Kayaking through glittering bioluminescent waters, whizzing above the tree canopies on the world’s longest zip wire or hiking through the mountainous rainforest, a holiday to Puerto Rico will truly leave you enchanted.
Puerto Rico is an archipelago of 143 islands, cays, and islets surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Puerto Rico is the main island, and thought to be one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Western Hemisphere. The delightful capital city of San Juan with its blue cobbled streets, candy-coloured quaint colonial buildings and impressive 16th-century Spanish fort is a definite holiday must-see. Explore the tunnels, barracks and towers at El Morro Castle. This World Heritage Site offers panoramic views over the ocean and the city behind.
Explore Puerto Rico’s natural beauty
The Rio Camuy Cave Park is one of the world’s largest cave networks. Walk through the vast tunnels and marvel at the sleeping bats, the underground river and the fantastical cave formations. A day tour visiting the caves is a truly unforgettable holiday experience.
A unique natural wonder that is on many Puerto Rico holiday itineraries is its bioluminescent bays. There are only five such bays in the entire world (three of which are in Puerto Rico) and Mosquito Bay is considered the brightest of them all. The glow-in-the-dark organisms that live in the water here, when stimulated by movement, light up the surrounding water with a bright neon blue or green coloured light. Take a night kayak tour for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s often described like gliding through a sea of stars.
For a trek through the rainforest, walkers and hikers should head to El Yunque National Forest in the northeast of Puerto Rico. This is 28,000 acres of undisturbed lush and diverse forest that is a true nature’s paradise. Look out for Puerto Rico’s national animal the coquí, a tiny tree frog with its sweet-sounding melodic song.
Puerto Rico is just a short flight to New York, Washington DC or Miami, so why not team your Caribbean island holiday with a city break? Or alternatively, you could island-hop around the Caribbean as Puerto Rico has great connections to Antigua, the Dominican Republic and Nevis. Whatever you’re looking for, our Destination Specialists can help you plan your ideal holiday.
Our favorite hotels
Here are some of our favourite all-inclusive hotels and luxury retreats in Puerto Rico. If you can’t see something you like, please call us to chat to our Destination Specialists who will be more than happy to help.
Explore Puerto Rico
You might be mistaken for thinking Puerto Rico is mainly a beach destination, this couldn't be further from the truth. Packed with adventure from exploring the cobbled streets of Old San Juan to heading to El Toro Adventure Park to ride 'El Monstruo' the longest zip-line in the world measuring the length of up to 28 football pitches. For nature lovers, the island is packed with natural beauty from kayaking one of the three bioluminescence bays at night to taking one of the stunning hiking trails at El Yunque National Forest - Puerto Rico has it all. Of course, if you are a beach lover then the island has a great selection of sandy beaches spreading across its coastline to spend lazy days.
Named as one of Lonely Planet's top 10 cities to travel to in 2018 - this is a recognition of San Juan's rich heritage and vibrant culture and from our travels across the city we strongly agree. Our favourite part of Old San Juan was the narrow cobbled streets with family owned and run boutiques selling handmade arts and crafts and gifts. It has a great night culture too where the city really comes alive - one night a week they host a salsa dance with a live band where the locals and tourists alike come together to celebrate Latin music and dance into the early hours.
El Yunque National Forest
Puerto Rico is packed with natural beauty and it has to be explored when visiting the island. We recommend hiring a car to really see it at its best - one not to be missed is El Yunque National Forest on the eastern side of the island. It is located not far from resorts such as San Juan and Fajardo so can be easily accessed for a day trip.
Best time to visit Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s tropical climate means that it is warm and sunny all year round, with average temperatures of 25°C to 28°C. The high season falls between December to April, when there is the least amount of rainfall. The hurricane season runs from June to November, peaking in August.
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"The soft white sandy beaches of Culebra are calling. Just 18 miles east of Puerto Rico, this nearby island is a perfect day trip. Take a boat tour and discover its idyllic beaches. For superb snorkelling and diving, head to Flamenco Beach. This serene stretch of fine white sand with its turquoise bay will be a delight even if you just want to kick back and relax."
"You can’t leave the capital, San Juan, without enjoying the national drink - the Piña Colada. Barranchino Restaurant and The Caribe Hilton Hotel both claim to be where the famous cocktail was first made. Sample one in each and decide which is the best!"
"If you find 'El Monstruo' zip line too intense, there is a tamer option called 'La Bestia".
Events & Festivals
Puerto Rico offers a selection of fun events throughout the year and you can plan your holiday to ensure you experience them! Here are a few of our favourites:
San Sebastian Street Festival, Old San Juan
This legendary four-day festival takes place every year in the third week of January. It’s to celebrate the end of the Christmas season and during the day folkloric and mask-wearing characters take to the streets in Old San Juan. As night falls, the character parade changes to serious party-goers who energetically dance and sing until daybreak.
Casals Festival, San Juan
In 1956, the acclaimed cellist Pablo Casals founded this classical music festival in Puerto Rico. It’s now a world-renowned two-week event which attracts musicians from around the world to Puerto Rico to perform a series of concerts. It takes place in San Juan during February and March at the Centro de Bellas Artes.
Drawing from its heritage, Puerto Rico cuisine is influenced by Tainos, Spanish and African styles of cooking. It uses indigenous ingredients and seasoning, which gives its dishes a unique taste that’s not to be missed. Here are a few of our favourite must-try local dishes:
Green plantain pieces (green bananas) are mixed with onion and garlic and either salt-cured pork, pork crackling or butter and then deep fried to give Puerto Rico’s favourite comfort food. It can be served as either a main or a side.
Often cooked for special occasions, this is a slow-roasted marinated pork shoulder that has crunchy skin and succulent tender soft meat.
Chicharrones de pollo
In this dish chicken pieces are marinated in lime before being coated in flour and then deep fried. The crispy, tender and juicy fried chicken pieces are then usually served with rice and beans or a salad.
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