Puerto Rico

Things to do in Puerto Rico

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.

What to Expect: Not one but two deep, curved pale-pink-sand beaches, each a mile-and-a-half long, make up Isla Verde.

Stock up on the island's famed coffee at this colorful shop in Old Town, which carries eight Puerto Rican brands. You'll also find a vast selection of Caribbean-influenced spices, sauces, jams, and even bath gels, soaps, and perfumes.

Navío is known as the island’s finest, and that means it is also the most packed; the path to the sand is lined with haphazardly parked Jeeps and scooters.

Salsa is a national pastime in Puerto Rico; though it didn't originate on the island, it might as well have. For a sultry night of dancing, head to this tiny yet frenetic nightspot, tucked down an alleyway off an Old Town street.

Puerto Rico's preeminent designer sells his clean-lined, precisely cut women's and men's fashions at his namesake boutique on Ashford Avenue in Condado.

For moped rentals.

Surfing is the main pastime in this resort town—which is also the premier Caribbean destination on the international surf circuit.

Hurry past the Tommy Bahama shirts and Nautica shorts at the Condado outpost of this men's wear shop to the back, where you'll find a terrific collection of guayaberas.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In the verdant Sierra de Luquillo mountain range about a half-hour east of San Juan, the 28,000-acre tropical forest of El Yunque is one of the United States' most diverse preserves.

The daughter of famous Puerto Rican designer Mili Arango, Lisa Cappalli graduated from the prestigious Parsons School of Design. After living in Paris and working with designer Chantal Thommass, Cappalli moved to Puerto Rico to open a boutique in San Juan.

The motorcycle aesthetic inspired the black-and-red interiors of this trendy locale. A 1964 Triumph Thunderbird hangs above the bottles behind the bar.