Puerto rico travel plan: The Perfect Puerto Rico Itinerary for First-Timers (3 to 7 Days)!
Transportation | Transportation in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has daily nonstop flights to major cities throughout the United States.
There are several ways to get to Puerto Rico, and even more ways to get out and explore the Island.
Whether you’re looking for information about getting to Puerto Rico or getting around the Island once you’ve arrived, you’ll find everything you need to know about Transportation in Puerto Rico here.
Search the Puerto Rico Transportation Directory
Explore Transportation in Puerto Rico
· Explore Transportation in Puerto Rico
· Explore Transportation in Puerto Rico
With hundreds of direct and non-stop flights daily Puerto Rico is the international airport hub of the Caribbean.
One of the comforts and conveniences of traveling to Puerto Rico is how easy it is to get around.
Cruise ships at the fast-growing Ponce Cruise Port.
The San Juan Cruise Port is ranked among the top 20 ports in the world. If you haven’t been here, you’re missing out.
Colorful murals can be found throughout Santurce.
Ridesharing is relatively new in Puerto Rico, but you’ll find a few options.
Options for taxis are plentiful — from the airport to your hotel or getting around to attractions without a rental car.
Arriving at San Juan’s International Airport
A guide to getting around once you land in Puerto Rico.
With nonstop flights to various cities in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, flying to Puerto Rico is a breeze.
Getting to Puerto Rico by Air
Three international airports in Puerto Rico offer 120+ direct flights to and from major cities in the United States from airlines like Frontier, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, Spirit, and Sun Country Airlines, as well as weekly nonstop flights to and from international destinations such as Montreal, Toronto, Frankfurt, Madrid, Bogotá, Panamá City, and San José. They have several flights to Latin America, including 18 flights to Panamá City and daily flights to Bogotá. San Juan is also the leading gateway to the Eastern Caribbean, with several airlines operating daily flights to more than 20 destinations.
Learn more about flying to Puerto Rico
All major cruise lines have stops in the San Juan Cruise Port.
Cruise to Puerto Rico
Millions of passengers arrive in Puerto Rico at the San Juan Cruise Port each year. Different cruise lines make stops in San Juan for a few hours or a few days, depending on the itinerary. You’ll find various restaurants, shops, art galleries, historical monuments, parks, and more in the immediate area. Just walking through the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan is an experience all its own.
If you are flying into San Juan to depart on a cruise from the terminal in Old San Juan, it is a short trip from the airport to the port. You’ll find taxis on the ground level, and the ride is about 15 minutes, depending on traffic.
Cruise options in Puerto Rico are expanding as well, and new service is being introduced in Ponce and other ports. If you love cruises and haven’t been to Puerto Rico yet, you’re missing out.
More on visiting Puerto Rico by cruise
Renting a car will give you the freedom to explore the Island at your leisure.
Puerto Rico’s international airport hub has weekly non-stop flights from various international cities.
The southern city of Ponce also has a cruise port.
All major cruise lines have stops in the San Juan Cruise Port.
Over 20 commercial airlines have a presence in the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.
Small airlines and charters provide easy access to the small islands of Vieques and Culebra.
Getting Around Puerto Rico
Once you’ve arrived in Puerto Rico, there are many options to explore the Island.
If you’re looking to travel the Island in your own vehicle or venture beyond the immediate area of San Juan, there are more than 14 car rental companies that can accommodate your specific needs. This arrangement can be made before your visit or upon arrival (although booking in advance is recommended during busy travel times).
For those planning on driving to various parts Puerto Rico outside of San Juan, the Island is about 100 miles across, so it’s not difficult to extend your itinerary to experience other regions. However, be advised that the mountain roads through the center of the Island can be winding and may take longer to drive than the distance may suggest at a glance.
If driving is not for you and you’re planning on staying in closer proximity to San Juan, taxis are easy to find at the airport (if you’re arriving) as well as throughout metro areas like Condado, Santurce, Isla Verde, Miramar, Ocean Park, and other nearby districts.
Various towns have trolleys offering transportation to key locations and landmarks in the municipalities. Public buses or guaguas are part of the Metropolitan Bus Authority and offer various routes in the metro area.
Ridesharing in Puerto Rico is only common in the districts near San Juan. Uber is currently the only major rideshare company offering its services on the island. Learn more about the current regulations for drivers and passengers here.
7 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary (Pre-Planned By a Local)
Planning a trip to Puerto Rico but don’t know what to see or where to go? Lucky for you, I’ve created the perfect 7-day Puerto Rico itinerary for your trip!
I live in San Juan and I’ve crafted this 7-day guide with the best of my local insight, so you can discover Puerto Rico completely – or at least as much as you can in 7 days.
This action-packed itinerary takes you through some of my favorite places to stay in Puerto Rico and fits in most of Puerto Rico’s top attractions. Of course, you can always add extra take or remove stops if you prefer a slower travel pace.
Table of Contents
- 🏰 Day 1 – Old San Juan
- 🏖️ Day 2 – Arecibo, Isabela, & Aguadilla
- 🌴 Day 3 – Rincon & Cabo Rojo
- 🎨 Day 4 – Ponce
- 🌊 Day 5 – Vieques
- ⛱️ Day 6 – Culebra
- 🌲 Day 7 – Fajardo, Luqillo, & El Yunque
- 🚗 How to Get Around
- 👉 Itinerary Planning Tips
👉 Pro Tip – Before you start, make sure you have a rental car! It’s by far the best way to accomplish an itinerary this packed. There is a shortage on Puerto Rico rental cars, so search Discover Cars Puerto Rico to compare prices from all the island’s agencies.
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!
7 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary
We put this entire itinerary on a handy Google Map with every place, hotel, site, and restaurant on this post nicely organized for you. Plus, it links to this post so you’ll have it handy when you need it on the road. It’s basically a one-click vacation planner! Tip: hit the star button next to the map title, and it’ll automatically save to your Google Maps.
Day 1 – Old San Juan
Start your day with breakfast in Cuartel Ballajá
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Top Things to Do San Juan
Start your morning by enjoying breakfast in Café Don Ruiz inside the Museum Las Americas, and don’t miss the chance to ask for a cup of delicious coffee. After you’re done, cross the street to take the early morning tour at the El Morro fort.
After you visit El Morro, walk down Boulevard Street and visit La Vergüenza, to enjoy a Piña Colada and pop over Fuerte San Cristobal, the largest fortification built by the Spanish empire in the New World and one of the best views of Old San Juan.
After you’ve finished with both forts, take Calle de Luna until you reach the San Juan Cathedral, continue to Plaza de Armas and reach Calle Fortaleza, the most famous street in Old San Juan, where you’ll find all kinds of shops, restaurants, great spots for pictures, and La Fortaleza, the house of the governor. Stop at Café Manolin for a great local and cheap lunch.
After lunch, make a quick stop at Capilla del Cristo and take the small alley behind it to reach Calle de Tetuán where you can enjoy dessert at Señor Paleta. Continue walking down to Paseo de La Princesa, where you can spend the afternoon walking and visiting famous landmarks like the Raices Fountain and San Juan’s Gate.
For the evening, head over to Condado and experience night kayaking in the Condado Lagoon, and enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants in Ashford Avenue.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: El Convento ($$$$, luxury, and great location) • Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel ($$$, centrally located) • CasaBlanca Hotel ($$, best budget)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: La Vergüenza ($$), Café Manolin ($)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: La Factoría ($$), El Sombrero Viejo ($$)
Day 2 – Arecibo, Isabela, and Aguadilla
📍 Google Maps
Start your day by hopping in your car before 7:00 am. You’ll be driving west to Arecibo, where you can visit Cueva del Indio, and finish your morning with a quick dip in La Poza del Obispo beach, from where you can see Arecibo’s Lighthouse.
Continue driving to Quebradillas, and stop for lunch at Carbon y Leña. After lunch, your next stop will be the Guajataca Tunnel, a historical route for the railway and, La Cara del Indio, a famous rock sculpture at the entrance of Isabela.
Continue your trip further west to check out the many things to do in Aguadilla. Wrap up your day soaking in Crash Boat Beach, one of the top beaches of Puerto Rico. Or, if you’re more into surfing, hiking, and scenery, visit Survival Beach for a great sunset. For dinner, head over to Aguadilla’s Food Truck Park.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Punta Borinquen Resort ($$$, near the beach) • Courtyard Aguadilla ($$$, swimming pool, one of the top places to stay in Aguadilla)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Carbon y Leña ($$), Aguadilla’s Food Truck Park ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Kukaramakara Bar & Grill ($$), Sal De Mar Restaurant & Rooftop Bar ($$)
Day 3 – Rincon and Cabo Rojo
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Top Beaches in Puerto Rico
Hop on your car early and drive to Rincon’s public plaza, to enjoy breakfast in Café 413. After breakfast, feel free to walk around the Rincon plaza and the small-town shops. Head over to Punta Higueras Lighthouse, from where you can spot whales during the winter and spring seasons, and you can enjoy an amazing view of Domes Beach.
The west coast is home to pristine beaches, but while Domes Beach is perfect for surfers, it can be dangerous for swimmers. Drive to Steps Beach instead, where you’ll find both great scenery and some natural pools safe for beach bumming. While you’re there, try reaching the steps on the beach and taking your Instagram photo.
Have lunch in The Beach House, and after getting some pictures of the view, get back on the road and continue driving south to Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge where you’ll find the Pink Salt Lakes and Los Morillos Lighthouse.
Once in the Wildlife Refuge, you can take a deep dive in Playuela Beach. Finish your day dining the famous roasted pig dish in Lechonera El Combate. If you still want to hang out after dark, hang out in the Boqueron neighborhood.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay in Rincon: Combate Beach Resort ($$$, near the beach) • BOHO Beach Club ($$, bar and pool)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: The Beach House ($$), Lechonera El Combate ($)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Sangre Boricua ($$), Luna Llena Bar and Grill ($$)
Day 4 – Ponce
📍 Google Maps
Kickstart your morning driving to Ponce to enjoy breakfast at Melao Coffee Shop. After breakfast, walk to Plaza Las Delicias right across the street, and visit the Ponce Cathedral and Parque de Bombas, the oldest firehouse on the island. Spend the rest of the morning walking the city and exploring the best things to do in Ponce.
In the afternoon, pop over El Barril de la Mulata for a cheap Puerto Rican lunch and later drive to Castillo Serrallés Museum, which sports a Japanese garden, a butterfly nursery, and the famous Cruceta del Vigia, a viewpoint from where you can see all the south coast. Buy tickets here.
For dinner, visit La Guancha, where you’ll find a variety of food kiosks and go to sleep early as you will have to wake up at dawn on day 5.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort ($$$, sports casino) • Boutique Hotel Bélgica ($$, great budget and location)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: El Barril de la Mulata ($), Melao Coffee Shop ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Asturias Lounge Bar ($$), Sabor y Rumba ($$)
👉 Pro Tip: Your next itinerary stop is Vieques. Instead of spending the night in Ponce, you can choose to drive to Ceiba and stay in a vacation rental close to the ferry terminal to catch the earliest ferry.
Day 5 – Vieques
📍 Google Maps | 👉 Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico
Get up before dawn and drive east to Roosevelt Roads to catch the earliest ferry to Vieques. After arriving and picking up your car rental, pop over to Panaderia La Viequense to enjoy Puerto Rico’s traditional bread.
Continue your morning by visiting the El Fortín del Conde Mirasol and Mosquito Pier. After a quick visit, hop back in your car and drive to Playa Caracas (Red Beach), one of the best on the island. For lunch, drive north to Gracias, De nada food truck for a great burger. Make sure to check their social media page to see if they’re open.
Spend the afternoon hiking and exploring the Nature Reserve. Don’t miss a visit to Puerto Ferro Lighthouse Ruins, where you’ll get the best views of Vieques. If you still have free time before the night, head back to Playa La Chiva (Blue Beach) to do some snorkeling.
For dinner, visit Rancho Choli and before the night, drive to Mosquito Bio Bay to kayak on the bioluminescent bay. Be sure to book a Mosquito Bay Kayak Tour, as they frequently sell out.
Oh, and be sure to read my full list of the best things to do in Vieques to prepare!
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Bravo Beach Hotel ($$$, close to Ferry)• El Blok ($$$, close to the beach)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Biekes Bistro ($$), Panaderia La Viequense ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Saint Voodoo’s ($$), El Sombrero Viejo ($$)
👉 Pro Tip: The ferries are only transporting cars from residents of Vieques and Culebra for now, which means you need to leave your car at the ferry port, and rent one on each island. In Culebra, you can rent bikes to move around too. You can book your ferry tickets ahead of time here.
Day 6 – Culebra
📍 Google Maps | Top Day Trips from San Juan
Drop your rental car and take the earliest ferry from Vieques to Culebra in the morning. After you arrive in Culebra, enjoy breakfast at Blac Flamingo Coffee. Drive to Flamenco Beach on the east coast, where you can relax for the rest of the morning and later enjoy a light lunch at the food kiosk on the beach.
After lunch, hike your way from Flamenco Beach to Carlos Rosario Beach to spend the afternoon snorkeling between breathtaking coral reefs near some of the best beaches in Culebra.
For dinner, visit Tiki’s Grill Burgers, and head over to Zoni Beach to watch the sunset. Besides stargazing, there isn’t much to do at Culebra during the night, so you can go to sleep early.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Club Seabourne Hotel ($$$, bar, and outdoor pool)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Tiki’s Grill Burgers ($$), Blac Flamingo Coffee ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: La Lobina ($-$$), Happy Landing ($$)
Day 7 – Fajardo, Luquillo, and El Yunque
📍 Google Maps
Wake up early, and after dropping your car, take the first ferry back to Ceiba. From Ceiba, drive up the east coast to Fajardo and grab breakfast at Dulce Aroma. Continue your trip to the Seven Seas Beach on the north coast and take a morning dive in the blue turquoise water.
For lunch, get back in your car and drive to the Luquillo Kiosks, to enjoy local food right in front of the sea. After eating, continue driving to El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the United States. You need to book your tickets ahead of time.
Spend the afternoon hiking the different trails of El Yunque, and don’t end your visit without taking a dip in La Coca Falls, or climbing the Yokahu Tower, for an amazing view of the coast.
After visiting El Yunque, start driving back to San Juan, but make a stop at Piñones to enjoy the last dinner in Puerto Rico.
- 🛎️ Where to Stay: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort ($$$$, golf course, and private beach) • St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort Puerto Rico ($$$$, luxury, and privacy)
- 🍽️ Where to Eat: Dulce Aroma ($), Luquillo Kiosks ($$)
- 🍺 Where to Drink: Boardrider’s Surf Bar and Grill ($$), Dos Tiempos Bar ($$)
In Puerto Rico, public transportation is poor. While it might work to move around San Juan, buses run mostly in the metropolitan area.
Fortunately, driving around Puerto Rico is easy and straightforward. Taking a road trip in Puerto Rico is easy. Visitors should rent a car to maximize their time and to move around freely. If you don’t know where to look, use Discover Cars Puerto Rico to compare prices and find the best deal for your rental car.
If you’re planning to visit Vieques and Culebra, you’ll need to take a ferry and rent a different car on each island, as ferries are transporting only cars from residents. Visitors staying in Old San Juan can walk around or rent scooters.
Read my full guide to getting around Puerto Rico for a breakdown of all your transportation options.
Itinerary Planning Tips
Tip #1 – Arrive the Night Before
If you’re only staying 7 days on the island, try to arrive either the night before those seven days start or during dawn, so you don’t lose time on your first day.
Tip #2 – Choose the Best Airport
While Luis Muñoz Marin is Puerto Rico’s main airport, it isn’t the only one. Puerto Rico also sports a commercial airport in Aguadilla, so if you’re more interested in exploring the west side of the island, you can look for a flight directly to Rafael Hernández Airport. You can also take a connecting flight directly to Vieques.
Tip #3 – Take a Walking Tour
You could spend a whole week in San Juan alone. If you don’t want to miss anything important, but you still want to save time, take a walking tour around Old San Juan, so you do sightseeing and learn about the history in a short time.
👉 Read Next: 17 Best Tours in Puerto Rico
Tip #4 – Tweak My Itinerary As You Need
Like with every itinerary, you need to modify my pre-planned Puerto Rico itinerary to your taste. You can switch historical landmarks for beaches or day activities for night activities. You can also eliminate stops to slow down your trip. The end goal is to make sure the itinerary adjusts to you and not the other way around!
👉 Want More Puerto Rico Tips? Read my full list of things to know before coming to Puerto Rico.
Tip #5 – Know What to Pack
This itinerary moves around Puerto Rico pretty rapidly, so you’ll need to have your bags properly packed and prepared to maximize every minute of your trip. I’ve got an entire post on what to pack for Puerto Rico with a checklist of exactly what you need to bring.
FAQ’s About Creating a Puerto Rico Itinerary
How many days do I need in Puerto Rico?
In general, travelers visiting Puerto Rico need from 7 to 10 days to cover the main attractions of the island during their trip, but longer times like two weeks is better to cover the coast, the central area of Puerto Rico, the surrounding islands, and cays.
How can I spend 7 days in Puerto Rico?
Visitors can spend 7 days in Puerto Rico visiting main landmarks and beaches around the island including El Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, Condado, Parque de Bombas, Piñones, El Yunque, Luquillo Beach, and the Mosquito Bio Bay in Vieques.
Is 5 days enough for Puerto Rico?
Five days to visit Puerto Rico is enough to cover some of the main attractions of Puerto Rico including Old San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, El Yunque, Vieques, and Culebra but, visitors wouldn’t get the chance to visit places where they can experience the Puerto Rican culture outside the tourist zone.
What should I do on my first day in Puerto Rico?
During your first day in Puerto Rico, explore Old San Juan so you get familiarized with the culture, the climate, and way of driving in Puerto Rico, before heading anywhere else. If travelers are staying closer to Isla Verde, then they can visit the Piñones and the Isla Verde Beach. Consult our full list of what to do for more ideas.
Now that your 7-day Puerto Rico itinerary is ready, you don’t need to worry about anything but making your bags!
But, if you want to tweak your itinerary, check out the top activities you can do on the island, so you can add other destinations to your trip.
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Rapid return from Puerto Rico to Russia
More countries are taking action serious restrictive measures, to slow down the spread of coronavirus: closing borders, imposing strict border controls, issuing entry bans. Many airlines are also responding to the spread of COVID-19 by canceling a large number of flights. As a result, some travelers get stuck where they went on vacation and do not see any possibility of a quick return to Russia .
Fast and safe private jet from Puerto Rico home.
In such situations, a private jet is a good alternative to return from Puerto Rico to Germany: as soon as possible our experienced Deutsche-Privatjet team, even in times of the coronavirus crisis, will arrange a private jet to take you home from Puerto — Rico in the fastest way. Compared to traditional scheduled aircraft, private charter aircraft are tailored to your individual travel plan. The flight time and purpose of the trip can be changed if necessary, and you should not be afraid of delays or cancellations of flights, so you can rejoice at an early meeting with friends and family members.
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Low risk of infection
Risk of infection when returning by private plane very low : You will be able to avoid crowds as departures on a private flight are checked in at private terminal , the so-called general aviation terminal. Also, during the flight, the risk of infection is minimized: only crew members and people you know who are flying with you are on board the private jet.
Safety when flying in a private jet
The private jets in our fleet regularly undergo strict control by the competent departments and institutions. By law, all companies providing services in the field of air transportation are required to do this. In addition, constant extraordinary checks guarantee highest safety standards . We guarantee that we cooperate only with experienced air carriers who comply with all regulations and standards of aviation supervision .
How soon can I fly private jet from Puerto Rico?
If you need a private jet to leave Puerto Rico as soon as possible, we will prepare it for you at as soon as possible so that you can immediately return to Russia; as a rule, a private jet is ready for departure by on the day the order is placed.
Return costs from Puerto Rico to Russia
Flight distance is only one factor that determines the cost of the service. In addition, the urgency of the request plays an important role. Therefore, we calculate the cost of returning from Puerto Rico to Russia in each case individually .