Heading down to Puerto Rico for a Caribbean cruise? Why not spend a few days soaking in the sights and the sun on one of USA’s tropical treasures?
Explore the Colorful Streets of Old San Juan
Nothing beats a peaceful morning walk around Old San Juan! The old city covers just seven square blocks, every inch of which is decorated in 400 colorful Spanish colonial buildings. Stop first at the Visitor’s Center to pick up a map, then hit the blue cobblestones. History is alive and all over San Juan. A few hours’ walk will introduce you to El Morro Fort, Bacardi Rum Factory, San Juan Gate, and the Cathedral where Ponce de Leon is interred. On weekends, stroll through the outdoor crafts market.
Breakfast at Caficultura
Don’t forget to grab a tasty breakfast at Caficultura. This fun, casual diner is a great spot to pick up coffee and brunch: veggie scramble, crepes with goat cheese, coconut French toast with pineapple marmalade—not to mention the banana rum pancakes!
Ice Cream at Senor Paleta
Don’t miss Señor Paleta, a famous popsicle joint in the old town of San Juan. The shop is so popular there are daily lines around the block! And its no wonder, with flavors like housemade pistachio, strawberry mojito, strawberry cheesecake, and peanut butter dipped in chocolate.
Dive in the Bioluminescent Bay
Take a trip out to Bio Bay for one of the most beautiful natural phenomenons on Earth. Bio Bay, situated off the east coast of Puerto Rico, is home to millions of bioluminescent organisms that emit bluish light when agitated. Kayak your way through mangrove channels to the glowing waters. The lights are particularly illuminating at night against the black Caribbean sea.
Hike El Yunque Rainforest
The tropical rainforest of El Yunque is a haven for hikers and nature lovers, with several hiking trails to choose from. Hike past mountain waterfalls, catch sight of the coqui frog, and check out Taíno petroglyphs.
Try Local Fare at the Luquillo kiosks
Driving east from El Yunque back to San Juan, you’ll chance upon the Luquillo, home to 60+ different roadside diners. These ramshackle buildings are a great way to try authentic favorites like fried bacalaitos and empanadillas—or try Puerto Rico’s version of Caribbean fusion, Peruvian, Mexican, or even Thai.
Short Flight to Culebra Island
Commune with nature out on Culbera Island, seventeen miles east of the mainland. The enchanting isle attracts fans of wildlife and beaches. Hikers, scuba divers, nature photographers all flock here for a glimpse of rare reef fish, local birds, and turtles. So bring your camera and don’t miss the sights!
Dinner at El Pescador
Located in Fajardo on the mainland, El Pescador consistently receives rave reviews. Laid-back and family-owned, with fresh seafood caught that day, it’s not hard to see why people keep coming back. Try the mofongo, fried green plantains, or the white pineapple sangrias. Come hungry—all dishes have enormous portions—and come early—it’s crazy popular year-round!