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11 Excellent Things to do in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a beautiful and accessible destination with so much adventure just waiting for you. Just an easy flight from the mainland of the US, Puerto Rico is worth exploring and you can find plenty of things to do in this tropical island. We loved spending time in Puerto Rico and have visited the island on 2 separate occasions and loved the beauty of the hills, the clear water and the clear sense of culture.

Below you can find 11 things to do in Puerto Rico with information and links about each activity.

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Old San Juan

Old San Juan with its colorful streets and impressive forts is well worth a visit during your time in Puerto Rico. You can easily see some of the main sights in a day or even half a day. The best itinerary for your visit to Old San Juan is to drive into the town, park your car and start to wander. Eventually, you’ll end up at one of the two forts. Stop for a Pina Colada, mofongo, coffee of ice cream, and soak up the vibrant energy in this fun town.

Looking for more? Check out: 15 Things to do in Old San Juan

Visit Old San Juan: Things to do in Puerto Rico

El Yunque Rainforest

This beautiful rainforest has waterfalls and hiking trails to explore. You can reach the welcome center by heading up rt 191 and following this road as it winds up into the mountains. As you drive, simply pull over to explore one of the many sights along the road. There are several waterfalls or pools right along the main road that are just a short walk including Juan Diego Falls, La Coca, La Mina, and Baño Grande. It’s also worth visiting Torre Britton or hiking to the El Yunque Peak Tower

When we visited, you needed to reserve your entry time in advance. You can see more information about entry times, closures, and more at the US Forest Service.

Learn more about the Best El Yunque Waterfalls and Hikes

Another option is to do this as a guided tour, and there are many adventure tours to this region if you want to try zip-lining or tubing. This should be on everyone’s list of one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.

Visit one of the Islands: Culebra or Vieques

Just off the eastern shore of Puerto Rico are the two island paradises of Culebra and Vieques. These stunning islands are ringed in turquoise water and white sandy beaches with a low-key vibe and amazing snorkeling. Culebra has the world-famous Flamenco Beach, and Vieques has one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays where you can do a nighttime kayak. You can visit both these islands as a day trip or spend a few days basking in the island sun.

Things to do in Culebra, Culebra Island
11 things to do in Puerto Rico: Flamenco Beach on Culebra


Puerto Rico is an amazing snorkel destination. You can find crystal clear water, beaches, and mangroves around almost the entire island. Some of the best snorkel can be found on Culebra and Vieques, but you will find excellent options in La Parguera Fajardo and other places around the island. Check out this map for suggestions on places to go.

When we visited, not only did we see coral and fish but we got to swim with turtles and sting rays!

Visit a Bio Bay

There are 5 bioluminescent bays in the world and 3 of them are in Puerto Rico. Visiting one of these bays should absolutely be on your list if you are coming here for a visit! The 3 bays you can visit are La Pargeura, Mosquito Bay in Vieques, and Laguna Grande in Fajardo.

Each of the bays has something slightly different to offer: Fajardo is convenient, Vieques is the brightest bioluminescent bay, and you can swim in La Parguera.

To visit these bays, you need to book a tour. Check out some of the best tours below and see our post on the Best Bioluminescent Bay Tour.

Canon Blanco

Canon Blanco is located in Utuado in the center of Puerto Rico. For years, the river has carved a perfect white canyon surrounded by lush green mountains making the perfect place to stop for a swim. Canon Blanco is easy to get to (as long as you don’t mind driving up into the mountain on narrow, curvy roads) and just a short walk to get to the canyon. If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can also take a tour from San Juan.

Read more about how to explore Canon Blanco.

Things to Do in Puerto Rico: Visit Canon Blanco
Things to Do in Puerto Rico: Visit Canon Blanco

Eat Mofongo

Puerto Rico has delish creole based foods and the top food to try while you’re visiting in Mofongo. This dish is served as a side dish option for almost anything you order in Puerto Rico (you can either have fries, rice and beans, or mofongo. The dish itself is made from friend plantains that have been pickled and cooked with garlic, salt, broth and olive oil.

I was skeptical at first, but Mofongo is delicious! You should also sample some of the other Puerto Rican food including pork, rice and beans, and more.

Go Surfing

There are some great places to surf in Puerto Rico! The northwest coast has the best surfing, but there are also surfing options near San Juan, such as Luquillo. We are very beginner surfers, and spent a day at Rincon renting board and trying it out for ourselelves. It was a great scene for beginners, and fun to watch the more experienced surfers catching waves.

Things to do in Purto Rico: Surfing at Rincon (notice the big boards for us beginners)
Things to do in Purto Rico: Surfing at Rincon (notice the big boards for us beginners)

Find a Fresh Water Swimming Hole

Puerto Rico gets plenty of rain which means that in addition to the white sandy beaches, there are wonderful waterfalls and swimming holes. Just google waterfalls and you will find lots of places to swim, or even better, visit El Yunque National Forest, or check out the natural water slides as Las Pailas.

Soak up the Sun at the Beach

There are so many beautiful beaches to explore in Puerto Rico! In truth there are about 300 beaches, some of which have been noted as some of the most beautiful in the world. No matter what you are looking for: quiet and seclusion, snorkeling, crashing waves, or party scene, you can find it all in Puerto Rico. Almost every portion of Puerto Rico has beaches, so no matter where you go, you won’t be far from where the sand meets the sea.

Things to do in Puerto Rico: Flamenco Beach, Culebra
Things to do in Puerto Rico: Flamenco Beach, Culebra

Find Adventure

There are plenty of adventure sports in Puerto Rico to try,: surfing, zip lining, cliff jumping and more. If you are looking for a fun adventure, check out Toro Verde Adventure Park in central Puerto Rico. You can find the longest zip line in the world here.

Take A Drive

We loved exploring Puerto Rico by car. Once you drive outside of San Juan or your resort there is an entire beautiful islands to explore with mountains and beaches! We almost circumnavigated the island, but are happy we decided to cut through the center of the island on route 10. The road winds by some impressive limestone structures and gives you a real taste of the highlands on Puerto Rico.

Things to do in Puerto Rico: The downtown of La Parguera

What's Your Next Adventure?