Planning your trip

Getting to Know Puerto Rico - Part 1

Puerto Rico is a unique island that blends European and Latin influences. The capital city of San Juan has an exciting, lively vibe as well as layers of history from Spain, the United States and even more far-flung locales like Cuba and Haiti.


San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, and as such you can expect to find plenty of museums and historical sites. If you’re a history buff, you should definitely consider visiting the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. This museum has been open since 1896 and features both contemporary and historical art from around the world.

San Juan is also home to some amazing restaurants for foodies looking for a place with unique flavors. Some recommendations include:

Chef Jose Enrique at Casa Nena in Old San Juan

La Parilla in Santurce (just outside of San Juan)


Old San Juan is a district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, that has the oldest streets in Puerto Rico. It is also known as El Viejo San Juan ("The Old San Juan") and historically as La Villa de San Cristóbal de la Habana ("The Town of Saint Christopher of Havana").

It's a district that every visitor should take some time to explore; it’s full of history and great restaurants. Old San Juan is also a UNESCO world heritage site so you will see many places where there are tourists from around the world.


Flamenco Beach is located in the southeast corner of Puerto Rico, between Luquillo and Fajardo. The beautiful white sands and warm water are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. This area is an angler's haven: you can catch bonefish and permit right off the beach!

If you're feeling like some fresh air after a day at the beach, head up to El Yunque National Forest. This tropical rainforest provides beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for hiking or camping under a canopy of trees!


The El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. It's located on the northeast side of Puerto Rico and holds many plant and animal species that are endemic to this region, meaning they can only be found here or on nearby islands. The forest itself is like a mini jungle—it's home to more than 800 species of trees, 50 species of mammals, more than 150 species of birds, and more than 30 species of reptiles and amphibians (and some pretty cool insects too!). On most days you'll see monkeys swinging through branches overhead or curious sloths peeking out from tree trunks. If you're lucky enough to visit during one of their rare gatherings (they tend not to like being viewed), there's even a chance you'll catch sight of elusive jaguars lurking in the shadows...

El Yunque National Forest is also an important part in preserving Puerto Rico’s water supply as well as protecting endangered plants and animals living there such as coquí frogs (which are native only to Puerto Rico), bromeliads (mosses that grow on trees), leatherback sea turtles (which nest along Hacienda Beach).


Culebra is a small island off the east coast of Puerto Rico. It's known as one of the best destinations for divers and snorkelers, with clear waters and many dive sites. If you're not interested in diving or snorkeling, there are still plenty of other things to do on Culebra! The beaches are beautiful, there's a lighthouse to see and tour (free), horseback riding on the beach ($20/hour), great food (the truck by Playa Flamenco is amazing), and plenty more fun options for all ages.

While there's no lodging directly on this beach, there are several nearby that you can walk or drive to within 5 minutes—some even have their own private access points from the beach! The closest resort option is Las Palmeras Resort & Spa; if you want something more affordable but still nice and close by then try Casa Verde Guest House & Bungalows . For something even more quaint than either of those two options try Villa Carolina Beachfront Apartments .


Bio Bay is a marine reserve and natural phenomenon, located in the municipality of Vieques. It is home to more than 300 species of fish, including more than 20 endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The bay was declared an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1999 and as such, has been designated as one of the most important sites for conservation and research on marine ecosystems.

In addition to its natural beauty, Bio Bay also offers several activities for visitors including guided tours with local residents who can share their knowledge about this unique ecosystem; snorkeling or scuba diving tours; kayaking trips around the bay; hiking along beaches where you can see local flora and fauna up close; bird watching; horseback riding; surfing lessons (if you are brave enough); dolphin-watching cruises from Fajardo's port town of Isabel Segunda...

San Juan has the best of both worlds - centuries of history and vibrant present-day life.

San Juan is a great place to visit for its history and culture, but it also has an exciting present-day life. The city is home to hundreds of churches, museums and other historical buildings from the Spanish colonial period. It's also bursting with vibrant nightlife that includes live music and dancing at clubs throughout the city. You'll find plenty of delicious restaurants serving authentic Puerto Rican cuisine as well as American favorites like pizza or burgers if you want something more familiar with your meal.

The beaches here are beautiful! You can spend hours swimming in crystal clear water or relaxing on golden sands while taking in amazing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. If you're looking for more adventure than that though there are nearby surfing spots where you can practice your skills without risking injury (or worse) by doing so alone out at sea!


We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of the best sites in Puerto Rico. If you want to explore more, there are many more wonderful places to see in this beautiful country.