If you harbour on this beautiful island, there are countless exciting activities waiting for you. Immerse yourself in the vibrant bustle of San Juan, or look up an interesting museum! If you like nature, then this place will enchant you. Surfing, diving or jungle adventures? Here, you can try any of them.
This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- Things to do in Puerto Rico: Beyond sailing – physical activity
- What to do in Puerto Rico: tips for nature lovers
- What to do in Puerto Rico: Culture, history, and science
- The home of rum and other curiosities
The caves of Rio Camuy
The River Camuy is the third largest underground river in the world. On its ten mile” href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>miles length, 220 caves wait for you to explore them. You even might be the next person who discovers a new, today unknown under the surface route. You can try it on a boat, or you can participate in a guided tour.
Kayaking in La Parguera
The archipelago of La Parguera is located at the south-eastern corner of the island. It has rich wildlife, which exists in its pure natural state. In this nature conservation area crabs, lizards, dolphins and multiple special animal species are living together in this lush tropical environment. We can observe them sitting in kayaks on the special, phosphorescent water.
Surfing in Rincón
This small north-western town Rincón is the country’s surfing centre. Even a world championyacht was held here. The circumstances are ideal for this sport; the encounter of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea often creates enormous, 25 to 30 feet high waves. Even if you don’t like or you can’t surf, you should come to this place: the main surf season takes place at the same time as whale’s migration so you can admire these huge sea creatures from close.
Hiking and camping in El Yunque
Although in 2017 the Irma and Maria hurricanes caused serious damage, the El Yunque National Rainforest Park still offers a fascinating experience. Great hiking and walking trails have been built-in the park. There is a place from where you can enjoy the wonderful view, and another leads us to a beautiful waterfall, as the Rio Grande flows here. It’s a good thing that this jungle is safe, there are no snakes or other dangerous animals. You only have to be afraid of the mosquitoes, if you choose to spend a night in nature.
Apart from the aforementioned national park, there are countless gorgeous natural beauty awaiting travellers in Puerto Rico. Here are some of our recommendations for you.
This place is also called the “Caribbean Galapagos”. The relatively small uninhabited island of 22 km2 is a real ecological gold reserve. It has a truly unspoiled nature; you can only camp between May and November. Interestingly, there are caves on the island, which still preserved the traces of the Native Taino Indians.
Bird watching in the Guanica State Forest
The forest is located in southwest Puerto Rico, this place is worth visiting for any bird enthusiast. Here you can find more than 50 percent of the species living on the island. In addition, there are about 700 species of plants here, this place is like a giant botanical garden.
Cayo Icacos Island
This is a small uninhabited island on the east coast of Puerto Rico. It is part of the Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve and is a 15-minute away from Fajardo through the water. There are many beautiful reefs around the island, so divers and snorkelers like it very much. The beach has fine coral sand, which is perfect for long walks, to the delight of locals and tourists. If you want to know more about beautiful beaches, read this article.
The world of shining waters
In Puerto Rico, there is a world-wide rare natural phenomenon. Here we can find three so-called bioluminescent bays. Two of them are in the already mentioned La Parguera, and one on the island of Vieques. The water in these places “swims” in natural light. The former Spanish colonists thought that the unusual sight was the devil’s work. The explanation is, of course, is quite ordinary: single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates settled in the water, and they respond even to the smallest impact with phosphorescent light. They make the water glow, even the floating objects and the people who are in it. You can get this experience of a lifetime during the guided night kayak trips.
Visit the Arecibo Observatory!
The Arecibo Observatory is a facility of the National Astronomical and Ionosphere Center. This is an important venue for radio astronomy, radar astronomy, and atmospheric science research. The facility is famous because it had the world’s largest radio telescope from 1963 until 2016. The Observatory’s Visitor Center is very popular, receives 100, 000 visitors a year; it is good to know that it is not open on Monday and Tuesday.
You can watch a 20-minute film showing the work and discoveries made at the Arecibo Observatory, that we owe to 1000 feet in diameter radio telescopes.
Discover the hundred years old fortresses!
The Spanish colonists once built two giant fortresses to protect San Juan from the attacks. One of them is Castillo San Felipe del Morro, it defended the city from the sea with its 60-foot tall, thick walls. “El Morro”, is a hexagonal fortress built on top of a high mountain peak. Castillo San Cristobal was built-in 1790 on the eastern side of the city, for protection against attacks from the mainland. With its 27 hectares of land, this is the largest fortress in the Spanish-speaking “New World”.
Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce)
One of Puerto Rico’s best art museums is the Museo de Arte de Ponce. The museum was founded in 1959 by the philosopher and art collector Luis A. Ferre, it was moved to its current building in 1965. The Avenida Las Americas 14 hexagonal gallery provides natural light to the artworks. Near the museum, entrance stands the American Roy Lichtenstein’s 28-foot pop-art styled aluminium sculpture (“Brushstrokes in Flight”). This is the largest publicly available artwork in Latin America. The city of Ponce received the statue as a gift in 2010.
El Museo Castillo Serralles (Ponce)
The Serrallo Castle Museum is also located in Ponce. The four-story colonial-style building was built-in 1930. The owner of the Distileria Serralles is one of the largest Puerto Rican rum distilleries. The museum has a permanent exhibition about the history of cane-sugar production and rum industry, showing its impact on the economy of Puerto Rico. The museum opened in 1991, it is surrounded by a 2.5-hectare area, and there are also many attractions. There is, for example, an observation tower, a Japanese garden, and a butterfly garden.
Puerto Rico’s rum is famous even in the far lands. It is a popular program to participate in a rum tasting tour. Visit the Casa Bacardi, one of the world’s largest premium rum distilleries. During the guided tour you can learn about the history of Bacardi rum production, and how to prepare a variety of cocktails. Interestingly, the world-famous Piña Colada is also originating from Puerto Rico. If you want to eat delicious food, then the local gastronomy will not leave you disappointed. The dishes are varied and delicious. Taste the “aroz con dulche” (sweet sticky rice) or the arroz con gandules y lechón (rice with bread and pork). Enjoy the good Puerto Rican coffee. The coffee here has a characteristic smooth, rich flavour due to the volcanic soil of the island. Try some specialities made from coffee beans like Alto Grande, “Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee”, or “Hawaii Kona”.
We have provided you with a great amount of interesting information about this exciting country. If you are not only interested in the sights but the activities as well, you can read on here. Read more if you plan sailing in Puerto Rico or boat rental in Puerto Rico.