Caribbean » The Perfect Puerto Rico Itinerary

The Perfect Puerto Rico Itinerary

Plan your dream Puerto Rico itinerary with this detailed guide to beautiful beaches, buzzy cities, underground caves and amazing activities.

Looking for your own little slice of paradise? Puerto Rico is a very special Caribbean island, with pristine beaches flanked with palm trees, colourful corals surrounded by kaleidoscopic shoals of fish, and lush rainforest packed with incredible wildlife.

puerto rico mountains
This Puerto Rico itinerary will show you lots of beautiful scenery across the island
flamenco beach puerto rico
The best things to do in Puerto Rico include visiting beaches like the amazing Flamenco Beach

There’s so much to see and do on this beautiful island – the only problem is that you’ll have a hard time fitting everything into your Puerto Rico itinerary!

Whether you like lounging on the beach catching some rays, or racing around on a quad bike, you’ll find plenty of fun activities in Puerto Rico. The island is also steeped in fascinating history, and boasts some excellent museums. Plus, there’s colonial architecture to explore, a vibrant music scene to enjoy and some of the best slow roast pork specialities you’ll ever taste.

However, most people come here to experience the magnificent landscape and idyllic coastline – you could say Puerto Rico is Mother Nature at her best.

san felipe fort san juan
A trip to San Felipe Fort is one of the best things to do in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

So, are you looking for some Puerto Rico travel advice? Trying to decide what to put on your Puerto Rico itinerary? To help you decide, I’ve rounded up the best things to do in Puerto Rico.

9 Amazing Things to Do In Puerto Rico

1. Take A Stroll Around Old San Juan

Old San Juan is one of Puerto Rico’s finest cultural attractions, and there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than by exploring the historic centre of this picturesque district on a walking tour. The vibe today is relaxed and laid back, but this old town has a history of turmoil, which has left its mark on the historic buildings and the ravaged fortress, Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

old san juan, puerto rico
Visiting Old San Juan is one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico

You can hear stories of intrigue, smuggling and revolt as you explore this impressive castle by the sea – one of the most popular things to do in San Juan. It’s also an excellent place to sample some traditional Puerto Rican cuisine.

The sights, sounds and smells of Old San Juan are simply charming, making this a must on any Puerto Rico itinerary.

old san juan, puerto rico
How pretty are the colourful streets of Old San Juan?

2. Take A Trip To The Deserted Icacos Island  

Lush, green and surrounded by pristine Caribbean waters, Cayo Icacos is a beautiful destination for a day trip. This completely deserted island just off the Fajardo coastline is surrounded by postcard-perfect shimmering turquoise waters and lush reefs, offering some of the best snorkelling in Puerto Rico.

icacos island puerto rico
Visiting Icacos Island is one of the most amazing things to do in Puerto Rico

There’s no camping permitted, and you’ll need to organise your own transport by boat, which will involve some planning. An easy way to make the trip is to book onto a tour like this one, which takes you to the island on a stylish catamaran.

A trip to Cayon Icacos is a very special addition to any Puerto Rico itinerary, and one of the best ways to experience a real taste of the Caribbean.

3. Go Scuba Diving in Paraguera

Paraguera is one of Puerto Rico’s hidden gems – a beautiful coastal town near one of the best coral reefs Puerto Rico has to offer. Get your Puerto Rico snorkelling fix at the Paraguera Wall. With colourful corals and incredible biodiversity, it’s one of the best places to observe marine life around the island.

Will you be adding Scuba diving to your Puerto Rico itinerary?

Paraguera is also one of only three places in Puerto Rico (along with Mosquito Bay and Luaguna Grande) where you can observe bioluminescent phytoplankton. These tiny microorganisms light up when disturbed, creating incredible visual displays in the water after dark.

If you’re lucky, you might see bioluminescence during your trip to Puerto Rico

Seeing the glowing waters of the bioluminescent bay at night is simply unforgettable and easily one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.

4. Visit El Yunque National Forest

The only tropical rainforest within the US National Forest Service, El Yunque is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular attractions. This enchanting forest covers 28,000 acres on the north eastern part of the island, and receives a whopping 120 inches of rain a year.

el yunque national forest puerto rico
El Yunque National Forest is one of the most popular places to visit in Puerto Rico in summer

The lush, green vegetation sustains a wonderful diversity of animals, insects, and birds, including the legendary coquí frog, an important symbol of Puerto Rican culture and identity.

After a few days on the beach, El Yunque is the perfect place to cool down, as it is dotted with natural pools where you can take a refreshing swim. To get the full experience, why not book onto an El Yunque Rainforest and Waterslide Tour? This tour is filled with unforgettable adventures in the wilderness which you’re guaranteed to want to add to your Puerto Rico itinerary.  

la mina waterfall el yunque national forest
How stunning is La Mina waterfall in El Yunque National Forest?

5. Go Horse Riding At A Private Ranch

Hiking is a popular activity in Puerto Rico, but for something different, how about seeing the sights on horseback? This fantastic tour will take you deep into the lush countryside around San Juan where you can go wildlife spotting from the back of your very own trusty steed!

It’s a lovely way to venture through the lush forests and take in the views of the towering mountains east of San Juan, all while learning more about the traditions of the island. Whether you’re an expert jockey or a complete novice, this is one of the most unique and fun things to do in San Juan.

6. Hang Out On The Beach

Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful coastline. It’s home to miles of pristine white sand beaches where you can easily spend a day (or a week!) paddling in the warm turquoise waters and topping up your tan.

If you’re looking for the best beaches for paddling and snorkelling, head to Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo. With dreamy palm trees, golden sand, and a lovely sheltered bay where you can swim in peace, it’s a great option for a beach day in Puerto Rico. Cabo Rojo is another popular option, especially for snorkelling.

cabo rojo puerto rico
Cabo Rojo is an amazing place to add to your Puerto Rico itinerary

Perhaps the best beach in Puerto Rico is trickier to reach! It’s located on the outlying island of Culebra, nestled in a sheltered bay with shallow water and jaw dropping scenery. It’s definitely off the beaten path, but if you go, it’s likely to be the highlight of your Puerto Rico itinerary!

culebra puerto rico
You have to go snorkelling if you visit Culebra on your holiday in Puerto Rico

7. Visit the Camuy Cave Park

One of Puerto Rico’s most popular attractions is the Camuy River Cave Park – an extensive cave network stretching for 286 acres underground. Shaped millions of years ago by the relentless course of the River Camuy, this impressive subterranean system is decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, occasionally opening up into vast caverns and sinkholes.

camuy river cave park
Camuy River Cave Park is one of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders

Step away from the lush green forests above ground and descend into a completely different world, where you’ll encounter strange wildlife and beautiful rock formations. This fabulous site should definitely be on your Puerto Rico itinerary.

8. Get Your Thrills On A Jet Ski or ATV Tour

Life in Puerto Rico is pretty relaxed and easy going, but if you’re looking for some thrills during your stay, you’ll get them on one of these brilliant tours. Finding the pace of life too slow? Hop on board an All Terrain Vehicle and enjoy a few carefree hours zipping around the fabulous Puerto Rican landscape on this popular ATV tour!

Alternatively, head out to the northern coast and tour the coastline all the way through the San Jose Lagoon to the beach of Isla Verde. I’d recommend taking a look at this awesome jet ski tour – definitely one of the most fun things to do in Puerto Rico if you’re looking for a little adventure!

jetski in puerto rico
Who would love to hop on a jetski in Puerto Rico?

Finally, if you’re still looking for that adrenaline high, head to the Toro Verde Adventure Park, where you can enjoy an epic 2.5km zip-line known as ‘the monster’. Wow, that sounds like fun!

9. Visit Cueva del Indio

Although Puerto Rico’s architecture is dominated by its Spanish colonial history, the island has a much longer cultural legacy. The Cueva del Indio is an ancient cave that contains a large number of petroglyphs made by the indigenous inhabitations of the island, prior to the period of Spanish colonisation.

cueva del indio
Cueva del Indio is an incredible place to see during your trip to Puerto Rico

Combine this fascinating spot with a trip to the ‘Taino Stonehenge’, an impressive stone circle covered in even more petroglyphs, which functions as a sacred ceremonial site for the indigenous Taino people. Peel back the layers of Puerto Rico’s rich history, and uncover a new side to this remarkable island.

Where To Stay In Puerto Rico

Villa Montana Beach Resort

With colonial-style décor blended with rustic touches, luxury furnishings, and some of the best views on the island, the Villa Montana Beach Resort is our pick of the resort options in Puerto Rico.

villa montana beach resort
Villa Montana Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

The site itself covers three miles of beautiful golden beach, and offers everything you’ll need for a blissful stay in Puerto Rico. The friendly staff can organise tours and daily activities like scuba diving or horse riding, and the dining options are varied and simply delicious!

Without doubt, Villa Montana Beach Resort is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico.

Hotel El Convento

If you’re looking for a unique, quirky hotel in the heart of San Juan, look no further than Hotel El Convento. Built in 1646, and once the site of an important convent, the building was converted into a smart and stylish boutique hotel in the 1990s.

hotel el convento
Hotel El Convento, Puerto Rico

With colourful décor, comfortable rooms and bags of character, this is one of the most unique places to stay in Puerto Rico. It’s also perfectly located for exploring the city, within walking distance of all the major sites.

With a rooftop pool and a lovely shady courtyard, it’s also a wonderful place to take refuge on a hot day. A swim here is one of the best things to do in San Juan!

Blue Horizon Boutique Resort

Located on the island of Vieques, just off the coast of Puerto Rico, the beautiful Blue Horizon Boutique Resort is one of the most popular luxury accommodation options on the island.

blue horizon
Blue Horizon Resort, Puerto Rico

The ocean views are breathtaking, and you can admire them in style as you sip a cocktail in the beautiful infinity pool at sunset. Rooms are tastefully decorated with comfort as a priority, and the local staff can organise all kinds of tours and excursions on and around the island.

It’s no wonder that this historic boutique resort is one of the most popular places to stay in Puerto Rico.

What To Pack For Puerto Rico: Useful Items

If you’re planning your trip, you should think about more than just clothing when you start packing. Here are a few items I’d recommend adding to your suitcase…

Insect repellent – There are plenty of really good insect repellents like this one. If you’re travelling with kids you might want to buy a specific children’s insect repellent too.

insect repellent
Insect repellent is a must for your packing list

Bite relief – I usually take an after bite / anti-itch cream like this, that helps to soothe any bites. I also swear by this amazing Bite Away Pen, which sends a small electric shock to the itchy part of the bite. It takes a bit of getting used to at first (and sometimes hurts a tiny bit), but it does work. I’ve done a full review of the item (as it goes everywhere with me!!) so feel free to read more here

Travel towel – A fast-drying microfibre towel like this one will come in handy on your trip. These are great not only for when you fancy a swim, but also when you want to sit down on the ground or to wipe your sweaty face on a humid day!

microfibre towel
Don’t forget to pack a microfibre towel for your trip

Sun cream – It’s important to apply suncream throughout the day. I’d recommend finding a brand which isn’t too heavy on chemicals, or is almost totally natural, like this one made by Sun Bum

sun bum sun cream
I really rate Sun Bum sun cream

Sunglasses – It’s important to protect your eyes when you visit a holiday destination like this one. I’d recommend investing in some high-quality UV protected sunglasses. I’ve owned a pair of these Ray Bans for a few years now and love them!

Ray Ban
I always travel with my Ray Ban sunglasses

Sun hat – You’ll definitely want a sun hat like this to protect yourself on all of those sunny days!

sun hat
I’d recommend buying a sun hat for your trip

After sun or aloe vera – Don’t forget some soothing cream incase you do burn. I really like this one made by Ultrasun. It’s lightweight and feels lovely on your skin.

Ultrasun after sun
Ultrasun after sun is a favourite of mine

Rain jacket – Be prepared for those sporadic rain showers. As you won’t need it for warmth, I’d recommend a lightweight waterproof jacket that packs down small. Something like this would be perfect.

lightweight womens waterproof jacket
If it rains you’ll be happy to have a lightweight waterproof jacket

Umbrella – I’d also recommend an umbrella for rainy season. I’d been looking for a super compact option for ages, and finally found this one which fits in my small handbag and is nice and sturdy.

Daypack backpack – I used a small backpack for day-to-day adventures, which could fit a water bottle, camera, sun cream and bug spray. I also took a small shoulder bag to use for going for dinner in the evenings. If you’re looking for something nice and small, lightweight, water-resistant and that will fit all your essentials, I’d recommend this daypack. It’s got some very handy zip-up pockets too!

lightweight daypack backpack
You’re likely to need a lightweight daypack-style backpack

Reusable water bottle – I always recommend packing a reusable water bottle for travel. Even if you can’t drink the tap water, it means you can top up from giant bottles or water coolers rather than buying lots of plastic bottles. Personally I’d recommend the Chilly’s water bottles. I’ve got a few in different sizes and they are excellent quality! I also really like these bottles with straws. They’re really easy to drink from, they have a strap, never leak and hold a good volume.

Chillys water bottles are great for travel
Chillys water bottles are great for travel

GoPro – This is an adventure-filled country. The best way to capture it is on a GoPro. They’re great for photos and videos, hard wearing, shockproof and waterproof. Whether you’re snorkelling, hiking, white water rafting, wildlife-spotting or zip lining, it’s the perfect accessory. Don’t forget to take out travel insurance that covers your gadgets too.

GoPro Hero 10
I’d recommend buying a GoPro for your trip to capture every special moment!

Power bank – It depends how much you use your phone on holiday, but I used mine a lot during my trip, snapping photos and videos along the way. A portable battery pack is a great idea so you don’t have to worry about running out of charge at an important moment.

I have a few made by Anker and they’re great quality and have lasted for a long time. This is the one I’m using at the moment, which is really small (similar size to my phone) but stores lots of charge and has a fast charging capability. 

Plug adapter – I pack this universal travel adapter for all of my travels. It charges up to 6 devices at once, using a plug or USB sockets. Plus, it can be used anywhere in the world. It’s one of my fave travel gadgets!

Epicka plug adapter

Dry bag – I’m really happy I invested in a dry bag like this. It’s made from a thick plastic and is totally waterproof. These dry bags are perfect for adventures on the water, visiting waterfalls, or if you think it’s going to rain heavily. I’d recommend a small one for your phone and camera gear, or a larger one if you want to use it as your main bag for an activity.

Dry bag
These dry bags are great for adventurous destinations

Waterproof phone case – Similarly, if you want to take your phone out and about in the water, I’d recommend getting a waterproof phone case. There are quite a few to choose from, but I’d recommend reading the reviews! You need this to protect your phone and be 100% watertight after all! I bought these Moko cases myself and my partner and they’ve been great. We’ve used them on several trips snorkelling and to waterfalls now, and no leaks!

waterproof phone case
This waterproof phone case is a great addition to your packing list!

I hope this guide helps you plan the perfect Puerto Rico itinerary. What’s at the top of your list?

Just a reminder, if you are flying to the States, you will need an ESTA USA. This is an electronic visa that you can easily apply for by filling out an online form. In just a couple of hours you’ll receive your ESTA without having to visit an embassy or consulate.

Whether you’re looking for a one week or 14-day trip, I hope this post has given you plenty of ideas for things to do in Puerto Rico. Have an amazing time!

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puerto rico itinerary

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

1 thought on “The Perfect Puerto Rico Itinerary”

  1. I could spend a year in Puerto Rico and never run out of stuff to do. So much adventure and beauty to explore in many places!


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