Puerto Rico

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Most first-time visitors to Puerto Rico focus their itinerary on San Juan, but the island offers plenty of worthy destinations to explore, whether for a day or a longer stay, including Vieques and Culebra, a pair of offshore islets with their own character and charm. Puerto Rico’s well-maintained network of roads makes getting around easy.

Puerto Rico Cities and Regions

San Juan

Soak up rays on the wide Isla Verde beach, splurge at Condado boutiques, and stroll the blue cobblestone streets of historic Old San Juan. See our San Juan Travel Guide

Fajardo

The northeast coast of Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque rain forest and Puerto Rico’s biggest resorts and spas. It's also the departure point for ferries crossing to Vieques and Culebra.

Ponce

Nicknamed the “Pearl of the South,” the island’s second-largest city, on the southern coast, has a historical and architectural identity distinct from San Juan and is less visited by travelers. Don’t miss the Ponce Firehouse museum and the Fountain of the Lions, made for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Both are in the city's main square, Plaza de las Delicias, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Be sure to try the ice cream at King's Cream, just across the square; exotic flavors include papaya, guava, coconut, and tamarind.

Vieques

Grab a folding chair and a beer, and lay claim to your own expanse of beach on this ultra-laid-back island. Since embracing tourism in 2003 after decades as a U.S. naval base (some of the island is still closed as cleanup progresses slowly), tiny Vieques 7 miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico has been the most accessible “uncharted territory” in the Caribbean. Harboring more than 40 miles of unspoiled sand, one of Puerto Rico’s three phosphorescent “bio-bays,” and the Caribbean’s largest wildlife refuge, the small hotels and casual restaurants of Vieques have attracted easygoing, eco-minded tourists.

Porta Del Sol

This collection of fishing towns, along the west coast from Guanica in the south to Quebradillas in the north, is Puerto Rico’s go-to destinations for spectacular surfing, seafood, and sunsets. Laid-back Rincón, a two-hour drive from San Juan, has both budget hotels and the island’s top luxury property, the Horned Dorset Primavera.

Culebra

Smaller than nearby Vieques, Culebra has an even more casual atmosphere than its neighbor, not to mention one of the Caribbean’s finest beaches, the mile-long arc Playa Flamenco. Both islands are reached by a puddle-jumper flight from San Juan or via ferry from Fajardo.

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