Toursity Things Worth Doing in Puerto Rico - Pt 1

When exploring Puerto Rico, finding secluded spots and hidden gems is always a rewarding experience.

When exploring Puerto Rico, finding secluded spots and hidden gems is always a rewarding experience. However, some of the island’s most popular places and activities are equally enjoyable. We’ve compiled a selection of Puerto Rico’s tourist attractions worth the hype. From discovering the island’s fascinating biodiversity to its rich cultural history, these places and activities have to be on your Puerto Rico bucket list.

El Yunque National Forest

Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque which is the only rainforest in the national forest system. Covering approximately 29,000 acres of the island, El Yunque is filled with a plethora of endangered species such as the coquí frog and almost 100 species of birds. Entry into the forest is free and you can purchase parking reservations for $2. There is a range of activities you can participate in once inside such as different hiking trails. When in El Yunque, it is well worth visiting the waterfalls (such as La Coca Falls or Juan Diego Falls) where you can bathe, admire the sights or even jump in.

The forest is open for visitors from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. Your free reservation and further information about driving directions can be found here

Old San Juan

When in San Juan, this UNESCO World Heritage Site Is a must-see because it is the oldest settlement within the island. With a wander through the cobbled streets, you can learn about Puerto Rico’s intricate colonial history. The district’s vibrant architecture dates back to Spanish settlers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Explore the outside of the city by an amble along the Paseo de La Princesa promenade which also becomes a hub of art and music on the weekends. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes because Old San Juan is an ideal place for walking as opposed to other forms of transport. If you want to learn more about the history behind the area, there are many tours such as a bilingual 2.5 walking tour.

Whale watching at Rincón

Whilst this area is known as a classic spot for tourists, the opportunity for whale watching makes Rincón worth a cliche visit. The peak time for this activity starts in mid-January and runs through to March when the humpback whales migrate past this coastline from as far away as New England, Iceland and Newfoundland. Watching these majestic creatures as they come to the surface for air is a sight like no other. Whale watching can be done from spots on the shore such as the El Faro Lighthouse or you can even join a whale-watching boat tour for close-up views. Whilst there, you can also partake in surfing and swimming closer to the coast.

Museo de Arte de Ponce (The Ponce Art Museum)

Puerto Rico holds the largest art museum in the Caribbean. Due to its vast size, the galleries boast a wealth of iconic paintings and pieces. Luis A. Ferré, the museum’s founder, was recommended to purchase art works due to their quality alone which results in a varied and intriguing collection. The museum’s collection dates as far back as the fourteenth century with Italian Baroque and Spanish Golden Age paintings. Alongside European classics, there are multiple pieces of art from Puerto Rico such as works by Zilia Sánchez and José Campeche, so you can learn more about Puerto Rico’s culture.

The museum is open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with reduced hours on Sundays and closed on Tuesdays. General tickets cost $6 with discounted tickets for students, seniors and children. Find out more here

Playa Luquillo (Luquillo Beach)

If you’re craving cyan waters and golden sand, then Luquillo Beach is the perfect choice for a tranquil getaway from the city. The area of Balneario La Monserrate is the best section of the beach if you want easy access to amenities such as parking, food stalls and restrooms. Situated near El Yunque National Forest, the beach is lined with palms which can offer shady spots for resting. The water is relatively calm so Luquillo is an ideal option for families. If you are a fan of keeping active, head to Playa Azul for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and more.

Check out Part 2 of Cliche things worth doing in PR here.

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