Puerto Rico Travel Guide
You can easily fill a week in Puerto Rico by lounging on the beach or strolling through the streets of Old San Juan, but don’t stop there. You can hike (and swim) in El Yunque, the 28,000-acre national park home to hundreds of tropical plants, at least 50 different bird species, and hiking trails that lead to waterfalls and swimming holes. One of the top things to do in Puerto Rico, among locals and visitors alike, is to dress up and go out. The nightclub scene in San Juan holds its own against Miami, at spots such as Club Brava and Ultra Lounge. But for more classic Puerto Rico dancing, go to the Nuyorican, where you can brush up on your salsa skills alongside locals.
As an alternative night activity, you can paddle through Bioluminescent Bay. The waters off Vieques are filled with microorganisms that glow in the dark. Take a kayaking tour into these waters and you’ll have a surreal, unforgettable evening. What to do in Puerto Rico when you want a change of scenery from your own hotel beach? Go to the island’s most fabulous beach. A short ferry ride will take you to Culebra, where the white sands of Playa Flamenco are known for great surfing and snorkeling.
In an industrial-looking former Royal Tire warehouse, gallery owners Diana and Moisés Berezdivin have assembled an impressive collection of contemporary Latin American art.
Come late afternoon, in-the-know travelers wander right from the nearby ferry landing to the laid-back, open-air bungalow—to drink margaritas and watch the sunset while casting for silvery tarpon off the deck with locals.
Located in Vieques across from the Martineau Bay Resort, Martineau Car Rental has a variety of cars for rent at reasonable prices. Available models include PT Cruisers, Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokees, and Dodge Nitros and Durangos.
Housed inside two of the city’s historic homes, the Salazar and Zapater houses, as well as an adjacent lot, Ponce History Museum has exhibits on Puerto Rico, Ponce, and all aspects of daily Puerto Rican life, such as ecology, politics, and urban development.
Puerto Rican governors have resided in this structure (originally a fort) since 1543, though it wasn't named the governor's official residence until 1822. In fact, it's the Western Hemisphere's oldest executive mansion that's still in use.
Mosquito Bay, close to Esperanza, is one of the world's brightest bioluminescent bays, and when you dive into the warm water after dark, your body will glow white.
Take your pick of the best santos—wooden folk carvings of Catholic saints.
Head to García Beach for a quiet escape with a palm tree–dotted island just a short swim away.
This gallery and lounge, located in a historic building, hosts a beautiful crowd and top international DJ's, spinning an eclectic blend of house, soul, and hip-hop. The club's red-wine sangria is delicious, though surprisingly potent.
You'll have to carve out your own space on the often-crowded dance floor in this tiny club. But the crowd is friendly, and everyone will be delighted to help you merengue, salsa, and samba your way through the night like a pro.
What to Expect: Not one but two deep, curved pale-pink-sand beaches, each a mile-and-a-half long, make up Isla Verde.
Maritza’s Car Rental, located on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, opened in 1995. The agency offers Jeep, Dodge, and Suzuki vehicles for flat daily rates. Models available include the Jeep Wrangler and Liberty, as well as the Yamaha Zuma, a scooter.
Acampa, a store specializing in outdoor gear, also offers guided nature adventures.
Deep-fried heaven—if you find alcapurrias being made fresh.