Are you considering a trip to Puerto Rico and wondering: is Puerto Rico worth visiting? If so, this article will help highlight the many things you can see and do when you visit Puerto Rico.
Some Facts About Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a beautiful island located in the Caribbean. It is a territory of the United States, making it an easy and convenient place to travel.
The culture of Puerto Rico is a mix of cultures shaped by the island’s unique history. The Spanish settlers, Indigenous Taino people, and enslaved Africans brought to the island helped shape the island’s food, music, dance, and culture.
This travel destination is rich in history and culture.
Is Puerto Rico Worth Visiting?
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There are so many reasons why Puerto Rico is worth visiting. From the majestic El Yunque rainforest to some of the best beaches in the world, bustling nightlife, and historic cobblestone streets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you are a couple, solo traveler, or family looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, Puerto Rico has something for you. Here are 30 reasons Puerto Rico is always worth visiting.
30 Reasons Why Puerto Rico Is Always Worth Visiting
1. You Don’t Have to Leave the U.S.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth, meaning it is a domestic travel destination. Since it is part of the United States, it is easy and convenient to get to for American travelers for various reasons we will cover in this article.
You can experience a Caribbean vacation and explore a unique culture without leaving the country! Many visitors need to realize how easy it is to travel to Puerto Rico!
2. You Don’t Need a Passport to Travel to Puerto Rico
Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth and a domestic travel destination, you do not need a passport since it is part of the United States. The no passport requirement makes it convenient for American travelers, especially if they do not have a passport! Not just that, but you will not waste precious vacation time standing in line at customs.
When you return, you will need to scan your bags through a U.S. agriculture line, but it is quick and easy!
3. You Don’t Need to Exchange Your Money
Another advantage you have as an American traveler to Puerto Rico is that you do not exchange your money for a different currency.
Unlike international travel, you won’t have to worry about how much your dollars are worth because the U.S. Dollar is the only currency in Puerto Rico. In addition, your debit and credit cards will work everywhere.
You can land and start your vacation without making any exchanges!
4. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting Because There is Something for Everyone
Puerto Rico is an island rich in history, culture, and many adventures for nature lovers. You will love exploring Old San Juan’s streets if you are a history buff. The nightlife does not disappoint, especially in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s bustling capital city.
Beach bums will fall in love with the lazy beach towns of the West Coast. However, anyone who loves hiking will be impressed by the trails throughout the island. Families will also find tons of kid-friendly activities.
There is something for everyone in Puerto Rico!
5. Explore the Rich Culture of Puerto Rico
Spanish, Indigenous, and African influences make up Puerto Rico’s culture. This blend of cultures helped create a rich culture. The island’s music, dances, dialect, and food reflect this beautiful mix.
Explore Puerto Rico’s rich culture by exploring the various museums, food tours, historical tours, and cultural experiences.
6. Explore Puerto Rico’s Colonial Old City
Old San Juan, in the Puerto Rican capital, is home to Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro), a Unesco world heritage site. El Morro is a massive fort dating back to the 16th century. You can visit the fort today and explore its military history.
Afterward, stroll Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets for a trip back in time. Plenty of walking tours are available if you want to learn more about this historical city.
7. Visit One of the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches
Culebra, an island off the Eastern coast of Puerto Rico, is home to Flamenco Beach. This beach has been voted year after year as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Travelers can expect powdery white sand lining clear turquoise water.
You can choose to stay the night in Culebra; there are hotels and Airbnb’s on the island, or you can make it a day trip! A ferry leaves Ceiba, on the east coast, daily for Culebra, and the trip is about 45 minutes long.
Choose a snorkel tour while in Culebra and spot some sea turtles along the way!
8. Have a Drink at One of the Best Bars in the World
La Factoria, located in Old San Juan, was named one of the best bars in North America and the world. This bar feels like a speakeasy and features different rooms with unique vibes. If you want a more lively atmosphere, head to the back room, where you can find live music and salsa dancing.
The drinks here are good. The bartenders are mixologists, and craft cocktails are their specialty. My favorite is the lavender mule!
9. Try Some of the Best Rum in the Caribbean
No trip to the Caribbean is complete without sampling some of the best rum in the world. While most tourists head for a tour of the Bacardí Distillery, plenty of other smaller, local brands are worth checking out.
If you want to get out of the city, head to La Destileria, an award-winning craft distillery serving artisanal rum, located about 2 hours from San Juan in the mountains of Jayuya.
10. Outdoor Adventures for Nature Lovers
Puerto Rico is the perfect destination for nature lovers. If you love the outdoors, Puerto Rico is worth visiting.
11. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting Because the Scenery is Gorgeous
When most people envision Puerto Rico, they probably see tropical beaches with swaying palm trees. But, while Puerto Rico has miles of coastline with some gorgeous beaches, there is so much more to the island’s scenery.
From the breathtaking mountains of the interior’s countryside to the beauty of El Yunque National Rainforest, Puerto Rico’s landscape will leave you in awe.
12. Visit One of the 5 Bioluminescent Bays in the World
Did you know that there are only five bioluminescent bays worldwide, and three are in Puerto Rico? The brightest is Mosquito Bay in Vieques. The others are in Fajardo and Lajas.
In a bio bay, the water appears to light up and glow because of microscopic organisms in the water. You can find tours that allow you to kayak or even swim and experience this unique phenomenon.
13. Ride the Longest Zipline in America
The Monstruo zip line at Toro Verde Adventure Park is an excellent activity for thrillseekers visiting Puerto Rico. Located in Orocovis, Puerto Rico, about an hour and twenty minutes from San Juan, it is worth the ride!
You will also find other less thrilling zip lines and ropes courses, so this is an excellent option for families and kids!
14. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting Because the Weather is Fabulous
Puerto Rico is a tropical island worth visiting if you love warmer climates and beach days. The average temperature is perfect for swimming and water activities year-round.
Even in the mountain regions, the days are typically warm, with cooler nights (but never below the mid-60s).
The only time it gets humid and rainy is the hurricane season from July-October, but rain is not constant, and you can still enjoy beach weather!
15. There is Great Local and Luxury Shopping
If you are looking for local crafts, check out Paseo de La Princesa in Old San Juan on Sundays or Rincon Art Walk in the Rincon Plaza every Thursday night if you are on the island’s west coast.
Plaza las Américas and the newly opened Mall of San Juan are shopping malls in the metro area with plenty of stores. You can find most stores you shop from at home at either mall. However, the Mall of San Juan is a bit more upscale if that is your thing!
16. There are Great Flight Deals to Puerto Rico
Due to its proximity to the States, Puerto Rico is a great travel destination if you are on a budget. You can usually find great travel options and flight deals from most local airports.
17. Visit the Only Rainforest in the US
El Yunque National Rainforest is a magical place with so much to see, do and explore. It is the ONLY tropical rainforest in the National Forest System.
You can hike to waterfalls, observe some of the highest peaks in Puerto Rico and take in the beautiful natural setting. I love the Juan de Diego falls for less experienced hikers or anyone traveling with kids!
You will not regret an excursion here!
18. Snorkel at Beautiful Beaches
There are so many great spots to snorkel in Puerto Rico. Of course, some of the best places are in Vieques, but you can also find great spots to snorkel on the main island.
Some local favorites include Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo, Crashboat Beach in Aguadilla, and La Parguera in Lajas. If you are in San Juan, Escambrón is an excellent choice- you may even get to spot some sea turtles!
19. Stay at Top-Rated Hotels, Resorts, and Inns
Puerto Rico has impressive resorts and hotels to choose from for your visit to the island. You can find everything from budget hostels to unique Airbnbs and luxury hotels.
Some of the best hotels are located in San Juan but don’t let that discourage you from exploring Puerto Rico outside of the city. There is a network of Paradores, or small locally owned inns, throughout the island to host you and provide you with a more authentic experience.
20. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting For Budget Travelers
Between affordable airfare, less pricey accommodations (like hostels, Paradores and Airbnb), and plenty of free things to do, Puerto Rico is the perfect travel destination for budget travelers.
You can easily find places to stay within any budget, and there is no better way to spend the day than beach hopping (usually free). You can also pack food and drinks to munch on or eat delicious street food from kiosks (typically found on most beaches).
21. Puerto Rico is Easy to Get Around
Puerto Rico is easy to navigate as an American. If you rent a car or use a ridesharing service (I love Aqui Coqui), you can use the GPS on your phone to travel around the island. The highways and streets are easy to drive on. The GPS is accurate and works just the way it does at home.
Uber is also popular on the island, especially in the San Juan Metro area. You will have no problem requesting rides and getting around!
22. Puerto Rico is Safe
Safety is something you rarely have to worry about when visiting Puerto Rico. As long as you use the same common sense precautions that you use in your home city, you will be safe.
I have driven all over the island and explored it without feeling unsafe. However, lock your rental cars, keep an eye on your belongings and avoid being out late in isolated areas.
The best part about traveling to Puerto Rico is how safe it is to explore!
23. Puerto Rico is Safe for Solo travel/Solo Female Travelers
Because Puerto Rico is safe and how easy it is to travel around the island, it is a great place for solo travelers. Women traveling alone can also expect to be safe and respected.
The people are kind and welcoming, and it will be unusual for you to feel uncomfortable during your travels. However, use common sense and be alert, and you will have the trip of a lifetime.
24. Puerto Rico is as Relaxing or Exciting as you prefer
Puerto Rico is worth traveling to because you can create experiences as relaxing or as exciting as you prefer. So whether you enjoy relaxing on an empty beach or want to dance the night away in the streets of San Juan, you can tailor your trip to your desires.
The interior of the island and the beaches outside of San Juan are perfect for a low-key trip full of relaxation. However, head to San Juan if you want busier beaches and bustling nightlife.
25. Puerto Rico is Great for Families
There are so many things for kids to do in Puerto Rico, making it an excellent travel destination for families because there is much more to the island than nightlife!
Whether splashing by the pool, checking out surfing classes or kayaking in the Condado Lagoon, the kids will love exploring the outdoors. In addition, they can pick up some Spanish and try some new foods, which is always one of my daughter’s favorite parts of traveling.
26. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting Because the People are Amazing
It is hard to find a travel destination with more welcoming and happy locals than Puerto Rico. On your trip, you will meet some of the kindest, most humble, and most fun people!
Puerto Ricans will welcome you with open arms!
27. Puerto Rico is Known for Some of the Best Music & Dancing in the World
Salsa music is one of the best-known genres to come out of the island, and you will find plenty of places to dance while on your trip! Also, you will hear Bad Bunny and Reggaeton music everywhere you go.
If you are interested in dancing to local music, head to La Placita de Santurce (La Placita). La Placita is a market by day but at night turns into one of the hottest areas on the island, and if you want to dance all night at bars and nightclubs, head here!
28. English is Widely Spoken in Puerto Rico
As Americans, traveling to Puerto Rico can be less challenging than traveling to other Latin American countries because many Puerto Ricans speak some English or understand it.
Knowing Spanish when navigating the island is still helpful, especially outside San Juan. But if you find yourself stuck and struggling to communicate, finding someone to help translate is easy.
29. Puerto Rico is Worth Visiting Because the Food is Delicious
Puerto Rico features some of the best foods in the Caribbean. The cuisine combines Spanish, Indigenous, and African ingredients, cooking techniques, and dishes.
Mofongo, made of fried mashed plantains stuffed with different meats, is a dish you must try while visiting Puerto Rico.
There are also really great seafood restaurants along the coast of the island.
30. Support the Local Economy
Visiting Puerto Rico is a great way to support the local economy. While on your trip, stay at a Parador (a local inn) or an Airbnb a Puerto Rican owns.
There are also many locally-owned restaurants and shops to choose from while visiting. It is easy to dine or shop at places you are used to choosing at home but being in a new place is a great time to step outside of your comfort zone!
Is Puerto Rico Worth Visiting After Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Fiona?
Puerto Rico is worth visiting despite the recent hurricanes that have hit the island. The people of Puerto Rico have worked hard to help the island recover. As a result, the island is open and ready for tourism.
Wrap Up: Is Puerto Rico Worth Visiting?
Yes, without any doubt, there is so much to see and do on this beautiful Caribbean island. You will find some of the best people, food, sights, beaches, and adventures during your trip to Puerto Rico!
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Puerto Rico today!