You are currently viewing Day Trips from San Juan: 11 Things to Do Less Than an Hour Away

Day Trips from San Juan: 11 Things to Do Less Than an Hour Away

Sharing is caring!

The capital of Puerto Rico has a lot of things to do in the city, but there are so many things to do that are less than hour from San Juan to enjoy! Get out in nature and see a little more of what Puerto Rico has to offer. 

This is especially perfect for those visiting San Juan on a cruise and want to get out a little further to see the great beaches, waterfalls, and hidden gems in the area.

Keep in mind that you will need a car to visit almost any of these! Renting a car in Puerto Rico is easy. Take a look at our Guide for Renting a Car in Puerto Rico.

*Please note that this blog post may contain some affiliate links, which we make a small profit on, at zero cost to you. Links are only used on products & services that we've used and believe in, to give you the best buying experience. Purchasing from these links helps us to continue providing free travel guides for you- so thank you for your support!

Did you know that El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the US? That definitely makes it worth a trip in itself! Not to mention the lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and hiking trails you can experience here.

waterfalls in El Yunque, day trips from San Juan
La Coca waterfall, day trips from San Juan
Bano Grande. day trips from San Juan

El Yunque is full of lush jungle and waterfalls.

El Yunque is located just an hour from San Juan, and has plenty of great spots packed into the main tourist area of the park. If you have time you can also explore plenty more rainforest, lakes, and nature around the main park area. Just make sure that you get your tickets in advance! 

If you plan on visiting el Yunque, we have written a complete guide to know everything to expect while visiting here, how to get your tickets, and the best spots to check out!

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

Read More

Want to take a tour to El Yunque? Here are a few that you can choose from:

Day Trips From San Juan #2: Luquillo

Luquillo is a great spot right on the water that is just 45 minutes east of San Juan. This is one of our favorite places to go for lunch, as they have over 100 different kiosks!

Preset - before & after

Transform your photos

One click is all it takes to make your photos look stunning. Get our latest package of Lightroom presets, Into The Wild.

The restaurants are located right along the beach, and there is such a variety. Although we do suggest getting some seafood, or the stuffed mofongo at Rellenao.

Not only are there plenty of restaurants, but they also have some cute shops with local handmade souvenirs! This is definitely one of the best places for dining somewhere different that is less an hour from San Juan.

road to Zabljak Montenegro

Stay Up To Date📫

We have a non-spammy weekly newsletter, where we give travel tips, and exclusive content and discounts.

Day Trips From San Juan #3: Las Pailas

This place is a true hidden gem of Puerto Rico, and is located just a few minutes from the kiosks in Luquillo. Parking is located inside the driveway of someone's home and is just $5. The trail is a couple minute walk and not strenuous, leading you to a beautiful spot tucked away in the trees.

While most natural pools are fed by waterfalls or rivers, this area is actually very unique because it features a natural waterslide! This is one of those day trips from San Juan that just never gets old.

Las Pailas, day trips from San Juan

Looking To Travel Somewhere?

Off The Beaten Trips is our travel agency.

But this isn't anything like you've ever experienced before. You'll have an epic trip without having to break the piggy bank.

Unique locations. Epic adventures. Lifetime memories.

Day Trips From San Juan #4: La Planta, Arecibo

This is one of our absolute favorite day trips from San Juan because it is another true hidden gem. Here you can find a stunning waterfall and a river. But head further down the river and you will find an even bigger waterfall

It is completely free of charge, and a place you could spend hours. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day swimming, sunbathing, and exploring this stunning area!

La Planta Arecibo, best places in Puerto Rico to Visit
La Planta Arecibo, best places in Puerto Rico to Visit
La Planta Arecibo, best places in Puerto Rico to Visit

La Planta Arecibo is one of the best day trips from San Juan with it's sets of waterfalls.

Day Trips From San Juan #5: Cueva Ventana

This spot is located just a few minutes past Arecibo, so is a great one to pair with if you are stopping by the waterfalls.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Day Trips from San Juan Pin
Day Trips from San Juan Pin
Day Trips from San Juan Pin

Cueva Ventana is a cave that actually sits on a limestone cliff and opens up to a view over the valley! this naturally made window is such a cool spot to stop by for a unique experience in Puerto Rico.

To check out the caves you will need to make a reservation in advance, Tickets are $19, and tours are 1 hour. They run every hour from  10:00-4:00, the last tour being at 3:00. 

Window Cave, day trips from Puerto Rico

Cueva Ventana has some of the best views of Puerto Rico.

Day Trips From San Juan #6: Mar Chiquita

Mar Chiquita is not only just less than an hour from San Juan, but it is just 45 minutes! Which makes it the perfect beach day trip from San Juan. Mar Chiquita is rounded, making it super cool to see from a bird's eye view.

But even better? Walk over to the rocks and you will find crater like formations, that get filled with the water from the splashes of the waves crashing down. This actually makes natural pools, making you feel like you are in a jacuzzi on the moon!

Mar Chiquita, day trips from San Juan

Parking is free, but there are some rocks so just be careful when pulling in and pulling out. There are porta-potties there, but you'll have to pay a small fee to use them. As for food, there were signs for some food and drink vendors, but we got there late so didn't see any.

How To Travel Cheaper and Better in 15 minutes!

How much more would you travel, if it costed you less resources?

With our Free eBook, you will learn how to save money and time on your future trips. Plus, you'll see the exact system we use.

Grab your copy for free when you sign up for our newsletter 👇

Book cover 2021

Day Trips From San Juan #7: Fajardo

Fajardo is the most popular area on the East side of Puerto Rico, and is just a 45 minute drive away! Here you can find plenty of beautiful beaches, a light house, and a bioluminescent bay.

Fajardo is also one of the main hubs for catamaran and sailing trips to the nearby islands of Palomino and Icacos, so it's the perfect day trip from San Juan if you're looking for a fun Caribbean excursion.

Fajardo, best places in Puerto Rico

Day Trips From San Juan #8: Piñones 

Piñones is the closest of all the day trips to San Juan, and is a paradise location for the locals.

Here you can find plenty of local food kiosks, and the most popular beach in the San Juan area for families. The beach to check out is La Pocita, which features a naturally made rock walk, that stops the waves, and creates a natural pool inside the sea.

Travel More. Spend Less.

Let us help you plan your dream trip.

This place is perfect for those who want to enjoy the Caribbean waters but aren't looking for rough waters. Also for those that just want a nice relaxing day, outside the city, but close enough that you can get back in ample time (especially for people on cruises).

It's no secret that Puerto Rico has some pretty great beaches. Being an island, you can only imagine how many beaches there are! While there are an incredible amount of beautiful spots to hit. We've decided to make a list of our top ten beaches in Puerto Rico.These aren't just

Read More

Day Trips From San Juan #9: Charco Azul

Charco Azul is the perfect place to visit less than an hour from San Juan, as it is a cool place to swim for those who don't want to go to the beach,

This swimming hole is located in Vega Baja, just 45 minutes from the city. It features turquoise waters and caves, making it great for those adventurers out there! We wouldn't' recommend this for small children, and we recommend packing a lunch beforehand.

All Your Travels

in One Book

Transform your travel memories into a unique book, with personalized pages, country by country.

Day Trips From San Juan #10: Humucao

This spot is a little off-the-beaten-path, but is well worth the visit! Humucao is located just less than an hour from San Juan. Head to the Malecon to walk along to sea, and admire this picturesque little town.

There is also a great food truck located here with some of the best sandwiches ever! Head here midday for a great lunch and a nice day trip from San Juan's busier city vibes.

While you're in the area, Humucao also features a beach reserve with tons and tons of palm trees! Check it out for sunrise for a truly magical experience.

Humucao, best places to visit in Puerto Rico
Humucao, sunrise in Puerto Rico

Humucao is one of the best spots to watch the sunrise.

Day Trips From San Juan #11: Caguas

Caguas is the perfect day trip from San Juan if you are looking to experience a cute city but on a smaller scale. This city is located just a little more or less than an half hour from San Juan, and features plenty of activities including a tobacco museum, botanical gardens, and an art museum. 

We like the idea of Caguas because it's something different to see, and is a great day trip from San Juan. It isn't too far, but also offers some different activities than the capital city.

Pink Dot Thessaloniki Greece

Will You Buy Us A Coffee? ☕

As coffee lovers, we always enjoy the energy of caffeine. It helps us get the best free travel guides out there for you! 😄

The best way to be able to do most of these day trips from San Juan is by renting a car! Here is a site we use for our rentals:

Puerto Rico has so many great places to explore. So don't stick to just San Juan- get out there and see all of the cool things that this island has to offer! The best part is that all of the places are less than an hour from San Juan so you don't have to travel far to experience new cool places.

Love the Day Trips from San Juan but also plan on traveling further out into the island? We have plenty of other guides about things to do around Puerto Rico.

Looking to plan your trip and need help? We're here to make it easy! Scratch Your Mapa is dedicated to save you money, and let you make the most of your travels. Want to learn more? We have a few different travel planning packages that you can choose from, or we can customize one for you!

You'll also love:

Like this article? Please share it with your family and friends, so that we can continue to keep creating free travel guides for you! It takes just a second, and would mean the world to us. Thanks for being here!

Sharing is caring!