Tired of seeing the same suggestions for what to do in Puerto Rico?
The best things you can do are outside the San Juan area and the resorts.
As someone who has traveled the island far and wide, there are hidden gems and places you can go if you want the best experience Puerto Rico has to offer.
In this article, I’ll list the 45 best Puerto Rico activities that you can do while on vacation.
Bioluminescent Bays are shallow bays that contain very high concentrations of bioluminescent plankton called “dinoflagellates”.
When you move these dinoflagellates at night, they emit light, this is known as bioluminescence.
Witness millions of bright sparkles as you kayak through Puerto Rico’s bio bays. This truly is a once in a life time experience.
Learn more by reading our article about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.
Hacienda Negrón, located in Ciales, is a special place to visit in the heart of the mountains.
It has everything you’d find in a high-end resort, plus a river just a few steps down.
You can pick between staying in their apartments or immersing yourself in nature with a spacious camping area. You can’t miss their impressive swim-up bar, where you can relax with a nice piña colada without leaving the pool.
Have you ever camped at the beach? If not, you’re in for a treat.
Balneario Cerro Gordo in Vega Alta offers a camping site just steps from the ocean. You’re equipped with running water, electricity, and bathrooms to make your stay pleasant.
You’re in for a surprise when you realize that Puerto Rico has little islands you can also visit.
Islands like Isla Cardona, Mona Island, Palominito Island, and more are great places to spend the entire day with family or friends in these sparkling blue waters.
Since this is an all-day activity, pack your favorite lunch and beverages because the ferries and boats are only working on morning and evening schedules, meaning that they only work in the morning to take you to the island and in the evening to take you back to the port.
Don’t expect to leave in the middle of the day.
This beautiful gem from the tropical island paradise is located just 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo.
This island holds one of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico. Indulge in your much-needed beach time, disconnect yourself from reality, and experience the peace and tranquility this island has to offer.
You can get to Culebra by taking a ferry from Ceiba with tickets ranging from $3-$5 per person with a 40-minute destination time.
For a faster way to get there, you can also take a small plane departing from the SJU airport or Isla Grande, with ticket prices ranging from $60-$90 per person for a quick 15–20-minute trip.
Let’s not forget about Vieques!
Its neighboring island, Culebra, is home to the world’s most famous bioluminescent bay.
Located six miles off the coast of Fajardo, Vieques offers unique beauty, breathtaking views, and a relaxing experience you’re sure to enjoy. Vieques is bigger than Culebra, so there is much more to explore when it comes to beaches and wildlife refuges.
You can get to Vieques by ferry from Ceiba with ticket prices ranging from $3-$5 per person with a 40–50-minute destination time.
For a faster way to get there, you can also take a small plane departing from the SJU airport or Isla Grande, with ticket prices ranging from $60-$90 per trip and a 15–20-minute trip.
There are several ways to get to El Morro in old San Juan.
The most common paths would be working north of Old San Juan or taking the trolly.
But wouldn’t you want a path with a breathtaking oceanic view? Take the paseo del morro trail, a boardwalk that borders the coasting edge of the famous Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Once you reach the famous Gate of San Juan, a big doorway that leads to the inside of the city walls, the Paseo del Morro and Paseo de la Princesa merge into one long trail.
The animal protection organization in Old San Juan, “Save A Gato,” is a cat sanctuary that lets its cats roam freely and is open to the public!
It’s a perfect activity for cat lovers visiting Old San Juan to have the best and most relaxing experience with a beautiful ocean view.
If you love piña colada, you’ll be surprised to learn that Puerto Rico invented it first!
You can visit the actual place where Ramón Marerror created the iconic Caribbean drink in Barrachina.
You can thank Ramón Marrero for this invention.
El Yunque is a sacred place in Puerto Rican culture and is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. national forest system.
This national gem is a perfect destination for total immersion in nature. From bathing in its natural pools underneath waterfalls to hiking through the gorgeous scenery, it’s the ideal place for a spontaneous traveler like you.
As of recently, you will need to reserve your spot to enter our national forest. You can save your site by going to www.recreation.gov.
You only need one reservation per car, and you can book your spot up to one month in advance.
You should visit the El Yunque website for the latest updates on park closures, health and safety protocols, and the weather.
Just minutes after your adventurous visit to El Yunque, you can continue that adrenaline rush by visiting Hacienda Carabalí in Fajardo.
You can horseback ride through a great trail, beat your friends and family in go-karts and even enjoy an ATV tour.
You’ll probably get hungry afterward. Thank God for their delicious Carabalí restaurant.
Is living a unique, unforgettable moment on your bucket list for your next vacation?
Puerto Rico Helitours offers exclusive trips, charters, and transfers all over Puerto Rico with your desired experience in mind.
Choose from a selection of tours such as “The Mountain Tour,” which offers a local gastronomic experience around the island from various carefully selected restaurants.
Their best-selling “Enchanted Shore Tour” is perfect for experiencing some of the most spectacular views of Old San Juan with a breathtaking ariel view and a delightful flight above the gorgeous coast of Old San Juan to the tourist areas of Isla Verde.
I’m sure you’ve had a mojito before, but nothing like this.
Mojito Lab is famous for its $10 32 oz mojito with a delicious selection of 8 tropical and refreshing flavors. With the beach right behind them, you’ll have a unique experience.
Ever wondered where the rum in your mojito came from? If you’ve heard of Bacardi, you’re in the right place.
You can find this award-winning rum distillery in Cataño at Casa Bacardi. Bacardi Superior is a deliciously refined white rum that debuted in 1862 and is a great rum for making popular cocktails that you’re already a fan of.
Using a secret mixture of charcoal in a white oak barrel, you’ll notice an exquisite taste of vanilla and almond notes.
The smoothness of their drink is the reason why Bacardi’s rum doesn’t make your drink taste like anything else.
On this tour, not only will you get to learn the history of Casa Bacardi, but you’ll also get to visit the museum where it all started, and even enjoy a nice barrel smell test from different rum barrels in different flavors.
Packages start at $30, but don’t miss out on the bestselling mixology class, where you’ll learn how to make the perfect mojito while learning the history of these cocktails.
Plus, you get a complimentary welcome cocktail at the Pavilion as you wait for the trolly to kick off the tour.
Did you know that the most famous rum brand in Puerto Rico is Don Q?
Much like the Casa Bacardi tour in Cataño, Ponce has been producing the most well and refined rum Puerto Rico has to offer.
With a cleaner profile and a long aging process (2-5 years), it helps create a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.
Their distillery is not open to the public, but visiting the castle at the Spanish mansion, the Serrallés Castle Museum will teach you about the rich history of the Serrallés family and how the rum was created.
At the end of this tour, you’ll be given a chance to taste the Don Q rum and understand why it’s favored among the locals.
Featured in the most well-known article sites like The New York Times, WSJ, Thrillist, and more, Lote 23 is a gastronomic park located in the middle of Santurce.
Highlighting Puerto Rico’s culture and cuisine, the most traveling you’ll have to do is walk from one kiosk to another to enjoy one of the most delicious foods you’ll ever taste on your trip to Puerto Rico.
If you love coffee, you’re going to love visiting Hacienda Muñoz.
Hacienda Muñoz, located in San Lorenzo, has won the best coffee people’s choice award at the coffee and chocolate expo for three consecutive years, and good reason.
Take a walking tour of the hacienda, and you’ll learn about the history of coffee in Puerto Rico and how to grow, process, and roast coffee in the modern world.
You can try some of Hacienda Munoz’s exceptional coffee at the end of the tour. Afterward, you can go to the hacienda’s coffee shop or restaurant for a hearty, traditional lunch.
You’ve heard of bar hopping, but have you heard of beach hopping?
Pack your lightest beach bag and fill up your tank because this adventure is worthwhile.
It’s great if you’re staying for a week or a few days and want to experience more than just one beach to take a refreshing dip.
There’s always a beach to visit 20-30 minutes away from each other, so you can pick 4-5 beaches on the north coast and stay for 1-2 hours each.
Puerto Rico’s lighthouses convey tales of architecture, weather, warfare, colonialism, settlement, and marine experiences.
11 of the island’s 15 lighthouses are currently in operation.
The oldest is Castillo de Morro in San Juan, built-in 1846; The rest were built during the following 50 years.
The national register of historic places added all lighthouses to their list in 1981; many are still used and visited.
Whether a beginner or a pro, you can’t miss scuba diving in Puerto Rico’s blue seas.
Many of the top locations are outside San Juan, giving you an incentive to explore the island. Friendly and professional dive businesses can organize boat tours, lessons, gear, and tanks.
Desecheo, Mona Island, and The Wall at La Parguera are excellent for diving.
But no worries, there’s a scuba diving tour in Escambrón beach located in San Juan with Scuba Dogs for a nearby experience without missing in on the fun.
Take biking into a whole new experience with Caribbean Chiliboats. Chiliboat water bikes let you explore La Parguera’s mangroves, canals, and keys.
This unique Caribbean nature reserve will be a pleasant and unforgettable experience. Cayo Caracoles is Parguera’s most popular key.
The key’s shallow waters make a natural pool in the ocean. Enjoy 30 minutes of the calm waters and party atmosphere that make this spot a local favorite.
Enjoy a relaxing moment on the beach away from the crazy waves and high tides of the ocean.
Perfect for an excellent family fun experience or even a relaxing moment at the beach.
Places like Poza las Mujeres, Poza del Obispo, and Poza de Teodoro are your go-to places, adored and loved by all Puerto Rican residents who visit.
Are you looking to learn more about Puerto Rico’s art, culture, and history?
Our museums are an excellent opportunity to learn about them. We have museums around the island for you to discover engaging exhibitions, inspiring architecture, and a fresh perspective.
There are many guided tours at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR). Visitors can choose the type of visit that will give them the most fun while they are there.
Visitors can also join a scheduled weekend tour without making an appointment. The MAPR has a team of docents and interpreters trained to give every visitor, no matter how old they are, a rich experience.
Ponce Museum of Art in southern Puerto Rico has 17th-century art. Historic collections highlight Puerto Rican and European cultures.
English paintings from the 1800s and Baroque paintings from the 1700s are two of the collection’s best pieces.
For over forty years, the museum’s founder, Luis A. Ferré, bought the best works he could find.
This was part of his plan to give museum visitors a condensed but still very informative history of European art.
The Museo de Arte de Ponce collection also has essential works by Puerto Rican and Latin American artists. This creates a unique conversation between the Old and New Worlds.
Did you know that the biggest contributor to Puerto Rico’s economy was sugar?
You can now visit the enormous sugar plantations in Puerto Rico and get a feel of the bitter-sweet history of sugar cane in Puerto Rico.
You can click here to learn more about the history of this sugar mill
Our latest entertainment hub is the perfect premium experience for tourists to discover.
It has everything you need: a dozen places to eat, an urban park, modern technology in open spaces, and contemporary music.
This new spot is ideal for experiencing the charm Puerto Rico has to offer with its music, dance, rum culture, flavors, and more.
The best part is that it’s fun for the whole family! There’s never a dull second in your stay at the T-Mobile district, from concerts to movies and even zip lining.
You must visit the Toro Verde Adventure Park if you love an adrenaline rush.
This park is located an hour and a half from San Juan in a town called Orocovis, tucked away between rolling mountains covered with a thick, breathtaking forest.
Going ziplining here is experiencing the island’s most beautiful mountain views as you fly. It’s the best adventurous experience you’ll ever have.
Since its debut in 2009, it has carried two giant zip lines: The Beast, which is almost 1.5 kilometers long, and The Monster, which is 2.5 kilometers long, considered in the top 3 longest ziplines in the world.
You can also visit Toro Verde Park in the T-Mobile district for a similar zip-lining experience everyone can enjoy without taking the road trip to Orocovis.
Are you looking for an Instagram-perfect photo?
Pintalto in Aguadilla is your best bet. Most of the large murals in Puerto Rico’s towns were made by Proyecto Pintalto and its founder, Samuel González.
To make his dream come true, he worked with many volunteers from the community and other places, a few local muralists, and the help of the Lanco paint company and the town mayor.
The idea behind these colorful pieces is to bring people together and help revitalize communities. By doing this, they turn places into places people want to visit.
At the bottom of the hill is a beautiful mural of fishermen throwing colorful nets on the houses. Some of the murals have themes related to the sea and the coast. It turns this place into an outdoor art gallery!
If you love the nature of beauty, you’re going to Lova the Botanic Garden.
Locals in Caguas couldn’t recommend the Botanic Garden enough for your visit to Puerto Rico.
It is known for its natural beauty with tropical and endemic plants and its rich history of artworks. You’ll find a small lake offering a comprehensive view of the botanical garden you wouldn’t want to miss.
Keep your phone charged and get your camera ready for this trip!
As you enter the gorgeous town of Isabela, you’ll be greeted by an impressive rock sculpture Mabodamaca.
Known as “la Cara del Indio” (the Indian face), it’s great for a quick stop and picture as you cruise around the island.
It’s easy to pass the chief Mabodamaca sculpture, so as you drive along route #2 to the island’s west coast, pay attention to spot this landmark.
This historical monument was built in 1904 and passed through the mountains that separate Playa Guajataca (Guajataca beach) and Playa Mirador (Mirador beach).
It wasn’t named a historical monument until the year 2000. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Puerto Rico.
You’re invited to come to take a walk through this tunnel to learn about its history and the surprises it holds for you.
An instantly recognizable spot awaits you in the southern town of Ponce.
The emblematic red and black Parque de Bombas is an old fire station that is one of the most famous and photographed fire stations our island has to offer.
Located in the enchanting town square Plaza de las Delicias, this building housed the city’s central fire station for many years and has now been transformed into a small museum for locals and tourists.
The Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo are one of the most visually pleasing natural treasures Puerto Rico offers.
Famously known as “The Pink Beach,” Las Salinas is an eco-attraction with a gorgeous scenic view in the south/west part of the island you must stop to experience.
Some activities you can do while you’re here are bird watching to admire the most diverse birds of the Caribbean and hiking through the natural trails where you can closely observe the beautiful flowers and fauna of the ecosystem.
The Sunflower Farm in Guanica is a top-rated attraction for flower lovers.
Just 2 hours from San Juan. It was recently considered one of the most visited places to take the most spectacular pictures.
Using a GPS to get to the farm is recommended as you must make several double turns in a housing development area.
The cost is $2 per car, and you can even buy sunflowers at their store.
The sunflowers are not available all year round, so we recommend contacting them at 939-402-7967 to ensure the correct season to plan your trip.
This is the perfect beach if you want to enjoy a wide-open beach, beautiful views, and a picnic with the sea breeze.
La Ponderosa Lighthouse Ruins, the Borinquen Beach area, and the Wilderness Beach are three of the best things to see in the Punta Borinquen Beach area.
Each of these three places is special in its way. The beach is in the Aguadilla neighborhood of Malleza Baja.
When the tide is low, you can walk along the rock for about 10 minutes. There are some small “caves” right next to it.
You can park at Punta Borinquen Beach and walk to the left (when facing the sea) to get to Las Ruinas del Faro la Ponderosa.
These ruins are a great place to take pictures and think about the landscape. It’s important to know that you can also drive to the ruins.
This is not just any door.
The Puerta de la Bandera (The Flag Door) is a place of national pride for the cultural appreciation of all Puerto Ricans and those who visit us.
The flag was initially painted with vibrant red, blue, and white colors that match our flag. Still, it wasn’t until 2016 that it was painted black and white, a time in which Puerto Rico lived in stressful economic and social situations and was painted that way as a symbol of protest and resistance.
This caused the door to go viral on social media and has become one of the most photographed and popular places to visit in your stay at Old San Juan.
Old San Juan is not the only place with the Puerto Rican flag painted bright and proud; you can also find this mural in Utuado by searching “Iglesias La Roca Utuado” on google maps.
A perfect Instagram-worthy photo and a beautiful road trip together make this spot worth visiting.
It’s less visited by tourists, so you’ll enjoy an authentic local experience while in Puerto Rico.
Get ready because you haven’t seen a waterfall like this anywhere.
Located in San Sebastian, Gozalandia is a couple of waterfalls connected by a river with many small pools.
These pools are deep enough that people like to jump off the rocks into the water but be careful!
You’ll also find a small underwater save on the right side of the waterfall that people love to swim into.
This waterfall used to be a secret gem only locals knew about but has now been developed and improved for more people to visit as it grew in popularity.
It’s easily one of the area’s prettiest and most popular attractions.
If you visited Culebra and didn’t visit Flamenco, you’re missing out on the best place this little island offers.
Not just any beach, but this award-winning and world-famous beach are known for its clear water and white sand that resembles diamonds under the sunlight.
It’s great for families with young children. Flamenco is surrounded by lush, rolling green hills, making it a perfect Instagram-worthy picture.
Crash Boat is one of the most popular beaches on the entire island on the west coast of Puerto Rico.
It’s the best beach found in Aguadilla too. Why? Its turquoise waters make it perfect for summer snorkeling, swimming, and surfing.
The long boardwalk is perfect for jumping into deep, refreshing waters if you’re a good swimmer.
There are kiosks and food stands all around the beach, so you don’t have to worry about getting hungry.
Due to how popular it is, you’ll hear music all around, and it is often referred to as the islands party beach.
On the south side of the small island of Vieques is this rare and beautiful beach. Black Sand Beach is just a short drive from the town of La Esperanza.
Many beaches on Vieques are worth seeing, but this one is must-see. You can get to this beach by parking along the road and taking a short walk down the dirt road that leads to it.
If you enjoy watching the sunset, you will love this experience.
At the Beach House in Rincon, you’ll have the perfect sunset view, with Adirondack chairs strategically facing the ocean for the most spectacular scenery.
Located on a steep hill directly over Maria’s beach, the Beach House’s views are unlike any other and one of the best places to watch the sunset.
Easily one of the best gastronomy places to visit in Puerto Rico.
Frutos del Guacabo is a unique “Farm to table” experience filled with delicious local foods and extravagant activities, like milking goats for goat milk!
It’s a family-owned production space that started in 2010 and is responsible for the undeniable references of the island gastronomy industry.
Although it began as a small operation farm for developing hydroponic produce, it is now a farm that looks after the sustainability of its processes.
Classified as one of the most beautiful memorial parks in the world, this cemetery was established in the 19th century.
The fact that the historical landmark is by the ocean comes from the superstitious belief that the dead began their journey to “the great beyond” Many of Puerto Rico’s most essential and well-known people are buried in this cemetery.
Fine art is the place to go if you’re looking to enjoy a premium movie-going experience.
Associated with Caribbean Cinemas, you’ll be pleased to find award-winning and international movies played with the utmost comfortable chairs and delicious snacks.
Enjoy a glass of wine with your movie and relax as you watch their carefully selected movies for your entertainment.
Ready to live through a nostalgic experience?
I bet you haven’t been to a drive-through cinema in a while; luckily, Arecibo provides a vintage experience as it is the only drive-in theater in Puerto Rico.
Auto-Cine Santana shows movies from Friday to Sunday, and you can enjoy modern movie watching with vintage and classical experiences.
They have two show times, one at 7:30 pm and another at 9:30 pm.
Their snack bars are filled with delicious snacks and buttery popcorn, where you can buy all your favorite movie snacks and enjoy the movie-going experience.
Besides the breathtaking beaches, adventured-filled hiking trails, and the usual trip to Old San Juan, you should squeeze in time to visit Culebra and enjoy the day at Flamenco beach.
A pleasant stroll in Old San Juan is a perfect and relaxing activity in Puerto Rico on a Sunday. Walking the streets of Condado is also a great activity with all the different restaurants and cuisine they offer for all the different buds.
There you have it! Those were the top 45 things to do in Puerto Rico.
While this list only scratches the surface of what Puerto Rico has to offer visitors, this should be a good starting point for planning your trip.
My favorite thing to do is kayaking in the bioluminescent bays. This is an amazing experience, and pictures don’t do it justice.
If you don’t know where to stay, then I recommend that you read our article where we talk about the 13 best places and areas to stay in Puerto Rico.
Writer & Editor at PuertoRico.com. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have experienced every inch of this stunning island. Growing up in Puerto Rico has helped me truly learn about the rich culture and extensive history this island has to offer. I share my local knowledge in all of the articles that I write.About the author