Most Popular Places to Visit in Puerto Rico, 2023, Top Attractions

Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico, Top Attractions

Are you thinking about visiting the Caribbean this year? Here are some of the very best places to visit in Puerto Rico that are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience. If your idea of a perfect island vacation involves phenomenal beaches and an array of sightseeing attractions, combined with a rich local culture, then nothing quite matches up to Puerto Rico. Within the U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is the single largest tourist destination in the Caribbean. All the best Airbnbs in Puerto Rico share one thing in common: no matter where they’re located, they’re never far from beautiful sights and fun activities. Whether you’re taking a stroll through the magnificent shoreline to exploring the impressive Spanish colonial architecture, there’s a lot for you to experience in Puerto Rico. This is why I’ve compiled a list of places that, in my humble opinion, are worthy of being on your schedule for your trip to Puerto Rico. With its beautiful scenery and abundance of fun things to do, Puerto Rico is the Caribbean's most popular vacation spot. A popular destination for sun worshippers and island hoppers, this is the most populous of all the islands in the tropics. It's no surprise that the picturesque palm-lined beaches attract visitors of all stripes, from young couples to college students to families with young children. Experience magnificent snorkeling in the Caribbean's beautiful waters, unwind in peaceful bioluminescent lagoons or discover the region's history at one of the many historic Spanish villages. Here's a list of must-see places for those considering visiting Puerto Rico. 

#1- Ponce
The historical quarter is dotted with squares, churches, beautifully decorated old houses, and magnificent fountains of the colonial period. Here is located one of the oldest fire stations in the world.” “Many say it serves as a reflection of the true essence of Puerto Rico as a country,” writes Travellers Worldwide. “The deep history of Ponce is palpable when taking a stroll down the narrow streets or just by simply seeing the beautiful fountains in the square. As you wade through traffic, the typical obstacles in modern and urban cities, you’ll see gorgeous colonial architecture, fabulous restaurants, and more than a dozen museums for you and the family to visit.

#2- Rincón
This beautiful beach is a popular surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving destination. It offers a slower pace than the more urban San Juan, and it’s a great place to watch sunsets. Surfing is the main attraction here, with many spots to check the swell like Domes, Marias, and Tres Palmas, just to name a few. But there are plenty of other activities to do as well, like horseback riding along the beach, snorkeling the horseshoe reef at Steps beach, paddle-boarding at the Balneario (public beach) or shopping at the Thursday Art Walk or Sunday Farmers Market at the town square.

#3- Old San Juan
Walking the “Viejo San Juan” neighborhood will take you to some of the island’s most famous attractions, including Castillo San Cristóbal, El Morro, and Calle del Cristo. The historic area is a vibrant haven to go shopping and eat delicious food. Despite how tiny this area is, you’ll find some of the most popular things to do in Puerto Rico,” writes Travellers Worldwide. “There are golf carts at your disposal for no additional cost that can transport you around the city to see some of the most popular Puerto Rican landmarks, like Castillo San Cristóbal, El Morro, and more.Guided tours are available for visitors interested in understanding Puerto Rican culture and heritage, as well as the history behind some of the island’s oldest buildings. Some of which are half a century old and hold great significance.

#4- El Yunque National Rainforest
Take the Angelito Trail down to the Las Damas pool. A winding trail with thick vegetation will lead you to a deep pool of clear, cold water with a rope swing. This popular swimming hole is perfect for families looking to relax in the pools. Or, if you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, try the more intense 2.6-mile El Yunque Trail. This trail takes you to the highest points in the forest, where from the trailhead you’ll ascend through sierra palms and the Cloud Forest, a unique zone under a nearly constant state of rain. There are 240 tree species alone, making it a must-see on any nature-lover’s itinerary. One need not worry about big wildlife, but lizards and frogs—like the island’s coqui mascot—abound. Hike the rather easygoing trails to see all the vegetation, small animal life, and waterfalls.

#5- Vieques
This tiny island municipality sits just off the main island’s east coast and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. The island’s south end is also home to Puerto Mosquito (Mosquito Bay) which is the world’s biggest and brightest bioluminescent bay. 

#6- Playa Flamenco
If you are making plans for a vacation in and around Puerto Rico, you’re probably envisioning a perfect beachside location to have a great time. If that’s what you have in mind, you can’t go wrong with the immaculate white-sand shores and shining waters of Playa Flamenco.

#7- Rio Camuy Caves
Everyone likes fun in the sun, but if you’re in the mood for something a little different, there are plenty of cool and unique Puerto Rico attractions worth checking out. In fact, some are about as far from the sun as you can imagine. Situated an hour away from San Juan by car, the subterranean Rio Camuy Caves stretch out across ten miles. Carved out by the third-largest river on Earth, there are approximately 220 magnificent underground caves in total at Rio Camuy. What’s more, according to geologists, it’s likely that around 800 caves remain undiscovered in this area!

#8- Culebra Island
The island is located approximately 17 miles east of Puerto Rico. Also, the island is merely 12 miles west of Saint Thomas, which is a Caribbean island.  Extended in an area that is only a seven-mile-long, three-mile broad stretch, Culebra comprises 23 offshore islands. It is also is home to a number of comfortable tourist establishments operated by expats, making this one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in Puerto Rico.

#9- Isla Desecheo
Isla Desecheo is another one-of-a-kind Puetro Rican offshoot situated just off the west coast of the main island. Only 12 miles away from Rincón, Isla Desecheo is among the best places to visit in Puerto Rico for divers. This is due to its abundance of beautiful reefs and gentle waters, the picturesque waters at Isla Desecheo are calmer and the atmosphere is much more tranquil. In other words, it’s the perfect spot to soak up the natural splendor of the region.

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