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Puerto Rico is perfect for adventure lovers, historians, and anyone who wants to kick back and relax.

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico. It’s a city with a fascinating history, beautiful sites, beaches on all sides. Just outside San Juan there are places to hike, snorkel, and explore.

Here’s my guide to visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Where to Stay in San Juan

If you decide to book an Airbnb in Puerto Rico, be careful and read the reviews closely. Contact your host with specific questions about appliances and running water. I switch accommodations part way through because of a couple related issues, and have heard about similar challenges from other travellers.

I recommend staying in Condado or Isla Grande. These areas are built for tourists, with plenty of hotel options. They’re not authentic Puerto Rico neighbourhoods, but you will only be a few minutes walking distance from those areas. 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

There’s a lot to see and do in Puerto Rico! I planned one of these activities every morning, and then spent the afternoon relaxing at a nearby beach.

Castillo de San Cristobal. 

One of the oldest sites in Puerto Rico, Castillo de San Cristobal is part of a fortress that once surrounded the entire city. Get here early and pay $5 USD for a week-long entry pass. Spend the morning exploring the fortress, enjoying it’s history, and taking photographs.

Old San Juan Walking Tour. 

Take a historical walking tour through Old San Juan. This beautiful area is colourful and full of charm and stories. Have lunch after the tour, then explore on your own and take lots of photos!

Hiking in El Yunque Rainforest. 

Go on a full day excursion to El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S.A. ecosystem. Bring any electronics in tight zipped, water proof bags, and expect to get soaked!

Water Sports. 

Rent a kayak or stand up paddle board and enjoy a morning out on the water. Follow up with ice cream on the Condado boardwalk!

Go Snorkelling. 

Go on a snorkelling + picnic cruise to Fajardo, a popular fish and surf village on the Eastern side of Puerto Rico. Head out to sea on a catamaran for a day of snorkelling and fun in the sun.

Walk Along the Beach. 

I changed accommodations part way through my trip, due to an unfortunate mishap. My original Airbnb was blocks away from Ocean Beach, a stunning, serene beach utilized by the Puerto Rico locals. It’s worth a drive or bus ride over to enjoy this place!

Tips for visiting Puerto Rico

Water and snacks. 

It’s hot in Puerto Rico, and a full day in the sun will leave you thirsty and hungry. Bring a water bottle everywhere you go, and always pack a couple granola bars, just in case.

Sunscreen. 

It’s important that you not only bring sunscreen, but plan on reapplying every few hours. Sunburns make you tired, and take the fun out of your trip.

Go early. 

Most people who visit Puerto Rico are enjoying a laid back vacation, so “early” can be as late at 10 A.M. I walked right in to Castillo de San Cristobal at 10:15 A.M., and there was a line up half a mile long when I left!

Enjoy the pace. 

Life moves slow in Puerto Rico. Don’t panic if the bus, tour guide, or anyone else late. Just enjoy the sunshine, everything happens eventually.

More on Puerto Rico
Getting Around in Puerto Rico
Exploring Old San Juan
Hiking in El Yunque Rainforest
San Juan, Puerto Rico in 20 Photos

     

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Posted by Nina Danielle

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