Go where the locals go in Puerto Rico. Hire a modern travel agent with ViaHero.
Traveling to San Juan—The Ultimate Guide
Updated January 24, 2022
If you’re traveling to Puerto Rico, you can’t not go to San Juan. The island’s capital city, it’s packed with incredible places to go and things to do. Here’s the ultimate guide to traveling through San Juan, neighborhood by neighborhood. Any questions after reading? Message us!
Escambron Marine Park: An off-the-beaten-path snorkeling mecca in the heart of San Juan.
El Capitolio: Puerto Rico’s white-domed Capitol Building. It’s filled with stunning murals—ask your Hero to make you reservations for the official tour.
Paseo de Los Presidents: Life-sized statues of each U.S. president who have visited Puerto Rico.
Ruins of Playa Pena: Historical ruins alongside a secluded, pristine beach.
Filled with art and science museums and outside of the traveler-heavy areas of San Juan, Bayamon is ideal for rainy tropical days or cooling down in the AC. Bayamon can get a little sketchy at night, so it’s best to hit up this neighborhood during daylight hours. Chat with your local Hero about the best times to visit each neighborhood.
Museo Francisco Oller: A collection of paintings by one of Puerto Rico’s most famous artists.
Museo de Munecas: An eccentric museum filled with traditional Latin American and Caribbean dolls.
Parque de las Ciencias: An extensive outdoor museum with a planetarium, zoo, and paddle-boating.
Caparra Ruins Museum: The remains of the first Spanish settlement in Puerto Rico, founded by Juan Ponce de Leon.
Hato Rey is part of the “Golden Mile,” San Juan’s banking district, but it’s not all business here. Hato Rey is also San Juan’s concert and sports hotspot, a great location for making local friends at Coliseo baseball games or the annual Heineken Jazz Festival.
Taberna Boricua: A local-favorite craft brewery with live music on Fridays.
Fruttery Hato Rey: A hidden gem with delectable Puerto Rican sweets, tarts, and homemade ice cream.
A low-key university barrio, Rio Piedras is the textbook definition of hidden gem. The town is packed with acres of gardens and farmer’s markets—go on a bustling Saturday for a taste of local Puerto Rican life.
Rio Piedras highlights:
The University of Puerto Rico: PR’s largest public university. It’s a beautiful visit with its Spanish-style buildings and an iconic clock tower.
Jardin Botanico: The university’s massive botanical gardens with over 30,000 plants, flowers, trees, and waterfalls—just don’t forget your tour reservation!
With its laid-back vibes and uncrowded ocean views, the natural paradise of Piñones just outside of San Juan is a Puerto Rico travel highlight. A well-kept local secret, Piñones’ beaches and forests are best seen from a COPI bike—just ask a local travel planner to set up a bike rental, and away you go!
Estatal de Pinones: A serene forest and nature reserve with coral reefs and Puerto Rican pine trees.
Punta Cangrejos: A secluded cape known for odd rock formations and crab colonies.
Mi Casita Seafood: Small Puerto Rican seafood restaurant with creations like conch and octopus salad
If you’ve got that itch for adventure, it’s high time you were on your way to San Juan. With so many barrios to explore, San Juan is the perfect starting point for your custom Puerto Rico itinerary. Just match with a Hero and they’ll do the rest? Any questions? Message us!