These Places in Puerto Rico Made TIME List of the Best Places to Travel
THE BEST PLACES IN PUERTO RICO
These Places in Puerto Rico are not the Caribbean’s biggest tourist destination for nothing. Far from a simple beach destination, this island (and US territory!) boasts something for everyone. Sun and sand? Easy — Puerto Rico is home to some of the world’s best beaches.
Rainforest hikes? Zip-lining? Bio-luminescent diving? Puerto Rico has them all. Historic sites and monuments? How about Old San Juan, one of the United States’ most gorgeous historic neighborhoods? Or El Morro citadel? These Places in Puerto Rico got you covered.
And the best part: so much of this island is just absolutely, stunningly beautiful. Starting with these 10 Places in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay
For sure you do not want to miss this amazing place in Puerto Rico: go to the Bio-luminescent Bay. In rare bays around the world, the right set of factors — low circulation, shallow depth, high temperatures, and nutrient-saturated waters — combine to create the perfect conditions for the proliferation of amazing little creatures called dinoflagellates.
Those are the strange little guys you see above (it’s notoriously difficult to capture the bio-luminescence with a camera). When agitated, they release a spark of blue light, creating constellations of stars in the lagoon’s dark waters.
Puerto Rico goes to great lengths to protect these unique ecosystems, but the fragile bays likely won’t be around forever. This is an absolute must-see
What to do there: The best way to visit the Bio-luminescent Bay is on a kayaking tour, which run nightly except when there’s a full or almost-full moon. Book in advance.
Old San Juan
It should come as no surprise that almost 400 years of Spanish history left their mark on Puerto Rico, and nowhere is that more apparent than Old San Juan. The city’s characteristic blue cobblestone streets are flanked by Spanish-style apartments, combining to create a resemblance that is so striking, you might think you somehow ended up on the other side of the Atlantic.
What’s a list of beautiful places in the Caribbean without a beach town? And what a beach town! Tucked away on Puerto Rico’s western coast, Rincón is the island’s (and perhaps the whole Caribbean’s) surf capital and go-to spot for great waves and one of the best sunsets in the world.
What to do there: Obviously, most visitors come for the surf, so do that. But strolling down Rincón’s ramshackle waterfront, fruity cocktail in hand, is a pleasure in and of itself.
El Yunque National Forest
No visit to Puerto Rico is complete without at least a stop at El Yunque, the island’s vaunted slice of rainforest. Hiking through its misty, forested hills, you’ll find sparkling-clean waterfalls, overgrown gulches and canyons, and more exotic plant and animal life than you’ve ever seen in one place.
Explore El Yunque Rainforest, including a visit to La Mina Falls, where the clear water from this waterfall cascades into a natural pool among lush vegetation.
One Of The Best Places in Puerto Rico:Flamenco Beach
Regularly shortlisted in collections of the world’s best beaches, Culebra Island’s Flamenco Beach boasts powdery white sand and picturesque palm trees matched by luminously blue seas, creating a scene right out of a Corona commercial.
Not all of San Juan’s inhabitants were lucky enough to enjoy the protection of the city’s mighty walls (flanked by three imposing strongholds, the city’s colonial-age fortifications are the most extensive in the Caribbean).
Jammed between the city’s northern walls and the crashing surf of the Atlantic, you find the neighborhood of La Perla where the song of the summer video was filmed recently “Despacito“. Beside the views to the ocean are spectaculars.
The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse
The Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo is one the many lighthouses constructed by the Spanish at the end of the 19th century, and by far the most spectacular. Splendidly perched atop 200ft limestone cliffs, the recently restored tower shines out over the Caribbean and affords grand views of the surrounding coastline.
Playa Mar Chiquita
This beach on the north coast of Puerto Rico offers some of the most spectacular seaside scenery on the island. The shallow, secluded cove is almost completely blocked off from the sea by two huge coral formations.
The Atlantic surf crashes against them, spraying water over the coral that cascades in a thousand tiny waterfalls down into the brilliant blue tide pools below.
What to do there: Snorkeling and swimming in the cove’s mostly placid waters is seriously nice, but strong currents are created near the tiny sea’s frothing mouth. Be careful.
La Parguera Nature Reserve
Just about as far away from San Juan as you can get is the resplendent La Parguera Nature Reserve, a collection of mangroves, salt marshes, coral reefs, and tiny islands scattered across an expanse of brilliant turquoise water.
What to do there: First stay in the most attractive and inexpensive place in the area Parador Villa Parguera.
After and amazing breakfast look for Playa Rosada and then visit Los Cayos.
But above all snorkel! The calm waters of the reserve are perfect for lazily paddling your way through spectacular reefs. Stick around a couple hours, and you’re likely to spot sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins.