Puerto Rico is one of the best destinations to visit in the Caribbean. Being a US Territory, Puerto Rico is one of the easiest Caribbean islands to visit. Americans don’t even need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. There is no better time to book a flight to enjoy its unspoiled beaches, delicious Puerto Rican cuisine, romantic architecture, and tropical rainforests. But before you do, let’s take look at the best places to stay in Puerto Rico.
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Top Places to Stay in Puerto Rico
Let us find your perfect match. Whether you want a central location where you can visit museums and historical attractions or a remote base to spot sea turtles and beautiful sunsets. Puerto Rico has various areas – each with its own distinct character, accommodation options, and reasons for staying. Without further ado, these are the best places to stay in Puerto Rico.
1. Old San Juan
Why you should stay in Old San Juan: History
Old San Juan is the most historic district of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city. It has a rich history, dating back to the 16th century, and is home to major attractions like Catedral Basilica Menor de San Juan Bautista and Museo de las Américas. Old San Juan is packed with photogenic protected buildings and Puerto Rican history, with plenty of museums, galleries, and heritage sites to keep you entertained.
You can walk cobbled streets between colorful houses and sightsee ancient city walls and fortresses like San Cristobal. Old San Juan offers that postcard experience of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico’s culture.
Old San Juan might be one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico for history, but it also has a few more strings to its bow. Located on Puerto Rico’s north coast, Old San Juan is not far from sandy beaches, so you can relax and sightsee. Condado Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Old San Juan.
Where to stay in Old San Juan
Luxury: Hotel El Convento
Hotel El Convento is where to stay in Old San Juan for an upscale experience. This luxury hotel is a four-star property with stellar guest feedback. Located opposite the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, the hotel is an inspiring base for your stay in Puerto Rico. Room choices include suites with whirlpool tubs, and facilities include a rooftop terrace with a hot tub and plunge pool, gym, and massage services. See rates and availability on Booking.com
Mid-Range: Navona Studios Guest House
Navona Studios Guest House is a modestly priced guesthouse in a Spanish colonial-style property right in the middle of Old San Juan. Rooms are smartly decorated in a trendy, modern style, and some offer wrought iron balconies with street views. Guests receive access to a rooftop terrace with views over Old San Juan and sun loungers for sunbathing with privacy. Check out rates and availability on Booking.com
Budget: Fortaleza Guest House
Fortaleza Guest House is a three-star hotel in the center of Old San Juan. The location is unrivaled, and you are just a short walk away from many attractions like the Castillo San Cristobal Fortress – a former Spanish garrison. Guests get access to a communal kitchen and terrace. You can also splash out on balcony rooms overlooking Calle de la Fortaleza below. See reviews on TripAdvisor
VRBO: Modern Loft in Old San Juan
This VRBO property is a stunning accommodation choice right next to San Sebastian – a historical street in the center of the capital city. The loft has a queen bed, smart tv, a kitchen, and a cozy seating area. This is an excellent spot if you want a homely place to stay in Old San Juan.
Things to do in Old San Juan
- San Felipe del Morro
- Paseo de La Princesa
- Check out the Puerto Rico museum scene
2. Vieques Island
Why you should stay on Vieques Island: Paradisical atmosphere
Vieques Island is nothing short of dream-worthy. The island is located a short 30-minute ferry ride off the east coast of Puerto Rico. The island is full of natural beauty – from wild horses to bioluminescent waters and some of Puerto Rico’s best beaches. Its sand beaches are the most striking part of the island, and the colors range from so white that they appear silver to black sand beaches. Its paradisiacal atmosphere has earned it a top place in our guide. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, Vieques Island should be at the top of your list.
Vieques Island is a fantastic add-on experience to at least a few days on Puerto Rico’s main island. Lots of the activities complement each other. For example, you could walk with wild horses on a black sand beach on Vieques Island and then go horseback riding at Hacienda Buena Vista on the main island. We recommend Vieques Island for those who want to experience the mainland and then escape on peaceful days on a tropical Caribbean island.
Where to stay on Vieques Island
Luxury: Hix Island Hotel
Hix Island Hotel is a dreamy base on Vieques Island. This luxury hotel is set on 13 acres of private jungle and offers deluxe apartments with homely amenities like kitchens and sofa areas. Powered partially by solar panels, Hix Island Hotel has a real environmentally friendly appeal. You can enjoy jungle views from your apartment and the outdoor pool. See reviews and availability
Mid-Range: The Vieques Guesthouse
The Vieques Guesthouse is just a few hundred meters from Coconut Beach. If you want a beach house experience, this guesthouse is as close as it gets and only charges a modest price per night. The guesthouse has free wifi, parking, and a shared lounge area. You can also opt for a continental breakfast each morning. See more on Booking.com
Budget: Seagate Hotel
Vieques Island isn’t exactly known for being budget-friendly. However, Seagate Hotel is the island’s most reasonably priced accommodation choice. To help stick to a budget, choose one of the rooms over the suites. And otherwise, just enjoy the extra luxuries like complimentary breakfast and a communal rooftop. See more details on TripAdvisor
VRBO: Cottage with a Private Pool Bar
This property is an ideal adult getaway. The cottage sleeps two people in a vast master bedroom with connecting en suite. It also features a spacious kitchen and living area, but the winning quality is the private outdoor living space. Guests have a large outdoor patio with a private pool and exclusive access to a pool bar, where you can catch the sunset and make your own cocktails.
Things to do on Vieques Island
- Kayak in Mosquito Bay
- Walk with wild horses on Black Sand Beach
- Vieques National Wildlife Refuge
Why you should stay in Rincon: Surfing
Rincon is a little beach town on the west coast of Puerto Rico. It has a laidback atmosphere and friendly vibe that has earned it a place on our list. Rincon is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico for its beautiful beaches. However, some are best suited to surfing and sunbathing rather than swimming. It is also known for its surfer bars and beautiful sunset happy hours. Rincon is for you if you want a base in Puerto Rico where you can spend your days surfing and making new friends.
While you’ll have to venture out of Rincon for any significant sightseeing, the town has a few attractions. The Rincon Art Walk is an excellent attraction to explore for an hour. Rincon is also just a fifteen-minute drive from the Piramide de Aguada.
Where to stay in Rincon
Luxury: Sunset Paradise Villas
Sunset Paradise Villas is gorgeous. The property offers luxury villas with private terraces and ocean views in every villa. Guests then access a jacuzzi and rooftop pool with an infinity view over the Caribbean Sea. Sunrise Paradise Villas have thought of everything. There’s even an option to rent complimentary sea kayaks. Check out rates and availability here.
Mid-Range: Que Chevere Hotel
Que Chevere Hotel is an excellent mid-range option in Rincon, and the facilities are fantastic, with a shared kitchen, terrace, garden, and concierge services. Some rooms come with these facilities privately, with in-room kitchenettes and terraces. Que Chevere Hotel is just 650 meters from the beach if you need any more persuading. See rates and availability here.
Budget: Rincon Surf House
Rincon Surf House offers tastefully decorated dormitory rooms with free wifi just steps away from the beach. As its name suggests, it is the perfect base for surfers seeking low-cost, sociable accommodation. You can make new friends at the onsite bar when you aren’t surfing. Check rates and reviews.
VRBO: Oceanfront Unit with Direct Beach Access
This VRBO unit is an ocean lover’s paradise, and how better to celebrate being in the surfer town of Rincon than staying in an oceanfront unit. You have direct access to Steps Beach, just minutes from the marina. You can enjoy ocean views privately, too, relaxing in your patio area – perhaps swinging in your personal hammock.
Things to do in Rincon
- Visit Domes Beach
- Rent a surfboard or take a surfing lesson
- Catch happy hour at a local surfer bar
Why you should stay in Ponce: Spanish Colonial architecture and a quieter San Juan alternative
Ponce’s architecture and history might make it seem a smaller, less exciting version of San Juan. To a certain extent, Ponce is a second city and is excellent for those who want a quieter alternative to the busy capital city. However, Ponce also has some titles of its own. The city is nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the South’ and ‘Museum City’ after its wealth of historical and cultural attractions. The sheer amount of fantastic attractions and things to do in Ponce means it deserves a spot on this list. Plus, it has plenty of photogenic Spanish colonial architecture.
You could spend your days exploring the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Parque de Bombas (a fire station museum), and the Centro Ceremonial Indigena de Tibes (ruins from indigenous Pre-Colombian cultures). And, when you are finished with museums and history, there are beaches like Balneario El Tuque to enjoy.
Where to stay in Ponce
Luxury: Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort has the epitome of Caribbean resort luxuries, and the luxury hotel is set along the beachfront and offers direct access to a quiet public beach. Further facilities include a 27-hole golf course, casino, outdoor pool, gym, tennis courts, and a range of onsite eateries.
Mid-Range: Hotel Belgica
Hotel Belgica is a stunning boutique hotel with mid-range, modest room prices. The hotel has an elegant architectural style and interior decor, and you can expect refined luxuries like balconies in some rooms. Charming and top-rated by guest feedback, Hotel Belgica is a great mid-range option when staying in Ponce.
Budget: Motel El Eden
Motel El Eden is located just outside Ponce and is a little pricey for the budget-friendly sector. However, it is the best property if you want good reviews and the lowest possible price. Guests receive free parking and use of an outdoor pool. Rooms are spacious and clean – what more could you want?
VRBO: Chandelier Adorned Studio in Central Ponce
This studio is luxury at its finest and if you want a high-quality VRBO getaway, take a look here. While only one bedroom, the studio has a pullout queen sofa bed, so it can sleep up to four people. The interior is elegantly decorated with chandeliers and finery, and guests can enjoy a private balcony overlooking the street below.
Things to do in Ponce
- Plaza las Delicias
- Parque de Bombas
- Centro Ceremonial Indigena de Tibes
5. Isla Verde
Why you should stay in Isla Verde: Resort atmosphere
Isla Verde is a glitzy beach resort neighborhood just outside of the San Juan city center. It has that typical urban coast appeal, with high-rise luxury hotels, water sports galore, and a constant buzz of nightlife and hospitality. Isla Verde is where to stay in Puerto Rico if you want to experience Puerto Rica’s culture but mostly relax with a beach resort atmosphere. You’ll spend your days partying, enjoying parasailing and jet skiing, and hitting up casinos and flashy local restaurants.
Because of the number of restaurants, Isla Verde is an excellent place to sample Puerto Rican cuisine. It has lots of Puerto Rican delicacies on offer. You can check out our guide on the best Puerto Rican dishes to try when you visit. It is also worth noting that Isla Verde is conveniently located near the San Juan airport, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. This is where to stay in Puerto Rico for ease and indulgence – qualities that bagged a spot in our guide.
Where to stay in Isla Verde
Luxury: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is a five-star hotel with serious style, and the outdoor pool is surrounded by palm trees and sun loungers and overlooks the Caribbean Sea. And the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel has some fantastic facilities, including a spa, gym, and onsite restaurant. Each room has luxuries like seating areas and coffee machines.
Mid-Range: MOOD HAUS by DW
MOOD HAUS by DW is relatively new on the scene and offers retro-style apartments that range from studios to two-bedroom units. Expect bold, funky colors in a flashback to the 70s and 80s. If you want a mid-range hotel that makes a statement – MOOD HAUS by DW is your best bet.
Budget: Normada Urban Beach Hostel
Normada Urban Beach Hostel is an adults-only hostel set amid Isla Verde’s chaos. Guests can access a communal lounge, garden, terrace, and barbeque facilities. Normada Urban Beach Hostel is a comfortable, fun place to stay when on a budget in Isla Verde.
VRBO: Modern Luxury Studio With Beach Access
This studio is one of the most popular VRBO properties in Isla Verde. The studio is decorated in white for a clean, minimalistic look and features a balcony with ocean views. Guests access a private beach section, a shared pool, a basketball court, and a garden. The property also has 24/7 security guards, which is a reassuring bonus.
Things to do in Isla Verde Me
- Isla Verde Beach
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
- Hit the casino
6. Rio Grande
Why you should stay in Rio Grande: Adventure
Rio Grande is an unassuming town situated in northeast Puerto Rico. Don’t be fooled by its modest location and size; the Rio Grande is where to stay in Puerto Rico for adventure. The town’s name translates as the great or big river. You’ll find tons of beautiful waterfalls dotted around the town – accessible via scenic hiking trails. The best include La Coca Falls and Juan Diego Falls. Of course, you also have El Yunque National Forest on your doorstep. It is worth dedicating a full day or two to hiking through the tropical rainforest, admiring the scenery, rare trees, and wildlife. The most adventurous of you may even wish to camp there overnight.
Rio Grande is the place for you if you love all things outdoors and were drawn to Puerto Rico because of its tropical wildlife and adventures. It’s easily one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico. Access to the great outdoors puts it head and shoulders above most Puerto Rican tourist destinations.
Where to stay in the Rio Grande
Luxury: The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
St Regis Bahia Beach Resort is a five-star property in Rio Grande and the ideal luxury getaway. Guests access a spa, gym, golf course, tennis courts, pool with ocean views, and a watersports center. Each room has pool, garden, or sea views from a private terrace, and each room is spacious and well-decorated. The resort even organizes excursions like hiking trips into the jungle.
Mid-Range: The Rainforest Inn Bed & Breakfast
The Rainforest Inn Bed & Breakfast is located just outside Rio Grande but an easy drive into the town center. The B&B is situated in the middle of the jungle on the outskirts of El Yunque National Forest.
Budget: Dos Aguas
Dos Aguas is a relaxed and traditional B&B just outside of Rio Grande. Run by a helpful and friendly couple, the property is a pleasant budget-friendly stay in Rio Grande. Guests can access hammocks, an onsite bar, a kitchen, and bamboo forest scenery. Dos Aguas is eco-friendly and light on your pocket – the dream combination.
VRBO: A Stunning Beachfront Ocean Villa
This VRBO villa is a luxury property in a gated community and gives guests access to all communal facilities. You could be playing golf on one of two 18-hole golf courses, bathing in one of four pools, or playing tennis on the property’s private courts. There’s also a casino and spa. The villa itself is large and spacious, sleeping up to six people.
Things to do in Rio Grande
- Visit El Yunque National Forest
- Hike to a waterfall
- Go go-karting
Why you should stay in Dorado: Luxury
Dorado is where to stay in Puerto Rico for luxury. The small beach town is not unlike Rincon in size and layout. It has the same quiet, relaxed atmosphere. It is also located along the coast, with plenty of beach culture and surfing opportunities. The critical difference is that Dorado primarily caters to a luxury crowd. Rather than surfer bars with happy hours, you’ll find golf courses and beachfront resorts. It has a quiet glamor that is perfect for relaxing luxury getaways.
When you like sightseeing, you can head into San Juan in just a 30-minute drive. Take advantage of La Bahia del Ojo del Buey, as the small coastal reserve has some stunning walks and cliffside views of unusual rock formations, a sandy beach, and the Caribbean Sea.
Where to stay in Dorado
Luxury: Residences at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Residences at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – This luxury hotel is heaven on earth and epitomizes Dorado’s luxury slant. It features multiple outdoor pools, a golf course, a fitness center, and a selection of onsite gourmet restaurants. Some rooms even feature private plunge pools. If you want to splash out in Dorado, Residences at Dorado Beach is the place to be.
Mid-Range: Aquarius Vacation Club Dorado del Mar
Aquarius Vacation Club Dorado del Mar offers well-priced mid-range accommodation in beachfront condos. The property features an outdoor pool complete with a bar, plus extra facilities like a gym and kitchens in select condos. You can splash out on ocean view suites or keep it simple with a studio option.
Budget: Viento Beach Lodge
Sticking to a budget isn’t exactly Dorado’s ethos, but Viento Beach Lodge is the cheapest place in the area. Guests receive access to free parking, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub, as well as a choice of spacious rooms. Comfortable and simplistic, Viento Beach Lodge is the best budget-friendly place to stay in Dorado.
VRBO: Two Bedroom Apartment With Private Jacuzzi
This two-bedroom apartment sleeps up to four guests. It offers a private garden terrace, complete with a hammock and jacuzzi. You can walk straight out your door to Dorado Beach, so this accommodation is beachfront. Parking for one vehicle is included, and the apartment is set within an exclusive gated community.
Things to do in Dorado
- Dorado Beach, aka Ojo del Buey Beach
- Historia de Dorado
- Play a round of golf
Why you should stay in Fajardo: Water activities
Fajardo is a city on Puerto Rico’s, eastern coast. The city is where to stay in Puerto Rico for all things water-related. Whether you want to go scuba diving with manatees, sea turtles, and dolphins, visit bioluminescent waters or try sailing. Considering all this, the fact that Fajardo is home to the Puerto Del Rey marina won’t surprise you. Even Fajardo’s main beach, Seven Seas Beach, is dotted by moored sailboats. This city comes hand-in-hand with ocean adventures and an oceanfront lifestyle. It is no wonder that it earned a place on our list.
Apart from all the ocean-related things to do, Fajardo is not too far from Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park. You are just a 20-minute drive from El Yunque National Forest. You can indulge in land adventures with hiking, wildlife watching, and waterfall-chasing opportunities galore.
Where to stay in Fajardo
Luxury: El Conquistador Resort
El Conquistador Resort is how to experience Fajardo in style. This luxury hotel is sat on a 300-foot cliff overlooking the ocean. It is on an expanse of private acreage, including an 18-hole golf course. Guests can enjoy a section of private beach and a massive outdoor pool with a poolside bar. El Conquistador Resort is the ideal place to unwind.
Mid-Range: Fajardo Inn
Fajardo Inn is a great mid-range accommodation choice in Fajardo, and the inn has everything from an outdoor swimming pool to a shared lounge and garden. Each room has a seating area, tv, and a safe, while certain rooms have a kitchen. Fajardo Inn has communal luxuries, like a sun lounge and the option to play mini golf and tennis.
Budget: The International Hostel El Collage
The International Hostel El Collage is a lowkey, budget-friendly option in Fajardo. You can book dormitory or private rooms with comfortable wooden furniture and tiled floors. Guests access a shared kitchen and terrace; each room has a kettle for making hot drinks.
VRBO: Two Bedroom Apartment With Ocean Views
This apartment is perfect for anyone who loves a view. The apartment sits on the 21st floor with balcony views over the Palomino Islands and the Caribbean Sea. It sleeps up to four guests and is ideal for a family or group holiday, and guests get access to the communal pool and first-class seats to sunrises and sunsets from their private balconies.
Things to do in Fajardo
- Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay
- Go to Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island
- Seven Seas Beach
9. Cabo Rojo
Why you should stay in Cabo Rojo: Backpackers and Local’s Choice
Cabo Rojo is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico if you want to choose somewhere that local Puerto Ricans choose to visit. This budget-friendly beach town is a fantastic option for backpackers and solo travelers wanting a low-cost and sociable place to stay. You have everything from beaches and museums to happy hours everywhere. Cabo Rojo is on Puerto Rico’s west coast and is surrounded by memorable attractions and day trip opportunities. Cabo Rojo means ‘red cape’, and the town gets its name from its collection of nearby pink salt flats, which turned bright pink from the high saline levels.
Rent a surfboard, hop around some doorstep attractions, take day trips to pink salt flats, and meet new people. Cabo Rojo is one of the most straightforward destinations in Puerto Rico.
Where to stay in Cabo Rojo
Luxury: Hacienda Tres Casitas
Hacienda Tres Casitas is a beautiful luxury accommodation choice outside Cabo Rojo. Surrounded by a private jungle, Hacienda Tres Casitas has a large outdoor pool and garden, plus a hot tub for some extra relaxation. You can choose between a la carte of American breakfasts each morning. And each room is equipped with tea and coffee-making facilities so you can have your hot morning drink in peace.
Budget: Hotel Perichi’s
Hotel Perichi’s is a beautiful hotel for those conscious of budget. The basics, like parking and wifi, are free, and staff are always on hand to advise on and assist with booking tours around Puerto Rico. You also get access to a large outdoor pool and a tropical garden with a gazebo and an onsite bar and restaurant.
Mid-Range: Combate Beach Resort
Combate Beach Resort is situated inside Cabo Rojo’s National Wildlife Reserve right on the El Combate Beach front. Ideally located for a peaceful Puerto Rican holiday, the resort also has separate pools for adults and children, plus activities like hiking, basketball, and tennis. Guests can access a dining area, fridge, and cafe breakfast served each morning.
VRBO: Beachfront One-Bedroom Apartment
This apartment sleeps up to four guests and backs straight out onto the beach. Guests have everything they need – from a spacious kitchen to a free parking spot. Simplistic but comfortable, this property is an excellent choice for VRBO accommodation in Cabo Rojo.
Things to do in Cabo Rojo
- Pink Salt Lakes
- Los Morrillos Lighthouse in the National Wildlife Refuge
- La Playuela Beach
Puerto Rico FAQs
Now that we’ve covered the best places to stay in Puerto Rico, what about some common FAQs? These are the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
What part of Puerto Rico is the best to stay?
Old San Juan. Old San Juan has the most attractions and culture; you can easily take day trips to other places in Puerto Rico from the city. It has lots of organized tours and tourist infrastructure.
What is the prettiest part of Puerto Rico?
Vieques Island is the prettiest part of Puerto Rico. The different beaches and bioluminescent waters make it a dreamy location. If you want beautiful scenery, Vieques Island is where to stay in Puerto Rico.
Where do most tourists stay in Puerto Rico?
Most tourists stay in San Juan or Isla Verde. These are the busiest and easiest places to reach from the international airport.
What is the safest place to stay in Puerto Rico?
Old San Juan is the safest place to stay in Puerto Rico as it is heavily guarded and patrolled by policemen. However, all of Puerto Rico is mostly safe. Just take care at night and in isolated areas like remote beaches.
Cool Places to Stay in Puerto Rico
Feeling inspired? Out of all the best places to stay in Puerto Rico, we hope one has caught your eye. Puerto Rico has an outstanding balance between natural beauty and modern allure. Puerto Rico hotels cover many budget levels – perfect for catering to a mixed crowd. As you now know, you aren’t short of choices when staying in Puerto Rico. This guide has helped to narrow down your options, though.
Before you go, here is our ultimate guide to visiting Puerto Rico. It is packed with tips and tricks to give you the best experience possible during your stay in Puerto Rico. Have a great trip.