5 Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico – Top Attractions and Vacation Spots
Puerto Rico is known as “La Isla del Encanto” (The Island of Enchantment) and for a good reason – or several.
It happens that this island has everything for its visitors to know and enjoy the best of the Caribbean:
Mysterious caves, beautiful beaches, rainy parks, great mountains, colonial areas over 500 years old, as well as an incredible climate and diversity – and there you couldn’t miss out visiting the second most beautiful beach in the world: “Playa Flamenco”.
So for all that and more, we decided to prepare this small list of the 5 best places to visit in Puerto Rico, just in case you already decided to go there on vacations…
1. Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan)
Old San Juan is undoubtedly the most popular place on the island, which is why it’s at the top of our list.
It was Cristóbal Colón who, on his second trip to America in 1493, called the Island of Puerto Rico, San Juan – hence its name. For this reason, Old San Juan is the area where you can find the most important historical center of the entire island.
Almost all of its buildings date from the 16th and 17th centuries, and although they’ve received several restorations, strolling through its narrow and vibrantly colored streets, paved with blue stones unique to the island, is like traveling back in time.
The most emblematic structures are undoubtedly the old fortifications such as the “Castillo San Felipe del Morro”, “La Fortaleza” or “Palacio de Santa Catalina”, the “Fortín de San Gerónimo” and the “Plaza de Armas”, among others.
2. Isla Culebra (Culebra Island)
This island is an independent territory administered by the North American and Puerto Rican governments. The island has a very pleasant Caribbean climate and is ideal for all types of tourists.
The place is pretty quiet and peaceful, which makes it ideal for walks in the open air and for those who like to explore nature. It has many hills and high mountains that give an incredible view of its beaches.
Although the island is actually small, we recommend hiring a means of transport to explore it completely, since it’s difficult to explore it on foot.
One of its best attractions is the abandoned US war tanks left after the island was a practice place for the US Army until the end of 1975.
Isla Culebra is also the access to…
3. Playa Flamenco (Flamingo Beach)
According to Discovery Channel, “Playa Flamenco” is the second most beautiful beach resort in the world.
It’s a paradisiacal beach with crystal clear waters and very white sand, located on Isla Culebra.
The place offers many options to enjoy: you can take tours on the bay, swim in its calm waters, explore its imposing vegetation, access its corals in the depths of the water and practice snorkel or SCUBA diving, among many other things.
The place has a lot of security, a lifeguard service and many fast food places to enjoy by the sea.
With no doubt, one of the top places to visit in Puerto Rico.
4. Cavernas del Río Camuy National Park (Rio Camuy Caves)
This park is quite popular, as it’s home to about 220 caves excavated by the Camuy River to the northwest of “Isla Grande”, in a route that covers 16 km.
Its one of the largest cave systems in the world today, while the Camuy River is the third largest underground river in the world.
The caves in this area were discovered in 1958, although some scientific evidence indicates that they were probably inhabited by ancient indigenous people in the area. But those who currently inhabit it permanently, are the thousands of bats that sleep there during the day.
In its surface of more than 260 acres, it has waterfalls and huge cliffs that offer an incredible view of the place.
5. El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque is a 75 square miles national park, which has the only tropical rain forest in the United States; annually, it receives about 380 billion liters of rainwater!
El Yunque is located 45 km southeast of San Juan and has a maximum height of 1076 mt high (El Toro peak), and the upper parts of these peaks are covered with forests of dwarf trees.
With no doubt, this is one of the best places on the island for those who like hiking, since the area has rivers, waterfalls and forests, as well as 13 trails of varying difficulty.
The park has a visitor center called “Portal del Yunque”, but in the forest you can also find many cabins and camping areas.
If you plan to visit it, you’ll have to wear a raincoat because it’ll most likely be raining…