ViaHero · November 17, 2018
Trying to figure out where to go on you Puerto Rican adventure? Don’t worry—we’ve got it covered. Here are all the 14 best places to stay in Puerto Rico, organized by location. You’re welcome, travelers.
Want to explore Puerto Rico differently? Have a local plan your trip.
Greater San Juan
San Juan isn’t exactly short on places to stay. One of the first areas to recover from Hurricane Maria, San Juan his rich, safe, vibrant, and one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico.
#1. Old San Juan: historically rich
The most traveled place in Puerto Rico, this San Juan locale is full of history: ancient forts, monuments, museums, and more. The northmost tip of the city, it’s easy to get to, beautiful, lively, and chock full off-the-beaten-path gems. Ask one of our local travel experts to include a bunch in your personalized trip plan (it’s basically a Lonely Planet written just for you).
#2. Santurce: San Juan’s hipster haven
Just outside of Old San Juan, Santurce is packed with artsy culture. Your inner hipster will love the neighborhood’s nightlife, murals, and unique eats (and your inner shopaholic will drool over the nearby shopping). Full of life, this San Juan neighborhood is often rated as one of the coolest places to go in Puerto Rico.
#3. Isla Verde: beach bliss
No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without a visit to San Juan’s best 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 best beaches in all of Puerto Rico in addition to some of the nicest resorts in the world (seriously, they’re ranked).
#4. Culebrita Island: cute and cozy
This small, uninhabited island just off Culebra is pretty much as cute as it sounds. Culebrita is teensy-tiny, but a great place to go in Puerto Rico if you’re looking to get off the beaten path. Ask a Hero where to stay to make your cutest beach dreams come true with a quick trip to Culebrita.
#5. Flamenco: the best beach in the world
Located on the island of Culebra, Flamenco is a short (and cheap!) plane or boat ride from Puerto Rico proper (and it’s totally worth the trip). Believe TripAdvisor’s Puerto Rico reviews—this is possibly the best beach in the entire world!
#6. Tamarindo: turtle-y fun!
We know you’ve always dreamed of snorkeling with cute sea turtles and colorful fish—and even if you haven’t (which is a lie, who doesn’t want to see the turtles?!), this is something to add to you Puerto Rico itinerary. On the west coast of Culebra Island, Tamarindo boasts being a snorkeler’s wonderland with crystal clear waters and friendly fish.
If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Puerto Rico, you should definitely stay in Vieques. Just off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico (and southwest coast of Culebra), Vieques is absolutely beautiful, and a little more populated than Culebra.
#7. Esperanza: the foodie capital
Esperanza is a primarily residential area in south Vieques. With Puerto Rican restaurants galore, Esperanza is definitely the place to be if you’re a foodie. Fresh fish, great meat, and local flavor abound. Ask your Hero where to get the best grub.
#8. Isabel Segunda: for adorableness and pastries
Just opposite from Esperanza on the north shore of Vieques lies the beautiful small town of Isabel Segunda, also known by its nickname Isabel II. Also a foodie destination, this town is known to have the best pastelillos—a type of traditional Puerto Rican pastry—in all of Puerto Rico.
#9. Mosquito Bay: the one you’ve seen in pictures
The world’s brightest bioluminescent bay, Mosquito Bay is home to millions of tiny organisms that light up the water at night, making for a dazzling show. Just outside of Esperanza, this is a spectacle you’ll need to see to believe. You can stay right on the bay in one of the area’s many hotels!
Known as La Perla del Sur—The Pearl of the South—Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico. Often overlooked, Ponce is a Puerto Rican cultural gem.
#10. Isla de Caja de Muertos: full of activities
Caja de Muertos is a small island just off the coast of Ponce. Talk to a local trip planner about adding activities like sailing and cave-hiking to your Puerto Rico itinerary when you stay on this adorable little island.
#11. La Guancha: packed with locals
This Ponce neighborhood is packed with Puerto Rican culture. The southernmost tip of Ponce, La Guancha is best known for its huge boardwalk, which is packed with shopping, food, drinks, and fun. It’s a real local gem, so don’t expect to see too many other travelers here.
Porta del Sol
If you’re looking to get away from the busy life of Puerto Rico’s larger cities and islands, then Porta del Sol—the west coast—is for you!
#12. Rincon: a surfer paradise
Just near the northwest tip of Puerto Rico lays the country’s best surfing destination. The town’s two nicknames—Pueblo del Surfing (surfing town) and El Pueblo de los Bellos Atardeceres (the town of beautiful sunsets)—are only two of the main reasons you need to go!
#13. Cabo Rojo: beautiful and remote
This remote southwest locale is home to some of Puerto Rico’s most scenic sights and best hikes. Talk to a Puerto Rican travel guru about seeing the wildlife refuge, the pretty pink salt flats, and the Nature Reserve during your stay in the always beautiful Cabo Rojo!
#14. Isabela: where locals vacation
Isabela, in the northwest part of Puerto Rico, is famous for its wealth of natural beauty. Underground rivers, mangrove forests, mountains, lakes, and wildflowers pack this town—which is a traditional vacation spot for Puerto Rican locals.
Ready to book your trip to Puerto Rico? We thought so! Our team of local trip planners is here and ready to plan your custom experience. Before you go, contact us with any questions and feel free to check out: