How To Spend A Week In Puerto Rico In 2022 (7-Day Itinerary)

One week is enough time to see the best parts of Puerto Rico.

The island is home to the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay and the only rainforest in the United States.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and know the spots you just can’t miss.

In this article, I’ll share the perfect 7-day vacation itinerary for your trip to Puerto Rico:

Day 1 — Arrival day
Day 2 — Explore Old San Juan
Day 3 — Visit a beach & bioluminescent bay
Day 4 — Have a chill day
Day 5 — Visit El Yunque
Day 6 — Do some shopping
Day 7 — Last day

 

Day 1 – Arrival day

You made it! The first day on the island can be exciting and tiring.

image of the street in San Juan, PR at night
Old San Juan is the perfect place to experience Puerto Rico’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Head straight to your hotel and rest before a night out on the town.

Nightlife in San Juan is vibrant and fun, with lots of music and restaurants to keep you entertained.

 

Where to eat:

Barrachina in Old San Juan is one of the best restaurants in the area.

image of Barrachina Restaurant
In 1963, bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot created the famous Piña Colada at Barrachina.

Piña Coladas were invented here, don’t leave without trying one!

For those with a sweet tooth, make sure you get some traditional candies. 

Coconut, almond, cherry, sesame, mango, and pineapple are the most popular flavors. 

image of Puerto Rico's traditional candies
Puerto Rico’s traditional candies make a great souvenir and can be found many places around the island.

Furthermore, candies are available in almost every shop across the island, and they can be brought back home as tasty souvenirs. 

 

Day 2 – Explore Old San Juan

You haven’t been to Puerto Rico until you’ve visited Old San Juan.

image of the colorful street of Old San Juan
Founded by the Spanish in 1521, Old San Juan is the oldest city in the United States.

San Juan’s old town is historic, colorful, and unique.

Buildings have traditional Spanish style and many roads still have the original blue cobblestone.

Weather is hot year-round, so stay hydrated and wear light fabrics accordingly.

Before you pack, check out our article What To Pack For Puerto Rico (And What To Wear)

 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro):

El Morro is one of the most visited spots in Puerto Rico, located right in Old San Juan. 

The most recognizable feature of El Morro is its sentry boxes (“garitas” in Spanish).

image of El Morro's sentry boxe
Sentry boxes at El Morro provided guards protection from the weather while on duty.

These are perfect spots for photos and taking in the ocean view.

El Morro is a 600-year-old fort surrounded by a grassy hill, where you can fly kites and relax in the sun.

image of Castillo San Felipe del Morro's aerial view
Construction began on the fortress in 1539 and by completion in the 1700’s, it was considered unconquerable.

The fort itself has an entry fee while its surrounding areas are free.

 

Paseo de la Princesa:

This waterside boardwalk is only minutes away from El Morro. 

image of Paseo de la Princesa's boardwalk
Paseo de la Princesa’s boardwalk is a beautiful walk by the ocean.

As you walk through, you’ll see the city walls, historic buildings, and beautiful water fountains. 

 

Where to eat:

Go to brunch at Caficultura for some amazing coffee and bread.

Their espresso chocolate martini is a game changer!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Caficultura • #elmejorcafé (@caficultura)

Photo credit: @caficultura

Pirilo is a great spot with the best rustic pizza in San Juan. 

Pizzas are the main menu item, but the mozzarella bites and specialty mojitos are to die for!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Pirilo Pizza Rústica (@pirilopizza)

Photo credit: @pirilopizza

For a snack, you have to try shaved ice, locally known as “piraguas”.

image of Piraguas cart in front of El Morro
Piraguas are a perfect way to cool off after a hot day: this specific cart is located right in front of El Morro.

The owner also sells ice-cold water and Gatorade to keep you hydrated. 

Before you go, read our tell-all article Old San Juan – All You Need To Know.

 

Day 3 – Visit a beach & bioluminescent bay

Puerto Rico has some of the best beaches in the world.  

Bring sunscreen and lots of water! The Caribbean sun is no joke.

Northern Beaches:

Isla Verde Beach, located on the north-coast of Puerto Rico in Isla Verde, is a beautiful beach located 15-minutes from the airport, with no entry or parking fees.

image of Isla Verde Beach
Isla Verde Beach in Carolina is one of the best beaches in San Juan.

One of the most popular restaurants is El Alambique Beach Lounge, a waterfront restaurant.

They offer brunch, dinner and a great variety of tropical cocktails.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Alambique Beach Lounge (@alambique_beach_lounge)

Photo credit: @alambique_beach_lounge

 

Southern Beaches:

Some of my favorite beaches are in the South, around two hours from San Juan.

image of Combate Beach
Puerto Rico’s southern beaches are known for their calm and clear water.

I suggest a visit to Combate Beach in Cabo Rojo

Nearby bars, restaurants, and shops will keep you entertained all day long. 

Combate Beach Resort has great breakfast options.

For fresh seafood and amazing drinks, one of my favorites is Annie’s Place. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Photo credit: @anniesplaces

Make sure to check out our article about the 30 best beaches in Puerto Rico for even more options.

 

Bioluminescent bays

Cabo Rojo is located only 30 minutes from La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay.

image of 2 girls swimming in La Parguera Bioluminescence Bay
La Parguera Bioluminescence Bay is the only bay you can swim in.

Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, and La Parguera is the only one you can swim in.

Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, is home to the world’s brightest bio bay.

You could visit Vieques, and relax at Flamenco Beach, then in the evening experience the bio bay (Mosquito Bay).

image of flamenco beach
Image of Flamenco Beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

For details, read our article How To Get To Vieques and Vieques – All You Need To Know.

You can read our article about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays to learn which bio bay you should visit.

 

Day 4 – Have a chill day

Undoubtedly, after a few busy days, it’s nice to take a step back to unwind.

Spas:

Condado Vanderbilt Hotel has one of the best spas in Puerto Rico.

image of a beachfront in Condado
The beachfront Condado Vanderbilt offers spa treatments regardless of if you are staying there.

A Michelin Star-rated Executive Chef, Juan José Cuevas, prepares one of Puerto Rico’s best fine dining experiences at the Vanderbilt’s 1919 restaurant.

Here’s a video showing the cuisine at 1919:

 

Art Museum:

There is no better place for art lovers in Puerto Rico than Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR).

Explore an amazing collection of contemporary artwork, along with traditional antique pieces. 

No reservations necessary and the entry fee is less than $10 per adult. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Robin O’Neill (@robinpr66)

Photo Credit: @robinpr66

 

Rum Tasting:

A tasting tour of Ron del Barrilito in Bayamón is a must.

Mixology and heritage tours are also available.

 
 
 
 
 
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Photo credit: @rondelbarrilito

 

Day 5 — Visit El Yunque

El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System, located about 45 minutes from San Juan.

image of La Mina Falls in El Yunque
La Mina Falls in El Yunque is one of the most popular waterfalls to explore on your visit.

A big part of the appeal here is the waterfalls. Swim in the cold water after a hot and humid walk.

Be sure to check the El Yunque forest service website for current trail closure information.

image of a view over El Yunque
El Yunque is 28,000 acres of forest land, home to plants and animals you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Tickets are under $5 per person and you can make reservations up to 30 days in advance.

For an extra cost, there are also nighttime tours available

Another tip: Don’t forget to pack bug repellent, light clothes, snacks, and plenty of water!

Visit our tell-all article El Yunque – All You Need To Know for more details.

 

Where to eat:

Since there’s a lot of walking, grab a light breakfast. 

Once you’re there, El Portal Rainforest Café is best for delicious Puerto Rican food with an amazing view.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by El Portal Rainforest Cafe – El Yunque Rainforest Cafe (@elportalrainforestcafe)

Photo credit: @elportalforestcafe

Additionally, if you choose to head back before nightfall, there are lots of restaurants to choose from in San Juan

But, for a hearty Puerto Rican meal, Raíces in Old San Juan is the place to go. 

I can’t recommend their food enough, particularly the fried pork and plantain. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Raíces 🇵🇷| Puerto Rican Food (@restauranteraices)

Photo credit: @restauranteraices

 

Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay

Located just 30-minutes from El Yunque Rainforest is Laguna Grande bio bay.

image of a hand dipped in the lagoon
Visiting a bioluminescent bay is a must-do on your trip to Puerto Rico.

Laguna Grande is one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. 

For more details, read our article Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay – All You Need To Know.

 

Day 6 – Do some shopping

When your trip is coming to an end, you’ll want to set aside time to shop.

image of Old San Juan street
The shops in Old San Juan are filled with opportunities to support local artisans.

Old San Juan is highly recommended for some amazing local artisans, artists, and vendors.

Mall of San Juan and Plaza Las Américas can provide a traditional mall experience.

Finally, hop over to Distrito T-Mobile for food, music, and entertainment. 

image of Distrito T-Mobile
Distrito T-Mobile is filled with entertainment options.

Distrito T-Mobile is one of my favorite places to visit in San Juan.

Find 10 different food spots, a movie theater, a massive arcade, and live shows!

 

Day 7 — Last day

Your last day in Puerto Rico can be just as fun as the first! 

For your final day here, I suggest visiting Chocobar Cortés.

image of the Chocobar Cortés
Chocobar Cortés in Old San Juan infuses everything on the menu with chocolate.

Everything on their menu is infused with chocolate (even their ketchup). 

Most hotels and Airbnb have checkout times of 11:00 am.

But if your flight leaves late, don’t be afraid to ask for an extension! Hosts will be happy to help. 

 

Before you leave:

All luggage leaving Puerto Rico needs to go through the USDA.  

There are designated checkpoints to X-Ray all baggage.

Any bag not inspected will be turned away.

Here’s a video explaining where these checkpoints are located within SJU:

 

Helpful tips to keep in mind for your trip:

Transportation:

Puerto Rico has a car-based infrastructure, so you’ll need to look at rental car options

Driving across the island can take anywhere from 2-4 hours.

Rideshares and taxis are available mostly around the metro/San Juan area, but not widely available in the rest of the island.

 

Where you’ll sleep:

See our list of the 30 Best Hotels in Puerto Rico to help you select where to stay.

While you sleep, keep in mind Puerto Rico has coquis! 

These tiny frogs make a loud noise throughout the night, getting louder in rural areas and on rainy nights.

Below is a video showing the coquis in Puerto Rico:

 

Check out this Google Map for all the locations mentioned in this article:

 

FAQ section

Is a week enough for Puerto Rico?

Yes - Puerto Rico is small but full of things to do. If you budget your time well, you can get a little taste of nearly everything the island has to offer.

Can you see the whole island in one week?

One week isn’t enough to see everything Puerto Rico has to offer, but it’s a great start! It’s important to research and prioritize what you want to see most.

 

Final thoughts

One week isn’t enough time to see everything in Puerto Rico, but it’s a good start!

I recommend that you visit one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays and El Yunque National Forest during your trip.

If you are looking for other activities, then check out our article about the 45 best things to do in Puerto Rico.

Finally, if you are still deciding where to stay, then check out our article about the 13 best places and areas to stay in Puerto Rico.

Article by

Adriana Mercado

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I am a writer, editor, and freelancer. I was born and raised in San Germán, Puerto Rico, where I experienced the best landscapes, local eateries, and shops the region has to offer. Sharing the rich culture and history of Puerto Rico’s Southwest gives me the perfect reason to keep exploring!

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