14 Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico

by Ray Roman | Last updated on September 3, 2023

Puerto Rico, often referred to as “La Isla del Encanto” (The Island of Enchantment), boasts a rich tapestry of Spanish, Taino, and African influences. So, what are some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico?

This Caribbean gem uniquely blends natural beauty, historical landmarks, and vibrant culture. Dive into our comprehensive guide to make the most of your Puerto Rican adventure.

Let’s get started …

Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico
Things to do in Puerto Rico

About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, often referred to as “La Isla del Encanto” or “The Island of Enchantment”, is a captivating destination that promises a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty.

Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, its sandy beaches stretch along a turquoise coastline, while the lush El Yunque rainforest beckons adventurers with its cascading waterfalls and mysterious petroglyphs.

From the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, where colonial-era forts and colorful buildings testify to a storied past, to the bioluminescent bays that shimmer in the night, Puerto Rico offers a myriad of experiences that are both enchanting and diverse.

Its warm and hospitable spirit invariably strikes tourists visiting the island. Puerto Ricans take immense pride in their cultural heritage, a blend of Spanish, African, and indigenous Taíno influences, which is evident in everything from their music and dance forms, such as salsa and bomba, to the mouthwatering cuisine that includes delights like mofongo and pastelillos.

Moreover, the island’s compact size ensures that a plethora of experiences, be it surfing in Rincon, exploring the caves in Camuy, or dancing the night away in San Juan, are just a short drive away. In essence, Puerto Rico promises a vacation and an immersive journey that resonates with the soul.

Now that you know a bit about the island, let’s get started with some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.

Outdoor Adventures

  • El Yunque National Forest: Step into the only tropical rainforest under the U.S. National Forest System. Hike through verdant trails, discover cascading waterfalls, and listen to the symphony of coquí frogs.
  • Caving in Río Camuy: Delve into one of the world’s largest cave networks. Marvel at the subterranean beauty and learn about the island’s geological wonders.
  • Ziplining: Soar over canopies and canyons, experiencing Puerto Rico from a bird’s-eye view. Numerous adventure companies offer thrilling zipline tours across the island.

Cultural Experiences

  • Old San Juan: Meander through the historic heart of Puerto Rico. Admire the pastel-colored colonial buildings, visit centuries-old forts, and indulge in local street food.
  • Festivals: Join the locals in celebrating vibrant festivals. The San Sebastián Street Festival, in particular, is a riot of colors, music, and dance.
  • Salsa Dancing: Embrace the island’s musical heritage. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned dancer, salsa clubs in San Juan offer a pulsating nightlife experience.

Historical Landmarks

  • Castillo San Felipe del Morro: This UNESCO World Heritage site stands as a testament to Puerto Rico’s colonial history. Explore the fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the San Juan Bay.
  • Arecibo Observatory: Dive into the cosmos at this iconic observatory. While it’s currently under reconstruction, its legacy in space exploration is unparalleled.
  • Ponce’s Historic Center: Stroll through the “Pearl of the South.” Admire its neoclassical architecture, visit museums, and snap a photo at the vibrant Parque de Bombas.

Culinary Delights

  • Mofongo: This savory dish, made of mashed plantains, garlic, and pork cracklings, is a must-try. Pair it with a chicken or shrimp stew for an authentic taste.
  • Lechón: Relish the flavors of this slow-roasted pork, often cooked over an open flame. Visit the lechoneras in Guavate for the best experience.
  • Rum Tasting: Puerto Rico, the birthplace of piña colada, has a rich rum heritage. Tour distilleries, learn about the production process, and sample various rums.

Must-Visit Beaches

  • Flamenco Beach: Ranked among the world’s best beaches, Flamenco’s white sands and turquoise waters are a paradise for beach lovers.
  • Bioluminescent Bay: Kayak through the glowing waters of Mosquito Bay in Vieques. The bioluminescent organisms offer a magical nighttime spectacle.
  • Playa Borinquen: A haven for surfers and beachgoers alike, this beach in Aguadilla promises serene landscapes and excellent waves.

Here are some of the best-secluded beaches in Puerto Rico.

Top Things To Do In Puerto Rico Final Thoughts

Puerto Rico is more than just a destination; it’s an experience. From its diverse ecosystems to its rich history and culture, the island beckons travelers to immerse themselves fully. And as you explore, you’ll be greeted with the warm hospitality that Puerto Ricans are renowned for.

With this guide on some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico, you will be ready to enjoy this Caribbean destination thoroughly.