With a vibrant culture forged from a mix of Hispanic, African, Caribbean and US influences, fine dining portoriqueno restaurants, Las Vegas- style casinos and a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, Puerto Rico offers all the ingredients you need for the perfect Caribbean honeymoon – all just a 2.5-hour flight from Miami.
Puerto Rico is famous for its vibrant culture and exuberant nightlife, which pulsates around the clock to the traditional rhythms of salsa, merengue and bomba y plen.
With more than 400km of coastline, Puerto Rico offers a great choice of balnearios (or public beaches) that charge a small fee for facilities such as parking, toilets, showers and lifeguards.
All beaches in Puerto Rico are public, and typically host food and drink concession stands and occasionally seafood restaurants.
The best beaches in Puerto Rico, include the following…
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Relax on the pale golden sands of this 600m-long beach that shelves into calm, reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming.
The wide beach is flanked by a string of hotels and apartment blocks.
Nearby Ashford Drive offers a selection of cafes and restaurants. Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, toilets, showers and lifeguards.
The best section of the beach sits in front of the 21-storey San Juan Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino, where you can enjoy a range of creature comforts.
Sunbathe on the soft sand and enjoy jazz concerts at the beachfront park of Gran Ventana al Mar.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this 1.6km-long golden-sand beach that sits between an upmarket residential neighbourhood and reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming and kite surfing.
Lined with palm and sea grape trees, this wide beach attracts the young and beautiful, especially at the weekends. Meet friendly locals and grab a bite to eat or a cold drink at one of the beachfront bar/restaurants housed in low-rise guesthouses.
There are no public facilities at this beach, however toilets can be found at the beachside park at the eastern end of the beach and at nearby water sport equipment clubhouses, where you can also hire sea kayaks and windsurfing boards.
Playa de Ocean Park is just east of Playa Condado.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Dip your toes into the pale golden sands of this 60m-wide palm-fringed beach that shelves into tranquil reef-protected waters offering perfect swimming conditions.
Go swimming in the calm waters, sunbathe on the golden sands and people-watch the ‘jet set’ who frequent the two luxurious beachfront hotels – the Intercontinental San Juan Resort at the beach’s western end and the El San Juan Resort and Casino at the eastern end. Visit for a day or stay longer.
Facilities on this 2.5km-long beach include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, changing rooms, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, picnic tables and barbecue grills. Water sports include kayaking, sailing catamarans and jet skiing.
The nearby Isla Verde Avenue is lined with a choice of bars and restaurants.
Playa de Carolina is east of Playa de Ocean Park.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Sunbathe anywhere on this gorgeous crescent of pale golden sand that stretches for 2.5km between the Ritz-Carlton and the Marriott Courtyard at the eastern end of Isla Verde, adjacent to the international airport.
Swim in the sheltered reef-protected waters around the Ritz-Carlton, go boogie boarding and body surfing at the eastern end of the beach or relax beneath shady palm trees.
There are no public facilities here, however both hotels offer a range of facilities that includes bars, restaurants and restrooms, as well as umbrellas and sun loungers for hire. Water sports include kayaking and sail boating.
(San Juan) – Relax on the golden sands of this 300m-long beach that curves around a small reef-protected cove offering good snorkelling in calm waters.
Unwind beneath the beachfront palm trees or stroll around the nearby park that sits at the eastern end of Puerta de Tierra.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, changing rooms, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, picnic tables and nearby restaurants.
Playa El Escambron is located on Puerta de Tierra, to the west of Playa Condado.
(East Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe, stroll and swim on this 3.5km-long golden-sand beach that shelves into the clear waters of a reef-protected bay.
Luquillo (also known as La Monserrate) is popular with local families and offers a range of facilities including changing areas, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, food concession stands and shaded picnic areas. Water sports equipment for hire includes kayaks and jet skis.
The beach is unique in that it offers the amenity known as Mar Sin Barreras (Sea without Barriers) – special wheelchairs with balloon tires that make strolling the beach with your loved one a breeze!
Visit for the day or stay longer at the luxury all-suite Gran Melia Puerto Rico.
Playa de Luquillo is around 48km east of San Juan near the town of Fajardo.
(East Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft golden sand of this 4km-long tree-lined beach that stretches along the undeveloped shoreline between Fajardo and Luquillo.
Swim in the crystal clear waters and snorkel alongside offshore rocks at the eastern end of the beach.
Playa El Convento Beach is a pleasant 3.2km walk from nearby Seven Seas Beach.
(East Coast) – Unwind on the soft white sands of this kilometre-long, narrow palm-fringed beach that fringes a sheltered bay overlooking the Reserva Natural Las Cabezas de San Juan.
Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers and picnic tables.
The calm gin-clear waters are perfect for swimming and the offshore reefs are ideal for diving and snorkelling. Visit for the day or stay at the nearby Fajardo Inn.
Playa de Seven Seas is east of Playa de Luquillo, near Fajardo.
(East Coast) – Choose from several pristine, palm-fringed white-sand beaches that edge this hilly island just off the coast of Puerto Rico.
Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the luxurious El Conquistador Resort, which also operates the main resort in Fajardo.
The resort provides facilities such as umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a range of water sports action including a water park with several slides and numerous pools.
(South Coast) – Located a few miles off the coast, this island has the best beaches in the Ponce area, and is probably the second-best area in southern Puerto Rico for snorkelling (second only to La Parguera).
(Northwest Coast) – Unwind on the golden sands of this 700m-long beach that curves around a dune-covered rocky spit with sheltered waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Go kite boarding, wind surfing and surfing the offshore coral heads.
Facilities on this palm-fringed beach include changing rooms, toilets, showers and several beachfront restaurants.
Jobos Beach is located near the town of Isabela.
(Northwest Coast) – Pick your spot to sunbathe on the golden sands of this 700m-long beach that lies on an uninterrupted strip of beachfront along Puerto Rico’s northwestern coastline.
Shacks Beach is best known for its good kite and windsurfing conditions. This area is also good for snorkelling the calm waters between the surf-pounded reef and the beach.
Facilities include toilets, showers and food concession kiosks.
Shacks Beach is located near the town of Isabela.
(Northwest Coast) – For the best winter surfing in Puerto Rico, head to this stretch of unspoiled beaches – Puntas, Domes, Little Malibu, Tres Palmas and Steps – along the northwest coast.
Generally rated as one of the world’s best surfing spots, Rincón is the centre of the island’s surf scene, which then extends to neighbouring Isabela and Aguadilla. In winter you can often catch waves up to 6m.
Facilities on most beaches include changing rooms, toilets, showers, lifeguards and food and drink kiosks. Visit for a day or stay longer at the elegant Horned Dorset Primavera, rated as one of the most exclusive hotels in Puerto Rico.
(Northwest Coast) – Unwind on this picturesque, 600m-long palm-fringed beach that stretches either side of a long jetty.
Sunbathe on the soft golden sand near colourful beached fishing boats, swim in the clear sheltered waters at the southern end of the beach and snorkel rocks at the northern end.
Facilities include toilets, showers and shady picnic huts. Local restaurants serve up freshly caught seafood. The waters here are perfect for kayaking, windsurfing and diving in summer.
Surfing is best in winter, from November through April.
This attractive beach is located near Aguadilla and is named after rescue boats used when the US Ramey Air Force Base was in operation.
(Southwest Coast) _ Unwind on the off-white sands of this 5km-long palm-fringed beach that faces a wide sheltered bay with tranquil waters that are perfect for families with children.
Facilities include changing rooms, lockers, toilets, showers, picnic tables, barbecue pits, lifeguards and a café for food and drinks.
The village of Boqueron offers open-air seafood restaurants. Come for a day or stay longer at the pink-walled beachfront Parador Boquemar or the Aquarius Boquerón Beach Resort.
(Culebra) – Choose your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this idyllic white-sand beach that stretches for 1.3km around a half moon-shaped bay.
Surrounded by rolling green hills and bordered by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, Playa Flamenco gently shelves into reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling at the rocky outcrops above parrotfish, blue tang and wrasse.
This uncrowded beach is edged by scenic walking trails and fringed by sand dunes covered in native vegetation and occasional sea grape and palm trees. Surf usually pounds the offshore reef at the western end of the beach.
Flamenco is the only beach on Culebra with facilities such as shade huts, toilets, showers and food kiosks selling snacks and cold drinks.
Consistently ranked as one of the world’s best beaches, Playa Flamenco is located on Culebra’s west shore and is easily accessible by a thrice-daily ferry service from Fajardo.
Stay longer at the Tamarindo Estates, which faces a white-sand beach and is the perfect base for exploring this small island.
(Vieques) – Unwind on the soft white sand of this 1.6km-long palm-fringed beach that edges a crescent-shaped bay with calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming. Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers, picnic tables and food kiosks.
Playa Sun Bay lies on the south coast of Vieques Island, just east of Esperanza. Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the highly rated Inn on the Blue Horizon, a stylish hotel located near Esperanza.
Once used by the US military for target practice (until 2003), the island is fringed with gorgeous pristine beaches just waiting to be discovered on foot or by boat.
(Vieques) – Discover the soft white sands of this gorgeous 300m-long beach that lies just over the hill from Playa Sun Bay.
Fringed by shady sea grape trees and edging a long inlet framed by bush-covered cliffs, Playa Media Luna faces calm and shallow protected waters that are perfect for small children.
Rocks nearby offer good snorkelling. Take food and drinks, as there are no facilities.
Discover a lush green landscape of rolling hills and mountains edged with pristine white-sand beaches and encircled by clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling.
Sunbathe and swim on a choice of stunning white-sand beaches such as San Juan’s beautiful Playa del Condado at Isle Verde, Playa Flamenco on Culebra and Playa Sun Bay on Vieques.
Scuba dive the nature reserve around Mona Island, snorkel the dazzling phosphorescent bays at La Parguera, Vieques and Fajardo or catch a 6m-high wave on the northwest coast at Rincon – just perfect for adventurous honemoon couples.
Explore El Yunque rainforest on foot or mountain bike, try spelunking the underground caves of the Rio Camuy Cave Park and ride horses along mountain trails or white beaches around Playa de Luquillo.
Spot rare birdlife in the Guanica Dry Forest and the Cabezas de San Juan nature reserve, nesting sea turtles on Culebra Island and iguanas on uninhabited Mona Island.
Savour one of Puerto Rico's Fiestas Patronales – celebrations held in towns and villages throughout the island to honour the region's patron saint.
Fiestas often last up to 10 days and include religious processions, local cuisine, music and dance. Try to catch San Juan’s Bautista Day fiesta – one of the best fiestas of the year.
In the island's capital of San Juan, explore narrow cobbled streets, wide tree-lined boulevards and colonial squares lined with historic sights, ancient monuments and well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings, some of which date back 500 years to the Spanish conquistadors.
Visit the 16th century La Fortaleza, the Plaza de San José and the San José Church – the second oldest church in the western hemisphere. Explore the maze of secret tunnels, dungeons, lookouts, barracks and vaults in the massive El Morro fortress, which sits on a 19m-high headland overlooking the sea.
Enjoy scenic views of the city from the 17th century City Wall, which winds its way around the peninsula. Then learn about Puerto Rico’s fascinating history at the African Heritage Museum, the Museum of Colonial Architecture and the San Juan Museum of Art and History.
Elsewhere, discover the beautiful town of Ponce and its Museum of Art, home to more than 1000 paintings and 400 sculptures, including one of the finest collections of 19th century pre-Raphaelite paintings in the Americas.
Visit the ancient Tibes Indian burial ground nearby or see 800-year-old ruins at the Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park at Arecibo.
Browse the shops in Old San Juan for designer clothes and shoes, cigars, jewellery, leather goods and local handicrafts. Check out the three-storey Plazas Las Americas – the Caribbean's largest shopping mall – boasting more than 250 shops with a range of US brands.
After dark, people-watch while strolling La Princesa Promenade, savour Puerto Rican-style cuisine at a choice of lively cafes and fine dining restaurants and then party the night away at a range of traditional Latin nightclubs where you can find live bands playing salsa and merengue music.
Or try your luck at the gaming tables of a glittering casino, such as the stylish El San Juan Hotel and Casino (also a great place for people-watching).
Puerto Rico offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all honeymoon budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…
St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
Location: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD1,132 per room
Description: Offering direct access to Bahia Beach, St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort features a golf course, spa and a pool with Atlantic Ocean views. There are 3 restaurants, a tennis school and a watersports centre. Each spacious, air-conditioned room has attractive décor and a terrace with garden, pool or sea views. All rooms have free WiFi, butler service and a seating area with a flat-screen TV, Blue Ray player and an iPod docking station. Spacious bathrooms offer custom-designed fixtures, an oversized tub and double shower, double vanity and a wall mirror with an embedded flat-screen TV. Balconies lead to spectacular ocean views. The Fern Restaurant offers Puerto Rican cuisine, while American and Caribbean dishes are served in Molasses. Offering ocean views, Seagrapes Restaurant features international cuisine. The Rèmede Spa offers a range of treatments including massage, facials and manicures. There is a hot tub, plunge pool and gym. Yoga and Pilates classes are also available. This property earned the AAA Five Diamond Award. Activities such as hiking tours, kayaking, art lessons, bird watching tours, paddle boarding, biking, fishing and canoeing can be arranged. El Yunque National Forest is a 15-minute drive from the resort, while San Juan is 40 km away.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Location: Dorado, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD1,070 per room
Description: This luxurious beach-front resort features an on-site golf course, a fitness center and excellent views of the Caribbean Sea. Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve has several swimming pools. Each beautiful room at this property features modern décor, a large wardrobe and marble floors. Some rooms feature an en-suite plunge pool and spectacular ocean views. The property features 4 on-site restaurants that provide elegant dining with gourmet dishes like ceviche and oysters. There are also open-air and beach-front dining options. There is an on-site spa that features relaxing massage treatments, and the property can also arrange activities for young children. Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan is 40.2 km away, and guests can reach Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport within a 50-minute of the property.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD499 per room
Description: This 5-star hotel is on 8 acres of beachfront property in Isla Verde. It features a vibrant casino, 5 on-site restaurants, a full-service spa and free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan come equipped with a flat-screen TV and iPod dock. They also feature a fully stocked minibar as well as gourmet coffee and tea. Plush terry bathrobes and slippers are available. The beachfront San Juan Ritz-Carlton features an oceanfront pool and hot tub. Guests can enjoy the well-equipped gym with personal training services and group classes. Tennis courts and complete concierge services are available, in addition to relaxing spa facilities, including 11 treatments rooms and hair and nail salon. BLT Steak restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton serves American steakhouse cuisine and fresh seafood. Il Mulino New York serves Italian cuisine with an extensive wine list. Ocean Bar and Grill has tapas and refreshing cocktails on a beachfront terrace, and casual fare is available at Mares and the Lobby Lounge.
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Location: Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD472 per room
Description: Offering an outdoor pool and a spa and health club, Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is in San Juan steps from Condado Lagoon. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas. Each room here includes a TV, air conditioning and a sitting area. Complete with a refrigerator, the dining area also has a coffee machine. The private bathrooms come with a bathtub or shower and a hairdryer. Extras include pay-per-view channels. At Condado Vanderbilt Hotel there is a restaurant and a fitness center. A made-to-order breakfast is available for an additional fee. Other facilities offered at the property include meeting facilities, luggage storage and dry cleaning. The hotel is less than 100 m from La Ventana al March Park and just over 1.6 km from Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. Old San Juan City Centre is 4.8 km away and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is 6.4 km away.
Hotel El Convento
Location: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD347 per room
Description: This hotel is located in the heart of historic Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hotel guests will receive beach privileges at the El Convento Beach Club on Isla Verde Beach. Hotel El Convento is housed in a restored 350-year old building. The hotel’s pool and hot tub overlook the San Juan Bay, and a fitness center, library, and business center are offered to guests. Facials, manicures, and massages are available upon request. Every evening, the Manager’s Reception serves hors d’oeuvres and wine on La Veranda Terrace. Rooms at the El Convento have Spanish décor and are furnished with refrigerators. The rooms include goose down pillows, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The Hotel El Convento has 2 on-site restaurants. Patio del Nispero offers a gourmet menu served in an open-air setting and El Picoteo offers a tapas menu and a wide variety of wine. Hotel El Convento is located just a few minutes from many cruise ship piers. The renowned museums and historic landmarks of San Juan are within walking distance. Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is 15 minutes away.
La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort
Location: Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD344 per room
Description: With an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Condado Beach, this 4-star resort features a 24-hour casino and several fine dining restaurants. The large guest rooms have private sea-view balconies. The brightly decorated rooms at La Concha Resort have floor-to-ceiling windows opening to the balcony. They have flat-screen TVs with channels such as HBO and ESPN. Other amenities include iPod docks and work desks. Guests can relax on a lounge bed at the deck surrounding the outdoor pool, or enjoy a drink from the poolside bar in the hot tub. The hotel also features a fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights. Free bike rental is also available. For breakfast and dinner, guests can choose from a variety of on-site restaurants such as Perla or Komakai, offering poolside tapas and seafood. Guests can also choose to dine in the privacy of their own room. The breakfast included in the rate is only for 2 people.
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Location: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Ave nightly price: AUD269 per room
Description: Offering 3 outdoor swimming pools and a spa and wellness centre, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa is located in Rio Grande, with access to over 1.5 km of beautiful beaches. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all rooms. The rooms will provide you with a flat-screen TV and cable channels. There is also a coffee machine. Featuring a bath or shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Extras include a desk and a safety deposit box. At Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa you will find 10 restaurants, 1.6 km stretch of beach, 13 tennis courts and a fitness centre. Other facilities offered at the property include 2 golf courses, shared lounge and a laundry. Guests can enjoy a variety of water sports, dance lessons, and seasonal activities like Sea Turtle Nesting and Iguana feeding. This resort is 38 km from Luis Munoz Marin Airport.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more hotels and resorts in Puerto Rico at TripAdvisor.
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is during the winter dry season from mid-December through April, when temperatures average 24°C (75°F) with a high of 29°C (85°F).
The rainy (read hurricane) season lasts from May to November, coinciding with the island’s tourism low season when you can enjoy great deals.
For more climate info: Puerto Rico Weather Guide…
Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea. The island nation also includes a trio of smaller islands: Culebra, Mona and Vieques.
Puerto Rico is located east of the Dominican Republic, just north of both the United States Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands and approximately 1600km (1000mi) southeast of Miami, Florida.
The most convenient route to Puerto Rico is to fly into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), located 12km (8mi) southeast of Old San Juan in the neighboring municipality of Carolina.
Puerto Rico receives daily non-stop flights from major US cities including Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Miami.
The airport serves as a gateway to the Caribbean islands, and is the busiest airport in the Caribbean region by passenger traffic.
By sea, the San Juan Cruise Port is the largest and busiest cruise port in the Caribbean, and hosts an estimated 500 cruise ships from roughly 18 different cruise lines every year.
For more info: How to get to Puerto Rico…
Best on foot in Old San Juan, elsewhere, hiring a car is the best way of getting around Puerto Rico – just watch out for the chaotic driving habits of the locals as well as the often poor road conditions in rural areas.
In San Juan, a car is more trouble than it's worth – traffic is terrible and parking is scarce, but taxis and buses provide easy transport to get around the city.
Cape Air offers daily flights from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) to offshore islands. Fast sea ferries are also available from the port of Ceiba.
The quality of the road network in Puerto Rico is generally good. All the main cities are well connected by a modern highway system, but secondary roads through the mountains are in generally poor condition, with rough surfaces, pot holes and narrow passes.
More about How to get around Puerto Rico…
Latest update: Puerto Rico: 13 August, 2020
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