Puerto Rico is a beautiful island that is definitely worth putting on your list of places to visit. We decided to spend a few days in San Juan en route to the Virgin Islands. While we unfortunately fell ill and spent most of the time in our room, we still managed to see and do some of the top things on our list. If you only have a short while to spend on the island, here are the 5 must do things in Puerto Rico to prioritise.
Must do things in Puerto Rico
Hike in the El Yunque:
The only tropical rainforest in the US is a beautiful one. Only an hour away from San Juan, you can hike amongst beautiful trees, frolic in waterfalls and be still be back in the city for dinner. Be prepared for mid afternoon showers, and carry plenty of water with you. There is also a visitor centre, in case you want to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region. If you only do one thing in Puerto Rico, make it this.
See the giant radio dish at Arecibo:
We were lucky enough to give a talk at the observatory, but Arecibo is definitely worth a visit even if you’re not an astronomer. It was, until recently, the largest single dish radio telescope in the world. Self guided tours are available, and the view from the observation deck is hard to beat!
Visit Castillo San Cristobal:
Learn about the history of San Juan by visiting this expansive fortification that was built to protect San Juan from attacks by land. Explore by yourself or take a free guided tour around the castle. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it here on our trip, but we will be sure to visit it next time. Puerto Rico Daytrips has a great guide to visiting the castle here.
Explore the colourful streets of San Juan:
There is a certain charm to wandering down the streets of old San Juan. Browse any shop that catches your fancy, relax on a bench, people watch and live the island life. San Juan is very laid back, perfect for a break from hectic daily life.
Try a Pina colada :
One sip and it’s easy to see why this drink caught on. While there are many places you can get this, we recommend going to Barrachina in old San Juan, the birth place of the Pina Colada. While you’re here, enjoy delicious Puerto Rican food and catch a flamenco show.
Where to Stay?
We stayed at the Dreamcatcher hotel in San Juan, and it was an absolutely gorgeous place to stay in. This boutique hotel is focused on being environmentally friendly, has yoga and meditation classes on site, and the breakfast is delicious as well. Would totally recommend.
After the Hurricane:
While the island is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, things are definitely looking up for Puerto Rico. If anything, you visiting is a great way to help boost the local economy! Please check here for updated information on tourism on the island.
Here for longer? Check out these spots too!
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
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