Puerto Rico (Borinquen), my home, is one of the world's most gorgeous destinations. No matter what time of the year you visit, you will experience a vibrant culture that celebrates life through dancing, eating, and socializing. With a rich history full of traditions, pristine white-sand beaches, tropical rainforests, caves, mountains, rivers, etc. - Puerto Rico is a true paradise.
To help you celebrate and travel like a true "Boricua" (native Puertorrican) below, I will share my top five favorite spots to visit in Puerto Rico. Keep in mind that there is no significant source of public transportation in Puerto Rico, and you will need to rent a car to visit the following places. We hope you enjoy!
5 - El Poblado de Boquerón, Cabo Rojo
El Poblado de Boquerón is one of my favorite spots on the Island for its lovely beaches, local vendors, and fun bars. Most vendors will open in the evening, where you can buy fresh clams, crabs, fish, coconut, and much more. The Poblado the Boqueron is also a social place where you can mingle with the locals over a local beer or fresh juice. Furthermore, from el Poblado, you can take a 30-minute drive to La Pargera in Lajas, where you can book a kayak tour (at night) and visit the famous bioluminescent bay - one of the few in the world. You can easily reach Cabo Rojo from the San Juan Airport in less than three hours.
4 - Crashboat Beach, Aguadilla
Crashboat beach is probably the most famous beach on Puerto Rico's west coast. With crystal clear water, long stretches of white-sand beaches, dreamy sunsets, and an old pier that goes several meters out into the ocean, Crashboat beach is perfect for relaxing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. You can also find serval local food vendors selling all kinds of "pinchos" (shish kebabs), "frituras (turn-overs), and fresh coconut water. Boricuas love Crashboat beach, and it can get quite busy on weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds and find parking easily, I recommend visiting from Monday through Thursday. You can easily reach Crashboat beach in 10 minutes if you drive from the Aguadilla Airport or in two hours if you drive from the San Juan Airport.
Aguadilla Tip: Take a day trip off the beaten path to visit "Las Ruinas" (the ruins), where you will find the remanence of an 18th-century lighthouse along with stunning isolated beaches.
3 - Cueva del Indio, Arecibo
Situated in the small town of Arecibo, "La Cueva del Indio" (the Indian Cave) is a unique cave you can only reach by lowering a small wooden ladder. You must exercise extreme caution to reach the cave since no one maintains the path or the wooden ladder. Furthermore, to reach the cave, you will be walking on sharp volcanic rock; therefore, I recommend you wear closed shoes. Once you reach the cave, you will find impressive pre-Colombia petroglyphs throughout the walls, hence where the cave gets its name. Furthermore, the cave is surrounded by remarkable ocean cliff views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are driving from San Juan, you can reach La Cueva del Indio in under two hours.
2 - Puente La Bellaca, Quebradillas
Puente (bridge) La Bellaca is not for the faint-hearted! Located in the north shore town of Quebradillas, the bridge was initially built as part of a railroad system in the late 1800s. However, the project was abandoned, and the bridge was repurposed as a water support line. Puente La Bellaca is situated over a deep gorge 130 feet above the ground. From the bridge, you will have spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the tree canopy below, and caves in the distance. Take caution when walking across the bridge, and use the handrails for support. You can reach Puente La Bellaca in under two hours if traveling from San Juan.
1 - Playa la Chiva, Vieques
Puerto Rico is well known for its pristine white sand beaches. Some of the most stunning beaches are located on the neighboring islands of Vieques and Culebra. In fact, in 2014, Flamenco Beach (in Culebra) was ranked by TripAdvisor as the 3rd best beach in the world. As a result of its ranking by TripAdvisor, most travelers began to visit Flamenco beach in Culebra, leaving the neighboring island of Vieques forgotten. With fewer people traveling to Vieques, it is a perfect destination to visit and enjoy remarkable beaches without the crowds. One of my favorite beaches there is Playa la Chiva. Located on the south part of the island, Playa la Chiva has an incredible white sand beach along with pristine turquoise water. Don't forget to take your snorkeling gear for your chance to swim with sea turtles and starfishes. You can easily reach Vieques by boat, ferry, or airplane from the coastal towns of Fajardo or Luquillo.
Note: Vieques is home to Puerto Rico's second bioluminescent bay and one of the very few in the world.
Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? What were you're favorite things to do and see there? Let us know in the comments below!