The Caribbean offers many interesting places to visit but Puerto Rico stands from the rest of the islands for it’s unique attractions, rainforest, bioluminescent bays, food, culture and geography. Puerto Rico has so much to offer, each region is considered a destination on it’s own. There are many places to visit along the coast, and the central hillside of the island is filled with cultural, historical and Eco-adventures.
There is something for everyone in Puerto Rico for ages 0-99. One of the surprises that travelers get is the great array of activities and attractions that Puerto Rico offers. You can spend every day of the year exploring the island and you will still be needing more time, this is one of the reasons Puerto Rico sees so many repeat travelers, it’s magic will truly enchant you. If you really want to get to know Puerto Rico, transportation is a must. Get a car rental so you can explore the many wonderful unbeaten paths. We assure you that once you get a little taste of the island, you’ll be coming back for more year after year.
Following is a mini guide to Puerto Rico and what we think are some of the best attractions on the island if you only have a few weeks to spend on the island. By no means are these all the attractions on the island.
The roads are great in Puerto Rico and well marked with modern highways. All you have to do is first decide which region most appeals to you, and start from there, following is a mini-guide to the best and most popular attractions in each region.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Most likely you’ll fly into the San Juan International Airport and we encourage you to begin your exploration of Puerto Rico here, right where it all began. The capital of San Juan is two distinct destinations into one, even if you’re not into visiting historic sites, you’ll be captivated by the 500 year old city of known as Old San Juan filled with romance, European charm and some of the most magnificent attractions and places in the Western Hemisphere. If you’re short on time, be sure to visit the San Juan Historic Sites, 5 century old forts with breathtaking views of the Atlantic, the perfect beginning to a great vacation in Puerto Rico. Stay at one of the hotels in Old San Juan to be within walking distance of everything or head to Condado, Isla Verde or Ocean Park for a beachfront resort with casinos and the most vibrant nightlife in all of Puerto Rico.
Attractions on the East Coast – “Porta Antillas” Puerto Rico
On the east coast region you’ll find treasures both in land and sea.
El Yunque National Rainforest is one of the most treasured and popular natural attractions on the island. Spend the day exploring the only rainforest under the USA flag and one that has been nominated as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. El Yunque is safe environment, with wonderful hiking trails that lead to waterfalls and natural pools.
If you love snorkeling and sailing there are various wonderful charters that will take you on a great adventure on the blue seas to visit offshore little islands and cays that are often featured in movies and travel magazines.
Las Cabezas de San Juan & The Bio Bays – There are 2 bioluminescent bay on the east coast; one in Las Cabezas de San Juan, which is still bright and the other is Puerto Mosquito in Vieques, from the two bioluminescent bays Vieques is the brightest one.
Golfing - If you love golfing, you may want to book a room at one of the luxurious resorts with world class golf courses and at night go dance the night away and try your luck at a casino. We highly recommend El Conquistador Resort & Spa, complete with it’s own private island featured in Pirates of the Caribbean, casino, world class spa and golf course
Attractions on the West Coast Region – “Porta del Sol” Puerto Rico
Beaches - Porta del Sol and Vieques have a few things in common, the authentic island vibe still remains, it’s laid back and casual, and there are many beach spots which have not been exploited by tourism and development, so as you visit some of it’s gorgeous beaches you will experience the serenity of the sea.
Surfing – If you enjoy surfing visit the town of Rincòn, where you will experience the best surfing on the island.
Scuba Diving – If you love scuba diving, then spending part of your vacation in the west coast is a must; the offshore uninhabited islands of Isla de Mona and Isla Desecheo offer the best scuba diving in the Caribbean.
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Cabo Rojo is located in the south west of the island is the home to the most impressive and scenic attraction on the island; Los Morrillos Lighthouse. Standing at the limestone cliffs you will be in awe by the 360 degree views of the blue horizon, rock formations loved by photographers, natural bridges, bird flying over the wildlife refuge, the reddish salt flats and the prettiest beach cove you will ever see.
Lajas, Puerto Rico
Near Cabo Rojo is the town of Lajas, kayak the mangrove channels, go scuba diving and explore the walls of La Parguera Nature Reserve. Schedule a kayak tour to visit the bioluminescent bay; however, if you visited the Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques, you will be disappointed with the one in Lajas; poor development planning and light pollution has sadly hurt the bio bay and it’s no longer in all it’s glory. The best way to enjoy the bio bay in La Parguera is by kayak, the boat tours can’t get to the best places with bioluminescence.
Guanica, Puerto Rico
In the town of Guanica, you can explore the Dry Forest of Guanica, where you will find the greatest population of birds on the island, great beaches and Cayo Aurora (Gilligan’s Island) a tiny little paradise loved by locals and tourists that love the feel of unbeaten paths. There is great scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking trails, and secluded coves.
San German, Puerto Rico
If you happen to spend a week in Porta del Sol and wish to go sightseeing, then on your drive through Porta del Sol, take an hour or two for a walking tour of San German, the second oldest city established in Puerto Rico which looks much like Old San Juan with old world Spanish homes, narrow brick and pebble roads. San German houses Porta Coeli, the oldest church build under the USA flag.
Porta del Sol offers all the services you would need during your stay from emergency medical services to shopping centers and more variety when it comes to accommodations.
Attractions on the North Coast – “Porta Altlantico” Puerto Rico
About an hour and a half drive from San Juan you can take a day trip to the north coast of Puerto Rico, the newest tourism destination in Puerto Rico now called Porta Atlantico which houses two world wonders, The Arecibo Observatory (the biggest radio telescope in the world) and the Camuy Caverns, which is the third longest underground river system in the world. In just one day you can visit the main attractions on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The north is also a playground for golfers offering five amazing golf courses. Most of the hotels are in the Dorado including luxury resorts.
The Islands of Puerto Rico
The majority of tourists don’t even know that Puerto Rico possesses offshore islands. The reason is probably because those that do come prefer to keep it a secret. Vieques & Culebra are constantly ranked as two of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean for their unspoiled beaches.
Vieques, has become the a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, where you will find pristine, virgin, and secluded beaches. Before you leave Puerto Rico please take at least a couple of days to visit this beautiful island, it is like going back 60 years and seeing the Caribbean the way it was intended to be. Culebra, the smaller of the two has some real treasures and sailors love the island for all the little offshore cays nearby. Culebra is home to Flamenco Beach, one of the top 5 best beaches in the world.
Learn more about the rest of Puerto Rico Islands.
Puerto Rican natives are very friendly and they will make you feel welcomed. Puerto Rico has the charm of an island and the conveniences and roads that you would find in the United States. It is very easy to get around the island. If you get lost, the helpful residents will be happy to lead you in the right direction.
Ready to get on the road, book your car rental and explore beautiful Puerto Rico.