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20 Awesome Experiences in Puerto Rico

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It may be a small island. but Puerto Rico has so many awesome things to experience! In just 100 miles long, and 35 miles wide, you can find beaches, waterfalls, and even mountains! Here are 20 things that you need to add to your list of what to do in Puerto Rico.

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1. Jump off a Waterfall

One of our favorite experiences in Puerto Rico is the number of waterfalls that it has scattered all throughout the island. One of our favorites is Gozalandia, which translates to "land of pleasure". Here you can find not one, but two waterfalls.

These waterfalls aren't just for show, but they are super fun to spend the day. The first fall you can climb right behind the water cascading down to admire the waterfall from behind, and you'll find it is a popular spot to jump off of.

Gozalandia Falls, what to do in Puerto Rico

Gozalandia has two sets of falls- one that you can jump off of, and one that has a rope swing.

The second is just a 5-10 minute walk past the first one down a trail. You will find a smaller fall, and a rope attached to a tree where you can swing into the water!

2. Go Down a Natural Waterslide

Located just 45 minutes outside of the capital you can find a true hidden gem. We found this by speaking to locals (which are always the best spots). Head to Las Pailas in Luquillo, and you will find a parking lot attached to someone's house. 

All you have to do is pay $5 and walk down a small trail to find a river that has large rocks creating the perfect natural waterslide and one of the most unique experiences in Puerto Rico.

If you don't want to rent a car or get an Uber, and you'd prefer an excursion to get to Las Pailas, you can check the tour below:

Welcome to Las Pailas, Puerto Rico! La Isla Del Encanto has a lot of incredible spots. This one is not only fun and close, but cheap! Located only 30 minutes away from Puerto Rico's capital, this became a very popular spot for those travelers who want to have some fun,

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3. Explore an Abandoned Airplane

Located in Aguadilla, you will find this abandoned aircraft just off the side of the road! It is covered in graffiti making it quite the piece of art. Not only that, but the locals have put a wooden bridge to let you go right inside and explore this awesome airplane!

abandoned airplane, what to do in Puerto Rico
abandoned airplane, what to do in Puerto Rico
abandoned airplane, what to do in Puerto Rico

The abandoned airplane is a true hidden gem of Puerto Rico.

The plane is free to visit, and donations are accepted, making this a really cool must see while you are on the west side of the island.

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4. Let the Waves Crash Over You

Some of the beaches in Puerto Rico offer those smooth, still, Caribbean waters, and some offer waves that are perfect for surfing! One of the most unique beaches you will ever find though is Crash Boat Beach, located in Aguadilla.

Here there is a pier with a few platforms jutting out, where you can encounter the waves crashing down right in front of you! We saw waves with a backsplash of up to 30 feet! We suggest coming here for golden hour for a truly magical experience.

Crash Boat Beach Aguadilla, experiences in Puerto Rico

5. Discover Pink Waters

Ever seen a pink lake? Well there is a small area in the southwest of Puerto Rico, where there are salt mines with pools of different colors. Las Salinas de Cabo Rojo are located right off of the side of the road, and are free to visit.

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Keep in mind that the color varies. We discovered the pink waters here in July, and the waters were high and deep in color.

When we revisited in February, a lot of the pool were dried up and the pink was very faint. Nonetheless, it is something very cool to stop by, and one of the most unique experiences for what to do in Puerto Rico.

Salinas de Cabo Rojo, best places in Puerto Rico
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

There are a set of several salt ponds that are both pink & blue.

6. Marvel at the Bioluminescence

This is one of the most unique phenomenons in the entire world, and there are three different spots in Puerto Rico to experience this! Bioluminescence is activity that occurs from microorganisms in the water, that make it sparkle!

The one we visited was in the South East located in Parguera, where you can go on a shared boat ride, or you can do a really awesome tour like we did! We went with Parguera Water Sports.

We've also included a few tours in different areas of the island that you can check out below:

Our group was much smaller, and we were able to actually kayak in the waters, which is definitely worth the extra money in our opinion.

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There is also a spot in Fajardo on the East side of the island, and the most famous is called Mosquito Bay, which is in Vieques (an island that is a few miles away from the East side of the island and can be accessed by either ferry or by plane.

If you want to experience a bioluminescence in Puerto Rico, there are three destinations you may want to consider.  There's one on the west side of the island, another one on the east side (Fajardo), and a third one on the neighbor island of Vieques. Today we will tell you

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7. Get an Adrenaline Rush at "The Best Seat in the House"

This was by far one of the wildest experiences in Puerto Rico! The hike is short (just 20-25 minutes), but leaves you with the most stunning views of the island.

But that's not the crazy part. In order to get there we had to drive backwards up a hill in the dark, and then climb boulders until we found the exact spot.

Cerro el Rodadero, things to do in Puerto Rico

Climb up on top of this rock at Cerro el Rodadero for "the best seat in the house". But be EXTREMELY careful, as it is not for the faint of heart, and definitely scarier than it looks. Want to know more? You can check out our full article below:

8. Stay Inside an Art Gallery

Want to stay at one of the most stunning hotels in San Juan? Well the Gallery Inn isn't just a hotel, but an experience in itself.

The Gallery Inn, what to do in Puerto Rico
The Gallery Inn, what to do in Puerto Rico
The Gallery Inn, bets hotels in Puerto Rico

The Gallery Inn is one of the most beautiful hotels in Puerto Rico.

The owner, Jan is a famous artist, who has created every piece of art in the entire place! There is also a piano bar called The Cannon Club, a beautiful pool (for guests only), and a world renown Steinway Piano club, where people come all over the world to play.

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The Gallery Inn is located in the heart of Old San Juan, and despite how stunning it is, also offers affordable prices. What could be better than that?!

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9. Check out the Colorful Towns

One of our favorite parts of Puerto Rico is how colorful it is! Everywhere you go you can find beautiful murals, colorful buildings, and Puerto Rican pride splashed all over the place.

Our personal favorites are Yaucromatic, Aguadilla, and Utuado. These places have been colorfully painted after the devastation of the hurricane, and brought life back into these small towns.

Yaucromatic, best places to visit in Puerto Rico


Utuado Colorful stairs, what to do in Puerto Rico


10. Feel Like You're on the Moon

The entire island of Puerto Rico is covered in beaches, but one of our favorites is one that is really only popular with the locals.

Check out Mar Chiquita, which is just 45 minutes from San Juan. Here you will find an arched beach with plenty of sand and water to enjoy. But the best part, head over to the rocks and you will truly feel like you are on the moon! There are craters formed, and even small pools that fill them, making it seem like another planet!

Mar Chiquita, what to do in Puerto Rico

11. Sail to a Nearby Island

When many people visit Puerto Rico they don't even realize that there are actually smaller islands around that are some of the hidden gems around! Not to mention, the nation's best beaches.

Culebra and Vieques are the two main islands, and are great to spend at least a day or two. You can also sail to Palomino or Icacos from Fajardo for a nice day trip. We went on a shared catamaran to Icacos and had the best time!

Isla Icacos, what to do in Puerto Rico
Isla Icacos, top beaches in Puerto Rico
Isla Icacos, top beaches in Puerto Rico

One of our favorite islands to visit from Puerto Rico is Isla Icacos.

There are tons of companies out there, but the best ones book up quick. Make sure to make reservations in advance, for one of the best experiences in Puerto Rico!

We had the best time on our excursion, and you can book the same one by checking out the companies tours down below:

12. Taste the World's Best Mofongo

If it's one dish you need to try while in Puerto Rico, it is definitely Mofongo. This dish consists of smashed plantains, and can be stuffed with meat, veggies, or seafood. For the most traditional and tasty Mofongo, we suggest heading over to Raices in Old San Juan.

Not only is the food INCREDIBLE, but the vibes are the most authentic, and it is a great spot to check out if you want to know what to do in Puerto Rico's capital.

Mofongo at Raices, San Juan

Mofongo is the number one dish to try in Puerto Rico.

13. Walk Along an Abandoned Bridge

This spot is a true hidden gem that we have found, and is definitely for those adventure seekers and photography lovers out there.

Puente La Hamaca is an abandoned bridge located in Adjuntas, in the center of island, and is one of those experiences in Puerto Rico that we will never forget. It wasn't an easy find, but it was definitely worth it! Stay tuned for a detailed article coming soon of everything you need to know to visit this bridge.

Puente La Hamaca, best places in Puerto Rico to Visit
Puente La Hamaca, best places in Puerto Rico to Visit
Puente La Hamaca, Puerto Rico

Puente la Hamaca isn't for the faint-hearted, but it is beautiful to photograph.

14. Visit the Highest Point on the Island

Cerro de Punta marks the highest point of the island. Reaching 1,338 meters above sea level, you can get a great view of the surrounding hills, towns, and even beaches. There is a road that goes all the way to the top, but we suggest parking on the side of the road and walking the last 800 meters as the road is pretty beat up at the top.

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When you arrive there is a government building that says no trespassing. However, when we arrived there was a local working there that informed us that there was no problem going on the property. Just make sure that you don't touch any of the wires or towers around!

Cerro de Punta, what t do in Puerto Rico

Cerro de Punta has one of the best views of the island.

15. Stroll Along the Top of Waterfall

This waterfall is one of the best kept secrets in Puerto Rico, and is one of our favorites! Located just 45 minutes- an hour from San Juan, head over to Arecibo for not just one, but two awesome waterfalls!

Arecibo waterfalls in Puerto Rico

Every time we came here we dreamed of walking along the top of these falls. It wasn't until this most recent visit that we finally saw that it was possible! In order to get there you will need to climb through the small cave on the left. Once you get to the top you will not only have a great view, but a tranquil river as well!

You can spend an entire day at these waterfalls, swimming, climbing, and taking pictures. This will for sure be one of the most memorable experiences when it comes to what to do in Puerto Rico.

Keep in mind that to visit here and many of the other waterfalls in Puerto Rico. you'll need to rent a car. Here is a site that we use for most of our rentals:

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16. Zipline Across the Jungle

We love getting our adrenaline pumping, and if you do too, than ziplining is for you! Head out into the middle of the island to fly through the trees, and also get some amazing views at the top, and one of the experiences in Puerto Rico you will never forget!

Want to book a zip lining tour? Here are some you can check out:

17. Visit the Only US Tropical Rainforest

One of the main highlights of what to do in Puerto Rico is El Yunque. This is the only tropical rainforest in the US, and although a little touristy, it is definitely a must visit! Here you can find several hiking trails, picnic areas, and waterfalls, as well as plenty of greenery. 

For more information on visiting, check out our El Yunque travel guide.

El Yunque, Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, and one of the most popular rainforests in the world. No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without a visit to this beautiful place.With an average rainfall of 120 inches a year, there is a very

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Want to visit El Yunque on an organized tour? Here are a few that you can choose from:

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18. Discover a Natural Rock Bridge

This spot probably won't be around forever, as many rock bridges collapse over time. So it is definitely one that you will want to check out soon! Head over to Cabo Rojo, and you will find a small beach on the very bottom. Look on the map for Puente Piedra and you will find this gem!

Not only is it a cool place to walk along, but the beach below has such strong waves that when it pushes the rocks up along the sand it creates a loud crackling sound. The noise is extremely relaxing, and a unique thing to experience in Puerto Rico.

Puente Piedra- top beaches in Puerto Rico
Cao Rojo, top beaches in Puerto Rico

19. Watch the Sunset at the Famous Fort

One of the most iconic places in Puerto Rico is the fort located in Old San Juan. Castillo San Felipe el Morro has plenty of cool spots to check out, but our personal favorite is the view from the fort at sunset. You can watch the boats sailing in and out, as the sun reflects on the water, and the forts lights start to come on.

This is one of the experiences in Puerto Rico that is convenient to visit, free of charge, and will mark a truly beautiful moment to enjoy the capital in a relaxing way.

San Juan, what to do in Puerto Rico

The fort is the best place to watch the sunset in San Juan.

Looking for a place in Old San Juan? Simply check the map below for different options:

20. Check Out a Black Sand Beach

When most people think of black sand beaches they automatically think of Hawaii or Iceland. But did you know that right in Puerto Rico is a beach with black sand?

black sand beach, what to do in Puerto Rico

Vieques has a beach with black sand.

Head over to the island of Vieques for the smooth and dark volcanic sand. This is definitely one of those experiences in Puerto Rico to be added to the bucket list!

Want to book a place in Vieques? Just check the options on the map below:
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Puerto Rico has so much more than most people think of! You can spend weeks exploring all that the island has to offer. In order to check all of these off your list, we would suggest spending a full week, maybe even two! 

Looking to plan your next trip? Let us help! Unlike other travel agencies, we're here to help you explore more and save. We take you to the lesser known hidden gems, and get you the best deals in the process. Want to learn more? Take a look at the different travel planning packages that we have.

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