The Ultimate Puerto Rico Itinerary for Your First Visit (2024)

Looking for a Puerto Rico itinerary for your first time there? I was just there and I have all the details you need about visiting the island as a first timer. Things to do, details on each region, where to stay, and all the logistics of getting there and around.

I had been wanting to visit Puerto Rico for YEARS. An island that doesn’t require a passport? Sign me up! I kept receiving flight deals and the cold weather plus a flight to San Juan for less than $300 was too tempting. So, I booked it!

I couldn’t get anyone to join me, so I decided to bite the bullet and go by myself. I try to mix my travels up with family, girlfriends, and mommy and me trips, but this year I wanted to add a solo trip to the list.

I was a bit nervous about it (and after I booked it I still asked multiple friends if they wanted to come with me, but none could), but in the end I’m glad it happened like it did.

And to top it off—I can say with no doubt this was one of the best vacations of my life. The island is mesmerizing. There’s just so much to it—way more than I originally thought before I started planning.

On this little island you’ll get beaches, a rainforest, a city, small islands, waterfalls, plus historical landmarks. Not to mention the delicious food, rich culture, and warm people. It truly deserves its name of La Isla del Encanto (the Island of Enchantment).

If you just started planning your trip to PR or just want to learn more about the island, read through my Puerto Rico itinerary to make sure you hit all the best spots. And even though I didn’t bring my kids this time, I still researched a lot of kids activities (for when I bring them on my next trip!)

Whether you’re alone, with your family, or friends my Puerto Rico itinerary will give you all the information you need as a first timer to the island.

Want to learn how I can afford to travel so much? Read over my money savings tips for traveling! 

Key Takeaways

  • Puerto Rico is full of activities and natural beauty, spread all over the island. Each region has it’s own vibe and attractions. What you want to do during your time, and what kind of vacation you want, will determine which area you stay in. 
  • There are many activities that you will not be able to find anywhere else – it has America’s only rainforest, El Yunque. It has three of the five bioluminescent bays in the world. It even has deserted islands. These types of activities are musts when visiting the island.
  •  A week itinerary in Puerto Rico should include El Yunque, Old San Juan, the beach, a bioluminescent bay, visiting one of the islands, exploring the west coast, and an adventure park.

Table of Contents

⚠️ Need more info about Puerto Rico? ⚠️ 
Read these posts! 

The 14 Best Puerto Rico Excursions You Can’t Miss

The Top 5 Best Beaches in San Juan

HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED IN PUERTO RICO

The number of days you need on the island depends on how much you want to do. To really explore and experience all the great things the island has to offer, you will need a week minimum.

But if you have limited time and want to just get a taste of the more popular attractions, you can enjoy a shorter visit of 4-5 days. Anything under 4 days just isn’t worth it in my opinion. There’s just too much to do.

Also, it’s an island so everyone is on “island time”… expect everything to take longer. 

Puerto Rico Itinerary

Day 1: Explore San Juan
Day 2: El Yunque + Luquillo Beach
Day 3: Beach hop in your area + Bioluminescent Bay
Day 4: Island excursion
Day 5: West Coast
Day 6: Adventure Park
Day 7: Relax at the resort
Extra: Day for kid’s activities 

old san juan wall murals

Day One: Old San Juan

a puerto rico itinerary should include walking along the colorful buildings of old san juan

To do in San Juan

I spent a day exploring adorable, colorful Old San Juan and I was mesmerized. There was so beauty everywhere I looked—the Spanish architecture, the historical monuments, the endless amounts of bright colors, the history… it has such a unique, refreshing vibe. It’s only seven square blocks so you can easily see everything in one afternoon.

I started off walking the streets to explore the area. There are adorable cafes and restaurants everywhere you look so you can easily find something to eat or drink. There are plazas every few blocks to take a break and soak it all in. There are plenty of little local shops to pop in and surprisingly, even a Marshalls (I mean, it IS still America).

Tip: before you venture here, check cruise schedules! Cruise ships dock in Old San Juan and your peaceful day will become loud and crowded very fast once a ship docks.

Explore Old San Juan with a famous author that will lead you to the best sites in the city while giving you insight into the history of Puerto Rico. 

✅ Check prices and book this award winning Old San Juan Walking Tour by clicking here!

…and if you’d rather EAT your way through the city, try a food tour! Try authentic Puerto Rican food at several different famous spots around Old San Juan!

✅ Check prices and book this 5-star (with over 3k reviews!) Flavors of San Juan Tour by clicking here!

when in puerto rico you should visit el morro in old san juan

I turned the corner and was shocked when I spotted El Morro (full name San Felipe del Morro)—a military fort built to protect the city from invaders and one of the UNESCO sites in the city (the other one is the other military fort, Castillo de San Cristobal). 

I’m usually not into the war type stuff, but it was breathtaking and so cool to see. You can take a tour of it too, $10 entry.

On the grounds of El Morro, there are kite vendors too. It’s a perfect spot to fly a kite and very popular with families.

Another great kid spot is Parque Infantil del Niño, near the Marina.

Dining in San Juan

The biggest challenge about getting food in Puerto Rico is choosing where to go. There is amazing food everywhere!

The places I got the most recommendations to go to, from locals and other tourists, were:

Pinky’s for breakfast
Caficultura for brunch
Deaverdura for lunch or dinner
La Casita Blanca for lunch for dinner
Senor Paleta for a treat 

Distrito T-Mobil in San Juan

San Juan’s brand-new entertainment hub has anything you could want.

There are over 10 restaurants to choose from. An urban park that features ziplining, rock climbing, and arcades. Live music and events all around the plaza.

There’s also a state-of-the-art concert facility, a movie theater, plus newly built hotels just steps away. Read all about it here. 

Day Two: El Yunque National Rainforest

a puerto rico itinerary should include visiting el yunque rainforest

If you see ONE thing in Puerto Rico, it must be El Yunque. It’s a lush rainforest with waterfalls, hiking trails, and unbelievable views. It will transport you to a completely different world.

And it’s the only tropical rainforest in the US! (Yes, even including Hawaii. El Yunque is the only one!)

It goes on for 28,000 acres, so you will have to decide how you will want to attack it because it’s impossible to see it all in one day.

If you want to drive through it on your own, tickets to the park are required. Tickets are available 30 days before the entry date and are issued per vehicle. They go fast! Buy them here.

To plan your day, check out El Yunque’s directory or stop by El Portal, the Visitor Center when you get there. 

El Yunque Tours

This is what I would recommend if you’re in a group of adults. There are a variety of tours available with different options of what to do. You can choose a half day or full day tour. Some are hiking, some have activities like water slides and rope swings, some have repelling. Some have hotel pickup too!

I did a half day tour that was a mix of hiking and water slides and a rope swing.  We hiked through the rainforest and the tour guides stopped a few times to explain the surroundings.

We stopped at a natural pool, climbed up rocks to slide down two waterfalls, jumped off a cliff, and jumped into the pool using a rope swing.

I thought a half day was perfect, I was out a little after 12 and still got the rest of the day to explore.

Extra plus was that the tour guide records you and sends the videos to you at the end of the tour, so you don’t even need to bring your phone!

The El Yunque tour was my FAVORITE part of my whole trip to Puerto Rico.
If you do anything while you’re there, do this tour

✅ Check prices and book the award-winning, 5-star El Yunque Natural Waterslide and Rainforest Hike Tour by clicking here! 

while you're in puerto rico, visit el yunque rainforest, on your own or on a tour

El Yunque family-friendly spots

Most of the tours do not allow small children (minimum age is 5 for most of the tours, and even that I think is pretty young), so the better idea would be to explore the family-friendly spots.

Start off with El Portal Visitor Center – (no park res necessary) it’s newly redone and has interactive exhibits and displays, two interpretive trails, plenty of beautiful views, plus endless amounts of information about the rainforest. If you get hungry there’s also a counter service restaurant. It would be a great idea to start here to get all the best tips!

El Yunque family-friendly hikes

Yokahu Tower –A 69-foot tower that offers 360-degree views of the rainforest. It’s a short hike from the parking area. This is on 191 at Km. 8.8.

Juan Diego Creek – A short hike leads to a natural pool along Juan Diego Creek with a waterfall that you can swim in! It’s a small area though, so you can only park in the area for 30 minutes. This is on 191 at Km 9.6

Caimitillo Trail – One of the easiest hikes in El Yunque, the trail is only half a mile, but visitors can still enjoy everything the rainforest has to offer. This is on 191 at Km 12.1.

Angelito Falls – Less than half a mile, this hike ends with a natural pool at Rio Mameyes. This trail shows a different type of vegetation than what’s offered on the other side of the rainforest. This is on road 988 at Km 3.6.

TIP: Wear water shoes or sneakers, most of the paths are MUDDY. You cannot avoid it. You need something with some grip, or you will slip. Wear light clothes because it will get hot—rash guards are perfect since you can swim in some spots, plus it’ll protect you from the sun and insects.

After your adventure in the rainforest, head over to Luquillo or Monserrate Beach. It’s less than 20 minutes away from El Yunque is a great place to unwind. Both beaches (that are right next to each other) offer restrooms, showers, and lifeguards.

And if you’re hungry, enjoy a meal at the famous Luquillo food kiosks. There are a number of little food stands that line a section of the road right off the highway. You’ll have your choice of 60+ cuisines, and some of the best Puerto Rican food you’ll find!

Check out details and reviews here. 

Day Three: Beach Day

There are so many beaches in Puerto Rico, it’s hard to choose a favorite. But you should add a day either beach hopping or just lounging at one to your Puerto Rico itinerary.

You can stay at your resort and do this, or you can explore different beaches in the area you’re staying in.

Here are some beaches to visit in different areas of the island, each with their own vibe and attractions.

Note: A beach labeled as a balneario means that it’s owned by the government and has things like public restrooms, lifeguards, parking lots, showers, etc. 

San Juan beaches

(Check out my list of the best beaches in San Juan!)

El Escambron Beach—Balneario del Escambron (my favorite beach in this area!)
A popular beach and for great reasons. First of all, it’s gorgeous. It has beautiful, clear waters, the sand is soft, plus there are gorgeous views of mountains and a rocky island named Peñon de San Jorge.

The best part is that it’s in a protected cove, so the waves are calm and it’s a perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming for all ages, and even sunbathing. For more convenience, there are also restaurants and cafes nearby. 

a puerto rico itinerary should include visiting el escambron beach

Carolina Public Beach—Balneario de Carolina (on the same stretch as Isla Verde Beach)

One of the busiest beaches in the area, it has soft sand and clear waters—it’s even been awarded the Blue Flag Aware for cleanliness and water quality. 

Besides the obvious swimming and sunbathing, there are watersports, volleyball nets, and plenty of food options.

And there’s a BIG bonus for small kids—a small water park called Parque Acuatico Infantil Aquasol. It has slides, water triggers, and a pirate ship with water cannons. It’s right off the sand too! 

 

when in puerto rico, you should visit carolina public beach

East Coast beaches

Monserrate Beach—Balneario La Monserrate (my favorite beach in this area)

Located in Luquillo, Monserrate is perfect for everyone. It has an amazing calming vibe with swaying palm trees welcoming you as soon as you step in. It’s huge, so you’ll have plenty of room and the backdrop of lush green mountains is amazing.

You can have a relaxing day in the water or enjoy some snorkeling, because it’s protected by a coral reef so the waves are calm (also great for small kids!) The added bonus for this beach is it’s within walking distance of the famous Luquillo Kiosks. There are numerous kiosks that offer local food and souvenirs.

a puerto rico itinerary should include visiting monserrate beach

Seven Seas Beach—Balneario Seven Seas

In Fajardo, Seven Seas is a smaller, crescent-shaped beach. Another Blue Flag beach, it has light tan sand and calm, crystal clear water perfect for lounging in the water. There’s a coral reef near the beach to break up the waves so this is also a perfect place to go snorkeling.

And to top if all of, there are amazing views of lush mountains and a beautiful lighthouse.

West Coast beaches

Crash Boat Beach (The locals favorite beach)

In Aguadilla, it’s the most popular beach in the area, and probably one of the most popular beaches on the island. Locals rave about it because there is something for every type of person. You can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the clear turquoise waters.

There’s also a fun vibe here. There’s music, food kiosks, and even a long pier that you can jump off of into the water.

 

Buye Beach

In Cabo Rojo, this immaculate and secluded beach has the most beautiful shades of blue water, the calmest waves, and a family-friendly beach culture. It’s a hidden gem loved by locals and more of a secret compared to the other beaches on the island. 

Day Three: Evening Activity

Bioluminescent Bays in Puerto Rico

A bioluminescent bay is a body of water where microscopic organisms (dinoflagellates) grow in large enough quantities to produce a bioluminescence or glow-in-the-dark effect. When the water is touched, these organisms shine in a bright neon blue color making it look like the water is being lit up!

There are only five of these natural wonders in the whole world—and THREE of them are in Puerto Rico. So, this should obviously be on your Puerto Rico itinerary.

This is a must-see activity when on the island BUT the experience quality depends on the moon. The darker the sky, the better.

Check the moon calendar when you’re booking your trip and, if your dates are flexible, try to come when there is the LEAST amount of moonlight. 

Check out the moon phases calendar here. 

Mosquito Bay on Vieques

This one is the brightest of the three— it even has the award for brightest bioluminescent bay in the world by Guinness World Records. This bay is only accessed by kayak, but some have glass bottoms.

Like I mentioned above, you’ll have to stay overnight in Vieques to see this one.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the brightest Bio Bay in the world!

✅ Check prices and book this highly rated, Badge of Excellence award winning Vieques Small-Group Bioluminescent Bay Tour by clicking here!

La Parguera in Lajas

All the way in the southwest corner of the island, this bay offers a bit more than the others. 

It’s the only bay that allows motorboats, so if you’re not a fan of kayaking this one is for you. It’s also the only one that permits swimmingThey also offer glass-bottom boat rides.

It’s far away from the usual tourist spots, so spending the night in the area is probably a good idea.

Cruise to a sandbar at sunset then visit the only Bio Bay that allows swimming! 

✅ Check prices and book the Sunset and Biobay Swim Experience by clicking here!

Laguna Grande in Fajardo

Because it’s located in a more touristy spot, this bay gets a lot more visitors. And it’s actually not even a bay—a long, narrow canal leads to a lagoon. 

Some people I spoke to said that it’s not as bright as it used to be, and some tour guides have you put a drape over your head to really be able to see the bioluminescence. But I still heard a lot of great reviews about the experience!

There are many types of tours offered, and some even offer a combination bio bay tour with another activity in the area.

For the most convenient Biobay experience, book a tour in Fajardo! 

✅ Check prices and book this Bio Bay Kayak Tour by clicking here!

Day Four: Island Excursion

Even though you’re already ON an island, you have to add visiting one of the smaller islands onto your Puerto Rico itinerary.

The beaches are absolutely breathtaking—one being one of the most beautiful in the world. There are many options that you can take, but here are four of the best.

31 best us beaches in december

Palomino Island

If you stay at the El Conquistador Resort (which I did, and recommend), you have easy access to their private island, Palomino Island. 

It’s a short boat ride over (they’re on the hour, every hour). The island is a continuation of the resort. Plenty of beach chairs, beach-side food/drink service, a dine-in restaurant and bar, a convenience store/rental shop, and activities.

Palomino is what you imagine when you think of a small, private island. Pure, white, soft sands. Crystal clear, turquoise waters. It’s picturesque. I absolutely loved my time there! 

If you’re curious about the El Conquistador Resort,
✅ check prices and pictures here! 

Culebra

Culebra is a small island located off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It has breathtakingly beautiful beaches— one of them being Flamenco Beach which is consistency ranked as one of the best beaches in the world! 

Many people just take day trips there to lounge on the beach, but visitors can hike, snorkel, and kayak too.

Tamarindo Beach is one of the best places to snorkel in all of Puerto Rico (or you can just kayak and check out the sea life from above.)

You can take a ferry ride (roughly 45-60 minutes from Fajardo) or a short flight from Ceiba (like 15 minute) to Culebra

Want to take a tour of the best islands of Culebra? 

✅ Check prices and book this Full Day Culebra Islands Catamaran Tour by clicking here!

Vieques

Another small island off the eastern coast of the mainland. More jaw dropping beaches like La Chiva or Blue Beach, which is ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean—plus 40+ more to choose from.

There’s also a black sand beach, Playita Negra, surrounded by golden cliffs that makes for a dramatic, jaw dropping landscape. Animal lovers will love all the diverse wildlife, like wild horses roaming around freely and several species of endangered birds.

The big draw of Vieques though, is Mosquito Bay, a bioluminescent bay—and even though there are three to choose from just in Puerto Rico, this one is known as the best one. There are guided kayak tours offered at night to view the water light up.

Note: to do this tour you will have to stay in Vieques overnight as there are no more ferries or flights out that late.

If you just want to visit the island for the day, check out this snorkel tour to Vieques!
✅ Check prices and book this Snorkeling Tour to Vieques Island by clicking here!

Icacos Island

If you really want to get away, an excursion to the tiny, uninhabited Icacos is the way to go. Many people I spoke to that have taken excursions there have said it was the best part of their whole trip to Puerto Rico!

It’s literally a deserted island so it’s unspoiled, picture perfect, and an amazing snorkeling site. But it also means that there are no facilities there, so you’ll have to bring your own food and beach gear.

You can only reach Icacos by boat and you can choose between a water taxi or a boat charter. If you do a boat charter, they’ll usually have food and drinks available.

When will you ever have the chance to visit a deserted island again??

✅ Check prices and book this amazing, full day Icacos Deserted Island Catamaran and Picnic Tour by clicking here. You won’t regret it! 

Day Five: Head West

The east side of the island gets all of the attention from tourists, but the west side definitely deserves to be on your Puerto Rico itinerary too. The west side is known for even better beaches, more laid-back vibes, and deeper local culture.

Here are a few hot spots to hit if you’re going to venture over for a day or two.

Beaches

Aguadilla’s Crash Boat Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the west coast and recommended by locals. The clear water is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and surfing. It also has a fun vibe with music, kiosks, and food stands.

You can also try Sandy Beach in Rincon. It’s also loved by locals because it’s walking distance from lots of hotels and dining options.

Waterfalls

Gozalandia is a natural water park with a waterfall in San Sebastian. It’s easy to reach too! Just a short walk from a parking lot to the waterfall.

Or you can try Cascade La Planta in Arecibo. It used to be a dam. Some people attempt to jump into the waters (but I wouldn’t recommend that.)

Cabo Rojo

Cabo Rojo’s El Combate beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island. While you’re in the area, check out El Poblado de Boqueron, a spot filled with restaurants, bars and local stores.

There’s also a huge area of salt flats in Cabo Rojo called Las Salinas. Because of the salinity of the salt flats, the water is pink!

Bioluminescent Bay

Lastly, La Parguera bioluminescent bay is on this side! If you’re staying on the West side for the night, this is the perfect evening activity.

Check out a sunset and bio bay tour here. 

Cruise to a sandbar at sunset then visit the only Bio Bay that allows swimming! 

✅ Check prices and book the Sunset and Biobay Swim Experience by clicking here!

Day Six: Adventure Parks

Do you want to experience some thrill while on the island? Add one of these adventure parks to your Puerto Rico itinerary.

Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park

Located on the east side of the island in Luquillo, Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park is a 600-acre ranch in between El Yunque and the ocean. It’s a must-do for adventure lovers because it offers many thrilling activities.

Activities range from horseback riding and ATV rides through the foothills of El Yunque, to go-karts and ziplining through treetops. Most activities are only an hour or two so this is a great area to spend a couple of hours while you are adventuring through the east side of the island. There’s also an on-site restaurant here.

Check out all the information or book tickets here.

Toro Verde Adventure Park

Located in Orocovis, close to the middle of the island, this adventure park is a thrill seekers paradise in the middle of the mountains. (So, the views are amazing!)
There are a few options for different types of ziplines, but the most famous ones are the Monster zipline which is the longest in the country with a 2.5km cable, and ToroBikes which is the longest cable bike in the world. There are also dining options here.

Check out all the information or book tickets here. 

Kids Day

Kids Activities in Puerto Rico

If you are venturing down to the island with kids, there are a couple of kids spot you want to add to your Puerto Rico itinerary. Whether you want a break from the beach, want to get some energy out, or are trying to find something to do while it rains, this is where to go.

Carolina Children’s Museum—Museo del Nino de Carolina

This museum is a hit with kids of all ages. And it’s packed with activities. It features over 100 different exhibits that focus on science, technology, art, and culture. A few favorites are a mini-supermarket, fire station, space shuttle, and hurricane simulator.

The fun continues outdoors where there’s a playground, go-kart track, a mini zoo, an actual real life American Airlines plane, and even a small ferry. Good luck trying to get your kid out of here!

Read more about it here.

Sector Sixty6

The Outlet on Route 66 is an outlet mall in Canovanas, next to Carolina. They have numerous shops, a food court, a movie theater, and a full entertainment center with five different activities.

Funbox: An indoor obstacle course that’s created for kids AND adults. Adults have 17 obstacles to choose from while kids have 8.

K1 Speed: Race go-karts on a 40,000 square foot track! The electric go-karts can go up to 45 mph, the fastest in the industry.

There’s also a bowling alley and an arcade

DIFFERENT REGIONS AND WHERE TO STAY

While the island isn’t huge, there are many different areas that each have their own vibe and attractions. The type of trip you want and the amount of time you have will determine where you end up staying.

Note: For exploring beyond San Juan, you MUST rent a car.

These areas are the best to stay in for first-timers:

 

San Juan

San Juan is the capital city, and most popular area of the island. This area has historic and walkable Old San Juan, vibrant nightlife, museums, landmarks, and the most amazing food.

If you want to be in the middle of the action, or don’t have a lot of time to spend, stay here.

The beachy areas of Condado and Isla Verde are also in this region.

Condado is family-friendly and has beachfront resorts with pools, lots of dining options, and plenty of entertainment for kids. 

Stay here if you want to be close to the city but still want family friendly accommodations.

👉 Check out prices and book the highly recommended Caribe Hilton or the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.

To the east of San Juan, Isla Verde is a popular tourist area.

It’s quieter, in a more residential area with luxury resorts. This is where to go if you want to hit the beach but want close access to the city.

👉 Check out prices and book the very popular Royal Sonesta San Juan or the Fairmont El San Juan.

East Coast

This region includes the towns of Fajardo and Luquillo. It’s calmer than San Juan and has amazing resorts. It’s known for beautiful beaches, a bioluminescent bay, amazing seafood, and is near El Yunque National Forest. It’s also the closest area to the islands off PR.

If you want to be at a great resort and be central to everything on the east side, stay here.

I stayed at the El Conquistador and I can’t recommend it enough! 
Check out prices and book the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo by clicking here!

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar is also very popular and highly recommended among travelers. 

West Coast

This region includes Rincon, Cabo Rojo, and Isabella. It’s a more local, relaxed vibe and known for amazing, natural beaches, surfing, and the best sunsets.
If you want to see the “true Puerto Rico” then you should stay here.

Rincon specifically is highly rated among both locals and visitors for its warm culture, beaches, and amazing food. 

👉 Check out prices and book the well loved Rincon of the Seas by clicking here.

North Coast

Known for fancy resorts, the north coast includes the towns of Dorado and Vega Baja. 

If you want to be pampered, stay on the North Coast! 

👉 Check out prices at the Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton by clicking here.

Islands – Culebra or Vieques

These two small islands off the coast of Puerto Rico are known for their white sand beaches and relaxed atmosphere. They are both very popular 1 or 2-day excursions, but a some people choose to spend their whole trip there to really enjoy the peace and quiet.

Note: If you want to do a bio bay tour in Vieques, which is known to be the best, you must stay overnight at least one night.  

WHAT IS THE BEST MONTH TO VISIT PUERTO RICO?

Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean with a warm and tropical climate all year long, so there isn’t a bad time to visit. However, there are better times than others.

For mild temperatures and low humidity, the best time to visit is in the winter and spring months, between December and April. The temperatures are in the 70s and 80s with less rain than other months. But this is also the peak travel season so there are more crowds and higher prices.

May to November is considered the off-season. It’s the rainy season and there’s a much higher chance of a tropical storm or hurricane ruining your trip. But the good news is that prices are lower at this time so you can score a great deal if the weather behaves. 

HOW TO GET TO PUERTO RICO

Puerto Rico has several airports and while SJU is the most well-known, depending on where you stay, you might want to fly somewhere else.

SJU—Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
In the capital, San Juan, this is the largest airport on the island. It serves domestic and international flights with 30 airlines and around 130 daily flights. You’ll most likely find the best times and prices to SJU.

BQN—Rafael Hernandez Airport
In Aguadilla, on the west coast, this airport serves mostly domestic flights but some international and about 36 daily flights. If you’re staying on the west side of the island, consider flying here.

PSE—Mercedita Airport
On the southern coast in Ponce, this airport serves mainly domestic flights, and has about 8 daily flights.

If you want to fly to the islands of Culebra or Vieques, they both have their own airports and you can fly to both from San Juan or La Cieba airport—LCE. Cieba airport is about 20 minutes away from Fajardo. The two airlines are Air Flamenco and Vieques Air Link.

Culebra’s aiport is CPX—Benjamin Rivera Noriega and has flights from San Juan but also charter flights from La Cieba airport.

Vieques’s airport is VQS—Antonio Rivera Rodriguez Airport (VQS) and flies to and from San Juan but also charter flights from Cieba. 

GETTING AROUND PUERTO RICO

Walk + Ride Services

If you stay in San Juan, or you don’t want to leave your resort (which I do not recommend), you won’t need a car and can just walk. A lot of tours have shuttles that pick up at different hotels in San Juan as well. Uber and Lyft are both in San Juan.

Car

If you want to really explore the island, you will NEED a car. There are multiple car rental agencies around the island. Some resorts have car rental agencies inside their lobbies.

Take a look at options here. 

👉 I always use rentalcars.com to find the cheapest deals on cars! 
They can multiple agencies at your destination to get you the best deal. 

FAQS ABOUT THE ULTIMATE PUERTO RICO ITINERARY

Is it worth going to Puerto Rico for 3 days?

I don’t think 3 days is worth it. There’s just so much to see that you’ll be missing out on. You’ll need a minimum of four days to really get a taste of the island.

 

What is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?

Hurricane season in Puerto Rico lasts from June 1 to November 30. September is the peak of the season.

 

Do I need a car in Puerto Rico?

You can get by without one if you stay in San Juan for your whole trip, but I strongly recommend getting a car and exploring the island! There is so much to see and do and you’ll miss out on it by not being mobile. 

👉 I always use rentalcars.com to find the cheapest deals on cars! 
They can multiple agencies at your destination to get you the best deal. 

WRAPPING UP THE ULTIMATE PUERTO RICO ITINERARY

The only way I can end this is by saying, I hope that you go to Puerto Rico! I absolutely loved it there and I had tears in my eyes as I was flying back home.

It’s an island full of activities, beauty, nature, and warmth that you need to see for yourself. But that being said, I strongly recommend going in with a game plan.

Because there is SO much to do, you’ll want to really put the effort into finding the perfect spot to stay in and activities you want to enjoy.

I hope that this my Puerto Rico itinerary gives you enough information to get your plan together! 

besa at beaches and babies

MEET BESA

Your Go-To Girl for Beach Travel

Hi! I’m Besa. I’ve always been a travel-loving beach bum… and then I had kids. Two boys, born 19 months apart. But I didn’t let that stop me. I still travel, even with a couple little boys in tow – and I want to help other parents like you do the same!

I’ll be sharing all my travel tips, beach hacks, and guides for some of my favorite family vacation beach spots.

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Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Why Trust Beaches and Babies?

Besa has been a frequent traveler for almost 20 years, and the last five years of her travels have included her two toddler boys, 19 months apart.
Years of flying and beach bumming with her kids has given her plenty of hard-earned experience in the travel world.

Need Help Booking Your Trip?
Use My Favorite Resources!

FLIGHTS
Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites for the lowest prices plus the flexible calendar tells you which days are the cheapest to fly.

LODGING
booking.com is easy to use and gives options for all types of lodging. When I know I want a big rental house, I use VRBO.

RENTAL CARS
rentalcars.com scans multiple agencies at your destination to give you the best price.

ACTIVITIES
Viator lets you search for a specific activity at your destination or scroll all available.

Read over my full list of the best sites to book with on my Resources page.