Culebra Island: Nearby Island Paradise
Speaking of great island destinations…if you’re looking for beachy things to do in Puerto Rico Culebra is a great place to stay. Just off the coast of Puerto Rico proper, Culebra is home to Playa Flamenco , which is known for its warm turquoise waters and white sands. It’s a great place to go in Puerto Rico if you dream of sunning yourself near the ocean.
Getting suggestions from locals is a great way to enjoy Culebra’s excellent, healthy options for meals. One of our trip planners recommends Vibra Verde, a locally-owned brunch spot that bakes their own bread!
You can believe those TripAdvisor Puerto Rico reviewsPlaya Flamenco is gorgeous and classic. It would make Bachelor contestants envious.
San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel
In the trendy Isla Verde suburb outside San Juan, the Water Beach Club sits just across from Isla Verde Beach in a central locale. The property has 80 rooms done up in modern beach style with bold accent walls and matching bed-runners and pillows. All are clean and comfortable.
Grab a chair and umbrella reserved for hotel guests on the beach or head to the small but cute pool with more sun-loungers and ocean views. There is also a rooftop area, which is great for snapping pictures from, and a small gym on-site.
Address: 2 Tartak Street, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-5616 Puerto Rico
Culebra Island Where To Stay In Puerto Rico Best Beaches
Culebra Island is one of the smaller islands in Puerto Ricos archipelago, located to the east of Fajardo, off the coast of the main island. Its name translates to snake island and it is the least populous municipality in Puerto Rico.
It is a popular destination for both foreigners and main island Puerto Ricans alike, due to its incredible collection of beaches, including Playa Flamenco, Playa Tamarindo, Las Vacas Beach, Brava Beach, Larga Beach, Punta Soldado Beach, Resaca Beach, Tortuga Beach, and Zoni Beach.
Playa Flamenco, also known as Flamenco Beach, is perhaps the most popular option, having previously been ranked as the 3rd best beach in the world. A sandy beach backed by tree-covered hills, it is perfect for those seeking an idyllic tropical getaway.
While the beaches are the main attractions on Culebra Island, it is also known as a hotspot for animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. You can see sea turtles while scuba diving.
The most well-known area is the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which covers roughly 6 square kilometers. An important area for the nesting of 13 species of bird and 3 species of sea turtle, it is a great opportunity to see some unique animals.
There is even a selection of festivals held throughout the year, such as the Windsurfing Competition in February, the Fishing Tournament in March, and the Craft Festivities in November. Undoubtedly the biggest and most important festival though is the Patron Saint Festival in July.
Isla Verde: Luxurious Resorts And Stunning Seasides
No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without a visit to San Juans beautiful beach-and-resort area: Isla Verde. Technically in the neighboring town of Carolina, Isla Verde is just a short ride from the airport. Its coastline is home to three of the beaches in Puerto Rico that we adore : Condado Beach, Balneario de Carolina, and Isla Verde Beach.
It’s easy to visit Old San Juan from Isla Verde. Locals recommend waving down the A5 bus . Bring exact changea ride costs between $.50 and $.75.
Notable People From Carolina
Isla Verde skyline in Carolina
Courtyard by Marriott in Isla Verde Beach Resort
Statue of Roberto Clemente located at entrance of Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente
Aerial view of the city
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Old San Juan Best Area To Stay In Puerto Rico For Sightseeing
We begin our search on the main island, in the capital city of Puerto Rico, Old San Juan. The third oldest city under the jurisdiction of the United States, it is filled with a rich history dating back to the early 1500s, so you can really explore the islands past.
The majority of the buildings in Old San Juan have a distinctly Spanish architectural style, allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture of the area. This is a large part of the reason that Old San Juan is considered the main cultural tourist attraction in Puerto Rico.
The oldest executive mansion still in use in the Americas, La Fortaleza, and the El Palacio De Santa Catalina Fort San Cristóbal and Fort San Felipe Del Morro are the most historical buildings in Old San Juan which make up part of the San Juan Historical Site.
The Cathedral Of San Juan Bautista is a perfect example of the religious history of San Juan. With stunning architecture and artwork, as well as containing the grave of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon, it perfectly combines Puerto Ricos history and culture.
Other buildings of interest in Old San Juan include City Hall, the Diputación Provincial and Real Intendencia buildings, Casa Blanca, Casa Rosa, the San Jose Church, the Hotel El Convento, the Teatro Tapia, Paseo de la Princesa, and the Ballajá Barracks, which now contains the Ballajá Museum.
Beautiful, cobbled streets weave throughout San Juan, linking the buildings of Old San Juan with other attractions like the .
The 9 Best Places To Stay In Puerto Rico
Wondering where to stay in Puerto Rico? According to island locals, these are 9 of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico. See what locals say about the charms of classic Old San Juan and the strikingly beautiful Vieques Island.
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Isla Verde Resort Hotels
Isla Verde also has Resorts like Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort& La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort, which offer resort style accommodation for your leisure travel or luxury vacations in the area.You must consider these resort hotels for your Isla Verde vacations since they are mostly located near tourist attractions.Resort Amenities like Room service, Massage Services and Luxurious bathrobes make your stay comfortable.These top Isla Verde resorts like Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort have everything that a tourist or a business traveler would want from a luxury hotel property near popular Landmark locations.
Go Outside The Touristic Zone
While Old San Juan, Isla Verde, and Condado are great places to stay in Puerto Rico, they dont do justice to Puerto Ricos culture and beauty. Some of the islands greatest destinations are in non-touristy municipalities like Utuado, Arecibo, Isabela, and Orocovis. If you dont dare to go on your own, hire a local guide that takes you to Puerto Ricos best-hidden gems.
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Fajardo Where To Stay In Puerto Rico For Beach And Island Hoping
Often referred to as La Metrópolis del Sol Naciente or the city that guards the sun of the Caribbean, Fajardo is where visitors can expect plenty of sunshine and unmatched views of the Caribbean.
Water sports are the order of the day in Fajardo, with such activities as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sailing available in abundance.
The coral reefs and active animal habitatsof Icacos Island are a special draw, and just a short boat ride away.
Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is actually comprised of ten islands that can be reached by boat from Las Croabas.
Here visitors can glimpse sea turtle hatchings and various marine life in action, as well as visit the Faro de Las Cabezas de San Juan lighthouse, which was built in 1882 and played a significant role in the SpanishAmerican War.
Because of its photo-worthy scenery and ongoing roster of activities, Fajardo is a highly-recommended region to stay in Puerto Rico. Accommodation is limited to a few hotels and some private options.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN FAJARDO
Contemporary Comforts And A Boutique Atmosphere In Sunny Carolina
Just steps from the beach, TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde is an oasis for business and leisure travelers on the beautiful northeast coast of Puerto Rico. Two miles from the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport , our convenient Carolina location is close to the historic sights of Old San Juan and the Hato Rey and Guaynabo business districts, as well as sensational dining, shopping, and entertainment. Enjoy our hotels stylish amenities including ocean-view rooms, a spectacular modern lobby, gorgeous pool, and two gourmet restaurants.
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El Alambique Beach Aka Isla Verde Beach West
Playa Alambique, the first beach heading east from the neighbors Capital city of San Juan, a favorite for both locals and visitors. Alambique is a fun city beach with a very laid-back atmosphere, offering very convenient amenities to make the visit more enjoyable such as beach chair and umbrella rentals, restaurants nearby, and plenty of taxis around to take you back to your hotel. The waters are calmer than Ocean Park and Condado Beach making it more popular among families wanting to enjoy swimming and doing water sports.
Fajardo Where To Stay In Puerto Rico For Island Hoping And Beaches
Fajardo is yet again located further east along the coast, this time on the very north-eastern point of the island. It is perhaps the most popular destination in all of Puerto Rico for those in the boating community.
Surrounded by islets and other islands in the Puerto Rico archipelago, it is a fabulous destination for those who want to do a bit of island hopping. The Puerto Del Rey Marina is an ideal spot to park your yacht or book a tour out on the water to really make the most of your stay in Puerto Rico.
A collection of 46 beaches also offers some of the greatest choices anywhere in Puerto Rico. Whether you simply want to relax and top up your tan or get involved with activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, you are guaranteed to find a beach to meet your needs.
These beaches are surrounded by some of the best restaurants and hotels on the island. After a long day in the ocean, what better way to unwind than with some fresh seafood and a night sleeping in luxurious accommodation.
Attractions like a lighthouse, Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, cathedral, bioluminescent lagoon bay and a U.S. Customs House perfectly compliment the beautiful town square, ports, national parks, and reserves that surround the area. Meanwhile, its own airport makes Fajardo incredibly easy to access.
Best places to stay in Puerto Rico in Fajardo:
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Old San Juan: Rich In Color And History
Greater San Juan is beautiful, safe, vibrant, and in our opinion, one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico. The neighborhood of Old San Juan, on the northmost tip of the city, is full of history: ancient forts, monuments, museums, and colorful historic houses.
Take advantage of local advice. Locals tell us that Old San Juan can be “hit or miss” when it comes to restaurant optionslots of stuff in this area is geared at tourists. Still, they say it’s easy to find “diamonds in the rough.” One of our locals raved about Punto de Vista, where you can get great Puerto Rican food and enjoy a stellar sunset from the restaurant’s rooftop.
Love travel? Love history? Check out Yesterday in Travel, a podcast sponsored by ViaHero. One recent episode covered the “Great Migration” of Puerto Ricans to NYC:
Balneario De Carolina Carolina Pr
The term public beach may seem confusing to visitors since all beaches in Puerto Rico are considered open to the public there are no private beaches. A Balneario is managed by Compania de Parques Nacionales, and they offer picnic and bathroom facilities, parking, showers, the sand is cleaned, and the water quality is monitored. The waters on a Balneario are typically better for swimming and family-friendly. Most tourists stay at the beach nearest the hotels, so on a weekday, here you can enjoy the pleasures of an uncrowded beach.
Access to Carolina Beach Short walk from Marriott by Courtyard and the Ritz Carlton. Off Route 187 just north of the airport, parking available, bring cash for a parking fee.
Rincon Best Place To Stay In Puerto Rico For Surfers
Renowned as Puerto Ricos surfing capital, hitting the beach is at the top of the list of Rincon musts.
With its relaxed environment and peaceful blend of local and expat communities, Rincon is where visitors can slow down and take in Puerto Rican life the way it was meant to be savored.
You dont have to be a world-class surfer to try your hand at riding Rincons giant waves, as classes are available for all ages and levels. There is also the Surfing Museum, or Galeria del Surfing, to satiate the true surfing enthusiast.
Besides surfing there are also all the in-demand aquatic offerings such as diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and catamaran sailing.
The Punta Higüeras Lighthouse is the perfect spot to picnic, relax, and maybe even do some whale-watching. Built in 1892, the lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in 1918 and rebuilt in 1922 as it appears today.
While there are plenty of delicious restaurants and cafes to be found in Rincon, make sure to check out the towns popular food trucks, which offer a variety of local specialities and beachside favorites.
Visitors will find recognizable hotel names as well as boutique options while exploring lodging options in Rincon, with everything from funky private beach cottages to pet-friendly inns available.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN RINCON
Best Hostel In Ocean Park Nomada Urban Beach Hostel
Looking for a great place to stay with breathtaking views? With a modern and sleek interior style but incredibly low prices, Nomada Urban Beach Hostel is one of our favourite hostels in San Juan! It provides guests with a Latin American and Caribbean style atmosphere in a brilliant location. Choose from multiple person dorms rooms, budget-friendly private rooms and the unique option of camping on the hostels rooftop!
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Santurce: San Juan’s Hipster Haven
The neighborhood of Santurce, just outside of Old San Juan, bursts with art and culture. Locals tell us that Santurce’s photo-worthy street murals and electric nightlife make it one of the coolest places to go in Puerto Ricoand Santurce easily one of the top options for places to stay. Once the sun goes down, night owls gather at La Placita de Santurce for cheap drinks, good music, and plenty of outdoor grooves. Locals recommend bringing cash!
If you’re looking for a more low-key nightlife experience in Santurce, get tips from locals. One of our Puerto Rico trip planners recommends El Almacén, a La Placita speakeasy that posts their password on Instagram.
Have Fun On The Water
No vacation destination is complete without offerings of fun adventures and experiences on the water. Visitors to the beaches of Isla Verde can choose from a variety of water sports for the entire family to enjoy. Always wanted to learn how to surf? Pine Grove is a popular beach for surfers in Isla Verde, surfing lessons are available. Choose from flyboarding, parasailing, banana boat rides, catamaran rides, boat tours, jet ski rentals, paddle boarding, and more. Ask your hotel concierge for information or just go to the beach and choose from the watersports available, youll find a variety of watersports and equipment rentals.
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Palmas Del Mar Where To Stay In San Juan For Nature Lovers
Located just a short drive away from San Juan, in the municipality of Humacao lies the beautiful Palmas del Mar area. An ideal location for outdoor adventurers, Palmas del Mar has a sense of tranquillity while also boasting a great array of activities including snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing. Its surrounded by natural wonders including the endearing Pterocarpus Forest, making it the best place to stay in San Juan for outdoor adventurers.
Not only does Palmas del Mar treat visitors with a great deal of natural beauty but it also has a vast selection of great restaurants, laid-back bars, and charming apartments. Its been considered an exclusive area in the past with its has boutique hotels and resorts, however, weve managed to find some hidden gems that suit a variety of budgets.