Top 10 attractions in Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico doesn’t just have fantastic style – this gem of a Caribbean island has heart and soul, and a rhythm that is irresistible. It’s a land steeped in Spanish history and heritage, finding its feet in its American present and still very much managing to maintain a distinctly Puerto Rican spirit. With surprising experiences for everyone, this is a destination that offers visitors an unmatched island getaway. Here is my Top Ten attractions and experiences on this pearl of the Caribbean.

Old San Juan

Old San Juan is a vibrant gem of culture and history, transporting you to another time, where large forts overlook colourful houses and plazas resplendent with music, food and culture. Old San Juan is a favourite port of call for cruise ships,  and the town offers incredible shopping, from the largest mall in the Caribbean down to local boutiques ad street artisans.

Culture

Puerto Rico offers a melting pot of cultures including a lively mix of African, Taino, American and Spanish influences. This exotic blend extends to almost every aspect of Puerto Rican life including the cuisine, arts and crafts, music and the festivals.

The food

San Juan has become a hot foodie destination in the Caribbean – whether it’s a road side kiosk, a local food truck or a new gourmet restaurant, the food scene in San Juan and Puerto Rico is booming and offers so much more than just fried plantains, spit-roasted pork, stuffed Mofongo and rice & beans.

Adventure

Puerto Rico offers plenty of adventure including leaping of a waterfall in the rainforest, zip-lining over a forest canopy, rappelling down the cliff face of a bat cave or paddling through a glow in the dark bioluminescent bay.

Nightlife

When the sun goes down in Puerto Rico is when the nightlife gets going. In Old San Juan head to La Factoria – recently named as one of the top 50 bars in the world. Fancy trying your hand with lady luck? The casinos are always open and for those that love to dance, try the live salsa clubs or experience some the best DJ’s in the Caribbean.

Beaches

Puerto Rico is surrounded by over 270 miles of coastline with some of the top-rated beaches in the world. And there is so much to do, from surfing and parasailing to snorkelling and scuba diving.

Ponce

This area located on the southern coast of Puerto Rico is known as The Pearl of The South and is a historic city. Do visit the Museum of Art, which is the largest art museum in the Caribbean, and stop by Serrales Castle built in the Spanish Revival style. Nature lovers be sure to visit Pelican Beach located in the Caja de Muerto Reserve.

La Parguera

Heading towards the southwest in Puerto Rico brings you to La Paguera, which offers visitors a plethora of beach activities with some of the best snorkelling experiences in the Caribbean, including a bio luminescent bay. It’s a far cry from its humble beginnings as a small fishing village as today it is a popular tourist area perfect for the family with great nightlife on the weekends.

Bio bays

There are only a handful of bio bays in the world, and luckily Puerto Rico is home to many of them, including Laguna Grande, La Parguera and Mosquito Bay. This natural phenomenon of tiny organisms emitting a glow when disturbed has to be seen.

Cueva Ventana

This window like cave offers one of the most amazing and spectacular sites in all of Puerto Rico. The drive to this breath-taking view is an adventure too and biologists provide tours of the natural cave and share stories of the flora and fauna.

Scott Anderson is General Manager at The Luxury Cruise Company. The Luxury Cruise Company is your port of call for incredible cruise holidays.

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Comments (14)

  1. Miranda Hahn says:

    I’ve got a friend from Puerto Rico, never understood why he moved from somewhere like that to the grey UK! I know he said it was quite a culture shock when he first moved here, but that would be about 10 years ago now I reckon. He does go back every now and then. I’ll have to ask if he’s ever heard of La Factoria. I’m quite curious what else is on the top 50 list. It’s nice that there’s a good mix of contemporary, 21st century stuff to do, and so much nature with the beaches and caves. The best of both worlds. The bioluminescent bays look stunning, I’ve never seen one myself but they do look pretty picture perfect.

    • Hi Miranda
      Wow lucky to have a freind from Puerto Rico and I can imagine the culture shock coming to the UK – espically during our grey winters! Maybe if he goes back you can tag along with him to discover the wonderful nature and history for yourself!

  2. Dave Garnett says:

    That waterfall shot is stunning. I’m sure it’s probably very different, but it reminds me of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.

  3. Mae Stokes says:

    I love Old San Juan! I was lucky enough to visit this place on a cruise. The cobbledstone roads and colourful colonial houses just give off that historic vibe that transports you back in time. El Morro and La Fortaleza are must visits. I recommend hiring a tour guide to get the full experience even for just a day of touring the town. You also can’t miss a romantic or relaxing stroll along the promenade. It’s amazing at night.

  4. Melissa Davies says:

    Leaping from the waterfall sound terrifying! But I’d love to go and take photos, there are so many gorgeous areas that must attract a lot of tourists and budding photographers, like the beautiful bays and caves that would be amazing to check out. Whenever I go anywhere I tend to beeline towards museums and anywhere I can learn a little more about the place or the history, so Ponce would be on my list. I wonder how far it is from there to La Parguera? How easy is the travel once you’re in Puerto Rico, like with public transport?

    • Hi Melissa (again!) Public roads are good in Puerto Rico and its easy to hire a car and drive – the roads are not very busy – its less than an houyr from Ponce to La Parguera.

  5. Della Robinson says:

    Puerto Rico is truly irresistible! The rich culture, history, and cuisine can be traced back from the Spanish influence. Streets are very much alive and tourists seem to be enjoying the hospitality of the Puerto Ricans. I love going to Isla Verde whenever I visit Puerto Rico because it is flooded with bars that are perfect for a night out with friends. On the other hand, San Juan is a perfect place to spend a day or two if you are fond of strolling around to admire structures such as old houses and buildings.

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