Children play in the water in Puerto Rico.
Ricymar Photography/Flickr

12 Memorable Adventures in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is filled with opportunities for special moments, regardless of where you go looking for them, be it the cool, modern allure of San Juan nightlife; the miles of tropical coastline that ring the island; or the cool, lush forests and highlands of its interior. Following are just some of the best.
A parade for the Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastian in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Angel Xavier Viera-Vargas/Flickr
Watching a streetside rumba in Old San Juan during the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián
People dance, chant, bang drums, scratch gourd shells and don fabulous costumes—as if they’ve been waiting all year to do so.
A couple swims underneath La Min Falls at El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico.
Taking a dip in La Mina Falls
The cold mountain pools just below the roaring falls are surrounded by the lush El Yunque rainforest. You won’t want to go in at first because it’s so cold; but once you do, you'll become instantly invigorated.
Sunbathers at Ocean Park beach in Puerto Rico.
Alan Kotok/Flickr
Lying on the golden beach at Calle Santa Ana, Ocean Park
You'll be surrounded by beauty, both natural and human.
Partiers on Calle Cristo in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Harvey Barrison/Flickr
Enjoying some tapas and sangria at El Picoteo, the tapas spot at Hotel El Convento’s colonial courtyard
From there you can watch the procession of partygoers along Calle Cristo (pictured) on weekend nights.
The lobby of the Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Saturday night at La Concha’s lobby, when you’ll catch the pulse of San Juan nightlife and modern tropical style.
The sleek space is a seamless stitching of the exterior and the interior, the haute and natural. With help from surrounding clubs, boutiques, restaurants, and a seaside park, the hotel is also at the center of the city’s most fashionable neighborhood at the heart of Condado. You’ll see why at a seat at the central bar, a respite in a swirl of activity, or ensconced on the comfortable outdoor furniture, amidst the flowers and pools.
A shop in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Cogito Ergo Imago/Flickr
Browsing through Old San Juan’s shops and galleries, cafes and gift stores along calles Cristo and La Fortaleza
The factory outlets and unique shops make this one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean.
A statue on top of the San Juan Catedral, sillhoueted against the sky.
Scott Dexter/Flickr
Seeking solace from the steaming afternoon inside San Juan Cathedral, which rises skyward as if it had an affinity for the sun.
The cathedral’s air is deliciously cool, and the soaring space invites exploration. You’ll eventually get to the beautiful frescoes and paintings, statues, and detailed facades, among other decorative flourishes.
The ferry to Vieques
Taking the ferry to Culebra or Vieques on a bright, sunny morning...
With nothing but the prospect of a day on the Caribbean’s most pristine beaches and a night in a laid-back guesthouse. The mainland fades into the horizon as the island comes into view, and you feel distinctly remote.
A dirt road in Vieques
Barreling down a dirt road on Vieques’s south shore
En route, you’ll pass remote mangrove coastline and hidden coves fronting a delicious sea.
The San Juan Gate in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Paul Sableman/Flickr
Walking from the rose-colored San Juan Gate on a weekend afternoon along the bayside Paseo Princesa
The enormous entrance through the city’s ancient wall was first built in 1640. The wide promenade runs along a portion of the city wall and is bordered by the bay as well.
Snorkelers and zebra fish.
Connie Ma/Flickr
Snorkeling among thousands of iridescent fish
One of the best spots is Playa Carlos Rosario, one of Culebra’s most secluded beaches.
Plates of Puerto Rican food.
Jirka Matousa/Flickr
Grazing your way across Puerto Rico

From a vast array of fresh seafood on its coasts to succulent pig roasts in the mountains, Puerto Rico is a foodie’s paradise—and don’t get me started on the simple, yet delicious, comida criolla (home cooking).