Ultimate Puerto Rico Travel Guide (Tips & Itineraries)

A Caribbean paradise, rich in culture and a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico is a dream island just waiting to be discovered! Here, you will find all the inspiration you need to travel to Puerto Rico!

During our visit, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of this island. With 6 regions and several islands you will find a plethora of things to do making Puerto Rico perfect for all travelers!  

Views from Yokahu Tower in Puerto Rico
Views from Yokahu Tower in El Yunque Rain Forest

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Puerto Rico Travel Tips

Planning a trip to Puerto Rico? Here is some practical information to know before visiting. 


The main language is Spanish and while Puerto Rico is a USA Territory, many locals speak little English from our experience.

Puerto Rico Capital: 

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico.


USD is used in Puerto Rico.


Credit Cards are widely accepted, and ATMs can be found everywhere in Puerto Rico. It is always good to have extra cash for tipping

Tipping in Puerto Rico: 

Tipping is expected if you do not see it included in your check. Tips are expected to be 15-25%. 

Puerto Rico Safety:

In general, Puerto Rico is safe. Use standard precautions you would in everyday life. Throughout our time, we found nothing but very kind people.

Puerto Rico Airports:

The main airport in Puerto Rico is The San Juan Airport (SJU).

Other popular airports include the Aguadilla Airport (BQN), Mercedita International Airport (PSE), and the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (SIG).

Traveling Around Puerto Rico:

The best way to explore Puerto Rico is by renting a car.

If you plan on only staying in Old San Juan, you can just use Uber as a main source of transportation

Power Outlets: 

Puerto Rico and the USA use standards of voltage between 110 V and 120 V, and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. I recommend using a universal adaptor if you are from another country.

Popular Places in Puerto Rico:

Popular locations in Puerto Rico include San Juan, El Yunque National Forest, Ponce, Rincon, Culebra, Fajardo, and Vieques.

Famous Dishes Across Puerto Rico: 

Puerto Rico has a vibrant food culture. While on your trip, make sure to check out:

  • Pernil –American-style roast pork
  • Asopao de pollo – A chicken soup
  • Arroz con Dulce – A Caribbean rice pudding 
  • Pollo Arroz  – A coconut dessert 
  • Mofongo – Plantains with a mix of butter and butter. That is paired with either pork, seafood, or vegetables.
  • Pina colada – This tropical drink is said to have been invented in Puerto Rico.

Cell Service:

All US phone plans will work in Puerto Rico. If you are traveling from outside of the country, you will need to use an alternative phone plan. I usually use an e-SIM through Holafly.


If you are a US Citizen, currently all you need is your drivers license to visit Puerto Rico. If you are from another country, you will need to check the USA requirements for Visas.

Add a bathing suit for el Yunque rainforest to your Puerto Rico packing list

Weather in Puerto Rico

Being apart of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico travel is generally year round. The climate is warm and hot, with average temperatures around 85 F throughout the year.

Hottest Months: May – September. Temperatures will be in high 80-90’s. During these months, you will find very hot and humid days that can go over 100 F. 

Cooler Months: November – March are generally much cooler months in Puerto Rico and can even require a light sweater at night. 

Also, take note of hurricane season in Puerto Rico. If you plan to travel during June – November, make sure to look into travel insurance to cover your trip.

Old San Juan Puerto Rico alley with colorful buildings and plants
El Yunque

Brief History of Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico native Taíno tribe is said to have inhabited the island at least 4,000 years ago. It was then colonized by Spain after the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Puerto Rico was later contested by European powers but remained in Spanish possession for centuries after that. 

Since 1917, Puerto Ricans have been US citizens and can move throughout both the US and the island. In the mid-century, the US government created an economic project to develop Puerto Rico into a high-income economy.

When visiting, you can feel the mix of Spanish and Caribbean vibes. The best way to learn more about the local life and history of Puerto Ricans, I always suggest taking at least one tour with a local.

Colorful Streets in Old San Juan Puerto Rico
Colorful Streets in Old San Juan

Best Time to Travel to Puerto Rico

The most popular time to visit Puerto Rico is from December through March. During this time, the temperatures are cooler and less humid. However, you will also find the largest crowds all escaping the winter.

Pricing in Puerto Rico will also be at its peak for hotels and activities.

May through November is Puerto Rico’s shoulder season where you will find less crowds and lower prices across the island. We visited Puerto Rico during the end of August – the beginning of September and had a great experience.

We did almost have a hurricane scare, however the hurricane changed paths and if it were to hit, we had travel insurance to protect our trip!

La Coca Falls in El Yunque Puerto Rico
La Coca Falls in El Yunque Puerto Rico

Popular Things to Do in Puerto Rico 

You will never be bored in Puerto Rico! Here are some of the best things to do: 

  • Visiting El Yunqe Forest
  • Explore El Morro Fort
  • Pink Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo
  • Explore the beaches and Islands
  • See the Bioluminescence bays
  • Learn to dance plena and bomba

Explore more fun things to do in Puerto Rico here.

Side of El Morro fort in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Side of El Morro fort in Old San Juan

Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico

The Island has mountains, a rainforest and of course beautiful beaches. In turn, there are tons of fun things to do in Puerto Rico. Did you know you can actually drive the entire perimeter of Puerto Rico in a day? I would highly suggest doing a road trip around Puerto Rico if you have 4 days in Puerto Rico.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan is likely one of the most popular places to visit when traveling to Puerto Rico. Full of history, culture and great food it’s no wonder why most people never leave the area. 

In Old San Juan, you will find pastel buildings, really great food, El Morro Fort, and Instagrammble spots at every turn!

Other places to visit while in Old San Juan is Casa Bacardi, Playa El Escambrón beach, Condado Beach and La Placita (night party every weekend). 

The best way to get around Old San Juan is by foot or Uber. It is almost impossible to find parking in Old San Juan and I wouldn’t recommend it since Old San Juan is so walkable!

Black Painted Puerto Rican Door Mural in Old San Juan
Black Painted Puerto Rican Door Mural in Old San Juan

El Yunque Rain Forest, Puerto Rico

El Yunque is Puerto Rico’s rainforest and the only tropical rainforest in the United States! Throughout the rainforest, you will find waterfalls, tons of hiking trails, and lush green views.

Some trails might still be closed due to hurricane Maria, however most are open!

To visit El Yunque you can self-drive or take a tour through the forest.

If you drive yourself, which is what we did, just make sure to get gas for your car beforehand and make note that you likely wont have cellphone service. 

Visit El Yunque Tropical Rainforest for as one of the fun things to do in Puerto Rico

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce is located on Puerto Rico’s southern coast and an other big city on the island. Here you will find lovely beaches nearby and a cute old Spanish Colonial town. Ponce is also a very popular spot among tourists to stop and tour around. You can even fly into Ponce if you prefer to spend most of your time in the South.

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

If you are looking for real island life, you might want to look into Vieques. Known for its pristine beaches and tranquil vibes, enjoy beach hopping on what was voted one of the best islands in the Caribbean.

At night you can also enjoy kayaking around the Mosquito bio bay, which are known to be the best in Puerto Rico.

The best way to get to Vieques is by flying. While ferries are available, it’s said that currents make it difficult for the boats to reach the island.

Villaronga House Ponce Puerto Rico
Villaronga House Ponce Puerto Rico

Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

Sister island of Vieques, Culebra is also known for some of the worlds most beautiful beaches and amazing snorkeling. If you have lots of time to spare in Puerto Rico, you should definitely add this island to your bucket list. 

From San Juan, you can reach Culebra by ferry or commuter plane. 

Cabo Rojo

Most notable for its Pink Salt flats, Cabo Rojo is the perfect place to visit if you are going to do a road trip around Puerto Rico. Cabo Rojo sits on the lower West Coast of Puerto Rico, where the weather is hot and drier. You can even see cacti growing around Cabo Rojo’s lighthouse! 

Salt flats in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico
Pink Salt flats in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico


Known for its surfer vibes, Rincon is a cute and popular town on the west coast of Puerto Rico. They have great restaurants and beautiful beaches such as Steps Beach. We really loved the area and wish we had spent a couple of days in this beach town.

If you road trip out to Rincon, make sure to eat at Tamboo, located on a beautiful beach and likely one of the best meals we had!

Rincon Sandy beach Puerto Rico
Rincon Sandy beach Puerto Rico

Is Puerto Rico Budget-Friendly?

Puerto Rico is not the cheapest destination to visit, but in terms of the United States, it is one of the most affordable locations.

How much you spend will be determined by your travel preferences. For the most part, you can expect to pay around $100 per day, which includes activities, transport, and food.

Accommodation can cost anywhere between $120 and $300 per night. However, the price will vary depending on what time of year you visit.

You can find Street food for around $10-$15 per person. Eating out at a restaurant can cost anywhere from $20-$55 per person. Additionally, paid activities can cost anywhere between $15-$100.

Colorful streets in Old San Juan Puerto Rico
Colorful street in Old San Juan by Caficultura

Spanish Words to Help You Get Around Puerto Rico

While you may be able to find some English-speaking locals, most people speak Spanish. Here are some helpful words to learn:

Common Spanish Phrases:

  • Hola – Hello
  • Adiós – Goodbye
  • Sí – Yes
  • No – No
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • De nada – You’re welcome
  • Disculpe – Excuse me
  • Cuanto – How Much?
  • ¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
  • ¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?
  • Salida – Exit
  • Entrada – Entrance
  • Boleto – Ticket

Additional Puerto Rico Travel Tips and Resources

Besides this guide on travel tips to know before visiting Puerto Rico, here are some additional travel tips and resources to use for your vacation to Puerto Rico.

When booking a trip to Puerto Rico, you should definitely consider travel insurance. I am a huge believer in having insurance for my trips, especially when I’ve ended up in the hospital in Malaysia, urgent care in Thailand, and almost had our trip to Puerto Rico canceled due to a hurricane.

I look at travel insurance as something you never want to have to use, but so thankful you have it if for some reason you do!

Additionally, I have helped you by finding some of the best vacation homes in Puerto Rico. Some of the most popular places to stay in Puerto Rico include Old San Juan, San Juan, Carolina, El Yunque, Ponce, Rincon, and the Islands of Puerto Rico. Additional areas to consider include Aguada, Aguadilla, and Isabela.

Isla Verde Beach Carolina Puerto Rico Sunrise
Isla Verde Beach

Puerto Rico Travel Guides and Itineraries

Puerto Rico Travel Guide Wrap-up

There you have it. I hope this Puerto Rico travel guide has played a huge role in helping you plan a seamless vacation to this wonderful island. If you haven’t already, make sure to check the detailed guides above that delve further into planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

If you have any questions about this Puerto Rico vacation guide, feel free to reach out to me.

If you found this Puerto Rico travel guide helpful, I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Puerto Rico Travel Guide