Puerto Rico is a vacationer’s paradise. Rich history and culture, exceptional food, pristine beaches, majestic mountains, relaxation, adventure — all packed into one sun-kissed Caribbean paradise. La Isla del Encanto is full of people who are Buena Gente (which is boricua slang for the kind and friendly) and welcoming. Here, you’ll feel like you are family instead of just a visitor.
Around every corner, you’ll find a celebration of life, a rich cultural experience, food for the soul, and a captivating rhythm that will get your heart racing to Merengue! Dare to discover the many treasures of Puerto Rico with our guide around Puerto Rico vacation ideas.
Puerto Rico is a top vacation spot for people from all around the world. From twilight bioluminescent bays to kindhearted and gracious people – not to mention some of the most delicious food in the world – there are plenty of colorful homes in Old San Juan, as well as gorgeous rainforests and beach resorts on the coast, that offer visitors a unique experience. And there’s never been a better time to visit. Better yet, you can frequently discover flight deals that don’t require you to have a passport if you’re visiting from the United States.
Puerto Rico captivates even the most jaded modern explorer with a magnificently rich culture populated with charismatic, passionate, and joyfully hospitable people. The local cuisine, spiced and flavored to mouthwatering perfection, never fails to impress. Of course, the piña colada is de rigueur, being Puerto Rico’s national drink. Backpackers and jet setters alike find themselves enthralled by the breathtaking beaches, magical rainforests, and various valleys, mountains, and gorgeous land formations that are simply awe-inspiring.
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The manufacturing and service industries on the island contribute to 70% of its GDP. The northern, western, and southern coastal regions produce sugarcane and coffee. Tourism is an essential industry in Puerto Rico, with a variety of magnificent natural and sensory attractions available to both locals and tourists alike. Food has a significant role in the wonderfully diverse mix of predominantly Spanish, Italian, French, German, Irish, African (particularly from Guinea), Southern (particularly from Cuba), and Northern American influences that make up its cuisine.
Climate and weather of Puerto Rico
The climatic conditions of Puerto Rico fluctuate between tropical and temperate, depending on the location you are visiting. For example, while August has lower average high temperatures than September and October, April has greater humidity levels, which can be harmful to visitors with asthma or respiratory difficulties. While there is rarely wind, air conditioning will usually make up for it for those who suffer from it in these hotter months.
The U.S. National Weather Service has reported that the majority of hurricanes in Puerto Rico occur between August and October, with hurricane season running from June 1 to November 30. Maria made landfall on September 20, 2017, as a powerful Category 3 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).
The majority of those I spoke with on the island referred to “summertime all the time” in Puerto Rico, with temperatures ranging from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. Between January and March, when precipitation is scant, you should visit if you want to avoid the notorious daily Caribbean downpours.
After suffering through Hurricane Maria in 2017, Puerto Rico has made tremendous progress, and it’s time to let people know that the island is open for tourism – and eager for business. There’s something for everyone who makes the short flight down to visit, from beach resorts to landmarks, excellent cuisine, and exceptional service.
Here are some key facts to help you plan your trip to Puerto Rico.
The official currency used on Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar regardless of vacationing domestically or internationally – so don’t forget your wallet! With that being said, though, it might not be a bad idea to bring some extra cash in case you need any essentials that are difficult or time-consuming to find.
The political status of Puerto Rico is a highly charged topic, and while it appears to be sticking with a Commonwealth of the United States for the immediate future, there’s some truth in the old adage: “After two or three drinks, every Puerto Rican becomes pro-independence.” Most people on the island are afraid that becoming a U.S. state would dilute their Hispanic culture, but complete independence would bring about economic and political calamity – even a quick examination of recent history in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic shows things aren’t looking good.
While the island’s inhabitants have a lot more liberty than people in other parts of the United States, liberals and artists are still concerned about their connection to the United States. “The fact is that we do have a history of struggle for independence, but the opposition has always won,” says Esmeralda Santiago in Island of Lost Causes. Many Puerto Ricans have given up hope because of this. It may be true: many Puerto Ricans now feel it is inevitable that their island will become a U.S. state.
In Puerto Rico, the legal drinking age is 18 years old. This isn’t to suggest that underage drinking goes unnoticed. In fact, police officers are notorious for patrolling the streets in search of people who have been drinking alcohol and driving – so don’t tempt fate!
If you go on holiday to Puerto Rico during this time and want to explore by car, keep in mind that drinking might ruin your vacation before it even begins if you are pulled over. Visitors should also be aware that after dark, there is no public transportation outside of San Juan’s metropolitan area except for taxis or private automobiles, thus trips beyond 15 kilometers after dark unless they book ahead with a firm specializing in overnight vehicle rentals.
As is the case with most vacation spots, it’s best to avoid any type of street crime by not wearing flashy accessories or walking around at night alone. Visitors should also be aware that there isn’t any public transportation available once outside San Juan’s metropolitan area after dark except taxis or private cars as buses stop running as early as six p.m., making journeys longer than 15 kilometers impossible overnight unless they book beforehand with an agency specializing in night tours by car.
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, and you shouldn’t visit during hurricane season (June – November) if you can help it because this means more hurricanes might form and hit the island directly instead of going over other countries first like Mexico, which saves Puerto Rico from experiencing the full force of a hurricane. Also, it might not be such a good idea to vacation in Puerto Rico when you hear that hurricanes could hit because they can quickly turn into one big mess if tourists aren’t prepared and end up bringing down much-needed tourism dollars with them.
Is Puerto Rico expensive for tourists?
When it comes to budgeting for food expenses on a daily basis, your tastes and interest in trying local cuisine will have the most impact. Because there are so many different meals to try, you may need to consider how daring your palette and taste buds are while visiting Puerto Rico. Meals cost between $30 and $60 each day, depending on how fancy you want to be.
Fees and costs in Puerto Rico are comparable to those in the United States, therefore much depends on the exchange rate: while the U.S. dollar remains cheap, Puerto Rico will remain considerably more affordable than some of the glitzy beach resorts in the eastern Caribbean.
It’s not easy to live comfortably in San Juan on $80 per day, but it is possible if you self-cater, use buses everywhere, and stay in the cheapest hotels – in principle, this kind of budget would be more accessible outside the city, but without a vehicle (which will cost at least $50 per day), your options are severely limited. For around $100–150 per day with careful planning, you may tour the island in style.
The prices of comfortable mid-range lodgings in Puerto Rico range from $80 to $250 per night during the winter, but you may get decent two- to three-star rooms for around $75 to $150. Dining out might be costly: dinner at a restaurant, especially in the cities, can be very pricey, although you should be able to find something within the $20-$30 price range. Lunch is considerably less expensive (less than $20), and breakfast is under $10.
Snacks are highly cheap and high in fat, comparable to (and sometimes higher than) fast food in the United States, which is available almost everywhere. In restaurants and hotels, tipping is customary.
Local language and culture overview
Since 1993, Spanish and English have been the official languages of Puerto Rico. However, you do not need to be bilingual to visit the island. Attractions in and around San Juan, as well as Ponce and areas surrounding El Yunque, attract tourists, so locals are usually ready to speak English there.
As long as visitors make an effort and try saying a few phrases (and words!) out loud when ordering or trying something new, they should be able to get by without too many difficulties. Most of the people on the island also know at least one other language like French, German, Italian, etc… so there’s no harm in throwing it into your vacation plans if you want an authentic experience while vacationing here!
The United States Territory of Puerto Rico is the most Protestant country in Latin America, with over 40% of the population identifying as Protestant. The history of Puerto Rico also includes a wealth of art and architectural styles, traditions, and influences from Spain, Islam, and the United States. As a result of a diverse and dynamic mix of cultural influences, primitive music on the island has evolved into a rich and variegated form. Although Spanish and African cultures predominate, today’s throbbing music on the island incorporates many different genres.
Entry to Puerto Rico
The requirements for traveling to Puerto Rico are the same as those for visiting the United States. Keep in mind, though, that there is no passport control on flights between the United States and Puerto Rico; non-US nationals will be admitted without further inspection upon arrival in the United States. Citizens of 27 countries, including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, can visit visa-free (known as visa waivers) for up to ninety days to the U.S. However, before you travel, you’ll need to acquire an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) online (at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta), which entails filling out a simple immigration form ahead of time.
Transport on the island of Puerto Rico
When you arrive in Puerto Rico, there are several transportation alternatives available. If you want to see more of the city where you’re staying, car rentals are an option. On the right-hand side of the road, driving is permitted. A valid resident country or international driver’s license is necessary. Taxis, trolleys, ride-shares, and public buses (locally known as “guaguas” or “carros publicos”) are accessible on major highways and streets. There is no regular passenger service from Puerto Rico by sea.
Hundreds of cruise ships visit the island every year, attracting more than a million passengers. To see the other islets and cays surrounding the main island, you’ll need to board a plane or ferry to experience kayaking, turtle viewing, snorkeling, kite surfing, and perhaps the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. You may also spend your day relaxing in the shade of mangrove trees.
There are plenty of fascinating aquatic activities and excursions on this island. What kind of adventure do you want to experience? In that case, you may go on a trek to see the local flora and fauna of the neighboring islands or even visit an old lighthouse perched on top of a tiny hill in one of the bird sanctuaries.
Find top Puerto Rico vacation ideas.
Explore the many historic sites and capital of Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
Old San Juan is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island of Puerto Rico. It’s packed with structures dating back to Spanish colonization, narrow cobblestone streets, and colorful balconies overlooking tiny alleyways crammed with shops selling everything from t-shirts to handcrafted jewelry.
Along the main street Calle Fortaleza, which is packed with shops, restaurants, and hotels, you’ll find a plethora of charming cafés where you can sit and people-watch as they go by. It’s even more beautiful at night when all of the ancient buildings are illuminated. If you’re searching for a fun and exciting place to visit on vacation, this is definitely it!
Bacardi Distillery Tour
Take a trip to one of the world’s best brands, Bacardi, and discover the legend behind this famous rum. You’ll get to learn more than simply about their delicious alcoholic beverage on your holiday.
Explore Old San Juan
The Old San Juan District is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Puerto Rico. It’s packed with structures dating back to when Spain ruled the area, as well as cobblestone streets and colorful balconies that overlook tiny alleyways filled with stalls selling everything from t-shirts to handcrafted jewelry.
There are several little cafés in the neighborhood, each with a unique ambiance. The plaza is lovely at night when all of the historical buildings are illuminated. If you’re searching for a fun and exciting place to go on vacation, don’t pass up this idea.
The island of Puerto Rico has more than 200 caves, most of which are located on the northwest coast (mainly). There are many fascinating underground geological features to discover in Puerto Rico! For example, Carabali and Camuy are two open-to-the-public caverns. This holiday idea will suffice if you want to be bold this vacation.
Activities around the island or take a dip in one of our crystal clear beaches
Fishing is a popular vacation option for people from both far and near. Puerto Rico has a variety of bays, rivers, lagoons, and mangroves where you may see all kinds of aquatic life. Some locations allow you to hire fishing boats (think party boat), while others provide guided kayak or catamaran trips. If this holiday concept interests you, check out these vacation recommendations!
There’s no place better than the sea off the coast of Puerto Rico for snorkeling, where you’ll discover tropical fish swimming about coral reefs just eager to be found! Take your pick from one of three beaches along the southern shoreline – Rincon Beach, Boqueron Beach, or Jobos Bay. Check out these vacation ideas if vacations like this one pique your interest!
Horseback riding is a fantastic way to see the lovely Puerto Rican countryside from horseback! There are dozens of stables on the island where you may go for guided rides along beautiful seas or through picturesque mountains, so don’t forget about this vacation idea if adventure vacations like these appeal to you!
Scuba diving is undoubtedly one of the most worthwhile excursions you’ll ever take. This remarkable experience will allow you to get up close and personal with fantastic sea creatures, including mantas, sea turtles, lobsters, angelfish, squid, and stingrays! Check out these vacation ideas if activities like this one pique your interest.
For a more budget-friendly option, snuba is the way to go. Here, trained instructors will assist you in connecting with your inner fish while floating on an air tank connected to a long hose – it’s simple yet provides lots of fantastic photo possibilities for novices. This holiday idea is also popular among families with young children who are not quite ready for full-fledged scuba lessons.
Go to an authentic restaurant and try some local cuisine
Because this blog post is solely concerned with Puerto Rico vacation ideas, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite activities to do while on vacation: eating delicious food. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, chances are there will be a local dish on the menu that allows you to try new dishes! Just keep in mind not to overeat before exploring anything else because the island has an endless number of gastronomical pleasures available for you to discover!
The island is rich in food resources. The cuisine might represent everything about Puerto Rico in a single dish. Puerto Rican cuisine, which is colorful, spicy, and never bland, includes a variety of spices to flavor meals with perfectly subtle tastes that are distinctively their own.
During the summer, cooks in San Juan Viejo simmer on outdoor grills while drinking rum and munching on pork-and-bean burritos. Many people find it challenging to grasp the concept of a meal without meat, so they add fish or shellfish and fruits to other dishes that need a little zest in order for them to taste excellent.
The pina colada is Puerto Rico’s most famous cocktail. Aperitifs, mid-meal desserts, digestives, or simply on their own (ideally at the beach), the rich, thick, and creamy mixture transport one back to fond times with coconut cream pineapple and a decent rum.
The “Mavi,” a potent brew made from boiled Mavi tree bark with spices such as ginger and cinnamon, as well as fruit for extra taste, is another popular drink. It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, but the greatest alcoholic ones have the flavor of real beer with delicious and tangy spice notes to round out the spiciness.
Puerto Rican sweets include flan, sweet rice pudding, syrup-covered shaved ice, sweet jelly rolls, coconut pudding, shortbread, and caramelized milk jam after a hearty supper of carne asada and fried plantains.
Mofongo is a Puerto Rican specialty that includes mashed plantains, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings. Because this vacation idea may take you out of your comfort zone, keep the following advice in mind! During your next visit to Puerto Rico, you should certainly try it at least once!
Sample Coquito & Guavate
It’s not challenging to find coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog) or guavate – both are delectable holiday beverages that are great for any Christmas gathering, so if this appeals to you, check out these travel suggestions!
Sample Tres Leches & Flan
Tres leches is a centuries-old cake that originated in Cuba and was brought to Puerto Rico by Cuban settlers in the early 20th century. It’s the combination of three milky sauces, each one made from fresh milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk! If vacation ideas like this appeal to you, then check out these Puerto Rico vacation tips from our blog guide!
You may also try our tres leches recipe to make your own at home. Flan is another well-known dessert; it’s similar in flavor, but instead of whole eggs, flan uses egg yolks only, which are cooked inside the mixture until they become firm. Yum!
Visit the rainforest, El Yunque National Forest
The name of this national park comes from the fact that it is one of the few tropical rain forests in the United States. It makes sense that Puerto Rico has a national park named after it, given how unique its landscape is! Whether you like to get up close and personal with exotic plants and animals or not, there are several trails through this forest to explore. There are several hiking routes available in the area; don’t pass up this vacation idea if you appreciate nature.
Spend some time hiking, biking, or horseback riding through lovely scenery such as waterfalls in the woods just outside of Luquillo’s city limits! There are also a lot of picnic tables along the route, so bring a lunch and enjoy nature at her finest! These gorgeous natural settings cater to all tastes, making it an excellent choice for a Puerto Rico vacation.
Sailing on one of the many beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Caribbean, and this holiday idea doesn’t come along very often! Whether you want to relax or go on an exciting excursion, a sailing trip will be one vacation idea that will get everyone excited.
The perfect balance of fun and relaxation, Puerto Rican sailors are proud of their skills as they navigate vessels through the seas with grace and agility without ever becoming wet or falling overboard (that would just ruin your whole vacation!) They’ll even let you take over if you’re brave enough, but only after these travel recommendations! It’s really a one-of-a-kind experience that few people get to experience, so don’t pass it up during your next trip to Puerto Rico!
Check another interesting Puerto Rico vacation ideas
Vieques Island – The world’s brightest bioluminescent bay is located in Vieques, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. While swimming is not allowed, visitors may agitate the dinoflagellate (a one-celled aquatic organism with plant and animal characteristics) to make it glow by touching the water. The spectacular natural event can be seen during an overcast new moon. Several isolated beaches dot Vieques Island, which draws tourists looking for some peace and quiet from their busy lives.
Mona Island – It is the least visited island of Madagascar, despite being the third-largest because it is a protected natural reserve; it is kept away to protect the fragile ecosystem. Mona has two small islands named Desecho and Monito, which are Satellite Islands of Desecho and Monito.
In recent years, the island has been more inviting to tourists, with 100 people per day being allowed a look at the unique topography, ecosystem, and location that earned it the nickname “The Galapagos Islands of the Caribbean.” Nature enthusiasts may enjoy the isolated beaches, visit beautiful coral reefs and caverns, and capture its distinctive flora and fauna. It is also strangely close to both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Culebra Island – Culebra Island, located off the coast of Vieques, is home to the world-renowned Flamenco Beach, which has been recognized as one of the most unspoiled beaches in the world. It is a popular destination for tourists looking to observe spectacularly beautiful sunsets and enjoy white-sand beaches and clear turquoise seas filled with fish, turtles, and rays.
Icacos Island – The island is unoccupied since there are no public transportation or services. Because of the lack of activity, you may feel a little uncomfortable as you approach the island. You’ll almost certainly encounter peace and crystal-clear seas washing on a small strip of beach.
Puerto Rico is a perfect destination for travelers looking to enjoy the best of everything. This island has it all — from its rich history and culture, magnificent mountains, world-class beaches, and fabulous food. It’s like stepping into paradise! So what are you waiting for? Book your trip today and get ready to be amazed by this beautiful Caribbean country that will make you feel right at home.
It’s a tropical heaven with rich history and culture, exceptional food, pristine beaches, majestic mountains, relaxation, and adventure, all within reach of the U.S. mainland. La Isla del Encanto (The Island of Enchantment) offers you something for everyone — from traditional cultural experiences like festivals or carnivals to more adventurous activities such as kayaking around El Yunque National Forest or rappelling waterfalls; we have it all! If you want an unforgettable trip where you feel welcomed by locals instead of just visiting tourists, then come visit us in Puerto Rico today!