Puerto Rico

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.

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.

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.

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 Ruta Panorámica is 165 miles of scenic switchbacks running along the top of the island’s central spine, linking quaint hill towns, forest preserves, and historic paradors, or inns. The foliage arches over the roadway in a series of cool, dark tunnels

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.

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.