Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and US territory with a rich and turbulent history, a spectacular and diverse landscape of mountains, caves, islands, coral reefs and waterfalls, and many historic structures. Beautiful and historic San Juan is the capital and delight of history buffs who enjoy its charming colonial architecture and old forts that actively defended the island from invaders. El Yunque Tropical Rainforest is a fascinating place with unique plants that thrive in hot and very humid conditions. Hundreds of islands, large and small, are surrounded by magnificent sandy beaches and coral reefs teeming with life. Please note that certain attractions remain closed after Hurricane Maria.
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San Felipe del Morro Castle and San Cristóbal Castle
Spanish engineers built two castles to protect San Juan from attack: Castillo San Felipe del Morro, protecting the city from the sea, and Castillo San Cristóbal to defend it from the land. Castillo San Felipe del Morro, or El Morro, is a six-tiered fort built on a high promontory, watching out for anyone who comes in from the ocean. It was completed in 1787 and was attacked in 1595 and again in 1598, by the Dutch in 1625 and by the US Navy in 1898.
Today, its 60-foot-high walls and old cannons make it a great destination when you want to take a trip back in time, and the walls offer a spectacular view of the ocean. Castillo Can Cristóbal was completed in 1790 at the east gate of the walled city. It covers 27 acres, the largest fort the Spanish built in the New World. The fort and its gatehouses are very well preserved and fun to explore. Don’t miss seeing the Devil’s Sentry Box, from which, as legends say, the soldiers used to mysteriously disappear.
Norzagaray Street | Old San Juan, San Juan00901, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-729-6777
The El Yunque Rain Forest
El Yunque National Rainforest, one of the few tropical rainforests in the US, is located in northeastern Puerto Rico high on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains. It covers 28,000 acres of land. The highest peak, El Toro, rises 3,494 feet above sea level. Rain and high humidity create a lush, dense jungle rich in tropical species and diverse ecosystems, including a unique elfin forest.
El Yunque is a popular tourist spot and an excellent hiking trail allows visitors to enjoy waterfalls, dense foliage, rivers and cliffs, as well as Taino Indian petroglyphs. Two observation towers offer spectacular views. There are lodging opportunities on the edge of the rainforest, but not in it.
Carolina, Puerto Rico | 65664556, El Yunque National Forest 00979, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-888-1880
Puerto Rico Tourism Office
Regardless of your age and interests, the Puerto Rico Tour Desk has specially chosen well-trained guides and the most interesting tours for you. They combine detailed information about the places you’ll be visiting with a focus on safety, supporting local small businesses, and caring for the environment.
You can choose from the wide range of tours, from “Off the Beaten Path” hiking tour in El Yunque Rain Forest and kayaking in Bio Bay to cave exploring and tarpoon fishing. If you are interested in history, you will love the tour of Old San Juan. For adrenaline junkies, there are several zip line tours over the jungle canopy, paragliding or jungle walks.
Kiosk number 1 Plaza Colon, San Juan00901, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-710-1109
Ponce Museum of Art (Ponce)
One of the best art museums in Puerto Rico, the Museo de Arte de Ponce. The museum was established by philanthropist, industrialist, and art collector Luis A. Ferre in 1959 and moved to its current building in 1965. The magnificent structure on Avenida Las Américas it has 14 hexagonal galleries filled with natural light, two gardens and a large amphitheater. The museum’s forecourt features Roy Lichtenstein’s 300-foot-tall aluminum sculpture Brushstokes in Flight, considered “the largest public work of art in Latin America.”
2325 Las Americas Avenue, Ponce 00717, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-840-1510
Places to Visit in Puerto Rico: Isla Culebrita (Culebra)
Isla Culebrita is a small, kilometer-long, uninhabited coral island off the coast of Isla Culebra in Puerto Rico. The entire island is a nature reserve and can be accessed by boat from Culebra. The island has six magnificent sandy beaches. Playa Tortuga is famous as a breeding and feeding ground for turtles, and people can be seen swimming with these gentle giants.
On the east side of the island are large tide pools that many people use as bathtubs. They are rich in marine life caught at low tide. There are two small shallow lagoons on the west side of the island and the Culebrita reef on the south coast, which are excellent for diving and snorkeling. The island is home to 97 species of plants, 32 birds, four reptiles, and two mammals. The oldest lighthouse in the Caribbean is in Culebrita.
Erin Go Bragh Sailing and Snorkeling Excursions (Fajardo)
Imagine sailing the calm waters of the Caribbean en route to a beautiful uninhabited island where the only sounds you hear are tropical palm trees swaying in the breeze and waves lapping on the golden sand beach. If you want to make your trip to Puerto Rico truly memorable, take one of Erin Go Bragh’s snorkeling or sailing trips.
They organize custom day trips for small groups aboard their 50-foot Gulfstar Ketch, the Erin Go Bragh III, and the 45-foot Moody sailboat Tanto Amor. They have several different sailing trips. Your day charter starts around 10 am and returns around 4 pm You will be taken to one of the islands: Palominos, Lobos, Icacos or Palominitos. Once there, they drop anchor, and you can snorkel, swim, stroll along the beach, and enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch and drinks. After lunch, the boat will take you to a second snorkel site before heading back to port. They provide all the snorkeling equipment, even the kids size.
Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico, Phone: 787-860-4401
Things to do in Puerto Rico: Culebra Island Adventures (Culebra)
Culebra Island Adventures specializes in snorkeling and kayaking tours on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico, one of the most pristine destinations in the Caribbean. This local family company will take you snorkeling with turtles and rays, explore the underwater magic of coral reefs and see colorful fish in their own world. They provide certified professional tour guides who are also certified divers.
The trip from Fajardo to Culebra takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and you will spend about three hours having fun in Culebra. Halfway through your adventure, you will be offered a light snack and snack. They also have an hour long tour of Tamarindo beach where you can swim with green turtles and rays and enjoy the beauty of the reef rich in marine life.
Posada del Coronel, Cll 2 #31, General delivery, Culebra, PR 00775, Telephone: 787-529-3536
Kayak Puerto Rico (Fajardo), Puerto Rico
There is so much to see in Puerto Rico on land and in the water, and you can easily miss some very special places unless you have exceptionally good guides to show you around. If you like to spend time on the water and enjoy kayaking, let Kayaking Puerto Rico take you to the pearls of the country, such as Seven Seas Bay, which is located in the northeast corner of the island.
There is also a protected and spectacular snorkeling area with abundant marine life or the Laguna Grande bioluminescent. You can combine kayaking and snorkeling with your Aquafari Culebra trip, or you can have fun on land and water hiking through El Yunque Rainforest and kayaking in Fajardo’s Bio Bay. They provide all equipment, instructions, a light snack, and the best guides and instructors you’ll find anywhere.
Rt. 987 Km. 5 Las Croabas, Fajardo, PR 00738, Telephone: 787-245-4545
Puerto Rico Points of Interest: Bioluminescent Bay
One of the most romantic places in the magnificent waters of the Puerto Rican Caribbean is Puerto Mosquito Bio Bay, hidden on the island of Vieques, where the mysterious green light called bioluminescence created by microorganisms will captivate you. The bay is a very special environment with unique conditions necessary for small animals to thrive. An overnight trip with Island Adventures Biobay will be the highlight of your visit to Puerto Rico.
Your highly trained guides will explain the unique and fragile ecology of the bay and the plants, animals and mangroves that live in this fascinating world. After an interpretive lecture on board the ship, they will stop where the bioluminescence is high and allow you to enjoy the spectacle created by nature. Island Adventures Biobay Boat Tour, the Luminosa II electric-powered double pontoon boat glides slowly and quietly through the shimmering waters of Puerto Mosquito Bay.
Big Lagoon | Las Croabas, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-435-1665
Cueva Ventana (Arecibo), Puerto Rico
Cueva Ventana or Cave Window is a fascinating cave carved by nature on top of a limestone cliff overlooking the picturesque Rio Grande de Arecibo valley. It is accessible from a narrow road that starts next to a Puma gas station on the PR-10 highway. The most interesting feature of this interesting cave is a large window in the cave wall that looks out onto a spectacular view of the valley below.
Cueva Ventana Tours offers guides and expert biologists who offer interesting information about cave dwellers such as insects, bats and snakes. They will also point out the plants that survive in the cave environment, some close to extinction, and share with visitors an interesting history of the local Taino Indians. Tours last about an hour, and your guides will pick you up from your hotel in San Juan and take you to the cave in comfortable, air-conditioned buses.
Highway PR10, KM 75 | Next to the Puma gas station, Arecibo 00612, Puerto Rico, phone: 787-322-3554
Los Morrillos Light (Red Cape)
Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo, or Los Morrillos Light, is a historic lighthouse located on the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico in Cabo Rojo. The Spanish built the lighthouse in 1882 to aid ships passing through the treacherous Mona Passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is perched on a white lime cliff surrounded by salt marshes.
There is a 200-foot drop from the cliffs where the lighthouse is located to the ocean below. The lighthouse was renovated in 2002, and its original simple unadorned architecture has been preserved, while the structure was returned to its original state and painted in its original gray color with white trim. It is open to the public as a museum.
Places to Visit in Puerto Rico: Aguadilla
Aguadilla is a charming little coastal town in northwestern Puerto Rico between the cities of Aguada, Moca, and Isabela and the Atlantic Ocean. Luis de Córdoba founded Aguadilla in 1775, and today it is a popular tourist destination famous for its magnificent 16 beaches.
The most popular is Crash Boat Beach, ideal for surfing and other water sports, located north of Aguadilla. Aguadilla has the only skating rink in the Caribbean, several golf courses, Las Cascadas water theme park with fun rides and a lazy river, the historic Punta Borinquen lighthouse built in 1889, Punta Borinquen tennis courts, and wonderful boat rides. horse through the surrounding jungle.
Things to do in Puerto Rico: Carabali Rainforest Park (Luquillo)
Caraval? Rainforest Park is a 600-acre ranch in lush tropical jungle nestled between El Yunque National Forest and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a great adventure destination that combines a lot of action with the magnificent tropical jungle full of life.
You can ride a horse through the El Yunque National Forest, admire the unique ecosystem with rare plants and animals, and swim in the Mameyes River, or you can take your horse to the beach. You can zoom through the woods, jump over streams and climb hills on a 650cc four-track or zip through jungle trails on a mountain bike. And when you return from your adventure, you can enjoy one of several great restaurants, bars, or wineries.
Puerto Rico 992, Luquillo, 00773, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-889-4954
The Serralles Castle Museum (Ponce)
The Museo Castillo Serrall or Serrall Castle Museum is located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the magnificent four-story Colonial Revival building built in 1930 for the owner of Destileria Serralles, one of the largest rum distilleries in Puerto Rico. .
The museum has a permanent exhibition that shows the history of the sugarcane production and rum industries in the area and in the country, demonstrating its impact on the economy of Puerto Rico. There are also several galleries with changeable temporary exhibits. The museum, which opened in 1991, is surrounded by a 2.5-acre lot and is now one of several attractions. Others include an observation tower, a Japanese garden, and a butterfly garden.
17 El Vigia Street | (take a taxi), Ponce 00730-2926, Puerto Rico, phone: 787-259-1774
Arecibo Observatory (Arecibo)
Located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the Arecibo Observatory was the world’s largest radio telescope from 1963 when it was completed until 2016. The observatory is the facility of the National Center for Astronomy and Ionosphere and is operated by various agencies under the National Science Foundation. The observatory has a 1,000-foot radio telescope and serves as a location for research in radio astronomy, radar astronomy, and atmospheric science.
There are self-guided tours of the observatory – there are 3,500-square-foot exhibits. Tour guides provide assistance when requested. 20’s film, Beyond the Big Dreams, plays in the auditorium. Covers the work and discoveries that have taken place at the Arecibo Observatory. You can also visit the observation deck to see the telescope.
HC-3 CAJA 53995, Arecibo 00612, Puerto Rico, Telephone: 787-878-2612
Flamenco Beach (Culebra), Puerto Rico
Voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach on the island of Culebra in Puerto Rico attracts thousands of tourists with its shallow warm blue waters, powdery fine white sand, wonderful diving and snorkeling, and a mile of beautiful sandy shoreline stretching along the wide, sheltered, horseshoe-shaped bay.
The beach has lifeguards on duty and small concession stands with beach chairs, umbrellas, snacks, food, and diving and snorkeling equipment. The beach is easily accessible from the town of Dewey, where the ferry lands. There is a well-organized campsite at the entrance to the beach.
Route 251, Puerto Rico
Places to Visit in Puerto Rico: Blue Beach-La Chiva (Vieques Island)
For six decades, the island of Vieques was a Navy bombing and testing range. After a series of protests, the navy left the island in 2003, and part of the island formerly occupied by the navy was declared a national wildlife refuge.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Blue Beach (as the navy called it) has regained its original name La Chiva, but some La Chiva keys are still off limits due to abandoned ammunition. The wide, sandy beach stretches along the blue bay, and is wonderful for long walks, snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and diving. The protected waters are calm and warm, perfect for children. The best snorkeling is next to the rocky areas and near the small key.
Caracas Beach Old Red Beach
Playa Caracas, on the south side of the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, is a beautiful, wide sandy beach with powdery white coral sand that stays cool underfoot even when the sun is at its strongest. The water changes color as it gets deeper, and it’s a photographer’s and painter’s dream.
The gentle waves sheltered by the wide bay make the beach perfectly safe for children. There are a few gazebos for family picnics, as well as volleyball nets. The beach is surrounded by magnificent tropical vegetation and palm trees that offer shaded areas. The beach is part of the nature reserve and was previously on the Navy Proving Ground when it was known as Red Beach.
What to do in Puerto Rico: The Cave of the Indian (Arecibo)
Located just outside of charming Arecibo, La Cueva del Indio, one of the oldest colonial cities in Puerto Rico, is a spectacular cave cut into limestone rock by thousands of years of rain and wind. The most interesting features in the caves are the petroglyphs left by the Taino Indians long before Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico.
The petroglyphs are believed to have been part of the religious ceremonies held in the caves, and are incredibly well preserved. The hike from the busy road to the caves is short but treacherous: the exposed limestone gets slippery, and the drop from the trail to the cave below is 25 feet. The ceiling of the cave is open to the sky, so there is enough light to see petroglyphs from above. There is also a ladder that leads to the cave. Once you reach the caves, the view stretching out to the ocean and beaches is spectacular. Take a walk and see the spectacular cliffs, arches and a natural bridge.
Arecibo 00612, Puerto Rico
Dirty Beach (La Playuela) – (Cabo Rojo)
La Playuela is located in Cabo Rojo, on the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico. It is a true Caribbean paradise in a wide, crescent-shaped bay that is sheltered, secluded, and large enough to offer a spot for solo swimming or snorkeling.
The landscape around the beach is magnificent: on one side, the turquoise waters of the Caribbean are transparent and on the other, lush tropical vegetation that offers pleasant shade from the intense sun. You can see the lighthouse perched on top of the cliff and the line of seagrasses at the end of the beach. The sand is very fine and sometimes makes the water look a bit cloudy. There are many trails around the beach to explore and bird watch.
Cabo Rojo, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Icacos Island (Fajardo)
Cayo Icacos is a small uninhabited island off the coast of Fajardo, a small town on the east coast of Puerto Rico. It is part of the Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve and can be reached from Fajardo by a fifteen-minute water taxi ride.
Magnificent healthy reefs that support abundant marine life surround the island, so the snorkeling and diving are out of this world. The island’s beach is made up of fine coral sand, perfect for long walks. You can also explore inland, as the island is covered in lush vegetation. The island and its fantastic beach are very popular with locals and tourists alike, so expect it to be crowded on weekends.
Isla Palomino is a small private island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, near Las Croabas, Fajardo. Most of the island is occupied by El Conquistador Hotel & Casino. This luxurious 100-acre resort has its own ferry that takes guests to the island.
In addition to presenting a wonderful sandy beach surrounded by majestic palm trees and crystal clear Caribbean waters, the resort offers a variety of activities such as horseback riding, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, and snorkeling and diving in the surrounding reef. You don’t have to stay at the resort to enjoy the island and its amenities; They offer a day pass that provides access to most of the island’s offerings.
1000 El Conquistador Plz Ctr, San Juan 00976-6448, Puerto Rico
Tamarindo Beach (Culebra)
Tamarindo Beach is, for good reason, one of the most popular beaches in Culebra, and is famous for its fantastic beaches. Protected by the small key Cayo Luis Peña, the water is calm and perfect for kayaking, snorkeling and fun for children.
Hardly a day goes by that divers don’t see green turtles and manta rays gliding through the bay, and the coral reefs are healthy and teeming with marine life. The coastline is unique, with a mix of golden sand and wide paths of colorful smooth pebbles and coral stones pushed ashore by the waves. Children enjoy collecting colorful rocks, but keep an eye on them, as the water gets much deeper near the shore. There are no lifeguards on site, so don’t snorkel or swim alone.
West End of the Island, Puerto Rico
Places to Visit in Puerto Rico: Zoni Beach (Culebra)
Of all the beaches in Culebra, Zoni is one where you should go if you want to spend some time alone. The long, wide expanse of fine sand is perfect for long walks, or you can hang your hammock between two leaning palm trees and read a book in the shade while the gentle sound of the surf soothes you.
The landscape is impressive. The water changes its color from pale green to deep blue as it gets deeper, and the shoreline becomes more rugged and rocky towards the end of the beach. Zoni Beach/Playa Soni is a nesting site for leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles, so you may be able to see these gentle giants laying eggs between April and June. Stay away and don’t bother them; They return year after year to the same place. There are volunteers who mark the sites so that they are not disturbed.
East end of PR 250, Puerto Rico
Places to Visit in Puerto Rico: Parque de Bombas (Ponce)
This striking red and white building on the Plaza de las Delicias in downtown Ponce always attracts the attention of tourists and is the pride of locals. The Moorish-influenced wooden Gothic structure was designed by Maximo Meana and was built as the main pavilion for the 1882 Ponce World Fair.
After the fair ended in 1885, the building became Ponce’s official fire station, the Parque de Bombas de Ponce, and faithfully served the city for more than 100 years. Today, it is a museum that honors the Firefighters of Ponce and has a display of various artifacts used by the fire brigade to fight the famous 1882 and 1883 fires, as well as some other artifacts of historical importance.
Plaza of Earthly Delights, Ponce, Puerto Rico