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Top 10 Things to Do In Puerto Rico 2022

Updated: May 20

Puerto Rico’s attractions range from the adventurous jungles of El Yanique to the scenic blue water beaches. Shoppers can stroll the boutiques of Old San Juan, beach lovers can snorkel with turtles on Mosquito Pier, bar hoppers can roam the streets of La Placita, and night owls can kayak the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. If you aren’t sure where to start, here is a list of top things to do in Puerto Rico.

Brightest Bioluminescent Bay in the World: Mosquito Bay

There are five bioluminescent bays around the island and three are in Puerto Rico, but the Mosquito Bio Bay in Puerto Rico is the one that shines with the most intensity. The bioluminescent bay in Vieques was officially declared the brightest in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008. In the waters of Mosquito Bay, there are organisms named Pyrodinium bahamense, and Dinoflagellates (dinos). These “dinos” are responsible for this amazing natural phenomenon. When the “dinos” come into contact with another organism or are shaken they produce a bright burst of blue light. When agitated, these microscopic organisms (swirling fire) react emitting a blue-green light for about a decimal of a second. Puerto Mosquito, aka Mosquito Bay, is often referred to as a “magical” and priceless memory to remember for a lifetime. The bio bay is best experienced during a “New Moon” phase, so we’ve included an interactive moon phase calendar for June 2022. One of the best ways to experience the Bio Bay in Vieques is in a glass-bottom kayak in Vieques. Jak Water Sports and Fun Brothers in Vieques provide glass bottom kayaks bio bay tours.

Most Photo Worthy Spots in Old San Juan: Umbrella Street

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the most photogenic because everywhere you turn, there are photo opportunities. Wander the streets of Old San Juan with colorful streets, old Castello walls, sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the photogenic hotels. La Fortaleza is the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. The street of La Fortaleza is lined with colorful buildings and a car-free cobblestone street. In the Spring and Summer, La Fortaleza is decorated with colorful kites and umbrellas often referred to as the Umbrella Street San Juan.

Day Trip to Flamenco Beach on a Catamaran

Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island is ranked one of the top beaches in the world with a postcard-perfect stretch of white sand and turquoise waters. This beach is practically wave-less, which makes it ideal for snorkeling, swimming, unwinding, playing in the sand, or simply beach-bumming. Culebra Island is a short 20 minutes flight or ferry ride from Puerto Rico. However, the best way to visit the beach on a short visit is on a getaway day trip on a catamaran. Tobias Adventure offers a Culebra Snorkeling Tour, a 6 hours round trip that departs from Fajardo. This tour includes a light lunch, complimentary Pina Colada, and rum punch. They provide snorkeling gears and flotation devices on a 46’ tour boat.

Horseback Riding in Vieques

Isla de Vieques is known as the land of wild horses and is home to about 2,000 Paso Fino Horses. Visitors will find the horses strolling on the beach, grazing in fields, and by the roadsides. Locals ride horses around the island and visitors along for the ride, on a horseback riding adventure. Horseback riding is a great way to see a lot of Vieques Island, free from the crowds on secluded beaches. Esperanza Riding Company offers a two-hour scenic beach and trail ride through the hills, open meadows, woods, river bottoms, and two beaches that you cannot access by car. Their horses have the willingness to please and gentle nature, so perfect for first-time riders, vacation riders, experienced equestrians, and children alike.

Day Trip to Culebrita

The island of Culebrita can be seen from Zoni Beach on Culebra Island. This tiny cay is uninhabited, visited only by a few people every day, and holds many wonderful “secrets” waiting to be explored. You can only get there by boat, but it is totally worth the effort in order to experience this unspoiled island. The island is a wildlife refuge, so you’ll see birds and some other animals. Culebrita boasts beautiful white sand beaches, clear water with great underwater visibility for snorkeling, a wild turtle population that frequents the area some amazing “baths” (rock formations that slow the large northern waves and form a Jacuzzi-like experience), and ruins of an old lighthouse. You can only get there by boat, but it is totally worth the effort in order to experience this unspoiled island. The cost-efficient route to get to Culebrita from Culebra is on Gammy’s Water Tours. It is a husband and wife duo water taxi service that takes you and your party on a round-trip ride to Culebrita from 11 AM to 5 PM. They drop you off at Tortuga beach with beach chairs and umbrellas, a SUP board, snorkeling gears, and instructions on how to explore the island. Or you can book a private catamaran trip to Culebrita, and islands hop on a 35’ catamaran. It is a 4-hours trip that includes a warm lunch, beach requirements, snorkeling gears, snacks, water, and towels.

Food Tour: Best Start to Your Puerto Rico Trip

The best way to experience a new culture is through your stomach. Adding a food tour in San Juan should be your first excursion on your travel itinerary. A tour guide by a local will provide insights into the best places to eat and personalized recommendations for you to enjoy the best of what this beautiful island has to offer. You will get up-to-date information and a complete overview of San Juan’s food scene and culture. Food tours are perfect for solo travelers, couples, families, groups, and corporate gatherings. You can engage in conversations with like-minded people and locals on a food tour. San Juan Dumplings Food Tour will take you off the beaten path that is not featured in tourist guides. You will be taken on a 3-hours walking tour from Condado to La Placita, tasting 10 different dumplings. Food tours will allow travelers and foodies an immersive experience where they gain knowledge, relieve stress, and overall confidence to discover more of Puerto Rico on their own.


Captivating Playa Navio on Vieques Island

The beaches in Vieques have amazing tones of blue and emerald jeweled tones, but the colors of Playa Navio are deeper, like a painting of bold colors. Playa Navio’s uniqueness is in the gentle bubbly playful waves in its hidden caves. Navio’s sounds of the ocean are mesmerizing, the beach is wide and long making it wonderful to sit down and read your favorite book. For those that want a little more excitement, walk towards the cliffs to find hidden caves. Bring a blanket, sit on the soft sand and allow the sweet caresses of the Caribbean breeze to take all your cares away. Navio Beach can be accessed through the entrance of Sun Bay. Follow the road to the left once you enter Sun Bay, you’ll see signs for the beaches of Media Luna and Navio. During the rainy season the road to Navio may be inaccessible.

Best Snorkeling at Playa Melones

Playa Melones in Culebra is the best place to snorkel with beautiful and intact coral. A short drive from the ferry terminal, Playa Melones is not the best beach for bathing due to its rocky bottom, but you will be amazed by all the types of ocean flora with long coral reefs that allow you a couple of hours of snorkeling peacefully. The wasters are very clear and the waves are gentle. Since the coral is tall and the tide could be low, it is highly recommended to book a snorkeling tour with Culebra Snorkeling with Locals. Entering and exiting can be a bit tricky because there're lots of rocks and reefs with sea urchins on them on the shore remember to wear water shoes. The extraordinary tour guide, Lemuel, will make your snorkeling experience easy and fun.

Bike through San Juan in an Art Tour

One of the best ways to discover San Juan and learn about its rich history is on a bike tour. Join a small group and experience the scenic views as you cruise on a bicycle. Stops at local landmarks and enjoy a commentary from your tour guide. Enjoy your adventure on a bike by avoiding crowds, easy photo stops at picturesque locations, and a personalized experience. Cultura Bicicleta Coop offers an Art Tour and an Art & Music Tour (the first Saturday of the Month) which is a 2.5 hours tour that takes you on a scenic route of La Placita and Ocean Park. They stop at a museum and the Mural District. Kathleen, our bicycle enthusiast, will guide you on a memorable adventure, and the bike rental is included.

Best Nightlife: La Placita

If you are looking for the best nightlight scene while visiting Puerto Rico, then La Placita de Santurce is one of the liveliest areas for a long night of dancing and debauchery. It is known for a prime party destination for locals and tourists. As of March 2022, most vaccination and mask requirements were lifted on the island. La Placita is quiet and calm during the daytime but in the evening, this area changes into a nightlife focal point. It’s like a massive block party with bars opening their doors and salsa music cranked to the max. The best time to go is between 10 PM to 5 AM as many bars don’t open until 9 PM. You can find cheap drinks for around $5-$8 each for house liquor. If you compare La Placita to Old San Juan or Condado, these neighborhoods are in far better conditions and more walkable for tourists. La Placita is the best place for barhopping with multiple small bars just steps away from one another. Casual wear is recommended to get you comfortably through a long night of barhopping. Visit JungleBird and Vintage 254 at La Placita for phenomenal drinks and tapas.

We hope that the knowledge you get from this article before you visit Puerto Rico would help you plan your trip better.

And if you are looking for more recommendations on where to go, what to do, and how to do it in Puerto Rico, we highly recommend reading Puerto Rico Travel Guide for Food Lovers.

free puerto rico travel guide for food lovers

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Meet The Author

Thao Ho

“Travel with confidence.”

Greetings my fellow Culinary Travelers! Thank you for allowing us to be part of planning your upcoming vacation to Puerto Rico. This list is filled with small businesses that really need your support to continue growing and thriving as part of this massive ecosystem. I’m excited that you are here because, for me, it’s gratifying to connect with like-minded people with good food. It is inspiring to break bread and share stories among strangers from all parts of the world, to make one moment happen. If you do end up visiting this establishment, say hello for me. Show them this page because you can’t forget this face and sassy attitude. We want to prepare you to travel with confidence because there are many adventures that await you in Puerto Rico. Salud!


Upcoming Announcements

I am working on a SELF-GUIDED DUMPLINGS FOOD TOUR and it will be distributed as a digital product in a PDF for $20. This self-guided tour will take you on the exact route I curated for my San Juan Dumplings Food Tour including: where to go, what dishes you should try, and how much it will cost. This self-guided food tour is budget-friendly, for solo or group travelers, allows privacy and you can take it at your own pace. If you are interested in this self-guided food tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico, please click the button below and I'll send you more information about it.

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