12 Free Things To Do In Puerto Rico (2022)

Puerto Rico has many free things to do.

Some of the best activities, such as Flamenco Beach and waterfalls are 100% free!

I have been traveling to the island since childhood and I can tell you that there are plenty of free things to do on your vacation!

In this article, I will cover the 12 best free things to do in Puerto Rico:

 

1. Go to the beach

Puerto Rico has nearly 300 beaches. 

You can spend weeks exploring these beaches and still not see all of them.

image of Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach is located on Culebra Island and is known as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

The fun is in the “untouched” coastlines.

They are usually a walk or hike down the coast from the commercial beaches. 

You may need to come more prepared with your own water and supplies, but it’s worth it for a day adventuring on a beach all to yourself. 

Take a look at our list of the 30 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico to find one that suits you!

 

2. Visit ruins

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain in 1508. 

image of Ponderosa Lighthouse's remains
Ponderosa Lighthouse’s remains located in Aguadilla is a popular place for photographers.

When they first arrived on the island, the native Tainos had built primarily wooden structures.

Original Taino structures are hard to come by because of destruction and deterioration, but ruins of Spanish colonial buildings are still around to be visited, like forts and churches.

Find the Ponderosa Lighthouse (pictured above) in Aguadilla.

 

3. “Noche de Galerias”, the Night of Galleries

In Old San Juan, from February to May, and September to December, on the first Tuesday of each month, about 20 art galleries stay open late to the public. 

image of the colorful street of Old San Juan
The streets in Old San Juan are colorful and filled with art.

The galleries are some of the best on the island.

Night of Galleries is host to free drinks, art, and sometimes live music in the streets. 

Check out our article Old San Juan – Everything You Need To Know to learn more about this special neighborhood.

 

4. Visit a bioluminescent bay

Puerto Rico has three bioluminescent bays.

There are less than ten bio bays in the world.

Image of a man swimming with bioluminescence.
Person swimming with bioluminescence.

You can visit the bio bays for free, however, most people book a tour as it makes the process much easier. It can be difficult to enter the bio bays without a guided tour at night.

Click here to learn more about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.

 

5. Crack open a coconut 

I’m serious! Coconuts are everywhere — you can hear them fall if you sit by the forest for long enough. 

image of a coconut tree
Fresh coconuts are a great way to stay hydrated in the island heat. Crack one open using a rock or pavement.

If you find a green coconut or see one fall, pick it up and whack it against the tree, or something hard like pavement or rock. 

It will split open, even if it takes a few whacks, and then you can pour the water into a cup or drink it straight out of the coconut. 

Beware, you might get splashed, but it’s worth it!

 

6. Camping

You can camp a lot of places for free — you just might not get the same amenities as a paid campsite. 

image of a camping tent at the beach
Do your research ahead of time to find out what beaches allow free camping.

A lot of the less commercial beaches will let you camp as long as you’re prepared to bring everything you need, and you clean up after yourself. 

Contact the local town hall or ask the police if you need a permit. 

 

7. Snorkeling

Snorkeling is very easy to do for free. 

image of a guy snorkeling in Culebrita
Puerto Rico offers amazing free snorkeling options.

Snorkel at calm beaches like Luquillo Beach and avoid large reefs and strong currents. 

Remember to pack your goggles!

Take a look at our article Luquillo Beach, Puerto Rico for more information about a calm beach, and read up on the 25 Best Snorkel Spots in Puerto Rico.

 

8. Take photos

Puerto Rico has so many picture-worthy locations. 

image of a tourist in PR taking photos
Old San Juan provides plenty of iconic photo opportunties.

It gets even better if you bring another friend, and maybe even another outfit — photo shoots can be so much fun!

A good place to start for inspiration is 72 Best Places to Take Pictures in Puerto Rico for Instagram.

 

9. Hunt for sea glass

Monotones Beach in Jobos, Puerto Rico has some of the best sea glass I’ve ever collected. 

image of sea glass pieces
Hunting for sea glass is a good way to find a free souvenir to remember your trip.

The great thing about sea glass is that you can take it home with you, or even make jewelry out of it as a way to remember your trip. 

Be sure to wear shoes! Some of the glass on the beach is still sharp. 

 

10. Visit Old San Juan

Old San Juan is one of the most popular places to visit in Puerto Rico, and it’s easy to see why. 

image of the colorful street of Old San Juan
Old San Juan was founded by the Spanish in 1521 is the oldest city in the western hemisphere.

Old San Juan is full of free things to do if you just walk around.

Some of the most popular attractions are the Governor’s Mansion, lots of Puerto Rican flag murals, and historic colonial buildings.

 

11. Street art in Santurce

Although street art can be found in all of San Juan, Santurce is considered the best place for larger-than-life murals and Caribbean street art. 

Santurce is great for walking around, like a city gallery, and for taking photos. It’s one of my favorite places to spend the day!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jeremy Rosario Maldonado (@jrosario.arte)

Photo Credit: @jrosario.arte

 

12. Hiking

Puerto Rico is home to the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Parks, El Yunque.

image of El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque National Forest – plant and animal species exist here that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Access hiking trails and waterfalls for free on the north and south sides of El Yunque. 

For more information, take a look at our guide: El Yunque National Forest – All You Need To Know.

 

 

FAQ section

What are some cheap things to do in Puerto Rico?

Road trips are a popular budget-friendly option, as you can drive around the island in less than a day. Biking is also very popular, explore routes like the Paseo lineal de Isabela, and the Humacao Nature Reserve Trail.

What is the best free attraction in Puerto Rico?

The beaches are the best free attraction in Puerto Rico! All beaches are public and free, so if you walk to one close to your stay and avoid parking fees, you can spend as much time as you’d like by the sea — bring a hammock!

 

Final thoughts

Puerto Rico has many free things to do.

I like to visit the beaches since all of Puerto Rico’s beaches are free and open to the public. Check out our article where we cover the 30 best beaches in Puerto Rico.

I recommend that you experience Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays, as this is a once in a life time activity.

If you are looking for other activities that are not free, then check out our list of the 45 best things to do in Puerto Rico.

Article by

Jenny Diaz

Writer at PuertoRico.com. Growing up in New York and spending my summers in Puerto Rico, I have always loved writing, travel, and animals. I began my career as a travel writer, and after many different jobs in media, I have settled back into what I love most. I enjoy the beach, exploring the island with my family, and coffee!

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