1. El Yunque National Forest
To experience some of Puerto Rico’s lush inland beauty, this is the place to visit. Spread along the Luquillo Mountains, including Pico El Yunque, El Yunque National Forest is home to the only tropical rainforest in the National US Forest System. The climate here is considerably cooler than along the coast and at lower elevations, and it is noticeably wetter. Walking
2. Culebra Island (Isla Culebra)
Although Culebra is often mentioned in the same breath as Vieques, this smaller island with beautiful beaches and lush hills has its own unique character. The pace here is unhurried and the atmosphere relaxed. Ecotourism is big on the island and many of the tourist establishments are run by expats.
3. Old San Juan (San Juan Viejo)
Walking the streets of Old San Juan, with its lovely colonial architecture and imposing forts, is like stepping back into another era but with a number of modern conveniences.
The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with hundreds of restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings. Today, visitors can dine, shop, or even stay in some of these beautiful old structures.
Vieques, eight miles from mainland Puerto Rico, has become a popular beach resort with small, upper-end hotels, restaurants, shops, and galleries. With the departure of the United States Army from the island in 2003, Vieques turned its focus to tourism.
5. Luquillo Beach
For an easy escape from the busy beaches of San Juan, Luquillo is a terrific option. Luquillo Beach, just a short drive from the city, is a palm-lined stretch of golden sand that offers a fair degree of tranquility, without surrounding high-rise buildings and development.
6. Surfing and Whale Watching at Rincon
Often called “Pueblo del Surfing” (Surfing Town) and “Little Malibu,” Rincón is known to Puerto Ricans as a “Gringo Paradise.” The dominant language in the area is English, with many foreign surfers and other expats making this town their home.
7. Arecibo Radio Telescope (Observatorio de Arecibo)
The Arecibo Radio Telescope features a 20-acre dish set in a sinkhole. Here, astronomers have proved the “music of the stars” (pulsars and quasars) and examined the moon, the earth’s ionosphere, and other planets.
8. Ponce’s Historic City Center
While Ponce is a large city and generally not on the typical tourist route through Puerto Rico, its historic city center is a delight, with 17th-century architecture and open plazas. The Plaza Las Delicias is a good starting point for visitors, with cafés and park benches for convenient people-watching.
9. Rio Camuy Caves (Parque de lasCavernasdel Río Camuy)
The Rio Camuy Cave Park features a huge cave system covering 268 acres and is thought to be the third largest cave system in the world. A trolley bus transports visitors to a 200-foot deep cave, or sinkhole, which is now a preserved area known as Cueva Clara Empalme.
10. Isla Verde
For the all-inclusive crowd looking for nice resorts and a decent beach within easy reach of a major airport, Isla Verde is just the answer. Everything an overworked, sun-seeking, beach-loving vacationer could ask for – minus Puerto Rican culture – can be found right here.
Final thoughts on Puerto Rico
No passport or customs required for United States citizens to Puerto Rico and for others, you’re required to have a valid USA Visa to enter Puerto Rico.
The island is composed of over 250 miles of great sparkling beaches, including an ample supply of self-contained luxury resorts, hotels, and casinos.
But the wise visitor to Puerto Rico takes the time out from the ever-present sun to pursue the island’s other great charms, beginning perhaps with the historic majesty of the capital of San Juan and the southern majestic city of Ponce.