Explore rainforests, from street markets to coffee plantations. Puerto Rico is considered by some as the best island in the Caribbean and others as one of the best destinations for weddings.
Puerto Rico – A Caribbean Gem
- Puerto Rico – A Caribbean Gem
- Distinctive Municipalities
- Where to go in Puerto Rico – 6 districts for you
- Visit the Rain Forest “El Yunque”
- The best Rum Distilleries of Puerto Rico
- The best coffee plantations of Puerto Rico
- Beautiful women
- Best wedding venues of Puerto Rico
- Hotels and Resorts
- Gran Melia Puerto Rico
- Paradores de Puerto Rico, charming hotel alternatives
- Best street markets
- What to eat in Puerto Rico
- Weather in Puerto Rico
The island offers a large variety of recreational options that range from coastal spots and ocean activities to the inland adventures found beyond their shores. Dare to discover the many treasures of Puerto Rico. Get inspired and start planning your trip with my exciting tips below.
Puerto Rico can be divided into several distinct regions (the northern region; the eastern region; the central region; the western region; and the southern coast), each with unique characteristics and flavors. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico is an island getaway with something for everyone – stunning beaches, uncompromising luxury, adventurous outdoor activities and flavor full nightlife. Puerto Rico also boasts 23 golf courses, many championship-level, countless tennis courts, horseback-riding outfitters, deep-sea fishing opportunities, watersports of all types, and 17 spas.
This is the official promo video for Puerto Rico made by local tourism office – showing you what Puerto Rico can offer and where to go in Puerto Rico.
With 78 distinctive municipalities, virtually any type of special interest can be found in Puerto Rico. From hiking in a forest or exploring a cave, to superb cuisine, sizzling nightlife and exciting casinos, to romantic walks on a moonlit beach. Renting a car lets you discover small towns, fishing villages and an amazing variety of cultural activities; to an island escape with a stay in a Parador – Puerto Rico also has it all, including the perfect settings for weddings and honeymoons, and spectacular venues for meetings. The Puerto Rico Convention Center is the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean.
Palmas Del Mar is one of the best communities in Puerto Rico. Found 1 hour southeast of San Juan in Humacao, Palmas sits on 2,750 acres of ocean front land. 32 different neighborhoods dot the landscape from single family luxury homes to townhouses and apartments. Palmas has 2 golf courses as well as the largest tennis center in Puerto Rico. The Palmas Beach Club has a pool, and waterpark for childre. The Palmas Academy, a Pre-K to 12th grade English language school, a 60 acre tropical rain forest, shopping, spas and 20 restaurants are all within a cart ride, making Palmas del Mar is the most complete resort in the Caribbean.
Where to go in Puerto Rico – 6 districts for you
The island is divided into six districts, each with its own unique characteristics and attractions.
#1 San Juan Metro
Greater San Juan is one of the top-25 metropolitan areas in North America bustling with big-city business, culture and entertainment. However, the cobblestone streets have visitors traveling 500 years back in time. The massive fortifications of San Juan have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a seven-block museum, but also contains living neighborhoods, with plenty of places in which to party, dine, shop and stay.
Old San Juan, the historic jewel of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a 500 year old city that will transport you to another time with its colors, colonial architecture and latin vibrance for life. This vlog tour will walk you through some of the many surprises you will find around every corner in Old San Juan! If you are getting a cruise from the Port of San Juan, check out this vlog for ideas to eat, drink and play before or after a cruise to the enchanted island.
San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city, sits on the island’s Atlantic coast. Its widest beach fronts the Isla Verde resort strip, known for its bars, nightclubs and casinos. Cobblestoned Old San Juan features colorful Spanish colonial buildings and 16th-century landmarks including El Morro and La Fortaleza, massive fortresses with sweeping ocean views, as well as the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade.Source: Wikipedia
If you are visiting the island of Puerto Rico here’s my Top 7 Things To Do In San Juan and Culebra. Puerto Rico is a beautiful country and territory of the United States. The culture, food, and the people of Puerto Rico make this place one of the top destinations to travel to in the Carribean. Puerto Rico has recovered a lot after Hurricane Maria and tourists from all around the world are returning to this great island. Puerto Rico has a lot to offer. You can travel around the island and find something that peaks your interests. Check out more cool things to do in San Juan here.
#2 North “Porta Atlantico”
Filled with historic sites, beaches, lagoons, lakes, caves and forests. In the heart of the island’s fourth-oldest city, Arecibo, settled in 1616. This region is home to the famous Rio Camuy Cave Park, Arecibo Observatory and Barceloneta Outlets.
There is an elegance of sufficiency and style in the activities here in the North. From riding the equestrian trials to golfing the world-class fairways; the sophisticated dining, to the thrills of spelunking. There is a harmony of the land and sea here, the karst that looks sculptured; the links that are, and the cliffs that need no adornment. Here you can take your sports gently, never hurrying or worrying a muscle, but moving with grace, finesse and beauty. Simple and grand; timeless and radiant—this is the North of Puerto Rico.
The Northern Region of Puerto Rico has many points of historical and cultural interest, as well as areas of great natural beauty. Arecibo is one of the most popular destinations in the area, and the Arecibo Observatory is a world-renowned attraction that visitors can’t miss. Nature lovers will enjoy the Cambalache Forest Reserve and the Cueva del Indio Cavern features intriguing archeological discoveries.NORTHERN REGION TRAVEL AND CITY GUIDE
#3 West “Porta del Sol”
Porta del Sol a spectacular area in the Western Region of Puerto Rico offering many things to do and places to visit. It is home to the town of Rincón known as the surfing capital of the island and arguably the entire Caribbean. This is an area of thunderous waves, picturesque sunsets, sandy beaches and a more laid-back lifestyle, perfect for those that want to get away from it all and just enjoy island life.
Spend your days relaxing on the warm sandy beaches, visit the many bird-watching areas or for the more adventurous, try ‘hanging 10’ at Domes Beach one of the most consistent surfing beaches in Rincón. Located on the north-west corner of Puerto Rico. Rincón is an area with a vibe totally its own, definitely a surfing town
Visitors can explore 17 small towns; discover some of the world’s greatest surfing areas and beaches, excellent seafood, outstanding coastal forests and unique coffee and sugar farms, numerous regional festivities, and several golf courses and marinas. The important secondary airport in Aquadilla (BQN) is located here with stateside direct air service, serving major eastern cities such as New York, Newark, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale year-round.
#4 South “Porta Caribe”
Twelve towns with beautiful beaches and enchanted forests, freshwater lakes for fishing, golf courses, fishing villages, carnival-style festivities and stately Victorian homes in the area’s major city of Ponce. Flights from Orlando and New York are available all year to Ponce Airport (PSE).
Puerto Rico’s balmy south coast is known as the Porta Caribe (“gateway to the Caribbean”), a designation that neatly sums up its laidback appeal. The only part of Puerto Rico that actually faces the Caribbean Sea, the waves here are calmer, the skies warmer and the air drier than elsewhere on the island, but the lack of beaches means you’ll see far fewer visitors.Porta Caribe travel guide
Puerto Rico’s South Region is European Styled…especially the architecture. Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, was founded in the late 17th century. The city experienced a commercial boom in the 19th, then declined so quickly that no one had time to tear anything down. The center of town is crowded with wedding-cake colonial mansions, arrayed in a procession of balconies, balustrades, and bas-relief.
#5 Central Mountains “Porta Cordillera”
This is an important agricultural area with unique mountainous terrain world famous for its coffee and noted for its outdoor adventure opportunities and numerous natural attractions, including its beautiful waterfalls. The area is also rich in archaeological sites, annual festivals and shopping opportunities for unusual items from noted local artists.
The Cordillera Central is a land of innocence, of new beginnings, of fertility, of pure, clean water and abundance. This is a place unfit for civilization, but the fruit of the tree of adventure is plucked here. From its lodges, to its caves, it ziplines to its trails, adventure is the vitalizing element here. Adventure is everywhere.
#6 East: La Monserrate
Enjoy your favorite fruits like fresh bananas, apples and oranges. Puerto Rico is a fruit paradise! Plan to visit the Balneario La Monserrate, one of the best beaches on the island. La Monserrate has calm waters where you will find a variety of activities, or, if you prefer to simply relax and enjoy the view, there are rental chairs and umbrellas on-site. When hunger strikes, you will find kiosks walking distance from the beach, where you can get local fritters, savory seafood, and ice-cold drinks.
There are so many wonderful characteristics to the East of Puerto Rico, but one is certainly its friendliness to families. Families here find a freshness and candor in their clan. They strengthen bonds, like the ever-thickening vines of El Yunque. They welcome novelty, and sate curiosities. They find a fluency of fun; a symphony of kindred souls, good temper and open hearts. Here families are like unrhymed poetry, stanzas of sand, sun, sea and rainforest.
You can’t undo the rainbow here, but you can slide it down into a fragment of paradise. Puerto Rico is a kid’s paradise. The weather is perfect; it’s safe; it’s healthy, and there are so many wonderful things for kids and families to do. We check-out the 2.4-acre Coqui Water Park, a font of wading pools, slides and water rides, a jungle-type rope bridge, and a lazy river. At the spectacular beaches kids can swim, body surf, snorkel, and play to heart’s content. There are hikes in all sorts of terrain, and many resorts that cater to families.
There are fantastic beaches, golf courses, nature reserves, impressive underwater reefs and small cays. This area boasts the quaint off-shore islands of Vieques and Culebra. Vieques was named among the Top 10 Islands in the Caribbean and Flamenco Beach in Culebra was voted among the Best Beaches in the World in 2014 by Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.
The east is home to El Yunque, the only subtropical rainforest in the United States. Its waterfalls, hiking trails, and panoramic vistas are a nature lover’s wonderland. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from a leisurely hike to extreme canyoneering. The waters off the east coast of Puerto Rico are teeming with marine life, making them ideal for snorkeling and diving adventures, fishing, and boat charters of all kinds.Find out more things to do on https://www.discoverpuertorico.com/regions/east#!grid~~~random~1
Visit the Rain Forest “El Yunque”
This natural treasure is an excellent destination if you want to be immersed in nature. You can visit for a hike on one of its many trails, bathe in natural pools beneath waterfalls, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.
El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service and its name is a reference to Yuke, what the indigenous Taíno people defined as “white lands.” With an average rainfall of 120 inches a year, El Yunque has a very diverse ecosystem, hosting hundreds of unique plant and animal species, including the island’s famous coquí frog.
The highest mountain peak in the forest rises 3,494 feet (1,065 m) above sea level. Ample rainfall (over 20 feet a year in some areas) creates a jungle-like setting—lush foliage, crags, waterfalls, and rivers are a prevalent sight. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory’s flora and fauna can be appreciatedhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Yunque_National_Forest
The best Rum Distilleries of Puerto Rico
If you like rum, then Puerto Rico is the place for you! Join me on a historic tour of the Casa Bacardi Rum distillery in San Juan, Puerto Rico! Ride the tram around the Bacardi property, learn about rum history, and making rum in the Caribbean. Bacardi started in Cuba and relocated to the island of Puerto Rico in 1936, and moved to the current location in 1958. On the tour we learn the history of the Bacardi family and rum products, and finish with a stop at the gift shop before riding the tram back to the outdoor Bacardi Bat Bar Pavilion. If you like rum that is handmade with quality, local ingredients, Tres Clavos is a must-try. What better place to taste it than at it’s source – the San Juan Artisan Distillers in Vega Alta! Here, you can tour the sugar cane fields and distillery, and learn first hand about how they make the product from start to finish. It is a really interesting tour, and a delicious one at that!
For the Tres Clavos fruit rums, they use locally grown fruits – but Pepe said they are starting to grow many of their own fruit, so it is really locally grown! We met the workers who do it all – from cutting the sugar cane to labeling the bottles. It really is all done by hand to ensure quality from start to finish.Read more about Tres Clavos
The San Juan Artisan Distillers is located in Vega Alta, which is just a 30-minute drive west from San Juan. This is where owner Pepe Alvarez started over when, due to the falling Puerto Rican economy of the early 2000s, he needed to change careers. He decided to start producing quality rum the way it used to be make here in Puerto Rico – from sugar cane – unlike most rum which is made from molasses, which in turn is made from sugar cane juice. I have tried a lot of rums, and many fruit rums have a bite – you really need to mix them with something. But the Tres Clavos rums are really smooth, you could drink them straight up on the rocks and enjoy them. Of course, you can use them with mixers to make cocktails, and they have recipes available for different drinks.
The best coffee plantations of Puerto Rico
Hacienda Buena Vista is considered one of Puerto Rico’s best remaining coffee plantations. A canal, beginning at the top of “Vives Waterfall,” goes through an aqueduct and on to the coffee mill, which is a two-story wooden building located to the northwest of the Hacienda Manor House.
We visited Hacienda Buena Vista in Puerto Rico and learned about coffee and how it’s made! The plantation was started by Don Salvador de Vives in 1833 and runs on water power! The area and museum is now run by Para la Naturaleza, a non-profit organization who works on conserving the natural site and surrounding forest. All the money you spend for a ticket or coffee purchase goes towards preserving and regrowing the area (especially after the devastation of the hurricane).
At its height Hacienda Buena Vista produced and processed more than 10,000 pounds of coffee per year for shipment to Europe. The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico purchased the land and buildings from the Vives family in 1984. Visit this coffee provider all year long or come in time for our traditional coffee or cocoa festivals.
Come watch them work and feel how the force of the river was transformed into movement to process food products. Enjoy the breeze under the canopy of a subtropical forest and go along with a history and nature expert to learn about the shaded polyculture of coffee, cocoa, oranges, plantains, and other fruits.Read more on Para La Naturaleza’s site
Authentic 19th-century farm machinery is exhibited that shows how a coffee plantation worked in the 1880s
Museo Hacienda Buena Vista is a historic coffee plantation farm museum in Barrio Magueyes, Ponce, Puerto Rico. The museum opened in 1986, and receives some 40,000 visitors a year. The museum has been described as “Puerto Rico’s first living museum of art and science. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_Hacienda_Buena_Vista
Puerto Rico is one of the most successful competitors in the history of the Miss Universe pageant, having won five times, according to wikipiedia.
Marisol Malaret, Miss Puerto Rico 1970, was the first Puerto Rican to win the Miss Universe title. The four other Puerto Rican delegates who have won the Miss Universe title are Deborah Carthy-Deu (1985), Dayanara Torres (1993), Denise Quiñones (2001), and Zuleyka Rivera (2006). Check out the 37 most beautiful women from Puerto Rico on Pinterest.
Best wedding venues of Puerto Rico
Whether you’re looking for an elegant ballroom in Old San Juan, a secluded spot on a quiet stretch of sand, or a stunning villa for you and your loved ones to call home, there is a Puerto Rico destination wedding for every type of couple.Whatever you desire, plan your getaway to this island paradise and start planning your Puerto Rico destination wedding! As you begin planning your Puerto Rico destination wedding, you’ll definitely want to take a peek at these nine beautiful, tropical venues. Check out some absolutely stunning wedding avenus on WeddingWire.com
Hotels and Resorts
There are several spectacular resorts on the beach to a great variety of value-packed hotels on or hear the beach, in the mountains, towns and villages, near historical sites and nature preserves, as well as at or near the airports.
Small hotels, inns and guest houses (many offering bed-and-breakfast arrangements) along with a number of eco-lodges can be found in the metropolitan area as well as throughout the island. These are family-oriented inns with ocean views, a Mediterranean-style boutique hotel in a restored Spanish villa, small European-style bed-and-breakfast hotels a short walk from the beach, a hillside villa with a panoramic forest view, full-service facilities with pools and direct beach access, a restored 16th-century former convent in the hear of Old San Juan, a former Spanish sugar plantation great house, one and two-bedroom villas set in 40-acres of nature preserves – the choices are endless.
Gran Melia Puerto Rico
Melia never fails to provide the romantic getaway in Puerto Rico. Prepared to be pampered. The 579-room Resort, know as Gran Melia Puerto Rico, at Coco Beach has opened on the north coast, near San Juan. Puerto Rico’s former Gran Meliá Golf Resort reopened in August as the Resort at Coco Beach.
This hidden gem of a resort is located on Puerto Rico’s northeastern coast. This area is one of the most attractive of the entire Puerto Rico. Gran Melia Puerto Rico is a beautiful option (though it definitely feels like the branded resort that it is). This resort is not short on anything when it comes to the pampered lifestyle. Enjoy morning mimosas by the pool. De-stressing spa mid-day. Afternoon nap on a beachside hammock. This dreamy vacay is all about you. Golfers – you can pinch yourself – you’ve got exclusive privileges at two world-class championship courses. It’s bucket list worthy. The sights, the local flavors and the warm, welcoming culture will win you over. Palm tree-lined shores are ready for you to arrive.
This resort also offers an exclusive Red Level service for an additional charge.
- Private check-in and check-out anytime you want 24 hours.
- Delicious, complimentary breakfast in the morning, beverages all day, and limited bar service during happy hour.
- A private pool with Bali beds, pool concierge and bar service.
- A complimentary Internet station at the Red Level Lounge.
- Personal butler service.
Tips! Pack some beach shoes because the shores can be rocky!
They have their own beach where you can rent kayaks and paddle boards (even on Sundays with executive order).
Update: The hotel has changed name to Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico. Visit the official website of the Regency Grand Reserve, previously Grand Melia Puerto Rico.
Paradores de Puerto Rico, charming hotel alternatives
Find unique places to stay while visiting Puerto Rico! Best known for their affordable rates and picturesque, out-of-the-way locations, each of these country inns offer a comfortable starting point for nearby exploration outside of metropolitan San Juan.
In Puerto Rico, there is a network of 13 family-owned hotels located outside the metropolitan area of San Juan known as paradores. These properties highlight the history, gastronomy, and cultural diversity of the island while emphasizing the roots of the boricua hospitality and offering affordable rates.
The paradores offer the value resort-like amenities at a smaller scale and nearby some of the best attractions on the island. It creates the perfect setting for fun-filled family travels, destination weddings, and friendly getaways.
Paradores range from centuries-old haciendas to small properties in local fishing villages. Quite often, the Parador’s restaurant is also part of the Mesones Gastronomicos program which designates restaurants featuring genuine Puerto Rico cuisine with the highest level of quality, high standards, and the best local dishes at reasonable prices.
As you drive around the island you often see the Parador symbol. The word Parador in the name of the property is reserved for properties meeting and maintaining the required standards for this program.
There is a lot more to learn about Puerto Rico. If you liked this information and would like more, please contact me and I would love to help you.
Best street markets
When exploring culinary Puerto Rico, what better place to start than a market? The local markets offer a great local taste of the different towns to be found in Puerto Rico, and the opportunity to pick up some handy essentials too. Here is our selection of the best markets in Puerto Rico. And who better to serve as our guide than Chef Wilo Benet, A Culinary Institute of America graduate and one of the island’s premier chefs whose restaurant Pikayo is a beacon to all who visit in search of the tastes of Puerto Rico. He’ll give us a basic course in the Puerto Rican market basket at the Plaza del Mercado, a small, but lively market in the Santurce area of San Juan. Here, we get our first look at the bounty of this region where sometimes the freshest ingredients like bananas and avocados are growing outside the back door.
The Market Square of Rio Piedras is one of the most visited squares in Puerto Rico. Rio Piedras is a neighborhood of San Juan municipality. I always find time to get here and buy smoothies!
The streets of Puerto Rico’s largest city are brimming with good eats. Check out these amazing street food markets in Puerto Rico!
What to eat in Puerto Rico
There’s a lot to digest when it comes to the Puerto Rican foods you must eat in Puerto Rico. To the untrained eye, Puerto Rican cuisine may seem like nothing more than seafood and fried, greasy dishes, but as you look closer, you realize just how complex it is.
Tostones are wildly popular across the island of Puerto Rico. Often served as an appetizer, this dish is made by thinly slicing plantains, coating them in a batter, and frying them. Tostones pair perfectly with mayo ketchup, a mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic, and other spices. Find the complete tostone recipe here.
You are going to love this crispy salted Puerto Rican tostones. I made them with green plantain, a right amount of oil (we are deep frying here after all) and just a touch of sea salt or garlic salt. I also like to squeeze a bit of lime juice on top before serving, but that’s completely optional.https://www.mystayathomeadventures.com/puerto-rican-tostones/
Weather in Puerto Rico
The climate in San Juan is hot, oppressive, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 72°F to 89°F (22-31 Celsius) and is rarely below 69°F or above 91°F (33C).
Based on the beach/pool score, the best time of year to visit San Juan for hot-weather activities is from early December to mid April.