Where to Eat
If your plans involve lots of sunbathing and beach time, pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, beach bag, and again your flip flops! Most oceanfront resorts offer beach chairs, umbrellas and watersport equipment to rent.
St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Rio Grande
Window Cave, Arecido
You’ll find equally inspiring portraits of paradise along Puerto Rico’s beaches, which number in the hundreds.
An often overlooked Caribbean dive spot, Puerto Rico offers scuba diving couples a chance to explore rare black coral reefs. And few things are as enchanting as Puerto Rico’s three bioluminescent bays, where endless amounts of microscopic, single-celled organisms light up like stardust whenever activated by movement. And all three of them — Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Laguna Grande in Fajardo and La Parguera in Lajas — are easily accessible all year
Less than 30 miles from San Juan is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system, El Yunque Rainforest. Enriched with heavy annual precipitation, the forest includes 240 tree species and is a netherworld of waterfalls and placid pools.
If you want to hike in El Yunque Rainforest, you might want to consider closed-toe shoes or hiking boots, plus sunscreen, insect repellant, a hat, raincoat and a sturdy bottle for water. Water shoes and a bathing suit are a good idea for an impromptu dip in one of the rainforest pools.
Where to Stay
Winter outdoors? Yeah, we got that!
Take a Vacation Where the Piña Colada Is the Only Cold You’ll Feel
Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island
If you’re going to experience Puerto Rico both on and under the water, you’ll need a swimsuit or quick-drying clothing with water shoes for kayaking. Also bring a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant, and your kayak wear will work for boat charters as well. Many outfitters offer equipment rentals for diving and snorkeling, but if you bring your own gear, don’t forget your dive mask, snorkel, flippers and a wetsuit if you’re planning to scuba dive.
If you’re hoping to sample Puerto Rico’s culture and gastronomy, make sure to bring your appetite and be ready to experience the most flavorful local Puerto Rican cuisine.
Placita de Santurce
Puerto Rico is an idyllic blend of world-class attractions, magnificent natural wonders and Old World allure. The capital city, San Juan, is the island’s most visited destination, serving nearly a dozen cruise lines. Large by Caribbean island standards, Puerto Rico has 272 miles of coastline.
Old San Juan, the Caribbean’s only walled city, offers prime shopping with craft markets selling traditional wares like papier mache masks, mundillo lace and small wooden figurines of saints. Meanwhile diners in San Juan will find eclectic cuisine mingling Spanish, Creole and Taíno indian traditions.
One of the best ways to spend a day here is exploring the tunnels, stairs and bastions of San Juan’s four Spanish Colonial fortresses. Among them is the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, which offers stunning vistas over San Juan Bay.
While the diversity of activities makes travel to Puerto Rico attractive to couples and the whole family, so does the price. Travelers can find getaways to the Isle of Enchantment on any budget, with moderately priced accommodations available for about $100 a night, and more decadent lodgings for $700 a night.
Puerto Rico is also an affordable getaway at a moment’s notice.
Few islands in the Caribbean are as accessible, fun and romantic, and U.S. citizens can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport, with nonstop flights arriving in San Juan from several major U.S. cities.
If you have only three or four days, stay in or close to San Juan to maximize vacation time. The capital has a variety of sightseeing and activities, and it’s possible to get around without renting a car.
If you have five days or more to explore, head to Rincón. This municipality, as well as Isabela and Aguadilla offer superior surfing as well as scuba, snorkeling, kayaking and whale watching in winter months. Visit the beach towns of Cabo Rojo, Guánica and La Parguera in Lajas for views of burnt red sea cliffs, nature reserves and coral reefs.
Sponsored Advertising Content by Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s culinary scene ranges from white tablecloth experiences to casual dining right on the beach. The island’s cuisine features influences of Spain, Africa and the native Taíno, and is famous for its complex rice dishes and stews like arroz con dulce and asopao.
Crave our menus showcasing marinated cassava, green banana fritters or cornstarch custard drizzled with butter and spiced with cinnamon. Fried plantains, delicious flatbreads, sweet and sour combinations and fruits and vegetables like breadfruit and avocado are common in Puerto Rican cooking.
Foodies will find plenty to please their palates in Old San Juan, La Placita de Santurce, Condado, Rincón and Vieques.
Old San Juan
A United Nations World Heritage Site, Old San Juan’s rich historic architecture includes the medieval Catedral de San Juan, which houses Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon’s tomb, and the 16th-century La Fortaleza, the oldest continually used executive mansion in the Western Hemisphere. Take a stroll through the blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, winding in and out of the stores, bistros and cafes along the way. Another great place to stroll: Paseo del Morro, which offers views of the city walls and the cerulean bay.
El Yunque Rainforest
La Guancha, Ponce
Tired of freezing temperatures, snow shoveling and multiple layers? Well, there's a place where winter is 85 degrees and sunny, and bathing suits and t-shirts are the only layer of clothing needed. Of course, it's Puerto Rico! From the magical experience of trailing your fingertips through glowing warm waters on bioluminescent bays under the moon to walking on long stretches of almond-colored sand at sunset, you’ll find Puerto Rico dripping with romance, culture, adventure and fun.
If enchantment is your aim, Puerto Rico delivers. Not only are there plenty of fun outdoor activities to keep you busy, but also some of the most gorgeous spots to simply relax and enjoy the warmth of the island's people and weather. This island territory also offers travel styles to suit any taste and budget, it's easy to get to and the tropical winter wonderland your freezing bones are dreaming of right now.
- Over 400 weekly flights from U.S. cities
- No passport required for U.S. citizens
- Hotel deals where you can save up to 60 percent
Take a Vacation Where the Piña Colada Is the Only Cold You’ll Feel
Romantic accommodations abound to fit every budget and need. If you’re seeking the ultimate in luxury and service, you’ll find hotels exuding Spanish Revival architecture and Roaring Twenties glamor. Some offer 24-hour butler service and private pools, and many provide sumptuous ocean views from expansive suites.
Or you can completely get away from it all and choose a secluded lodge or casita with no televisions but plenty of relaxation while still maintaining proximity to serene beaches and maybe even regular views of wild horses.
Puerto Rico’s climate is tropical, so pack light, summertime clothing, comfortable shoes and don’t forget your flip flops. Remember the island enjoys an average year-round temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.