Are you going to travel to Puerto Rico and you have little time? Many of the people who travel to the island do so with just the right amount of time. For this reason, it is important to plan the trip very well in order to visit as many places as possible and thus enjoy it to the fullest.
If that is your situation, worry no more… Next we are going to tell you what to do in Puerto Rico in 5 days so that your trip is truly worthwhile and unforgettable.
Day 1: Knowing Old San Juan
Definitely the best way to start your stay on this wonderful island is to connect with its historical past, walking its streets, delving into its little nooks and crannies that, little by little, reveal to you how important the island was for the Spanish empire.
This part of the island is so well preserved that here you will feel like you have stepped back in time to the 17th century. Suddenly you will find yourself surrounded by innumerable buildings that date from the colonial era and that invite you to discover the Puerto Rico of that time.
Surely at this point you are wondering what to do in San Juan Puerto Rico. Well, there is so much to do and see here that we recommend that you use the day to visit the emblematic historical monuments and the night to visit the bars and entertainment establishments.
Among the places of tourist and historical interest that you can visit here in the Historic Center of San Juan, we can mention the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the Puerta de San Juan, the Plaza Colón, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and the Plaza de Weapons, among many others.
Castle of San Felipe del Morro
Also known as the El Morro National Monument, it is an imposing fortress that dates back to the 16th century and during its active years it was one of the strong points of surveillance of the entrance to the Bay of San Juan.
From its towers you can see a beautiful view of the horizon in the sea, as well as of the city. You can not stop taking a picture with this spectacular background. It will be a great memory of your trip.
Likewise, here you will enjoy various exhibitions (such as ancient ships, instruments and utensils used by the Spanish who lived in the fortress years ago).
This is a place that you should not fail to include in your itinerary through old San Juan.
The Gate of San Juan
This was one of the main entrance doors to the city, through which leaders, emissaries of the king and parcels with money and important documents entered. Of the five access gates to the city, it is the last one left standing.
In its upper part it presents the following inscription: “Benedictus qui venit in nomini Domini” (Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord). Include it in your tour. It is so well preserved that you will like it.
Plaza Colón and Plaza de Armas
They are two of the squares that survive from the colonial era in San Juan. Both are more than 300 years old and are some of the most visited sites by tourists who visit the city.
During the colonial era, these squares constituted important urban centers, in which food markets were even developed.
When visiting these squares, you will not only have the opportunity to enjoy their wide spaces, but you will also admire the beautiful buildings (some colonial and others more recent) that surround them. For example, Plaza Colón is surrounded by the Teatro Tapia (former Municipal Theater), as well as the famous Casino Puerto Rico.
While the Plaza de Armas is flanked by the Mayor’s Office of San Juan, the Intendancy and the Provincial Council, all these buildings are worth visiting.
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
As is well known, among the constructions of the colonial era, some of the most outstanding were the religious temples. When you visit the historic center of the city of San Juan, you will realize that this is no exception.
It is a beautiful building that dates back to the 16th century and features a neoclassical architectural style. In addition, it has several chapels that you can visit and thus admire the art in its rugs and religious sculptures.
Just remember that as it is a religious temple, you cannot access it with inappropriate clothing (skirts, shorts or t-shirts).
Where to eat in Old San Juan?
The tour of the entire historic center of the city can be quite exhausting, so it is possible that you work up an appetite. Taking this into account, below we are going to mention some of the best restaurants in the area where you can taste the delicious typical flavor of Puerto Rico.
In Old San Juan there are many gastronomic options. Some establishments are more sophisticated than others. However, they all have in common the excellent quality of their dishes and the friendliness of the staff that works there. Among the best alternatives for lunch or dinner in this part of the city we recommend:
- The Parrot Club
- Living Water
- Panza Restaurant
- The Jibarito
- Roots Restaurant
- The grill
Similarly, if you want to experience the vibrant nightlife of Old San Juan, you can do so in places like La Placita, where you will enjoy excellent music and a wide variety of drinks. You can even rub shoulders with the locals of the island. You will feel like another inhabitant.
Day 2: El Yunque National Park
This is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions that Puerto Rico has. It consists of a tropical forest ecosystem in which there is abundant rainfall. It is one of the places where it rains the most in the world.
Here you will enjoy a unique day that you will remember forever.
Site with many attractions
In this beautiful park there is a great biodiversity, both of plants and animals, which will make you feel that you are transported to the Amazon jungle.
In addition to this, the environment, despite being humid, can sometimes be quite hot, so you can take advantage of a delicious bath in one of the ponds and waterfalls that abound here.
Tourists who have visited this wonderful place highly recommend La Mina Falls and Juan Diego Falls. The walk to these places is short, a little more than 30 minutes. We are sure that it will seem less time to you, while you admire the beautiful landscape.
If you are a little more adventurous, go to the Luquillo area, where you will enjoy a fun natural slide where you can slide over smooth and soft rocks to fall into a well of rich waters.
Likewise, when you come to El Yunque National Park, you cannot miss the Visitor Center, where you will receive very complete information about all the biodiversity that this wonderful place contains. Here there is also a viewpoint from which you will see the entire park.
This is an ideal tour to enjoy a different day in Puerto Rico, soaked in the exuberant nature that you will find here.
And to eat, do not forget to try the rich gastronomic options offered by the establishments that are on the sides of Luquillo. Here you can try delicious typical dishes of the island that include the traditional banana.
Day 3: Beach Day
Puerto Rico is known as the Island of Enchantment, and this is because one of its most praised attractions is its beautiful beaches. There are approximately 300 beaches here, all beautiful and pleasant, among which you can choose to enjoy a day at the beach full of fun.
Our suggestion for when you make the choice that you are going to visit on this third day on the island, is that you decide on those that are not on Culebra Island or Vieques, since the last two days of your itinerary will be dedicated to these locations.
As I have already explained, in Puerto Rico there are countless beaches, which are characterized by crystal clear waters and white, soft and delicate sand. Here are some to help you make your choice.
It is one of the most praised beaches by tourists on the Island. It is located at its western end. One of its greatest attractions is how calm and peaceful its waters are, ideal if you are traveling with children, since you will not have to worry about the waves.
Don’t let his name confuse you. Playa Sucia, whose real name is Playuela, has transparent and warm waters, as well as the famous Los Morillos lighthouse. From the top of this lighthouse you will enjoy a pleasant panoramic view.
Living up to its name, this beach is one of the most beautiful you will find in Puerto Rico. To get to it you will have to take a short walk of about 15 minutes that will have been totally worth it when you see the beautiful landscape that this beach offers.
If you are a lover of snorkeling , here you can practice it, because on the shore there is a magnificent reef where you will admire the wonderful underwater life that this place offers.
What you should keep in mind is that it is a beach that is a bit far away, so it is essential that you bring everything you will need, including food and hydration.
Here you will enjoy an unforgettable experience. Of course, you must be careful with the currents.
La Monserrate Spa
Located very close to the entrance of the El Yunque National Forest, Balneario La Monserrate is one of the beaches that attracts the most visitors in Puerto Rico. This is due to how crystal clear and clear its waters are, added to its warmth.
Here you will not have time to get bored, since there is a wide variety of beach activities at your disposal, such as kayaking and windsurfing , among others.
And you shouldn’t worry about food, because this resort has several establishments where you can buy delicious dishes, many of them worthy exponents of Puerto Rican cuisine. On this beach you will also have bathrooms and showers for your comfort.
If you want to live the adventure of camping on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, you can do it here, since there is an entire area set aside for it. You should not worry about security, because there are guards here who watch over the well-being of visitors.
In order for this third day of your itinerary to be successful and worth remembering, we suggest you select the beach you will visit in advance. Find out about the services it has and the supplements you should take so you don’t have any setbacks.
And finally, health must come first, don’t forget to take enough hydration and, of course, use a powerful sunscreen to avoid sunstroke.
Day 4: Culebra Island
This is a hidden paradise that guards the island of Puerto Rico on its borders. It is an obligatory stop on all tours and itineraries, since its landscapes and wonderful beaches make it a highly sought-after destination.
To get to Isla Culebra you can take two ways: by plane from one of the airports in Puerto Rico, or by taking a ferry that leaves directly from the port of Ceiba. If you are wondering which is the cheapest option, then it is the ferry, whose cost does not exceed 188 pesos ($10).
Once you arrive on the island, there are a plethora of beaches to choose from. We can tell you that here on Isla Culebra there are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. An example of this is Flamingo beach, cataloged by some as the best beach in the world.
All the beaches of Isla Culebra have soft, fine, white sand, lapped by beautiful, crystal-clear turquoise waters. Generally, the weather is flattering, with beautiful radiant sunshine and clear skies. In its depths you will find a great biodiversity. Snorkeling is a very common activity and one of the favorites for tourists. We recommend that you try it.
Isla Culebra is a fairly complete site, here you can have access to all the services to make your day on it memorable.
Where to eat on Culebra Island?
Among the places to eat most recommended by frequent travelers to the island we can mention: Krusty Krab, Blac Flamingo, Zaco’s Tacos and Dinghy Dock. If what you want is to eat pizza, you can not stop visiting Heather’s Pizza.
Although improvised trips are exciting, from here we recommend that you plan your visit to Isla Culebra very well. You should take into account what means you are going to use to get there, where you are going to eat and which beaches you are going to visit. In this way you can make the most of the time you visit this wonderful paradise in the Caribbean.
Day 5: Vieques
Vieques is another of the islands of Puerto Rico. It is located to the east of the main island and you should include it in your itinerary if you really want to know the beauties that this country contains. Although it is one of the most visited sites, it does not have a large commercial infrastructure, which is why it still preserves its natural beauty.
To get to Vieques, you must take a boat that leaves from the port of Fajardo. Don’t worry about the cost of the ticket, since it barely exceeds 38 pesos ($2). The journey takes less than an hour, although you will not get bored because you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the crystal clear waters that surround the island.
What beaches to visit in Vieques?
In Viques the offer of beaches is wide. Here you can select the one that best suits your tastes. If you are an adventurer and like to experience things out of the ordinary, we recommend that you visit Playa Negra.
Although it is not recommended to swim in it because its waves are strong, it is worth taking a walk, since it is the only beach in Puerto Rico whose sand is dark in color.
Another of the most visited beaches in Vieques is Playa de Caracas, ideal to enjoy, either as a couple or as a family. Nearby there are also many other beaches, some of which are so hidden that the number of people is very few.
If you prefer places with little influx of people, then we recommend that you visit these beaches, among which the furthest is Playa de la Plata, very quiet and relaxing.
Mosquito Bay: where the night lights up
Although the beaches of Vieques offer you a day of fun and enjoyment, the greatest attraction of the island is present when the sun goes down. Mosquito Bay is one of the most interesting and beautiful places on the planet. In its waters there is a large concentration of bioluminescent aquatic organisms. These are capable of producing light naturally.
To be able to enjoy this phenomenon in Bahía de los Mosquitos, you can access one of the numerous tours that are offered there. In them you can ride a kayak and navigate the bay. You will be amazed every time the paddle moves through the water and it lights up instantly. If you caress the water with your hands the effect will be the same.
This is definitely an experience you will treasure forever. If you travel as a couple, it is very romantic. The visit to Vieques is the finishing touch to close your five-day stay in Puerto Rico.
This itinerary that we have prepared for you is the best option for those who are wondering what to do in Puerto Rico in 5 days, since it includes the most emblematic places on the island, which can be visited without the need for a large investment of money.
Now, to plan this wonderful trip to Puerto Rico, you should take into account some aspects such as transportation and the money you must have. So pay attention to what we tell you below so that your trip is a total success.
Is Puerto Rico expensive?
Puerto Rico is indeed a more expensive destination than other Caribbean islands. However, by putting some tips into practice, it is possible to enjoy a trip to this island with little investment. The average cost in an a la carte menu restaurant is 1037 pesos ($55). There are also cheaper options, which cost around 226 pesos ($12) per person. In this last type of restaurant, the food is more homemade and you will taste the true seasoning of the island. As for hotels, there are other alternatives. In recent times, hostels have established themselves as the best options for travelers who are on a tight budget. In the center of San Juan it is possible to find very good hostels, with prices starting at 377 pesos ($20).
How to get around in Puerto Rico?
The easiest option is to rent a vehicle to visit the sites without being subject to public transport schedules or taxi availability. However, it is very expensive. You can also use public transport. The average cost of a one-way ticket is 38 pesos ($2). The other option is a taxi. The cost varies according to the distance traveled and the duration of the ride. Currently, the taxi fare for each km traveled is 28 pesos ($1.5). The second modality has more to do with travel time than with distance. Here the average cost of 1 hour of travel is 377 pesos ($20). Of all the above options, the best are taxis, as the drivers know the island and know which places to recommend according to your requirements. Of course, it all depends on your budget.
Can you get around Puerto Rico by car?
Puerto Rico is a small island that is easy to get around by car. The island has a network of highways, whose signs are similar to those in the United States. There are several car rental agencies that allow you to pick them up directly at the airport when you arrive on the island. One of the advantages of touring the island by car is that you can make the trip at your own pace, having more opportunities to get to know towns and tourist places. Taking a car trip through Puerto Rico is an unforgettable adventure.
Is it worth traveling to Puerto Rico?
From here we can tell you, without any doubt, yes. Puerto Rico is a place of exuberant beauty and natural attractions worth visiting. Not only this, its inhabitants are very friendly people and attentive to tourists, whom they receive with impressive warmth. Yes, we know that a trip to Puerto Rico involves spending money. However, we tell you not to see it as such. Visualize your trip to Puerto Rico as an investment in you, in your well-being and in your fun. We guarantee that you will enjoy it very much.
Once all the aspects to consider for your trip to Puerto Rico have been resolved, it is time to stop wondering what to do in Puerto Rico in 5 days and get down to work. Take your suitcase and come to the Isla del Encanto, we guarantee that it will be an unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly remain among your best memories.
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