19 min read

San Juan to the East Coast & Beyond Roadtrip

There’s a lot to see on this small but diverse island, check out road trips that will take you to some of the best sites in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is the third largest island in the United States, measuring approximately 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. It is an area of about 3500 square miles making it larger than Rhode Island but smaller than Connecticut. Puerto Rico is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north side of the island and the Caribbean Sea to the south. The mountains make up 60% of the island terrain and there are 50 rivers in Puerto Rico. 

There’s a lot to see on this small but diverse island. It is big enough to make for a variety of great road trips with lots to explore, but small enough that most points of the island are just a day trip away. You could live here a lifetime and never see it all. We’ve mapped out a few road trips that will take you past some of the best sites in Puerto Rico. 

Driving to the East Coast

Follow along on Google maps

For a day trip from San Juan stretching along the East coast of the island, a scenic route will enable you to experience breathtaking beaches, jungle and cliffs. It takes about 2.5 hours of driving if you don’t stop along the way. Of course you will want to make plenty of stops so that you can experience the beauty and culture of the island.

Driving east from the city this little stretch towards Loiza will take you through Piñones which is peaceful in the morning. Along the way you will see beaches to your left. Pull over and dip your feet in the water and stretch your legs at one of the many places where you can access the beach. Crossing over the river to Loiza enjoy the flag lined bridge and look to your right for a view of El Yunque, to the left is the sea. 

From Loiza you’ll drive through tree lined roads and head to Fajardo. If you want coffee and breakfast, pull over to Cafecito Rústico (make sure to check their hours before stopping by) on the right, just past Luquillo and before you get into Fajardo. Stop off in the Plaza de Publica in Fajardo and wander the town square.

From Fajardo and just a short drive to La Finca at Naguabo for a lunch stop with views of the Caribbean Sea and Vieques Island. They have great ambience, food and drinks from the top of the hill. You can also ride ATVs here or experience drive-in movies on the weekends.

As you continue on you’ll pass through several townships, driving the traffic-free two lane roads through Humacao and Yabucoa. From Yabucoa to Punta Tuna the road narrows to single lanes, and gets quite windy. Stop along one of the small restaurants on the cliffs of PR-901 and grab a drink high above where birds fly below you! Continue along to Punta Tuna, park along the road and take a walk to the lighthouse. The views are jaw dropping. Punta Tuna Beach to the left is gorgeous, and a great place to take a stroll after sitting in the car for the drive. 

For a shorter 1.5 hour drive back head to the city via Caguas, bypassing the longer route you took south.

This is part 1 of the series, for more road trips, check out part 2!

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