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Puerto Rico tourist attractions you shouldn't miss

by Juan José Herranz | March 22, 2022
views from the sky of culebra island in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is often known as the ‘mecca’ for tourists, thanks to its plethora of diverse attractions! From ziplining through the wild rainforests, swimming in the crystal clear beaches to wandering through the deep underground caves, there is an adventure in every corner of Puerto Rico.

If you are planning to visit Puerto Rico, but wondering what to see there, check out our list of tourist attractions in Puerto Rico. We have also got some tips for traveling to Puerto Rico

Main Puerto Rico tourist attractions

Culebra Island 

Although Culebra is frequently referenced in the same breath as Vieques, this small island, with its beautiful beaches and lush hills, has a distinct personality. Ecotourism is quite popular on the island and several of the tourist sites are managed by foreigners.

Being only 7 miles long and 3 miles wide, it has 23 of its own offshore islands. In this island, there is one of the main Puerto Rico tourist attractions: Playa Flamenco. The water is pure and there are no waves, making it ideal for swimming and diving. Its coral reefs are awarded for being some of the best in all the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico tourist attractions: Culebra Island

Lighthouse of Cabo Rojo

The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse is situated on Route 301, above 200-foot limestone cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and provides stunning and 360-degree views of the sea.

The Los Morrillos Lighthouse (Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo), popularly known as "El Faro" by locals, was the Spanish's second lighthouse in Puerto Rico, built between 1881 and 1882.

Since then, it has served as a guide for ships crossing the southeast entrance from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Laden with history of the former times, this formidable structure is a symbol of strength and one of the main things to do in Puerto Rico. With numerous tunnels, dungeons, outposts and lawns to see, this 18 ft thick-walled fort is on the shore and provides a beautiful view of lapping waves and strong gusts of wind.

This is one of Puerto Rico attractions that offers tour guides. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm.

National Forest of El Yunque

El Yunque National Forest is one of the most popular Puerto Rico tourist attractions because it showcases Puerto Rico's rich inland splendor. El Yunque National Forest encompasses Pico El Yunque and the Luquillo Mountains.

Hikers can get a closer look at some of the 240 tree species and hundreds of plant species (50 orchid species alone), as well as an abundance of smaller creatures on walking pathways that wind through the forest.

It is also home to the only tropical rainforest in the US forest system. Filled with thousands of tree and plant species, this forest allows nature lovers to explore and observe wildlife and plantlife closer than ever.

Sloth in El Yunque National Forest Puerto Rico tourist attractions

More Puerto Rico attractions

Here are more of the most recommended tourist attractions in Puerto Rico:

Coffee Plantations in Puerto Rico

Touring around coffee plantations is one of the most interesting attractions in Puerto Rico. Haciendas cafetaleras offer guided tours where you can visit a coffee plantation and learn about planting, processing and roasting the beans. Some of the most popular haciendas are Hacienda Buenas Vista, Hacienda San Pedro and Hacienda Pomarrosa.

Local Puerto Rican food

Once in Puerto Rico, you must try Puerto Rican food or cocina criolla. Trying out some dishes like Mofongo, Pasteles, Lechón asado and arroz con gandules is one of the things to do in Puerto Rico.

Observatorio de Arecibo

For the stargazing and astronomy lovers, this astronomy observatory, under the authority of Cornell and the National Science Foundation, is one of the largest single-unit telescopes in the world. Scientists from all over the world are aided with the planetary radar data, radio astronomy and terrestrial aeronomy gathered by it. The telescope was featured in the movies GoldenEye (1995) and Contract (1997) and an episode of The X-Files.

Attracions in Puerto Rico sunset and sea Puerto Rico

Bioluminescent Bay and Vieques

Vieques, a popular beach resort eight miles from mainland Puerto Rico, has tiny, upper-end hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Following the withdrawal of the US Army from the island in 2003, Vieques shifted its priority to tourism.

Beautiful beaches are now complemented with high-quality tourism infrastructure, attracting both Puerto Ricans and international visitors who take the time to visit the island. There are no high-rise condo buildings or huge hotels in the area. All of these make Vieques one of the best vacation spots and tourist attractions in Puerto Rico.

Vieques is the most populous in the Spanish Virgin Islands, spanning twenty-one miles in length and five miles wide while maintaining a small-island vibe.

The Rio Camuy Caves

The Rio Camuy Cave Park is home to a massive cave system that spans 268 acres and is said to be the third-largest cave system in the world. A trolley bus brings visitors to Cueva Clara Empalme, a 200-foot-deep cave or sinkhole that is now a protected area.

With one of the largest cave networks in the world, these cathedral-like caverns have only been explored up to 11km yet. With picnic areas, food facilities, walking trails and an exhibition hall with a souvenir shop, this is the perfect place to spend a day with your peers or family. It is one of Puerto Rico tourist attractions you won't regret seeing in person.

Different rooms, some with extraordinarily high ceilings, stalagmites and stalactites, and rivers pouring along the base, can be found in the caverns. The best way to see and learn about the Cueva Clara Empalme is by taking a guided tour

One of the two tanks of Flamenco Beach

Seven Seas Beach

Seven Seas Beach is a secluded beach with calm, clear waters and excellent facilities, around 30 miles from San Juan. The beach is one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico and it is family-oriented, with picnic tables, restrooms, concession stands, and simple parking just steps from the sand.

Boats are not allowed in the roped-off swimming area. The western end of the beach is the most beautiful, whilst the east end may be rocky.