of microorganisms referred to as dinoflagellates.
The vibrant, pulsating blue and green lights make for an otherworldly kayaking excursion, with the overall lack of pollution ensuring a clear and dazzling light show.
Vieques Island holds an small variety of hotels, guest houses, hostels, villas and private appartments.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN VIEQUES ISLAND
- ($$$) Blue Horizon Boutique Resort
- ($$) Casa de Tortuga Guesthouse
- ($) Lazy Hostel
FIND VIEQUES ISLAND HOTEL DEALS
12. Ponce, lots of things to see and do
The large coastal city of Ponce, alternately referred to as La Perla del Sur, is one of the busiest and most bustling in Puerto Rico.
Historic sightseeing, arts & cultural events, outdoor touring, and plenty of museums impart a decidedly cosmopolitan feel, while the surrounding sea and beaches maintain the city’s tropical appeal.
The public square of Plaza Las Delicias is a popular place to get one’s bearings and admire the ornate colonial architecture.
The plaza additionally includes the Parque de Bombas, a former fire station-turned-museum, the mayor’s residence of Fuente de Leones, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Overlooking Ponce is Castillo Serrallés, the palatial estate of the Serrallés family and owners of the Don Q rum distillery.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the grounds and gardens, admire the grand interiors and outer architecture, and learn about the Puerto Rican rum industry.
There is also the coffee plantation of Hacienda Buena Vista, where guests can book private tours of the 18th century facilities.
For visitors who love to stroll at their leisure and people watch, there is La Guancha boardwalk, a seaside esplanade lined with bars, restaurants, shops, and kiosks.
Because of its size, population, and tourist appeal, visitors should have no trouble finding lodgings of every budget and style in Ponce.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PONCE
- ($$) Aloft Ponce
- ($$) Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
- ($) Boutique Hotel Belgica
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13. Dorado, rich culture, sights and captivating beaches
The “golden” town of Dorado has more than earned its name thanks to its rich culture, historic homes and sights, museums, and captivating beaches.
Just 15 miles west of San Juan, Dorado is an idyllic place to lodge during your stay in Puerto Rico, as well as a fun and convenient day excursion.
Dorado’s museums are well worth paying a visit to, with the Museo y Centro Cultural Casa del Rey, located in a former Spanish garrison from the early 19th century, the perfect introduction to Puerto Rican history.
There is also the Museo de Arte e Historia de Dorado, which explores and exhibits items from the region’s archaeological excavations.
Those seeking a peaceful beach retreat will no doubt favor the diamond sands, shady palms, and heavenly blue waters of Balneario Manuel Morales, which offers additional considerations such as restrooms, showers, and active life guards.
Ojo Del Buey Beach is also a pristine patch of paradise, with the added lore of being the burial site of infamous pirate Roberto Cofresí’s sizable treasure.
Like many of its neighboring towns and cities, Dorado has no shortage of resort-style lodgings, as well as more intimate boutique rental options.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUERTO RICO IN DORADO
- ($$$) Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- ($$) Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Hacienda Del Mar
- ($$) Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort
FIND DORADO HOTEL DEALS
Cabo Rojo, great place to stay in Puerto Rico for a relax beach and hiking holiday
Favored by Puerto Ricans for its unblemished beauty and easygoing atmosphere, the coastal town of Cabo Rojo is where friends and family gather to relax and have a good time.
Los Morrillos Lighthouse, completed in 1877 under Spanish occupation, now keeps watch over Cabo Rojo. In 1981 Los Morrillos was included in the National Register of Historic Places of the United States Department of the Interior.
Visitors are encouraged to trek to the lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic views of the sea and limestone cliffs from the observation deck, with additional hiking trails available for the journey back into town.
La Playuela Beach, known to locals as Playa Sucia, is regarded as one of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful and remote beaches, and often voted among the top beaches in the whole of the Caribbean.
The gentle turquoise waters and powdery sand make for an optimum afternoon of tranquility. (Please note that there are no on-site facilities, so be sure to pack plenty of food, drinks, and personal items.)
The Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge reserve was established in 1974 and consists of over 1,836 acres of subtropical forest.
The refuge is managed by the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex (United States Fish and Wildlife Service), and is the first of its kind in the Caribbean to be a designated site for the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
Traditional beach hotel as well as private hacienda and apartment rentals are among the more popular lodging options in Cabo Rojo.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUERTO RICO IN CABO ROJO
- ($) Combate Beach Resort
- ($) BOHO Beach Club
- ($) Mi Tierra
FIND CABO ROJO HOTEL DEALS
The 10 Best Places to Stay in Puerto Rico
By Lindsay Cohn
Published Jul 14, 2022
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We love a Caribbean getaway, especially one that takes the stress out of travel and gets us into full-on vacation mode that much sooner. Puerto Rico is an awesome option. It’s brimming with sandy beaches, lush rainforests and mountains.
Old San Juan is a hub of history and culture. There are livelier areas like Condado with high-rise hotels, restaurants, bars and casinos. Resorts of all shapes sizes and service levels dot the north shore. Craving some peace and quiet? Ponder a less-trammeled part of Puerto Rico such as Guanica or steal away to the low-key island of Vieques.
Since it’s a U.S. territory, a trip to this sun-drenched island is considered domestic travel. Yep, that means no passport or having to deal with the Covid re-entry protocols to get back into the country. Just toss a few swimsuits and some SPF in your suitcase and go.
Best for History
Getting There: 20 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: Hotel El Convento, Palacio Provincial, Villa Herencia Hotel
Rentals: Explore top-rated rentals in Old San Juan
A history lover’s dream, Old San Juan oozes charm and is packed with dazzling sights. Your first stop? The San Juan National Historic Site to see Castillo de San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro. Catedral de San Juan Bautista houses the tomb of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León (yes, he’s a problematic figure but Puerto Rico’s grandest religious building is still very much worth visiting). Cobblestone streets and brightly colored facades also make Old San Juan an incredibly enchanting place to stroll around. Cool down after a long day of sightseeing with a refreshing cocktail at one of the many outdoor bars.
Explore Old San Juan
Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images
Best for Nightlife
Getting There: 15 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: Condado Ocean Club, Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, Olive Boutique Hotel
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Condado
Condado is the lively, centrally located strip of San Juan that’s an epicenter of nightlife and entertainment. The many restaurants and swanky lounges as well as Casino del Mar welcome throngs of P.M. patrons. Looking to blow through some of your winnings? Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Ferragamo all have storefronts in Condado. There are upscale hotels situated directly on the beach, too. Just a note that the surf tends to be pretty rough, so it’s more of lazing on a cabana and ordering food and drinks than a swimming situation. Don’t worry, you’re never too far from an ocean-view infinity pool.
Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
Best for Families
Getting There: 10 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: Fairmont El San Juan Hotel, Royal Sonesta San Juan, San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Isla Verde
For a family vacation that centers around the beach and still gives you easy access to everything in San Juan, Isla Verde is your best bet. This holiday-centric part of the island has a bunch of great oceanfront hotels. Whether your kids are still in the banana boat age bracket or have graduated to jet skiing and parasailing, the water sports alone are sure to earn you the title of the coolest parent of the year. There’s also a popular waterpark at Balneario de Carolina. Once the kiddos are snoozing soundly, mom and dad can hit the casinos and nightclubs.
Explore Isla Verde
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images
Best for Beaches
Getting There: 35 minutes from Rafael Hernández Marín
Best Hotels: Tres Sirenas Beach Inn
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Rincon
Puerto Rico certainly isn’t lacking in beautiful beaches, but Rincon lays claim to some of the best on the island. Because this beloved vacation destination sits where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet, the seaside offerings are even more unique than other places. Visitors can go surfing at Domes Beach. If you’d rather just watch from a safe distance, Faro de Punta Higüera is a great spot to see all the action. Calmer waters, a thriving coral reef and abundant marine life, such as parrotfish and hawksbill turtles, all add up to Steps Beach being incredible for snorkeling.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
Best for Resort Lovers
Getting There: 25 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Rio Grande
Situated in northeastern Puerto Rico, Rio Grande is the gateway to El Yunque National Forest. That means witnessing tropical flora and waterfalls, hiking to spellbinding observation towers, swimming in the crystal-clear water and zip-lining at JungleQui Zipline Park. Keen to kick back on the pretty-as-a-picture beaches, float in a huge pool or play 18 holes after all that adventure? You’re in luck! Rio Grande boasts many sprawling resorts with ample amenities, including The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.
Explore Rio Grande
Best for Culture
Getting There: 15 minutes from Mercedita International Airport
Best Hotels: Ponce Plaza Hotel And Casino, Melia Century Hotel, Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Ponce
Like a sunny city break with lots of heritage? It’s time you consider Ponce. This sizable city on Puerto Rico’s southern coast has a lot of cool cultural stuff. Its historical zone flaunts all these gorgeous Ponce Creole-style houses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Centro Cultural de Ponce Carmen Solá de Pereira hosts exhibits showcasing the work of local artists. Museo de Arte de Ponce is widely regarded as one of the best art museums on the island. Whether or not you believe tossing a coin in a fountain brings luck, there’s no denying Fuente de Los Leones in Plaza Las Delicias is quite lovely.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Best for Luxury
Getting There: 30 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Hacienda del Mar
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Dorado
Luxury travelers know Dorado. Well, perhaps, not so much the town on the northern coast of Puerto Rico itself as the lavish, totally splurge-worthy Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which is constantly ranked among the best resorts in the world. Because golf always feels like such a posh pastime, it makes sense that there are three Robert Trent Jones-designed courses. Of course, you don’t need to stay at one of the most expensive places on the island to catch some rays on the golden-sand beaches, take a dip in the Caribbean Sea or hit the links.
Hix Island House
Best for Couples
Getting There: 25-minute commuter flight from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: Hix Island House, Finca Victoria, El Blok
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Vieques
A little more time in transit, a lot more peace and quiet once you arrive. Vieques is a true escape, an idyllic and romantic spot to chill out that’s just seven miles off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast. It offers unspoiled beaches, really beautifully designed boutique hotels and off-the-beaten-path appeal. People don’t go here for giant resorts with kids running wild or inebriated college coeds. That’s so not the vibe. Vieques is all about keeping things breezy and enjoying simple pleasures like sipping a fruity daiquiri on a sandy crescent, watching wild horses run free and seeing a bioluminescent bay IRL.
Best for Relaxation
Getting There: 35 minutes from Mercedita International Airport
Best Hotels: Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa, Parador Guanica 1929
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Guanica
A coastal town on the southwest corner of Puerto Rico, Guánica is a warm and welcoming paradise of natural beauty that’s surprisingly not overrun with tourists. The pace is laid-back and leisurely but there’s also plenty of stuff to do (if you want). So it’s really just about structuring your vacation to carve out ample time for hiking and birdwatching in Guánica State Forest, kayaking to the peaceful mangrove island of Cayo Aurora (locals call it Gilligan’s Island) and also blocking off a few hours to just relax on the uncrowded beaches.
Carla Sá Fernandes/Getty Images
Before for Adventure
Getting There: 45 minutes from San Juan Airport
Best Hotels: El Conquistador Resort
Rentals: Explore top rentals in Fajardo
On the easternmost tip of Puerto Rico exists a little gem of a place to just post up and not be bothered for a week or use as a home base to discover hidden coves and little cays just offshore (you might even spy dolphins) or hit the trails in El Yunque National Forest. Fajardo is also home to one of the largest marinas in the Caribbean as well as some smaller moorings. Sailing, parasailing and catamaraning are all popular pastimes. At Reserva Natural Cabezas de San Juan, adventurers can go kayaking in a bioluminescent lagoon and hiking through the forests.
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Puerto Rico is a beautiful island nation. Telephony and Internet
Standard of living
Puerto Rico has a fairly high standard of living compared to most other Caribbean islands, but it is still significantly lower than even in the poorest US states. Unemployment is quite high, so many Puerto Ricans try to find work in the United States, while the rest are most often engaged in various types of temporary earnings.
The security situation here is rather ambiguous. On the one hand, the overall level of violent crime here is quite low, and the areas frequented by tourists are quite safe and are under the protection of special police units. However, the poor areas of most large cities are noticeably criminalized and pose a certain danger to foreign tourists.
Do not openly display jewelry, expensive photo and video equipment, or the thickness of a wallet. Crowded areas should be avoided, as such places usually have a huge number of pickpockets. It is also not recommended to exchange money on the streets — the risk of facing fraud or outright robbery is extremely high. You should avoid visiting deserted shores alone and especially at night. nine0003
If you ask a Puerto Rican for directions to a certain place, the most common response is «follow me». In most cases, such an escort has sincere intentions to take the tourist to the place he needs, but it should be borne in mind that in some cases this way you can get to the wrong place at all, or even be robbed. You should be especially careful with such guides at night and it is highly undesirable for women and individual travelers. When traveling by car, you should park in well-lit areas and take all valuables from the car with you. nine0003
Nudism in public places is prohibited in Puerto Rico.
Mains voltage is 110 V, 60 Hz (some hotels provide 220 V). Plugs are usually American style with two flat pins.
Units of measurement
The system of measures and weights is metric, but in many retail outlets in tourist areas, elements of the imperial system of measurement are often used along with it.
Around the Spanish language, bronze faces, ancient fortresses on the shores of a clean and warm sea. The city has narrow streets with houses of Spanish architecture. Tourism Puerto Rico
is relevant all year round, but the hottest season, in terms of the arrival of tourists, falls on the first quarter of the year. This can be explained by the fact that the island’s summers are spent in tropical hurricanes.
Rest in Puerto Rico
is already considered one of the most popular, according to tourists. A paradise island in the Caribbean, which is developing its economy quite quickly. Puerto Rico has good roads and interesting local flavor. nine0003
The island has been inhabited by Spaniards for a long time, so the lifestyle here is partly Spanish, partly American. Creole flavor is especially evident in the provincial areas. All local people are fluent in English and Spanish, but Spanish with a Creole dialect. Puerto Rico has always attracted tourists with its ideal climate: the air temperature here throughout the year does not fall below 20 ºC
, and the rainy seasons are very short. On the island, you can not only relax on the beach all day, but also visit the old Spanish attractions in Puerto Rico
, for which the island is famous all over the world.
In the Caribbean paradise, there are many modern resorts with different prices and offers. You can go on an elite tour, or you can choose a more economical family option. have a modern service and quality service.
If you love thrills and outdoor activities, then Puerto Rico ski resorts
just for you. This country has been captivating skiers for quite a long time, because this type of pastime is always relevant, regardless of the time of year. nine0003
The whole period of rest your body will be filled with the solar energy of the Caribbean island. Puerto Rico Healing Resorts
is the cleanest sea, warm sun and amazing sea breeze. Every day spent on the island will heal your entire body.
Tourism is developing very actively
on this little island. Travel companies can offer you various Puerto Rico tours
. The country is waiting for you to give an unforgettable vacation to the whole family. nine0003
Is there anything better than a paradise resort on a tropical island? Every person dreams of getting such a holiday in Puerto Rico
. It will give you and your family time of warm sun and entertainment that the island has to offer.
Well, what the island is rich in is sunny beaches. Almost every hotel has its own access to the azure water. are for a secluded vacation, for surfing, relaxing swimming and active beach holidays. nine0003
For every taste, color and budget, you can choose your holiday home in Puerto Rico. All hotels in Puerto Rico
offer a modern American service that will delight and surprise everyone. You can also choose a more budget hostel if you are traveling with a large and youth company.
Transport Puerto Rico
The main modes of transport on the island are taxis and buses. This city has reliability and affordability. Also on the island there is an opportunity to use sea modes of transport. nine0003
Which Puerto Rico beach is best for you? Puerto Rico’s large coastline stretches for more than 270 miles and is replete with a variety of beaches and water activities. But which beach is the best for snorkeling? Which beach is the cleanest? Which beach is the best for walking? Which beach is best for water sports?
Puerto Rico’s best private beach for a secluded getaway
Puerto Rico’s coastline has many secluded beaches where you can find yourself completely alone. On the island of Culebra, this is Resaca Beach, remote from tourist routes and usually deserted. nine0003
West of San Juan, in Manati, is the beach Mar Chiquita (Mar Chiquita or Little Sea)
. Situated in the shape of a crescent, this picturesque beach is protected by rocks from strong winds and ocean currents.
Not far from the Guánica Dry Forest Biosphere Reserve is a two-mile stretch of beach called Ballenas Bay
, which is more frequented by sea turtles than by humans. Not far from it is an isolated rocky beach Caña Gorda
If you sail from Fajardo, you can visit the beach on the idyllic Icacos sandbar. Punta Las Marias Beach in Ocean Park
. In nearby Manati
The most popular among surfers is Los Tubos beach and La Pared beach in Luquilla. However, Puerto Rico’s best beaches for surfing
are located on the west coast of the island in the tourist region of Porta del Sol and its capital, Rincon. The main center of surfing here is Maria’s Beach
, Punta Higuero, Puntas Beach and Spanish Wall Beach are also very popular. In the rest of the Porta del Sol region, Surfer’s Beach, Wilderness, Playa Crash Boat, Shacks Beach and Jobos Beach are popular among surfers.
has a number of beaches that are excellent for diving, the best of which are Blue Beach and Playa Esperanza
. On the island of Culebra, the best beach for underwater sports is Carlos Rosario, the West Beach is also rich in the underwater world on the island, as well as the south coast of the island in the Culebra reef area. Playa Shacks is famous for its «Blue Hole» for snorkeling.
The cleanest beaches in Puerto Rico
According to The Blue Flag international volunteer program, the following beaches are the best in Puerto Rico in terms of water quality:
— El Escambron
in San Juan;
— Carolina Beach
— Flamenco Beach
on Culebra Island;
— Seven Seas Beach
in the city of Fajardo;
— Punta Salinas
in Toa Baha.
The best beaches in Puerto Rico for excursions, walks and beach activities
If you like to be in the spotlight and want to see something interesting, then the best beaches are the beaches along the strip in Isla Verde and Condado. nine0029 Sun Bay Beach in Vieques
is a true center for beach lovers. And the famous Flamenco Beach is one of the main reasons to visit Culebra Island
. Sandy Beach in Rikon
is perfect for an active beach holiday. Not far from Fajardo is the picturesque island resort of Palomino,
which is part of the El Conquistador Hotel and Golden Door Spa.
Beaches in Puerto Rico with attractions
Some beaches in Puerto Rico are known for specific things. So on Puntas Beach and Domes Beach
in winter you can watch whales. In Ricon at Antonio Beach and in Vieques at Playa Cofi
you can see smooth rocks and sea glass resulting from natural erosion. The secluded beach of Puerto Hermina in Quebradillas once served as a cove for smugglers and pirates and may still hold pirate treasures.
Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern part of the Caribbean on a large island of the same name and several nearby islands from the Greater Antilles group in the Caribbean Sea. The nearest neighboring states are the American and British Virgin Islands in the east and the Dominican Republic in the west. nine0003
Puerto Rico is a Freely Associated or Freely Associated State that is partly dependent on, but not an integral part of, the United States. While sharing citizenship, currency, and defense with the United States, Puerto Rico also has its own constitution, legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The capital of the state, the city of San Juan, is located in the north of the island, in one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean region.
Most of Puerto Rico’s islands are uninhabited or sparsely populated, the most populous being the main island, approximately 170 km long and 60 km wide, with a coastline of about 500 km. In the center of the main island is the so-called Central mountain range Cordillera Central, where the highest point of Puerto Rico is located — Mount Cerro de Punta (Cerro de Punta) with a height of 1338 m above sea level. The southern coast of the island is washed by the Caribbean Sea, and the northern coast by the Atlantic Ocean. There are more than fifty large and shallow rivers in Puerto Rico, most of which originate in the mountains of the central range. There are also seventeen lakes on the island, all of them of artificial origin. The northeastern part of the main island is occupied by the Rio Camai National Cave Park, the largest underground river flows in it and 200 caves with unusual limestone karst formations are hidden. nine0003
Nature and climate
Located almost in the heart of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico has a maritime tropical climate, with almost even temperatures throughout the year in the range of + 26-28 °C. At the same time, the temperature on the coast is always several degrees higher than in the central mountainous part of the island. On the south coast, washed by the Caribbean Sea, it is usually a little warmer than on the north. When buying a tour in Puerto Rico, it is important to remember that from June to November, the Atlantic hurricane season comes to the islands, which is characterized by heat and high humidity, as well as strong hurricane-force winds that periodically hit the island. nine0003
The peak tourist season in Puerto Rico is from December to April, but July and August can also be called the high season.
Puerto Rico is an island of vibrant life! Reserves and national parks with the wild nature of the country attract here connoisseurs of eco-tourism from all over the world. The diversity of flora and fauna is great and includes almost 20 species of birds, about 250 species of plants, including orchids, many mammals and fish. As well as almost five dozen amphibians, among which there are endemic species that are found only here, for example, the Puerto Rican boa constrictor and the Coqui frog, which lives in the El Yunque rainforest. nine0046 In the western part of the southern coast of Puerto Rico, washed by the Caribbean Sea, there is a dry tropical forest Guanica. A great variety of bird species, including endemics, live in the wilds of this forest. The climatic features of this area contribute to the growth of cacti. The dry forest of Guanica is completely different from the humid tropical forest of El Yunque, located in the east of the northern coast of the island. The reason for the local dry climate is the Central Mountain Range, which separates Guanica from the northeastern part of the island, where about 2500 mm of precipitation falls annually, while in Guanica it is less than 750 mm, and in some places even less than 150 mm. nine0003
Currency exchange and banks
Although the US dollar is the official currency of Puerto Rico, sometimes you will see price tags in stores that show prices in «pesos», the Puerto Rican dollar. If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico, it’s best to bring some US dollars in cash to buy souvenirs from the little shops and tips, as well as a dollar bank card. Just like in the USA, cards and traveler’s checks are universally accepted in Puerto Rico. nine0003
Customs and Immigration
Puerto Rico follows US laws and regulations. Import and export of foreign currency without a declaration is allowed in the amount of up to 10,000 US dollars or its equivalent. This also applies to travelers checks. If you are carrying gold, do not forget to declare it. Items for personal use are not subject to customs duties. In addition, you can import a block of cigarettes and up to 1 liter of hard alcohol into the country duty-free. Care must be taken when importing food products and any items of organic origin. We recommend that you check before importing whether they are allowed to be imported into the territory of Puerto Rico. nine0003
Customs control can be quite quick and hassle-free, but due to the global trend of tightening inspection rules, it may take longer. As in many countries around the world, Puerto Rico practices a random selection of passengers for more thorough screening. Anyone who arrives may be one of them, then your luggage will be subject to a closer inspection, and the officer may ask additional questions. This is usually done to curb illegal migration, so the questions will be about your plans for staying in the country and perhaps having sufficient funds to cover your expenses while traveling to Puerto Rico. nine0003
Time in Puerto Rico does not change between summer and winter. It always remains in the same time zone: UTC-04:00 or AST. Moscow time is 7 hours ahead of Puerto Rico.
Visa and Consular Information
As with customs regulations, Puerto Rico’s visa regulations are similar to those in the United States. If you intend to travel to Puerto Rico, make sure you get a US visa. Our experts will help in this matter — they will fill out a questionnaire, and also sign up for an interview at the US Embassy. nine0003
Opening hours for institutions, shops and museums
The standard opening hours for shops are 9 am to 7 pm, but some shops are open until 9 pm before weekends. On Saturday — a shortened working day, and on Sunday only the shops of the port area, where cruise ships call, as well as souvenir shops and small shops, are open.
Unfortunately, there is no direct flight between Russia and Puerto Rico. To get to Puerto Rico from Moscow, we recommend taking flights via New York. Puerto Rico International Airport — Luis Munoz Marin (Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Munoz Marin) receives daily flights from the United States, and also connects with Caribbean countries such as Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin. nine0003
Intercity bus service is virtually non-existent in Puerto Rico. Local residents use mostly private vehicles. As a result, the island has a well-developed network of roads and expressways. Tourists can use a taxi service in San Juan or rent a car.
Puerto Rico Seaport receives the largest cruise liners every day and is one of the largest ports in the world.
Telephone codes and communication
3 best things to do in Puerto Rico — Traveler’s Library
July 17, 2013
Author: Vyacheslav Gorovets Go to the author’s articles
Today, a small island nation located in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico celebrates Riviera Day — a great way to remind yourself as a tourist paradise. And the best ways to spend time in Puerto Rico are in this collection. nine0003
Relax by the sea
Despite the wonderful climate and the warmth of the surrounding waters, Puerto Rico is a very special place for swimming. The surf here is strong, and the waves can reach impressive sizes and speeds — this is especially true of the northern, Atlantic coast. The only beach on it suitable even for families with children is Playa Liguillo, which, among its advantages, has a picturesque coastline and clear water in unusually calm shallow waters. Other beaches of the northern coast are more suitable for sunbathing — fortunately, the areas are landscaped, the sand is clean and there is no shortage of coastal cocktail bars. nine0003
Swimming is much better on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and the small islands of Puerto Rico. The beaches with the names Hobo, Maria, Doms and Sandy, located close to small towns, are ideal for a classic holiday by the sea. Even better on the beaches of small adjacent islands — for example, Flamenco, spread out on the island of Culebra, often tops various ratings of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
But what is bad for swimming is indispensable for other water activities. Rough waves and strong currents off the Atlantic coast make Puerto Rico an ideal place for surfing, and strong winds for windsurfing. Scuba divers will not feel left out either — the tranquility of the south coast is due to a barrier of coral reefs worthy of exploration. But the island still has marine fishing grounds and, for example, cruise trips on ships with a transparent bottom — the local sea is really for every taste. nine0003
Make friends with nature
The best way to get acquainted with all the natural diversity of the local latitudes is to visit the El Yunque National Rain Forest Puerto Rico. Located on a high mountain plateau, forever wrapped in low clouds, it has a unique microclimate that can support the real tropical jungle in these places. But with one important addition — unlike most of the equatorial forests, it is completely safe to walk in this place. You won’t even be able to get lost – there are neat paths with signs along the territory of the park, one of which will lead you to a clean bath at the waterfall, and a good-quality serpentine road leads to the natural attraction itself. nine0003
Puerto Rico is also famous for its unique cave formations collected on the territory of the Rio-Camuy National Park — a real paradise for those who are fond of digging and speleology. More than two hundred often huge castra caves are waiting for them, striking with the bizarre forms of their interior decorations. Some of them have underground reservoirs, among which the Kamai River stands out — so divers who are tired of swimming near coral reefs should follow here.
Feel the pulse of the island
The capital of this island state, called San Juan, despite its modest size, is distinguished by a stormy and eventful life. It is quite possible to spend several days on the streets of the city, dropping into your room only for short sleep sessions. The best place to start catching the heartbeat of the Puerto Rican capital and its people is from the historic center, which here is unoriginally called the Old Town. On the narrow streets there are many cafes, art galleries and exhibition halls, right on the pavement they give free salsa lessons that will come in handy for you at night — life is in full swing. It boils like the famous local coffee Coffee Yauco Selecto AA is being brewed — the high price is fully justified by its unsurpassed taste and aroma. With it, it is better to take a milk candy dulce de leche or a tres leches biscuit made from three types of milk. But that’s only after you’ve had lobster with mofongo (a dish of bananas and garlic) as a side dish and banana tostones fritters with seafood fillings. nine0003
It’s better not to waste time during the siesta and go to explore the two forts located on the coast. The atmosphere of pirate romance and a historical digression will be complemented by free tours of the catacombs of one of them, called San Cristobal.
And by sunset — in SoFo. This dynamic area of San Juan threatens to overshadow its parties in well-maintained cafes and right on the streets of Old Town. Music, hot Latin American dances and both soft drinks and numerous varieties of rum will definitely not let you fall asleep until the morning. This is the best way to get to know the friendly inhabitants of the island, to better understand their culture and habits, to tune in with the hot city on the same wavelength.