12 Best Things to Do in Puerto Rico • Top Puerto Rico Attractions

Kayaking on a glow-in-the-dark bay, hiking through the only rainforest in the US, and exploring a historic fortress near the capital city are just a few of the many things to do in Puerto Rico. 

From one-of-a-kind natural wonders like the El Yunque National Park to historic landmarks like Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, the choices are endless when it comes to choosing things to do in Puerto Rico. Because Puerto Rico is an archipelago, there’s even more to do by exploring its two other islands, Vieques and Culebra, which are home to some of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches. 

Puerto Rico may be the smallest of the Greater Antilles but it is packed with activities that feature adventure, luxury, history and culture.

Because this small island destination is overflowing with options, this guide is designed to highlight things to do in Puerto Rico that you won’t want to miss out on during your trip.

Article Guide

Top-Rated Things to Do in Puerto Rico

Best Beach in Puerto Rico: Flamenco Beach

Things to do in Puerto Rico

Picture-perfect and ideal for relaxation, Flamenco Beach on Puerto Rico’s island of Culebra is one of the world’s best beaches to visit. With white sand that stretches across calm, turquoise water, Flamenco Beach captivates visitors with the chance to snorkel, swim, or just unwind under the sun. It also features amenities such as lifeguards, a camping area, showers, bathrooms, parking, and plenty of places to purchase authentic Puerto Rican food.

Flamenco Beach is a captivating scene with not only gorgeous views but also a bit of history. Flamenco Beach is home to an iconic attraction called, The Tank, which is a real US Navy tank left behind during the Navy’s occupation of Culebra.

Category: Beach
Neighborhood: Culebra
Hours of operation: All day
Best for: Beach bums, water lovers, and history buffs
Time to spend here: three hours or a full day 

Best Hike in Puerto Rico: El Yunque National Park 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As the only rainforest in the US Forest System, El Yunque covers more than 28,000 acres and is home to more than 400 different plant species. This rainforest is exceptionally beautiful and includes about a dozen maintained trails that carve along the lush natural landscape and feature natural pools beneath flowing waterfalls. 

This national treasure is a unique chance to immerse yourself in Puerto Rico’s natural wonder. While you’ll definitely want to bring your camera with you on a hike through El Yunque, you’ll also want to be sure to bring a rain jacket too. El Yunque experiences an average rainfall of about 120 inches a year. 

Category: Hike

Neighborhood: Río Grande 

Hours of operation: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Best for: Outdoorsy types and adventure seekers

Time to spend here: Three hours or a full day

Best Outdoor Activity in Puerto Rico: Kayaking at Mosquito Bay

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As your paddle hits the water beside your kayak, the dark blue water starts to shimmer in neon blue-green colors, lighting up the otherwise black surroundings on a nighttime adventure. 

Kayaking after dark to watch as single-celled organisms native to Puerto Rico float through the water of this bioluminescent bay and create a glow-in-the-dark effect is something you can really only do in Puerto Rico. This star light experience is unique to Puerto because the island is home to three of the world’s only five bioluminescent bays. 

Mosquito Bay, which is located on Puerto Rico’s island of Vieques, is especially stunning, and currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. 

Category: Outdoors
Neighborhood: Vieques
Hours of operation: Open after sunset
Best for: Water lovers, outdoorsy types and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: A couple of hours

Best Restaurant in Puerto Rico: Santaella 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As the creation of Chef José Santaella who transformed a historic building into his own thriving and modern Puerto Rican dining experience, Santaella is an elegant restaurant that celebrates and showcases the Caribbean culture of Puerto Rico. 

This local favourite is rooted in authentic dishes and local ingredients set in a rustic yet modern setting. Santaella is the perfect restaurant to experience Puerto Rico’s vibrant culture and unique flavors all at once with favorites dishes like its famous ahi tuna skewers and goat cheese quesadilla. 

Category: Food
Neighborhood: San Jaun
Hours of operation: 11:30am-7pm
Best for: Food lovers and history buffs
Time to spend here: One hour 

Best Museum in Puerto Rico: Museo de Arte de Ponce

Things to do in Puerto Rico

Internationally acclaimed and home to more than 4,500 works of art, the Museo de Arte de Ponce is a great place to get lost in a collection of creativity and culture unique to Puerto Rico. 

The collection at the museum shows a strength in nineteenth-century English painting and seventeenth-century Baroque painting but also includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings, decorative arts, pre-Hispanic and African objects, Puerto Rican folk art, contemporary ceramics, video, and sound art. 

Creating a dialogue between the New World and the Old World, this museum is an ideal place to gain a better understanding of Puerto Rico’s rich culture and history. 

Category: Museum
Neighborhood: Ponce
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm; Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Best for: History buffs and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: two to three hours

Must-See Landmark in Puerto Rico: Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Things to do in Puerto Rico

Sitting atop 500 years of history, the historic landmark of Castillo San Felipe del Morro on the outskirts of Old San Juan is the chance to travel back in time to learn all about Puerto Rico’s rich history. 

Known commonly as El Morro, this six-level fortress was the second fort built in Puerto Rico by the Spanish in 1539 with its construction lasting 250 years when it was finished in 1790. 

When you step inside this captivating and immense fortress, you will learn about El Morro itself and how this fort emphasized Puerto Rico's importance as a major port in the Caribbean for those trying to expand their reach in the New World as well as the United States during both World Wars.

Category: Historic Landmark
Neighborhood: San Jaun
Hours of operation: 9am-6pm
Best for: History buffs and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: two to three hours

Top Attraction in Puerto Rico: Crash Boat Beach

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As one of Puerto Rico’s most famous beaches, Crash Boat Beach is a vibrant and welcoming beach experience that invites visitors to emerge themselves in Puerto Rico’s playful and care-free atmosphere. 

Located on the west side of the island in Aguadilla, this beach features music, food stalls and white sand all surrounding crystal blue waters. Visitors are invited to try their hand at diving, snorkeling, swimming, and even surfing during the summer. 

Crash Boat beach is known as a party beach for its lively and upbeat scene, and this spot is also ideal for families and couples looking to let have a care-free day at the beach. Overall, this beach encompasses the spirit of Puerto Rico and offers visitors a way to experience the island’s culture while enjoying one of its most popular beach destinations. 

Category: Beach
Neighborhood: Aguadilla
Hours of operation: All day
Best for: Beach bums and water lovers
Time to spend here: three hours or more

Best Cultural Experience in Puerto Rico: Old San Juan 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial cities in the world, Old San Juan mixes a bustling city with its past to create a truly transformative and informative experience for visitors. 

Old San Juan is overflowing with history and is home to Puerto Rico’s oldest landmarks and forts including El Morro and Castillo de San Cristóbal. This area of San Juan is also very walkable so you’ll be able to experience some of Puerto Rico’s finest museums like the Museo de San Juan and still get to walk around to stop in a few of the Old San Juan’s beautiful local shops. 

No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without experiencing its true culture in Old San Juan. 

Category: History
Neighborhood: San Juan
Hours of operation: 9am to 5:30 pm
Best for: History buffs and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: two to three hours

Best Surf Spot in Puerto Rico: Playa Domes 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

Rincon is a surfer’s haven in Puerto Rico and when it comes to the best surf spot on the island you’ll find many here. As one of the beaches in Rincon that draws the most attention from surfers, Playa Domes combines a tranquil tropical atmosphere with some of the biggest waves for surfers in Puerto Rico.

Playa Domes draws professional surfers from around the world each year by hosting international surfing competitions during its peak winter season. This beach is a well-known surfers paradise and you’ll be sure to catch some serious waves if you decide to paddle out here. 

Category: Beach
Neighborhood: Rincón 
Hours of operation: All day
Best for: water lovers and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: three hours or more 

Best Golf Course in Puerto Rico: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort

Things to do in Puerto Rico

With two 18-hole golf courses created by world-renowned designers, Wyndham Rio Mar Golf Club offers avid golfers the chance to experience the beauty of Puerto Rico while they play. Located not far from El Yunque National Forest and the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll have stunning panoramic views of both when you play a round of golf on either course. 

With a recently redone clubhouse and offering superb service, this course is one of Puerto Rico’s top places to visit for the avid golfer.

Category: Golf
Neighborhood: Rio Grande 
Hours of operation: 7am to 5pm
Best for: Avid golfers and adventure seekers 
Time to spend here: two to three hours

Best Casino in Puerto Rico: Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort

Things to do in Puerto Rico

With a sleek and chic design, the Casino del Mar located inside the luxurious La Concha Resort is one of the most exciting casino’s Puerto Rico has to offer. 

This casino offers cutting edge gaming as it uses the latest in high-tech slot machines and card tables. With enticing new ways to potentially win big, this casino is great for beginners and high-rollers alike. 

Category: Nightlife
Neighborhood: San Juan
Hours of operation: Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Best for: Nightlife lovers and adventure seekers
Time to spend here: A couple hours

Best Place to Go Shopping in Puerto Rico: Plaza Las Américas

Things to do in Puerto Rico

As the largest shopping center in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Américas is home to more than 300 different stores that are sure to please the avid shopper. 

This massive shopping center in Hato Rey district of San Juan is also home to more than 50 dining options at La Terraza Food Court and a 15-screen movie theater. 

The Plaza has everything to meet your shopping needs and is a popular destination for anyone who wants to do a little shopping in Puerto Rico. 

Category: Shopping
Neighborhood: San Juan
Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm; Sunday 11am-7pm
Best for: Shoppers, window shoppers and history buffs 
 Time to spend here: A couple of hours

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