10 Things You Must Do on a Trip to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, the rich port, is an amazing island to explore no matter what age you are. There is so much to do, it may seem like it’s hard to do it all. Here are some highlights of the island to be sure to hit up on your first, or next, trip to the island.


Activities to Do...

1. Hike El Yunque

El Yunque is the only rainforest in the United States. It is breathtaking and totally free to park at and walk around. There are a bunch of trails that lead to wonderful views — whether it’s a waterfall (La Mina Falls) or taking the trail to the tip-top of El Yunque Peak above the clouds, you’ll enjoy yourself here! It’s a must-do.

2. Visit Old San Juan

There is so much to do, see, and eat in Old San Juan! It was established in the 1500s and is enclosed in forts built by Spain to keep away other conquerors. Definitely check out Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Felipe del Morro. They are both huge and have amazing sites and views of the turquoise waters. Exploring these forts is incredible.

Also when you visit OSJ, be sure to walk down the streets and view the amazing colors of the buildings. Walk down San Francisco and San Cristo Streets for some great shops and places to eat. There is a pigeon park around these streets that is both terrifying, hilarious, and cool all at the same time.

Check out the marvelous Catedral de San Juan Bautista, the second oldest church in America.

3. Night Kayaking in a Bioluminescent Bay

This was such a magical experience. I kayaked at night through mangroves into a bay filled with bioluminescent microorganisms that glow blue-green when you make any movement in the water. They are basically water fireflies and look like the night sky. It was magical, and words can’t even describe how amazing it is. There are only around five of these in the world and Puerto Rico has three of them. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

4. Visit the beaches

There’s no doubt that the beaches in Puerto Rico are incredible. There are so many to choose from, so try different ones! One of my favorites was Ocean Park Beach.

5. Visit Arecibo Observatory


Arecibo Observatory is one of the world’s large radio telescopes located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It has a beautiful observatory that you can visit and take a guided tour of the telescope. Learn more about extraterrestrials and space here! It has also been featured in several movies.

6. Travel to an island

There are many gorgeous islands that are located right next to Puerto Rico that you can hop over to for a day. They include Vieques and Culebra. There is a ferry that costs less than $5 round trip and is about an hour ride to the island. You can see the beautiful beach of Flamenco Beach, one of the world’s top five beaches.

7. Snorkel at Seven Seas Beach

This beach is a great place for snorkeling, especially for beginners. We saw lots of sea cucumbers, an eel, a barracuda, and a sting ray!

Places to Eat...

1. Must try: Mofungo

Mufongo is a Puerto Rican dish of fried plantains mashed into a ball and filled with meat or vegetables. It is delicious and a must-try. My favorite was at Los Yeyos, a place with a lot of atmosphere, and you’re able to write your name on the walls!

2. La Perla

This restaurant is the prettiest I have ever seen and probably ever will see. It’s like dining inside of a clam. You are the pearl inside a clam, enjoying a meal fit for a princess. The food is phenomenal and expensive, yet totally worth the view of the Atlantic Ocean, sitting in what feels like a seashell.

3. Waffle-era

This is an awesome, quaint cafe in Old San Juan that serves amazing tea as well as waffles! Try the S'mores Waffle, or even one with some chicken or meat on it. It is delicious as well as pretty inexpensive.

Have fun traveling, Collegiettes! Be sure to take lots of photos.

Images/GIFs: 1, 2, 3

All other images courtesy of the author.