Things To Do In Puerto Rico
Shaped like a rectangle, Puerto Rico is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean. It is a fertile country with mountains and foothills covering three-fourths of the island. Coffee and tobacco are grown in the highlands, and sugar-cane flourishes in the coastal plains and valleys.
Manufacturing industries making chemicals, machinery, and clothing are well-developed, but tourism is most important to the economy. The year-round warm temperatures and colorful religious festivals attract a constant stream of visitors. Puerto Rico literally means “rich port” in Spanish, which shows how important the island was to Spain. Most Puerto Ricans are descended from the Spanish settlers and Spanish is the main language.
When To Go:
From mid-April to June is the perfect time to visit Puerto Rico, directly after the cold winter season and before the stormy summer begins. The Spring climate is extremely consistent, scarcely moving away from the mid-80s. The island actually sees its best climate in winter, which is undoubtedly why this is the most busy and expensive time to visit. But with a cautious eye on your budget and some good flight research you may uncover some interesting deals throughout those months also. You could additionally arrange a pleasant and reasonable vacation during the fall season, when hotel accommodations can get as low as $80 a night.
Here is a list of the things to do when in Puerto Rico.
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Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco)
The Flamenco Beach, just 1 hour away by ferry from the port city of Fajardo, presents a unique spectacle. It has fine golden sand, a great lagoon, nice cool breezes, and clear blue water. The crowds do not seem overwhelming because the beach itself is so large. Nearby there are various cafes -- check out the kiosk 6 and their sea salad! It's big and they have lots of fresh sea delicacies. In another booth they serve delicious cocktails. There is also a kiosk with coconuts which are very refreshing especially during the warm summer months.
Diving in this area is always a very rewarding experience. Or, snorkel around the rocks because you can see colorful fishes and corals. The beachfront has convenient and comfortable villas and bungalows. Everything is wonderful; the beach is long and quiet with umbrellas and lifeguard. It is safe to stroll around as police cars constantly roam and provide security for the beach. The Playa Flamenco is said to be one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, and indeed it is. It's the kind of beach that you will fall in love with and go back to again and again. This paradise is ideal for relaxation, get-togethers, and fun for all ages.
San Juan National Historic Site
The San Juan National Historic Site is definitely worth visiting and a great way to understand Puerto Rico’s past. In addition to the well maintained facility you can see small museums with captions and historical explanations. From the lookout towers you can see a spectacular view; the atmosphere easily conjures up pirates and Spanish galleons. The site can be easily reached by using buses that connect to the peripheral areas of the city. You need to pay an entrance fee to see the fort, cemetery, and the walls. The whole area is clean and easy to navigate.
The fortress of "Castillo San Felipe del Morro" is very attractive to visit, but you cannot choose to explore it on sunny days because it is very hot and humid. Schedule a visit in the early morning to avoid huge crowds and the rise in temperature. You will find that everything is nicely preserved on this fort, which was built to protect the coastline during the 18th century. Even children can easily understand the captions and the story provided for every exhibit.
Walking from the sea back through the narrow streets of Old San Juan makes this visit even more interesting and beautiful. Along the way you will be accompanied by a myriad of cats in search of pampering.
Old San Juan
Old San Juan in Puerto Rico is a riot of colors and impressions. It is certainly one of the most characteristic and memorable cities in the Caribbean. From here you can really breathe a bit of history. If you're in the exclusive Condadodistrict across from Old San Juan, you can easily get a taxi -- but you should really instead take the 21 or 53 bus to the last stop called Estacion. This terminal runs a free bus service across old San Juan. Take a free card, and you can see all the attractions (which in principle can also be seen on foot if you prefer.)
Give due consideration to the main fortress of San Felipe del Morro and San Cristobal where you can admire the fantastic views of the ocean. In the historic center it is very interesting, safe and convenient; there is a lot of police presence and you can catch a taxi anywhere.
There are many boutiques and souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. You cannot resist taking pictures of the bright houses in colonial style because they look so adorable. For even more colorful homes, go beyond the historic zone: a 5-minute walk in the opposite direction and you're in the slums with broken windows, abandoned blocks and the corresponding public. Carry a map, follow the tourist trail, dress simply, and everything will be ok.
Castillo de San Cristobal
The Castillo de San Cristobal constitutes an excellent alternative, if not substitute, for the same fortress called the "El Morro”. The visit is free and the tourist site holds an irresistible charm. There are traces of history from the past and even more recent times. The fortress is definitely eye-catching if projected into the fairytale world of pirates and geography. The place and its atmosphere truly inspire the imagination. It is well maintained and preserved. The fortress is bordered by the colorful Norzagaray Street before it arrives in Old San Juan.
It is a recommended stop where you can enjoy and learn some interesting history and admire spectacular views of unforgettable San Juan and the breathtaking coastline. The Castillo offers several insights into both the construction techniques and the warlike methods of the Spanish. Do not miss the impressive “Garrita del Diablo”, it is located almost in the middle of the sea, which makes anyone shudder to think that a person would be detained inside it and have to survive a stormy night in the ocean.
The El Yunque Rain Forest
Dedicate a whole day if you can to exploring The El Yunque Rain Forest. You can take amazing walks and see the entire rainforest, discovering the rich biodiversity of its flora and fauna. Take the interesting route downstream where for $4 / person you will receive lots of information and see a small museum of the forest as well as an explanatory video. Follow the road and you cannot go wrong, you will come back up to the top before the road ends, and it is certainly not to be missed!
The El Yunque is a very special environment, with lush and luxuriant vegetation and music of small and not-so-small cascades. If you come during the period of rainfall, the flow from the steep wall of mountains forms beautiful waterfalls, such as the "Cascada Coca". Regarding the trees, look at how many species of parasitic (or symbiotic) plants live in the same tree. And do not miss the information center located within the site. You will find many answers to your questions.
La Mina Falls
This falls is located in the El Yunque Rainforest, considered to be part of one of the wonders of the world for its beauty. La Mina Falls is a spectacular place. You have to walk a bit to get from where you leave the car to this waterfall, but it is worth the trip to arrive at this charming place and swim in its clear and cold water. It is quite an experience and you cannot forget the photographic views of nature. The landscape is excellent for taking pictures. Wear good water shoes that will not slip, because the entire area is very wet and slippery.
La Cueva del Indio
La Cueva del Indio is a totally rugged cave formation on the coast of Arecibo (Atlantic Ocean). You can park for a few dollars on the adjoining property. Before you climb down you should stroll first to the edge of the coastal plateau where the panoramic view of the sea is fantastic.
The entrance to the cave starts from the beach. You climb up a rough-hewn stone staircase to a larger landscape, and from there through a 33-foot-high wooden ladder that leads into the cave itself. There are many Petroglyphs to see and if you do a little more climbing to get to the back of the cave, you can find a natural "hot tub" that fills and empties when the waves come and go from the outside. It is good for adults, but not advisable for children.
There is no need for a flashlight to tour the interior as natural daylight comes in and illuminates the whole place. The carvings are very well preserved in most of the large parts of the cave. In addition to the caves and the lovely beach there is a beautiful view of the natural stone arches molded by the waves of the sea. In the caves you can see bees, spiders, crabs, bats and ancient Indian "Drawings". The various rugged caves can also occur at various points of the seawater and you may very well observe the interaction. With sturdy shoes and sunscreen a successful trip is really guaranteed when exploring the caves.
The Bioluminescent Bay is an impressive spectacle of nature in Fajardo and to visit here is also one of the most entertaining and memorable things to do in Puerto Rico. You can take a kayak tour of the bay, and it is already a unique experience to paddle a kayak in the dark sea and then through an even darker channel. But once in the bay, one is immediately aware of the spectacle. Each immersion of the paddle generates a glow. Even if you move your hand through the water, it creates a glow. Incredible and yet a fun effect -- even the passing fish seem to glow. You can arrange this kayak trip from one of the several vendors on site that all require the same price ($45 per person). The cost is worth it for the approximately two-hour tour.
You should be equipped with swimming outfits and a t-shirt, because you will definitely get wet. A camera should (sadly) be left at home because it is quite difficult to make any useful picture. It is definitely an experience you should not miss if you are in Puerto Rico, especially since this is just one of the four bioluminescent bays of the world. Three of them alone are on Puerto Rico: a somewhat faded one in Ponce, and one at Mosquito Bay in Vieques (Island) which may be the brightest of all.
El Faro Lighthouse
The El Faro Lighthouse has a beautiful view of the Desecheo Island and the beaches along the coast of Rincon town. El Faro is a very well-maintained tourist spot. Aside from being the perfect spot to go whale watching, one of the top things to do while here in Rincon is to climb to the top of the lighthouse and see the panoramic view of the entire island and the Caribbean Sea.
There are craft kiosks all around, there is a bus with ice cream and drinks (pineapple and sugar cane mixes), and there is a pizza stall and frappe shop.
The adjoining Lighthouse Park offers a spectacular view of the open sea, although there is not much to do but take pictures and enjoy the view and fresh air. It has facilities for a perfect picnic. The site also has spacious and fresh gazebos for family enjoyment. The lighthouse is recently remodeled, the green areas are well kept, and the surroundings are free of debris. It is a nice place to take photos with the majestic ocean as the background.
Humacao Nature Reserve
Exploring the complex of the Humacao Nature Reserve is a very rewarding travel experience. Hop in the kayaks or take the walk along the lagoons -- either will be incredible and the kids are guaranteed to have fun. You can fish, race bikes, trek through the jungle to see the iguanas, or see old forts and cannons. The trip on the ponds is a very relaxing experience. This attraction and its outdoor activities are highly recommended to enjoy with family and friends of all ages.