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On the lookout for some enjoyable issues to do in Puerto Rico so as to add a singular twist to your Caribbean getaway?
Consider Puerto Rico and you might be considering of palm-tree-lined seashores, piña coladas, and splendid resorts. And people are some fairly good causes to ebook a vacation to the USA’s most tropical territory!
However that doesn’t imply there aren’t loads of enjoyable issues to maintain you busy in between all that chilling out! That is an island that’s brimming with wealthy and vibrant tradition, fascinating historical past, and a very adventurous spirit – providing the right mix of leisure and enjoyable.
Delve into the island’s tradition with a local-led tour or a Bomba dancing demonstration. Uncover the unimaginable native delicacies, or go bar-hopping across the vibrant streets of Outdated San Juan. Or, indulge your adventurous spirit amidst Puerto Rico’s vibrant pure magnificence with climbing, mountain street journeys, or the longest zip line in the Americas.
No matter you’re into, you’ll discover a plethora of each distinctive and enjoyable issues to do in your Puerto Rico trip. Take pleasure in…
My journey was partly supported by Uncover Puerto Rico as a part of their #LiveBoricua marketing campaign. All phrases and opinions are my very own.
Enjoyable and Distinctive Issues to do in Puerto Rico
Add a splash of enjoyable to your trip in Puerto Rico with these superior actions…
1 – Kayak in a Metropolis Centre on Condado Lagoon
Do you know you may kayak with manatees with out leaving the town of San Juan? Condado Lagoon (Laguna del Condado) lies proper within the metropolis centre, between the swanky accommodations of Condado and the funky, street-art-strewn neighbourhood of Miramar.
Hire a kayak or SUP from VIP Adventures, or ebook a spot on one in all their guided excursions, and hit the waters to discover the fantastic mix of pure and concrete landscapes of Condado Lagoon.
Spot pelicans and different birdlife as you paddle across the mangrove-lined lake, with the town centre towers offering a shocking city backdrop.
Should you get fortunate, you might even spot a Caribbean Manatee! The species is endemic to Puerto Rico, and the mild giants sometimes go to Condado Lagoon to eat the seagrass which grows there.
2 – Trip the Longest Zipline in America!
Within the temper for journey? In Puerto Rico, one of the distinctive issues to do is to take an exhilarating trip on the longest zipline in America!
El Monstruo (The Monster) at Toro Verde journey park has a 2.5km (2530m, 8300ft, 1.57mile) cable. Should you want a visible, that’s apparently equal to twenty-eight soccer fields! I can inform you: it’s LONG. I ran out of screams earlier than I used to be even a 3rd of the best way throughout!
You may solely do the zipline face down (superman-style). You’ll lie in a full-body harness dealing with downwards, holding onto the straps at your again, and shoot throughout a mountain valley.
Whizzing throughout the winding rivers and luxurious forests manner beneath is one hell of a rush. The zipline can attain speeds of as much as 95mph, and is over 380m above the bottom in some spots. So this not an exercise for the faint-hearted. However for adrenaline-pumping thrills, this journey is a should in your Puerto Rico itinerary.
3 – Farm to Desk Expertise at Frutos del Guacabo
Certainly one of my favorite discoveries in Puerto Rico was our farm tour and brunch at Frutas del Guacabo. This can be a attractive little hydroponic farm and store about an hour from San Juan.
Angelie Martinez based Frutos del Guacabo 12 years in the past. Right this moment, her small-but-mighty hydroponic farm is on the coronary heart of an island-wide motion in direction of recent, native, and sustainable gastronomy.
The farm’s greens and different merchandise are used at among the island’s high eating places. For an island that beforehand imported as much as 90% of its meals, this new development towards locally-sourced components seems like a vital step on the street to sustainability.
Go to Frutos del Guacabo for a guided tour. You’ll study somewhat extra about native vegatables and fruits, and may even strive your hand at milking the goats!
Then, take pleasure in a scrumptious farm-to-table meal to pattern the homegrown and selfmade goodies – together with recent goats cheese, which they make every day. I might have eaten a whole block of the stuff – SO GOOD!
4 – Discover the Solely Rainforest within the USA
Puerto Rico is residence to the solely rainforest within the USA’s Nationwide Forest system, in order that’s definitely a singular addition to your trip itinerary.
El Yunque Nationwide Forest lies within the northeast of the island. At just below 29,000 acres, it’s one of many smallest Nationwide Forests. However, as a tropical rainforest boasting over 240 species of native timber, it’s additionally one of the biodiverse!
Throughout the lush inexperienced landscapes of this unimaginable space, you’ll discover a number of climbing trails. Discover dense forests stuffed with distinctive wildlife – together with Puerto Rico’s nationwide animal, the coqui (a type of tree frog). Choose a path that results in one in all El Yunque’s waterfalls, comparable to Coca Falls or La Mina Falls. For one thing brief and candy, take the 15-minute paved Angelito strolling path all the way down to a swimming spot on the Rio Mameyes.
You may go to El Yunque and not using a information. There are quite a few trails, and lots of of them are simple to observe. However I do advocate taking a guided tour in your first go to. It’s a good way to study extra in regards to the forest’s wildlife, and it’s a lot simpler having another person organise your go to! There are many guided excursions in El Yunque Nationwide Forest:
5 – Take a Meals Tour in Outdated San Juan
Certainly one of my favorite actions in Puerto Rico’s capital was exploring Outdated San Juan on a improbable meals and cocktails tour with The Spoon Expertise.
Our information, Pablo, is perhaps probably the most enthusiastic information I’ve ever had. I don’t suppose I’ve ever learnt a lot in such a brief house of time (while ingesting so many cocktails)!
We explored the colorful streets of the Outdated City, studying how the town’s historical past and the island’s melting-pot tradition have influenced Puerto Rican delicacies.
A mix of Taíno (indigenous Caribbean folks), Spanish, and different influences – the delicacies actually tells the story of how the island developed. It’s the right excuse to eat as a lot as attainable – one thing Spoon are MORE than completely satisfied to assist with!
I genuinely can’t advocate this tour sufficient. Such an attention-grabbing approach to delve into the native tradition and delicacies, with so many scrumptious meals to strive alongside the best way. Don’t miss it!
6 – Hire a Jeep to Drive the Ruta Panoramica
Should you fancy getting out of the town, there are some wonderful street journeys round Puerto Rico. The most effective is the La Ruta Panorámica Luis Muñoz Marín (the Panoramic Route): a 167-mile-long street community crossing by the central mountain vary.
These winding mountain roads are the right setting for an adventurous street journey. Count on steep mountains and breathtaking views, passing by rural farmland and distant cities that you just may not in any other case get to go to.
It’s not at all times simple going! There are typically sheer cliffs alongside the street, in addition to hairpin turns, quick drivers, vehicles, and fast-changing climate. That stated, the roads are in fairly good situation and are typically two lanes, so driving the Panoramic Street isn’t too powerful!
If you would like a real journey – and a neater drive – I like to recommend hiring a jeep. We employed one for the day, utilizing Uncover Automobiles to seek out the most effective value, and it was such a enjoyable expertise. Undoubtedly a lot better for dealing with these bumpy, winding mountain roads!
7 – Evening Kayak within the World’s Brightest Bioluminescent Bay
One factor I want I’d been in a position to do in Puerto Rico is to go to one of many bioluminescent bays at night time. Sadly, I simply didn’t have time on this journey (an ideal purpose to return!).
There’s nothing fairly just like the surreal expertise of witnessing bioluminescence in motion. This fascinating phenomenon is attributable to microscopic organisms referred to as dinoflagellates, which create a neon blue “glow at midnight” impact when stimulated by motion.
Puerto Rico is residence to a few bioluminescent bays, together with the brightest on the planet. Mosquito Bay lies on the close by island of Vieques. The large focus of dinoflagellates right here, mixed with the dearth of surrounding gentle air pollution, creates a captivatingly vibrant gentle present on the bay!
Though you may go to Mosquito Bay unaccompanied, it’s fairly out of the best way. Plus, nighttime paddling ought to solely be tried by skilled kayakers. So reserving a kayaking tour of Mosquito Bay is the easiest way to expertise the unbelievable spectacle of bioluminescence. Click on right here to match costs.
Nearer to San Juan, Laguna Grande in Fajardo is way simpler to succeed in, so is a extra in style spot for bioluminescent recognizing. Click on right here to test the most recent costs for kayaking excursions.
8 – Uncover Bomba Dancing
Brazil has Samba, Cuba has Rumba… and Puerto Rico has Bomba! This was the unique native music of Puerto Rico, created within the sugar plantations by slaves over 400 years in the past.
Bomba is the title of the percussion-driven music, but additionally the dance that goes together with it. Each have been influenced by Taino (native), African, and European cultures.
In bomba, the dancer units the rhythm for the musicians relatively than the opposite manner round. The result’s relatively like a dialog between the dancer and the lead musician.
You should definitely catch a bomba present – and even strive your hand at studying among the dance strikes – whilst you’re in Puerto Rico. There are a number of spots that supply common performances, comparable to La Vergüenza in Outdated San Juan.
9 – Eat your manner alongside the Lechón Path
One dish you completely should strive in Puerto Rico (until you’re vegetarian) is lechón. This can be a complete roasted pork which has been cooked for a number of hours – normally over an open flame – leading to crispy pores and skin and tender, juicy meat.
Though you would possibly be capable of discover lechón in San Juan, sometimes this can be a dish that may solely be present in Puerto Rico’s countryside. So, it is advisable to hit the street and head to the Ruta del Lechón (lechón path) in Guavate.
Route 184 is lined with roadside lechoneras, all of them serving this unmissable pork dish, together with conventional sides comparable to rice and beans or mofongo (a plantain dish).
Begin at Lechonera Los Amigos and work your manner up the mountain following Route 184. Relying in your urge for food, you may name at as many lechoneras as you want alongside the best way. Among the many finest is the Lechonera Los Pinos, which Anthony Bourdain stated was the most effective roast pork he ever had!
10 – ATV Journey
One of the crucial in style excursions in Puerto Rico is this ATV Journey at Campo Rico Ranch – and it’s fairly simple to see why. That is one other factor I sadly didn’t have time for on my journey and I actually remorse not attempting it. The tour seems superior!
Hop onto a strong ATV for an exhilarating, fast-paced tour of the countryside of a personal ranch exterior of San Juan.
Uncover the native wildlife as you wheel previous lagoons and limestone rock formations with gorgeous mountain views as you go. Sounds enjoyable, proper? Click on right here to seek out out extra.
11 – Journey Deeper with Native Visitor
Lengthy-time readers of this weblog will know I’m an enormous fan of “deep journey“. Basically, that simply means going past the highest vacationer sights and delving into the native tradition. And if you wish to journey deeper in Puerto Rico, you want the fab tour firm Native Visitor.
They organise genuine journey experiences, working hand in hand with native communities and entrepreneurs, to supply some actually distinctive experiences in Puerto Rico.
Excursions embrace a conventional pottery workshop that gives an perception into the island’s Taino heritage, and a Mindfulness Stroll in El Yunque with a licensed forest remedy information.
There are additionally quite a few volunteering and studying alternatives on supply, like restoring ecosystems in San Juan or engaged on a historic hacienda (farm). The right approach to immerse your self within the communities and tradition of Puerto Rico, and lend a serving to hand on the similar time.
12 – Bar Hopping in Outdated San Juan
Do you know piña coladas had been born in Puerto Rico? Two bars in San Juan declare to have invented them: it was both the Caribe Hilton in 1954, or the funky Barrachina in 1963. Both manner, the town was positively the birthplace of one of many world’s hottest cocktails.
I like to recommend heading to each the “birthplaces” to pattern the “unique” piña colada, simply in case! Whilst you’re at it, be sure you bar hop your manner across the vibrant streets of Outdated San Juan.
There are a great deal of nice watering holes to select from, from stylish dive bars serving native craft beer to quirky cocktail bars. Listed here are a couple of of my favorite discoveries…
- La Factoria – In all probability Puerto Rico’s most well-known cocktail bar, this gritty-but-cool membership includes a warren of rooms, with totally different decor and music kinds in every. It at the moment ranks at #12 on the 50Best listing of North America’s 50 Finest Bars.
- Singular – order a Painkiller, a boozey new twist on the traditional twist on piña colada.
- Deavurdura – a laid-back native eatery with easy rum and fruit juice cocktails.
- Aqui se Puede – a preferred native bar identified for its handmade cocktails, hipster vibes, and nice meals.
- Taberna Lupulo – identified for native and imported craft beers. At any time when a brand new beer comes out in Puerto Rico, it will get showcased right here!
Getting Round Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a reasonably small island, so getting round in all fairness simple. Public transport isn’t nice, although. So if you wish to go to a couple of totally different areas, your finest wager is to hire a automobile.
Automobile: Renting a automobile is certainly probably the most handy approach to get round Puerto Rico. Should you’re planning on exploring the mountain roads, a jeep or 4WD car is perhaps a good suggestion, however not strictly crucial.
Smaller vehicles begin from round $40-50 per day, with jeeps extra like $80-100. You would possibly be capable of get a reduced value for leases of a number of days or extra. I like to recommend utilizing Uncover Automobiles to match costs throughout a number of automobile rental firms. Click on right here to see newest costs for an thought of what to anticipate.
The most important headache for exploring PR by automobile would be the visitors, particularly round bigger cities. Attempt to time your journeys to keep away from rush hour visitors for leaving/coming into cities.
Bus: There’s probably not a proper public bus system in Puerto Rico. As an alternative, there are públicos, a type of native bus system working on set routes. It’s fairly budget-friendly, however there are not any official timetables so figuring issues out by yourself is perhaps difficult. Talking somewhat Spanish will certainly assist.
Should you don’t drive and don’t wish to depend on the unpredictable públicos, there are different choices.
Uber/Taxi: Most bigger cities in Puerto Rico have Uber, so for shorter journeys that is by far the best approach to get round. You may additionally be capable of use an Uber for an extended journey and organize a time for the driving force to choose you as much as return. Alternatively, ask your lodge to ebook you a taxi for each legs of your journey.
Excursions and Personal Transfers: It’s also possible to organize personal transfers, or ebook excursions that embrace lodge pickup. For example, this personal switch from the airport to your lodging in San Juan begins from round $83.50 per group. For excursions, I at all times use GetYourGuide – it’s really easy to ebook they usually normally have the most effective costs. Click on right here to go looking all their Puerto Rico excursions.
The place to Keep in Puerto Rico
The place to remain in Puerto Rico will depend on what sort of vacation you’re searching for. If you wish to be proper by the seaside, there are a number of attractive choices. But when it’s your first time to the island, I’d advocate basing your self in San Juan.
The capital metropolis makes a super base for exploring the remainder of the island. There’s additionally hundreds to see and do within the metropolis itself, together with Outdated San Juan and the historic citadel. Plus, there are a great deal of bars and eating places to maintain you busy in between sightseeing.
I stayed on the Condado Vanderbilt Resort in San Juan. It’s in an ideal location close to Condado Lagoon, inside simple attain of Outdated San Juan and among the metropolis’s finest nightlife spots. Count on old school grandeur within the foyer and rooms, and impeccable service.
The spotlight, although, is the pool. Or, swimming pools, as there are a number of to select from – together with a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Excellent for unwinding after a protracted day exploring Puerto Rico!
Are you able to consider any extra enjoyable and distinctive issues to do in Puerto Rico? Scroll down to go away a remark!