Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Puerto Rico
Why We Love Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico combines both the Caribbean layback style with a luxurious modern style to create a unique destination where you can choose to get lost in nature or spend your days staying in luxury hotels and shopping in brand stores. The island sports a rich culture that adopted the best from the Taino, Spanish, African, and American culture and transformed it into a distinctive trait. This country will enchant you with friendly people, breathtaking landscapes, natural wonders, delicious food, and the famous “¡Ay Bendito!”. You will know how to get here but you will not know how to leave!
Best of Puerto Rico
Every city around Puerto Rico is a destination with a lot to offer for every visitor. Here are some of the places you should visit:
- San Juan – A historical city with 500 years of history, sports colonial houses, fortresses, and cobblestone streets.
- El Yunque – The only rainforest in the United States, is home to beautiful waterfalls and exciting hiking trails.
- Rincon – Located in the west of Puerto Rico, this city is the ultimate destination for surfers and beach lovers.
- Cabo Rojo – A city with great sunsets, beautiful beaches, and unique attractions like the Pink Salt Lakes.
- Arecibo – An hour away from San Juan you can discover Arecibo´s caves, rivers, and waterfalls.
- Aguadilla – City with top beaches like Crash Boat, Survival Beach, and Borinquen Beach for surfing and swimming.
- Vieques – An island for a perfect getaway, with pristine beaches, lovely landscapes, and wild horses.
- Culebra – Small island on the east, perfect for a relaxing vacation on the paradisiacal Flamenco Beach.
- Ponce – This city is home to a colonial town center like San Juan, where you can find the oldest firehouse on the island.
- Fajardo – Sporting some of the best beaches in the northeast, Fajardo is also a great destination for sailing lovers.
- Utuado – In the mountainous center, this city is home to beautiful rivers, amazing caves, and a vineyard.
👉 Explore all places to visit in Puerto Rico.
If you´re wondering what you should do on your next vacation to Puerto Rico, here are some great activities you can try:
- Walk Old San Juan – This historical city sports historical buildings, and lots of restaurants, bars, and shops to enjoy.
- Visit El Morro – A fortress located on the coast of San Juan that protected the bay from incoming attacks.
- Kayak in a Bio Bay– Few places have bio bays in the world and you can find three of them in Puerto Rico.
- Explore the Caves– If you’re into exploring, you can’t miss a visit to the top caves around the island.
- Sunbath in the Beaches– Puerto Rico is home to countless beaches for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and sightseeing.
👉 Explore all things to do in Puerto Rico.
When you visit Puerto Rico, choosing the right location to stay in can make your vacation even better. Some of the best places to stay are:
- San Juan – With a central location and lots to do, this is the best location to reach all important landmarks within walking distance.
- Isla Verde – Best area if you’re looking to stay at a resort close to the airport, but also close to the beach.
- Condado – Top area for travelers looking for family fun, beaches, luxury hotels, and watersports.
- Rincon – A great place to stay on the island for beach lovers.
- Fajardo – Best area if you want to stay close to El Yunque, and to the ferry terminal to Vieques and Culebra.
- Ponce – Another historical city with museums, castles, and colonial buildings next to the coast.
- Vieques – A beautiful small island off Puerto Rico’s east coast.
- Aguadilla – A great place to stay for a beach vacation.
👉 Read full guide to where to stay in Puerto Rico.
🛎️ Best Hotels
Puerto Rico sports a great variety of hotels to fit every taste and every budget. These are the best hotels on the island:
- Condado Vanderbilt – this 4-star beachfront luxury hotel sports a fine dining restaurant, a bar, two pools, and a spa.
- Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort – A hidden gem in Rio Grande, this hotel is home to a golf course and a private beach.
- St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort Puerto Rico – The place where influential and famous people stay, this luxury hotel is a unique experience in Puerto Rico.
- La Concha Renaissance Resort – Lively and casual, this hotel is home to restaurants, pools, suites, and fun parties.
- El Conquistador Resort – With a unique location and structure, this hotel sits on a cliff facing the Atlantic Ocean.
🚗 Best Road Trips
While Old San Juan is wonderful, you shouldn’t miss a visit to any of the following locations in Puerto Rico:
- El Yunque – Puerto Rico’s Rainforest is famous for hosting a biodiverse ecosystem, plus some beautiful waterfalls.
- Vieques – Vieques has lots of fun things to do, from wild horses to hidden beaches. The perfect place to enjoy a nature getaway on this island.
- Culebra – If you can’t get enough of the beach, you will enjoy the breathtaking beaches of Culebra.
- Ponce – History buffs can’t miss a visit to South Pearl, with picturesque colonial buildings, and plazas.
- Bacardi Rum Factory – With almost 200 years, this rum factory is a great stop to take a tour and a mixology class.
⛱️ Best Beaches
There’s a wide range of beaches in Puerto Rico, from natural ponds to scenic hidden beaches. Here are the top 5 around the island:
- Flamenco Beach – This travel magazine cover type of beach sports white fine sand and crystal clear waters.
- Combate Beach – colorful and lively beach with clear waters and golden sand to enjoy a day among locals.
- Mar Chiquita – Hidden in Manatí, Mar Chiquita is a natural pool formed by giant rock formations.
- Icacos – This uninhabited cay sports some of the clearest waters and it’s a great spot to visit in a catamaran.
- Sun Bay Beach – Great beach with facilities like bathrooms, showers, and tables, perfect to soak in the sun all day.
👉 Read all top beaches in Puerto Rico.
The waterfalls in Puerto Rico are gems you can visit mostly for free to refresh yourself. Some of the best waterfalls are :
- La Mina Falls – Right in the heart of El Yunque, this waterfall is the best to refresh yourself after a long hike.
- Las Pailas – Fun waterfall with a natural slide formed by rocks you can use to slide in a pond in Luquillo.
- Gozalandia – This popular waterfall in San Sebastian is one of the local’s favorite to cool down.
- La Planta – This beautiful waterfall was a hydroelectric plant, and now is just a spot to enjoy the cold water.
- Chorro de Doña Juana – Right on the main road, this waterfall in Orocovis is both great to look at and swim in.
👉 Read full list of best Puerto Rico waterfalls.
🦇 Best Caves
If you’re into exploring, hiking, and climbing, don’t miss the chance to explore one of Puerto Rico’s hundreds of caves:
- Camuy Caves – A subterranean cave system formed by the Camuy River, with easy access and daily tours.
- Cueva Ventana – Impressive cave at the top of a hill with a window-like opening that gives a view of the countryside.
- Cueva del Indio – Right on the coast, this amazing cave is a natural museum with drawings left by the Taino.
- Cueva del Viento – Inside the Guajataca Forest, you will find this huge subterranean cave worth a visit.
- Cueva del Arco – This impressive cave rises above a river, and to visit it you have to get your feet wet.
♨️ Best Springs
In Puerto Rico, you can find both cold and hot springs, and you access most of them for free. Here are some of them:
- Coamo Hot Springs – The hot springs in Coamo sports facilities like bathrooms, changing rooms, and pools for a small fee.
- Manantial de Guayaney – Hidden inside an urban area, this small cold water spring is ideal to relax and enjoy nature.
- Manantial Vega Baja – One of the most popular in Puerto Rico, this spring is accessible and easy to find.
- Zanja Fria – Right in Arecibo, this spring is big enough to swim in, and you can even snorkel to see the fishes.
- El Pozo Brujo – If you happen to be in Isabela, don’t miss a stop in El Pozo Brujo spring close to the beach.
🎊 Best Festivals
Puerto Ricans are popular for their liveliness and partying spirit, which is probably why they sport the longest Christmas in the world and the year is full of festivities. These are some festivals you can’t miss:
- Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián – Celebrated in January, this four-day festival takes over the streets of Old San Juan.
- Ponce Carnival – One of the oldest carnivals in the occident, this one-week festival takes place one week before Ash Wednesday
- Festival de las Máscaras de Hatillo – A Christmas parade with colorful costumes and vejigantes representing a Bible story.
- Rincon Surf Fest – Every year Rincón receives dozens of surfers from around the world to surf in Playa Domes.
- Festival de la Novilla – One-week parade that celebrates Puerto Rican agricultural history and traditions.
🖼️ Best Museums
If you’re a history and art enthusiast, you’ll find plenty of museums and historic sites in Puerto Rico to complement your trip. Here are the ones you can’t miss:
- Ponce Art Museum – Home to the famous painting Flaming June, this museum is the most famous in Puerto Rico.
- Puerto Rico Art Museum – Discover a collection of over 250 pieces of Puerto Rican art from the 18th century to the present.
- Museum of Contemporary Art – Best place to find Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin art since the mid-20th century.
- Las Americas Museum – Besides its amazing architecture, this museum sports collections about the cultural heritage in America.
- Caguana Ceremonial Park – An archeological site with monoliths carved by the Taino, the original inhabitants of the island.
Puerto Rico Travel Advice
Overall, Puerto Rico sports good weather through the four seasons. Aside from a rainy season, a hurricane season, and slightly lower temperatures in winter, the island is warm always, so the best time to visit will depend on you:
- ❄️ Winter – Fresh temperatures and dry weather, winter is great to avoid hurricanes but it’s also the high season.
- 🌼 Spring – Top season with fresh temperatures, but warmer and safer beaches, with lower tides.
- 🌞 Summer – The season with the best tides on the beaches and the warmest temperatures on the island.
- 🍂 Fall – The fall brings a higher risk of hurricane impacts, but it’s the best season to travel on a budget.
👉 Read full guide to when to visit Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s public transportation runs mostly in the metropolitan area which is why the most common way to move around is by car. Here are some things you should know about transportation:
- ✈️ Airports – The San Juan, Aguadilla, Vieques, and Culebra are the most popular airports.
- 🚗 Driving – Driving your own car is the easiest way to move around the island. Read our full guide to driving in Puerto Rico.
- 🚇 Public Transit – Public transit is mostly in the metro area, but smaller buses reach other cities.
- 📲 Ride Share – You can use Uber to move around the metro area, Rincon and Ponce.
- 🚴♀️ Biking – Biking is a great option to move around the cities’ centers, but never intercity.
- 🛴 Scooters – You can use the app Skootel to rent scooters in San Juan, Ponce, and Aguadilla.
- 🚶♀️ Walking – Walking is a good way to explore Old San Juan and other town centers.
- ⛴️ Ferries – There is a ferry between San Juan and Cataño, and one to Vieques and Culebra.
👉 Read full guide to getting around Puerto Rico.
- 🗺️ Puerto Rico is a few islands – Puerto Rico consists of multiple islands and cays. The most famous besides the main island are Vieques and Culebra.
- 🌧️ There is a hurricane season – From late June to November, Puerto Rico faces a hurricane season, with higher risks of getting impacted by one.
- 💰 Tip frequently – Tipping is optional on the island, but locals tip all the time in restaurants, hotels, and even during tours.
- 👨 Not everyone understands English – Bilingual locals are mostly within the tourist area. If you leave San Juan, some basic Spanish phrases might come in handy.
- 🥤 The drinking age is 18 – If you’re under 18, you can’t buy alcohol in Puerto Rico nor enter some types of pubs.
👉 Read more Puerto Rico travel tips.
- ☀️ Sunscreen– Visitors should always protect their skin while staying on the island, especially for a beach day or hiking excursion.
- 🥾 Sneakers or Hiking Boots – Sandals are great for the beach, but you’ll need sneakers or boots for hiking in El Yunque and other nature reserves.
- 💊 Medications – You’ll need medications for your allergies, as the air quality changes due to fine dust and spores in the air.
- 🦟 Mosquito Repellent – The island is home to a huge population of Mosquitoes that can transmit Dengue and other diseases, so always protect yourself.
- 💧 Reusable Bottle of Water – The warm weather calls for constant hydration, and as Puerto Rico’s tap water is safe, you can save money by bringing your thermos.
👉 Read full Puerto Rico packing list.
🤓 Facts & Info
- Population – 3,285,874
- Capital – San Juan
- Largest Metro Areas – San Juan, Bayamón, Trujillo Alto, Guaynabo, Carolina, Vega Baja
- Time Zone – AST (UTC/GMT -4 hours all year) No daylight saving time.
- Airports – Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), Aeropuerto Internacional Rafael Hernández (BQN), Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (SIG), Aeropuerto Internacional Mercedita (PSE)
- Colleges & Universities – University of Puerto Rico, Ana G. Mendez University, Universidad Interamericana
- Nickname – Borinquen
- Demonynm – Puertorriqueños
- USPS Abbreviation – PR
- Governor – Pedro Pierluisi (Partido Nuevo Progresista, Right)
- Country – United States of America
- 3 Star Hotel Room – $130-350/night
- 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $50-$300/night
- Rental Car – $40-$150/day
- Public Transit Ticket – ~$1.50 ($1.50 to airport from San Juan)
- Take Out Meal for Two – $10-40
- Sit Down Dinner for Two – $25-$200
- Draft Beer – $3-10
👉 Read the complete guide to Puerto Rico on a Budget.
FAQs About Visiting Puerto Rico
Is Puerto Rico safe for tourists?
Puerto Rico is safe for tourists and travelers, but travelers should take general travel precautions as they would in any other country. Read our complete guide to safety in Puerto Rico to learn what precautions to take.
Is Puerto Rico expensive to visit?
Overall, Puerto Rico is more expensive to visit than other destinations in Latin America. Two people can spend a week on the island for an average of $2,300. Visitors can save money by traveling off-season, and booking a rental apartment.
How many days do I need in Puerto Rico?
On average, visitors need between 7 and 10 days in Puerto Rico to explore the main attractions on the island and to visit famous areas like Old San Juan, Arecibo, Cabo Rojo, El Yunque, Ponce, Fajardo, Vieques, and Culebra.
What is the best month to visit Puerto Rico?
The best time to visit Puerto Rico for dry weather is during the winter and spring. Summer is the best season to get warmer temperatures and lower tides and fall is the best time to avoid crowds and get cheaper prices on hotels.
What should you avoid in Puerto Rico?
In Puerto Rico visitors should avoid entering public housing buildings known as caserios, wandering in La Perla alone at night, leaving their things unattended, and swimming with a high tide.
📰 Puerto Rico Travel Guides
Planning a trip doesn’t have to be hard! Read all my posts about Puerto Rico, with my best local tips about what to see and where to go, so you can plan your dream vacation on your own:
- El Yunque National Forest (A Local’s Guide to Visiting)
- Puerto Rican Food (A Local’s Guide to 47 Best Dishes to Try)
- Hurricane Season in Puerto Rico (What to Know, By a Local)
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro (A Local’s Guide & History)
- 15 Best Hikes in Puerto Rico (By a Local)
- Where to Stay in Rincon (Best Places & Areas for 2022)
- Where to Stay in Aguadilla (Best Places & Areas for 2022)
- Where to Stay in Vieques (Best Places & Areas for 2022)
- Renting a Car in Puerto Rico (A Local’s “How to” Guide)
- How to Get Around Puerto Rico (13 Best Ways, By A Local)
- 17 Best San Juan Restaurants (Where to Eat, By a Local)
- Puerto Rico Packing List (19 Things People Forget to Bring)
- 27 Best Things to Do in Vieques (in 2022)
- 19 Best Things to Do in Ponce, PR (Fun Activity Ideas)
- 17 Best Things to Do in Fajardo (Fun Activities & Sites)
- 41 Facts About Puerto Rico (Things to Know, By a Local)
- 19 Best Things to Do in Rincon (Fun Activities & Top Sites)
- 15 Best Things to Do in Aguadilla (Fun & Unique Activities)
- 11 Best Beaches in San Juan (By a Local)
- 13 Best Waterfalls in Puerto Rico (Written by a Local)
- 7 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary (Pre-Planned By a Local)
- Puerto Rico on a Budget | How to Stay, Eat, and Travel Cheaply
- 23 Puerto Rico Travel Tips from a Local (for 2022)
- Driving in Puerto Rico (A Local’s Guide, for First Timers)
- Is Puerto Rico Safe for Travel? (Honest Local Advice)
- The Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico (By a Local)
- Where to Stay in Puerto Rico in 2022, by an Area Local
- 33 Best Things to Do in San Juan, PR (By a Local)
- Where to Stay in San Juan, By an Area Local (2022)
- 19 Best Puerto Rico Beaches for 2022 (By a Local!)
- 33 Places to Visit in Puerto Rico in 2022 (By a Local)
- 49 Best Things to Do in Puerto Rico (By a Local)
- 15 Day Trips from San Juan for 2022 (By a Local!)
Meet Our Puerto Rico Travel Expert
Vanessa Ramos is a travel and lifestyle writer from Puerto Rico. Vanessa has traveled for international work exchange, backpacking, and solo traveling around three continents. When she’s not writing about the best things to do, places to visit, or where to stay on the island of Puerto Rico, she’s hunting airplane tickets for her next trip abroad. Vanessa also writes her own lifestyle blog, Existence as I Know It.