Puerto Rico, a beautiful archipelago in the Caribbean, is a paradise that offers visitors an incredible combination of natural beauty, culture, and delicious cuisine. From relaxing on its stunning beaches to enjoying adventures in its lush tropical forests Puerto Rico has something for everyone. And don’t foret about visiting its historic landmarks and vibrant urban areas of the Island of Enchantment. Here are some of the best reasons why you should consider visiting Puerto Rico.
11 Reasons to Visit Puerto Rico Right Now
1. You Don’t Need a Passport or Visa
For our American friends, Puerto Rico is the perfect destination. It’s as simple as flying to California or Florida. All you need to bring with you is your drivers licence or government I.D. and you can be in Puerto Rico in a few hours.
Because it is a U.S. Territory, it’s exactly like traveling to anywhere in the US. The dollar is the same, the TV Channels are the same, the language is the same, with a mix of English and Spanish and many of the restaurants are the same.
For the Canadians out there, it’s just the same as traveling to Puerto Rico as it is to Florida. While you do need your passport, it’s pretty easy to travel to.
Accessibility Puerto Rico is an easily accessible destination, with several direct flights from major cities in the US and other countries. The island is also a US territory, meaning that US citizens do not need a passport to visit.
2. Visit One of the Most Beautiful Beaches on Earth
Every Uber driver we had told us to go to Culebra Island. Its beach is often named one of the top 10 beaches in the world!
We didn’t make it during our trip, but the next time we go to Puerto Rico, we’re going to book a few nights on Culebra Island. There’s snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and other natural excursions. I like the fact that it isn’t built up for tourists and residents have kept a local vibe to the island.
If the locals on the main island love it, I’m sure we’ll love it too!
3. The Beaches
Beaches One of the most popular reasons to visit Puerto Rico is its beautiful beaches. The island boasts more than 270 miles of coastline, with stunning stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters. Some of the most famous beaches include Flamenco Beach, Isla Verde, and Luquillo Beach, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports such as surfing and snorkeling.
4. The People
One of the best reasons to visit Puerto Rico is its people. Puerto Ricans are known for their warmth, hospitality, and friendliness towards visitors.
5. The Food
Food and Drink Puerto Rican cuisine is a fusion of African, Spanish, and indigenous influences, resulting in a unique and delicious blend of flavors. Some of the island’s most popular dishes include mofongo, a savory mashed plantain dish, and arroz con gandules, a rice dish with pigeon peas. Visitors can also enjoy local rum, which is produced on the island and is used in many cocktails, including the famous piña colada.
6. Visit the Rum Capital of the World
Did you know that Puerto Rico is the rum capital of the world? We didn’t either…until we visited. Puerto Rico is the world’s largest exporter of rum and rum was actually invented here. It was quickly learned that the run off from sugar cane created rum. It was in the 1500s that the first production of rum began and ever since Puerto Rico has been the leader in rum production.
Bars and restaurants will be happy to make a signature cocktail using the island local rums of Bacardi and Don Q. (just to name a couple)
7. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor Activities Puerto Rico offers a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking is a popular activity, with several stunning trails in the El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System. Visitors can also explore the island’s rivers and waterfalls, including the stunning La Mina Falls. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, zip-lining and kayaking are also available.
We stayed on the main tourist beach of San Juan and hit is amazing. We walked in the mornings and afternoons and barely saw a soul on the beach. Sunbathers had no problem securing an umbrella and surfers and boogie boarders had their very own waves to catch. If you want to go to a place that feels off the beaten path (but won’t be for much longer) Puerto Rico is the place to be!
8. History and Culture
History and Culture Puerto Rico has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its art, music, and architecture. The island is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the historic city of San Juan, which dates back to the 16th century. Visitors can explore the city’s iconic landmarks, such as El Morro, a 16th-century fortress that was once a key defense against pirates and foreign invaders.
9. Visit a UNESCO Heritage Site
If you love history you must visit San Juan National Historic Site. It is an impressive fortress comprised of three different forts; San Cristóbal, San Felipe del Morro, San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo). Plus the city walls are still intact. The structure dates back to the 1500s and can be toured in about 4 hours during your visit. It’s huge and a must-see.
10. It Has its Own Galapagos
One of the most exciting destinations Dave and I have ever visited is the Galapagos Islands and we found out that Puerto Rico has an island that is known as the Galapagos of the Caribbean.
11. Rich Culture
Puerto Rico may be a part of America, but it feels as if you are traveling to somewhere exotic. Puerto Rico is made up of Spanish, African, and Taino (one of the largest indigenous people of the Caribbean) There is a definite Caribbean flare when visiting Puerto Rico with festivals, outdoor markets, lively nightlife, and unique cuisine.
Festivals and Events Puerto Rico hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and dance to food and culture. Some of the most popular events include the San Sebastian Street Festival in January, the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest in March, and the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian in May. These events provide visitors with a chance to experience the island’s vibrant culture and hospitality.
Every day we felt like we learned something new and were introduced to a Puerto Rican tradition.
12. The Weather
Weather Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and sunshine throughout the year. The island is outside of the hurricane belt, making it a safe destination for travelers seeking a warm and sunny escape from colder climates.
When out at the local hot spot Lote 23, people were out enjoying the fresh evening air and each other’s company. And when dining at Cocina Abierta, it was bustling with people dining on its open air terrace. We took over the private dining area where we sampled Traditional Puerto Rican cuisine using staples like plantains, pork and local seafood.
Suggested Hotel – La Concha Resort. Located on Condado beach La Concha resort is a luxury hotel with a full-service spa, infinity pools, bars, and restaurants. Condado is one of the most popular tourist beaches in San Juan and right now it’s nearly deserted. Right now you can get that 5-star private beach vacation feel without having to pay celebrity prices.
13. Bioluminescent Bays
Bioluminescent Bays Puerto Rico is home to three of the world’s brightest bioluminescent bays, including Mosquito Bay on the island of Vieques. These bays are home to millions of tiny organisms that emit a bright blue glow when disturbed, creating a magical experience for visitors who can take a night-time kayaking tour.
14. Easy to Communicate
Language English and Spanish are both official languages in Puerto Rico, making it easy for visitors to communicate and navigate the island. This makes Puerto Rico a great destination for travelers who want to experience a different culture without the language barrier.
15. Do Some Volunteering
Love in Motion was opened by a group of Puerto Rican businesses who run Local Guest a tour company offering local experiences to off the beaten path destinations. They take tourists out to places in need to help rebuild communities and get to know the locals.
It was truly an amazing experience to get out to the lesser travelled areas of the island and meet the locals while doing our part to help out. We have volunteering in the past during other travels and have always said that it is a wonderful way to add meaning to your vacation while creating memories to last a lifetime.
If you have ever contemplated making your next vacation a volunteer vacation, this is the place to do it. Note: you don’t have to make your entire trip about volunteering, you can just do a day or two while you are in Puerto Rico, every little bit counts!
16. Spend Time in La Perla
La Perla is a historic destination and the spot where we helped clear out a house affected by the hurricane. The music video Desposito was filmed in this colorful section of Old San Juan and it is a beautiful place to spend a day exploring the fort, walking through the streets, and sipping an iced coffee in a café.
Suggested tour operator – Local Guest – Let local Puerto Ricans take you off the beaten path for authentic and unique experiences.
There are a lot of Things to do in Puerto Rico
There are many things to do in Puerto Rico to make your vacation perfect. You could simply hang out at the beach of San Juan and relax at the pool and spa of the hotel, but you really should go out and see the island.
We learned from our local guest host that there is fabulous diving off the coast and they offer kayaking tours to the mangroves and nearby islands.
Surfing is popular in Puerto Rico and one of our fellow travellers commented on how awesome the waves were. He was from California and was an avid surfer, so we took his word for it.