The Caribbean is one of the loveliest places for a relaxing vacation where you can unplug, spend time being at ease outdoors and simply enjoy the company of your travel companions. And Puerto Rico is a top spot for all of that, with its tropical terrain, fascinating history and exciting culture on this 100-mile-long island of the Greater Antilles.
The options for exploring nature in Puerto Rico are vast. From sunny, sandy beaches to lush rainforests, mountains, coral reefs and more, you can spend your days hiking exhilarating trails, marveling at the local wildlife or laying on the the shore with a good book and tasty beverage. No matter what, you have your choice of outdoor activities, so you can try them all if the mood suits you.
Cultural activities abound here as well. There a variety of dining options, many specializing in a local favorite - suckling pig - and music blasting as locals and visitors alike dance the night away. Museums offer a glimpse into the island's past, its heritage and art, which can also be seen through the various examples of architecture around Puerto Rico.
Things to Do in Puerto Rico
- Museum of Art of Puerto Rico: a visit to the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico is a must. Housed in a Neoclassical building from the 1920s, which was formerly the San Juan Municipal Hospital, the museum of one of the largest in the Caribbean. Inside you'll find collections dating back to the 17th century. In the east wing, a five-story stained-glass window by local artist Eric Tabales dominates the space and is a truly a sight to behold. In 1996, a wing designed by architects Otto Reyes and Luis Gutierrez was added. The museum also features a 400-seat theater and large atrium, and outside you can stroll through a lovely garden with a variety of native plants. If you work up an appetite wandering around, the museum also houses a restaurant.
- Jobos Beach: This is one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico for surfing because of the excellent waves on a low-depth area. Whether you're hoping to learn how to hang 10 or just want to relax on the sand, Jobos Beach is a well-kept, clean spot to do just that. Toss a Frisbee, build sandcastle?s or take turns burying each under under the sand, then wash it all off with a jump into the water.
- Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena: Something you might not expect to find in the tropics is an ice skating rink, but in Puerto Rico you can hit the ice at Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena. It's the only rink to be found in the Caribbean, and could be just the thing too cool off after a day in the sun. It's chilly in here, so dress appropriately, then lace up those skates and take a lap. The arena is open every day and certainly provides a unique experience for those visiting Puerto Rico.
- Casa Blanca Museum: If you're looking for the oldest museum in Puerto Rico, you've found it at Casa Blanca Museum, which is thought to be of great historic value. It's a two-bedroom home with a kitchen, foyer, dining room, throne room and oratorio. As you move through the museum you'll see the rooms decorated to represent the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Outside, you can explore the museum's beautiful garden with its wonderfully smelling orchard.
- Camuy River Cave Park: If the adventure lovers of the group are looking for a unique outdoor experience, The Camuy River Cave Park is it. Visitors can explore the natural limestone cave system and underground waterways. Here you'll find more than 10 miles of subterranean beauty with 220 caves and 17 different entrances. The system is located in the 268-acre park and is one of the most popular attractions in Puerto Rico. Some favorite spots here include Tri-Towns Sinkhole, Spiral Cave and Sinkhole, and the Clara Cave and Empalme Sinkhole, which you can see on a professional tour.
- Culebra National Wildlife Refuge: If you're hoping to see some of the natural scenery and local wildlife in Puerto Rico, look no further than the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge. More than 50,000 seabirds from 13 different species call this place home, as do three species of sea turtles. It's a lovely place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and relax. Plan an exhilarating hike around the area as you watch for native animals to come out of hiding.
- Casa del Rey: Learn about the island's history with a visit to Casa del Rey - the King's House. The structure is the oldest in Dorado and served as an inn first in 1823, then housing for personnel from the Spanish Government and later as regional military headquarters. In 1848, it was purchased and converted into a home. Casa del Rey has been modified once again and restored into a museum where you can learn about Puerto Rican culture, see examples of antique furniture and learn about the history of the region.