Fun Things To Do In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is easily one of my favorite Caribbean Islands. With moderately priced flights, extremely friendly people, and no passport required (USA residents), it’s easy to see why this US territory is so popular. Whether you’re visiting for a week or just a couple of days, here are the best fun things to do in Puerto Rico!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Fun Things To Do In Puerto Rico
- 1. Wander the Streets of Old San Juan
- 2. Visit The Bacardi Distillery
- 3. Visit The Only Tropical Rainforest in The United States
- 4. Experience One of Puerto Rico’s Bio Bays
- 5. Discover the Pink Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo
- 6. Cabo Rojo Lighthouse
- 7. Visit a Cave
- 8. Experience La Placita
- 9. Take A Road Trip Around Puerto Rico
- 10. Hit The Beaches in Isla Verde
- 11. Chill in the Surfer town of Rincon
- 12. Island Hop Around Puerto Rico
- 13. Snorkel on the West Coast of the Island
- 14. Chase Waterfalls in Puerto Rico
- 15. Zip-line Through the Jungle
- 16. Visit The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Site
- Fun Things To Do in Puerto Rico: Wrap-up
1. Wander the Streets of Old San Juan
One of the best things to do in Puerto Rico is to wander the streets of Old San Juan. Some people never even leave Old San Juan because it’s such a fun area in Puerto Rico! From food tours through delicious cuisine to walking tours in San Juan, there is a ton to see and do!
Some of the best things you will want to see in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico include visiting Castillo San Felipe del Morro Fort, Castillo San Cristóbal, María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, La Perla, and more!
If you are into Instaworthy locations, check out the most Instagrammable places in Old San Juan!
2. Visit The Bacardi Distillery
Across the inlet from Old San Juan sits the largest Rum Distillery in the world, Casa Bacardi. You don’t even have to be a huge fan of drinking Bacardi to appreciate this tour.
I am not a rum drinker myself, but I found it fascinating how rum is distilled and the history behind the House of Bacardi, which is still family-owned. This tour was definitely up there with some of the coolest things to do in Puerto Rico! Find tickets for the Bacardi tour here.
3. Visit The Only Tropical Rainforest in The United States
Experience Puerto Rico from the rainforest! Puerto Rico has the only Tropical Rainforest in the entire United States, easily making it one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico. Located East of San Juan, El Yunque National Forest covers 28,000 acres of forest.
If you enjoy being in nature or enjoy chasing waterfalls, make sure to add El Yunque Rainforest to your list of things to do in Puerto Rico.
If you prefer to tour El Yunque with a group, there are also a decent amount of tours that take you through the Rainforest.
For more details on visiting El Yunque, check out Day 2: Visiting El Yunque in my 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary along with how to get tickets to El Yunque here!
4. Experience One of Puerto Rico’s Bio Bays
With only 5 Bioluminescent bays in the world, Puerto Rico is home to 3 of them. Have you ever seen pictures or videos of ocean water lighting up blue at night? Like the bio bays, the water has flagellates, tiny micro-organisms that cause the bay to light up light blue!
The 3 bays are Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Laguna Grande in Fajardo, and La Parguera in Lajas. Laguna Grande is the most popular bay likely because it is so close to San Juan, but it is said that Mosquito Bay is the best.
The most popular way to see the bay is by boat ride or kayaking at night. Seeing the bio bays is one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico since it’s such a unique experience, however, please note that the bays tend not to light up as bright as you have seen in edited photos.
For the best opportunity to see them, it is best to go when it is closer to a new moon when the sky is darkest.
5. Discover the Pink Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo
Most people are familiar with the pink salt flats in Mexico and Australia, but did you know Puerto Rico has these stunning salt flats as well? Located on the Southwest coast of Puerto Rico, Cabo Rojo is home to a sizable area of their own salt flats.
The best time to visit the pink salt flats is around noon when the sun is overhead, showcasing the lake’s pinkest colors.
When visiting, PLEASE DO NOT GO IN THE SALT LAKES, WHICH CAN NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT.
You can also find biking trails around the pink lakes, and these salt flats are home to over 40 thousand birds.
6. Cabo Rojo Lighthouse
If you do make it to Cabo Rojo, you should also check out the lighthouse, Faro Los Morrillos. The lighthouse was built in 1882 and sits on the cliffs of the west coast of Puerto Rico. Nearby, you will also find the secluded Playa Sucia beach!
7. Visit a Cave
Another one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico is to explore a cave! Cueva Ventana is one of the most popular caves to experience and is located in the limestone cliffs of Arecibo. The cave is most famous for having a window-shaped outcrop that offers a panorama of the valleys.
Also located in Arecibo is the Cueva del Indio (Indian Cave). This impressive cave built out of limestone is well known for the natural bridge it creates over the sea. Fun Fact: Cuva del Indio gets its name from pre-Columbian indigenous petroglyphs that were found on the walls.
Furthermore, while you are in the Arecibo area, you can also add the Arecibo Observatory telescope. Update – The Arecibo Observatory is closed due to the cables failing and destroying the telescope in 2020. They are still unsure of what will become of this Puerto Rico icon.
8. Experience La Placita
Experiencing Puerto Rico with the locals by attending La Placita is another best thing to do in Puerto Rico. Located in San Juan, find hundreds of locals gathering at closed-down streets for the weekend parties!
Dozens of restaurants, bars, and clubs are open with live music, people dancing in the streets, and more! Get your sala shoes ready, and join in on the fun! It is best to attend on the weekend.
9. Take A Road Trip Around Puerto Rico
One of the best ways to explore Puerto Rico is by doing a road trip around the island! We were able to drive the entire perimeter of the island in one day, with stops in Ponce, Cabo Rojo, Rincon, and Aguadilla.
In my opinion, this is easily one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico because you get to see so much of the island.
If you have a week or more in Puerto Rico, I would even consider spending a couple of days in each of the above towns, which have tons to offer! Furthermore, each town makes great day trips from San Juan.
10. Hit The Beaches in Isla Verde
Are you staying in San Juan? While San Juan does have beaches such as Condado, Isla Verde, located in Carolina has much better beaches, IMO. From San Juan, Carolina, is just about 10 minutes away, and you can drive or Uber there!
In Isla Verde, you will find a long stretch of white sand beaches lined with palm trees. Most locals will make their way out to Isla Verde beaches since they are better kept.
In Isla Verde, you will find beachfront hotels, shopping, casinos, clubs, and restaurants. During our visit to Puerto Rico, we actually stayed in Isla Verde and loved it. You can also enjoy water sports here including Jet Skiing, snorkeling, and more!
11. Chill in the Surfer town of Rincon
Enjoy boho beachy surfer town vibes? Add Rincon to your list of things to do in Puerto Rico! Located on the West Coast of Puerto Rico, Rincon has beautiful beaches, great surfing, and overall awesome vibes.
Some of the best beaches to visit include Crash Boat Beach and Sandy Beach.
I can highly recommend the restaurant Tamboo, and the beach right below the restaurant. If you are visiting Puerto Rico for a little over a week, I would recommend splitting the island and spending some days on the West Coast and some on the East with a day or two to island-hop.
12. Island Hop Around Puerto Rico
Speaking of island hopping, Puerto Rico has beautiful smaller islands to explore off the east coast. The two most popular islands to visit are Vieques and Culebra.
If you are looking for real island vibes, consider visiting one or both of these islands. There are even options to take a catamaran or ferry to Culebra. Vieques is best accessed by commuter plane.
Culebra had been a naval base until 1975, and you can still find a tank on the beach. People visit this island mainly for its pristine beaches. Some of the top beaches to visit in Culebra are Flamenco Beach (rated as one of the top beaches in the entire world), Tamarindo Beach, Carlos Rosario Beach, and Playa Tortuga. It is also considered to have some of the best snorkeling in the USA.
Additionally, you can take a day trip to Culebrita, which is just off Culebra, by water taxi.
Vieques is notably known for Mosquito Bay, the world’s brightest recorded bioluminescent bay, along with around 200 wild horses, and of course, pristine beaches.
13. Snorkel on the West Coast of the Island
Enjoy snorkeling or diving? Puerto Rico is known to have fantastic dive sites and snorkeling on the West Coast, making it another top thing to do in Puerto Rico. One of the most popular areas to snorkel is at Steps Beach, located in Rincon.
Avid divers can spot sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, underwater caves, and untouched coral reefs on the west coast of the island at Desecheo/Mona Island (known as the Galapagos Islands of the Caribbean).
On Vieques and Culebra islands, you have the opportunity to see turtles, nurse sharks, rays, and of course, fish.
14. Chase Waterfalls in Puerto Rico
Besides several waterfalls in the El Yunque Rainforest, you can also chase waterfalls in other parts of Puerto Rico. Other waterfalls worth visiting include San Sebastián waterfalls and Reserva Natural La Soplaera. These epic waterfalls are both located on the West Coast of Puerto Rico.
If you love waterfalls, you may want to add this as one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.
In El Yunque, you can visit La Coca Falls and Juan Diego Creek. Depending on when you visit, La Mina Falls might also be reopened.
15. Zip-line Through the Jungle
If you are looking for a little extra adrenaline rush, you might want to consider zip-lining! Some of the best places to go ziplining in Puerto Rico are with Toro Verde Adventure Park in the Orocovis Mountains or in El Yunque. Find Ziplining tours here.
16. Visit The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Site
The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Site is known as one of the most important archaeological sites to the Taíno people who inhabited the lands before the Spanish came. Located in Utuado, Puerto Rico, you can explore the preserved ceremonial ball courts and petroglyph-carved monoliths.
Fun Things To Do in Puerto Rico: Wrap-up
This covers some of the best things to do during your trip to Puerto Rico. I hope you have the best time exploring this epic Caribbean destination!
Have any questions about this list on the best things to do in Puerto Rico or feel like I missed something? Let me know in the comments below!