Best Things to Do in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that offers a variety of activities for travelers of all tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for adventure, culture, nature, or relaxation, you will find something to enjoy in this popular tourist destination. Here are some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico for your next trip.

Explore the historic Old San Juan

What is it?
Old San Juan is the oldest district of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It dates back to 1521, when the Spanish established it as the island's capital, moving from the former settlement of Caparra. Old San Juan is famous for its colonial architecture, vibrant buildings, stone streets, and fortifications that defended the city from attacks.

Why should you go?
To appreciate the history, culture, and beauty of Puerto Rico and visit the famous attractions:

  • El Morro and San Cristobal, two majestic castles that belong to the San Juan National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • La Fortaleza, the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico and the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas
  • Calle del Cristo, a street that has several historic landmarks, such as the San José Church, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, and the Capilla del Cristo
  • Paseo de la Princesa, a picturesque promenade along the city walls that leads to the Puerta de San Juan, the original entrance to the walled city
  • Plaza de Armas, a central square that has been the main social and political center of the city since the 16th century

Visit Mosquito Bay on Vieques Island

What is it?
One of the top things to do in Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay on Vieques Island, is a natural marvel that shines in the dark because of the millions of bioluminescent microorganisms called dinoflagellates. These small creatures produce a blue-green light when they are touched by motion.

Why should you go?
Discover the world's brightest bioluminescent bay, according to the Guinness World Record in 2006. You will be able to see the water sparkle with every movement and feel like you are in a fairy tale. You will also learn about the ecology and conservation of this fragile ecosystem and appreciate the beauty and diversity of nature. Mosquito Bay is a place that will inspire you and make you feel alive.

Hike in the El Yunque National Forest

What is it?
El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, and it has hundreds of unique plant and animal species, including the coquí frog, the symbol of Puerto Rico, and the rare Puerto Rican parrot.

Why should you go?
The National Forest is a rare and amazing place that showcases the richness and beauty of Puerto Rico's nature. You can do many unique things there, such as:

  • Dive into a natural pool under a waterfall, such as La Coca or La Mina Falls.
  • Climb to the highest point of the forest, El Yunque Peak, and enjoy a panoramic view of the island.
  • Hear the sounds of the coquí frogs and other wildlife at night.
  • Learn about the history and culture of the Taíno people, who considered El Yunque a sacred place.
  • Drive to the Yokahú Observation Tower and admire the stunning scenery of the ocean and the mountains.
  • Visit the El Portal Visitor Center and see exhibits, programs, and a gift shop.

Try scuba diving on Culebra Island

What is it?
Scuba diving on Culebra Island is a fantastic way to discover the underwater wonders of Puerto Rico's Caribbean coast. Culebra Island is a small island that is part of the Spanish Virgin Islands, located east of Puerto Rico's main island.

Why should you go?
Culebra Island has clear, tranquil waters with no surface runoff or waves, making it perfect for diving and snorkeling. There are over 50 dive sites to choose from, with coral reefs, walls, caves, wrecks, and plentiful marine life. Some of the most popular dive sites are Tamarindo Reef, Carlos Rosario Reef, Luis Peña Channel, and The Wall. Scuba diving on Culebra Island is a great way to discover the beauty and diversity of the ocean and see colorful fish, turtles, rays, sharks, and more.

Take a tour of the Bacardi rum factory

What is it?
The Bacardi rum factory in Cataño is the largest in the world, producing over 85% of the brand's rum sold worldwide. The distillery was founded in 1936 after the Bacardi family left Cuba because of political unrest.

Why should you go?
Taking a tour of the Bacardi factory is one of the fun things to do in Puerto Rico for adults. There, you can learn about the history and production of the famous spirit and sample some cocktails. You can visit the distillery and see how Bacardí rum is made using a secret process of fermentation, distillation, and charcoal filtration. In addition, you can explore the Casa Bacardí, a beautiful Art Deco building that has a museum, a gift shop, and a bar.

The museum displays the origin and evolution of Bacardí, from its founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, in Cuba in 1862 to its growth and relocation to Puerto Rico in 1936, to its present status as a global leader in the spirits industry. The tour ends with a tasting session, where you can sample some of the Bacardí rums and cocktails and learn how to make your own mojito or Cuba libre. Cheers!

Zipline at Toro Verde Adventure Park

What is it?
It is an ecological adventure park in the town of Orocovis, where you can enjoy various zipline tours that let you fly over the mountains and valleys. One of the park's ziplines, called The Monster, is the second longest in the world, at 8,300 feet long.

Why should you go?
You should go to Toro Verde if you are looking for unique and thrilling activities in Puerto Rico. It is a great way to experience the island's natural beauty from a different perspective and to challenge yourself with some of the world's longest and highest ziplines. It is also a fun place to spend time with friends and family and create unforgettable memories.

Visit Cueva Ventana

What is it?
Cueva Ventana is a large cave situated atop a limestone cliff in Arecibo, overlooking the Río Grande de Arecibo valley. It is one of the most famous natural attractions in Puerto Rico.

Why should you go?
Witness the fantastic natural beauty and learn about the history of the island's indigenous people — the Taíno – who left behind pre-Columbian petroglyphs and stone engravings. To visit Cueva Ventana, you need to take a guided tour led by trained biologists, who will provide you with necessary equipment like helmets and flashlights and tell you amazing facts about the flora and fauna of the area. The tour's highlight is the cave's iconic window-like opening that offers a breathtaking view of the green mountains and the river below.

If you plan to visit Cueva Ventana, please note that it is temporarily closed until further notice.

See Los Morrillos Lighthouse

What is it?
Los Morrillos Lighthouse is a historic landmark that stands on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Also known as Faro Los Morrillos or El Faro, the lighthouse was built by the Spanish in 1882 to guide ships through the treacherous Mona Passage.

Why should you go?
If you are looking for a scenic and historical attraction in Puerto Rico, you might want to visit Los Morrillos Lighthouse in Cabo Rojo. This lighthouse is located on a peninsula that offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, limestone cliffs, salt flats, and wildlife refuge. You can tour the lighthouse, which has been restored and automated, and enjoy its neoclassical architecture and its cast-iron lantern. You can also hike down to the natural stone bridge or the beautiful beach cove of La Playuela.

Get lost at the Museo de Arte de Ponce

What is it?
The Museo de Arte de Ponce is an art museum located in Ponce. Opened in 1965, the museum has over 4,500 art pieces, including European and Puerto Rican works. It is one of the most recognized museums in the Caribbean.

Why should you visit?
To discover the art and culture of Puerto Rico. The museum houses a great collection of European and Latin American paintings, sculptures, and prints. You can explore the 14 galleries that showcase works from different periods and styles, from medieval to contemporary. You can also experience the history and architecture of the museum, designed by Edward Durell Stone. Whether you are an art lover or a curious visitor, you will find something worth seeing at the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

  • 1
    How to get to Puerto Rico?
    The easiest way to get to Puerto Rico is by plane. The island has two international airports, San Juan and Aguadilla, with direct flights from the US, Canada, Europe, Central America, and other Caribbean islands. San Juan is the island's international gateway and has the most connections. There is also a regional airport at Ponce.
  • 2
    Where to stay in Puerto Rico?
    Some of the most popular areas to stay in Puerto Rico are:

    • Old San Juan, a historic, colorful, and lively area with museums, bars, restaurants, and live music
    • Rincón, a coastal town with surfing beaches, a laid-back vibe, and stunning sunsets
    • Rio Grande, a town with beachfront, golf, and family-friendly resorts and access to El Yunque National Forest
  • 3
    What are the best things to do in Puerto Rico with family?
    • JungleQui Zipline Park
    • El Yunque National Forest
    • Jet Snorkel with turtles
    • Viejo San Juan
    • Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay
    • Carolina Children's Museum Museo
    • Rio Camuy Cave Park
    • Coqui Water Park
    • Castillo San Felipe del Morro

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