If you’re looking for a taste of the tropics without leaving the United States, San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an absolute must. There is no preparation required for this trip, making it ideal for a solitary adventurer. Americans visiting from the United States need not bother about bringing a passport, learning a new language, or converting currency. I’ve been to San Juan several times with groups, but I finally had the opportunity to go there on my own and can attest that it’s both easy to get around and full of fascinating history. Planning a trip to San Juan by yourself? Here’s the perfect Puerto Rico itinerary for solo travelers.
Old San Juan
One of the best ways to start a perfect Puerto Rico itinerary is on a walking tour of Old San Juan, the city’s historic center. This once-chaotic town is now calm and quiet, but the crumbling ruins of Castillo San Felipe del Morro show what it was like in the past.
Visiting this breathtaking seaside castle is a popular pastime for many visitors to San Juan. Its history is rife with intrigue, smuggling, and even a brief but bloody insurrection. Aside from that, it’s a fantastic spot to sample genuine Puerto Rican cuisine. The sights, sounds, and smells of Old San Juan alone make it worth the trip to Puerto Rico.
Cayo Icacos is a beautiful island in the Caribbean that is perfect for a day trip. This uninhabited island is right off the coast of Fajardo. It has some of the best snorkeling in Puerto Rico because the water is clear blue, and there are many reefs. You should know how to experience nature when on an island, as seeing Icacos Island is a highlight of any trip to Puerto Rico.
You can’t pitch a tent here, and getting about requires you to make your own boating arrangements, which is no easy feat. This tour is a convenient way to reach the island because it uses a sleek catamaran to transport its passengers. One of the best ways to get a feel for the Caribbean, a trip to Cayon Icacos is a must for a perfect Puerto Rico itinerary.
Arecibo, Isabela, and Aguadilla
According to experts from fairfaxtransfer.com, one of the most common reasons people move to Puerto Rico is the beautiful beaches and sea life. From the beach at La Poza del Obispo, where you can see Arecibo’s Lighthouse, you can end your morning before heading west to Arecibo, where you can see Cueva del Indio. Drive on to Quebradillas, and have lunch at Carbon y Lea on the way. After lunch, you’ll see the famous rock sculpture La Cara del Indio, located just outside Isabela, and the old Guajataca Tunnel, an important railway link.
Keep going westward to investigate what attractions Aguadilla may provide for you. One of the nicest beaches in Puerto Rico is Crash Boat Beach, where you may relax at the end of the day. Visit Survival Beach for a breathtaking sunset if you enjoy surfing, hiking, and sightseeing. The scenery is so beautiful; it will make you want to live there. Dinner can be had at the Food Truck Park in Aguadilla.
Rincon and Cabo Rojo
Knowing how to pack clothes for travel is important as you will save a lot of time. Packing clothes in this way will avoid wrinkling easily and also save you some time. In the morning, travel to the central center of Rincon, where Café 413 is located, for breakfast. Explore the local shops and Rincon Plaza after breakfast. When you go to the Punta Higueras Lighthouse, you can get a great view of Domes Beach, and, depending on the time of year, you might even catch a glimpse of a whale.
There are several gorgeous beaches along the west coast, but some of them, like Domes Beach, may be too dangerous for swimming. You should instead take a trip to Steps Beach, where stunning scenery and several relaxing natural pools await you. It would help if you tried to get a picture of yourself on the beach’s stairway while you’re there.
After refueling at The Beach House, keep heading south to Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, where the Pink Salt Lakes and Los Morillos Lighthouse can be found. Once inside the refuge, you’re free to explore the entirety of Playuela Beach. Lechonera El Combate serves up a delicious roasted pig as a nightcap. The Boqueron neighborhood is perfect for nighttime exploration.
El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque is a popular tourist site in Puerto Rico since it is the only tropical rainforest that is under the care of the US National Forest Service. A stunning 120 inches of rain falls annually on this beautiful forest, which spans 28,000 acres at the island’s northwest tip. The coqu frog, an important symbol of Puerto Rican culture and identity, is just one of many animals, insects, and birds that thrive in tropical vegetation.
The natural pools in El Yunque are perfect for a refreshing swim after a day at the beach. The best way to see everything El Yunque has to offer is on tour, so why not book a waterslide and rainforest excursion today? Your vacation wouldn’t be complete without doing some of these amazing outdoor activities, however, there are some things that you should avoid doing in Puerto Rico.
Ponce, the island’s second-largest city, sits on the southwestern shore, opposite San Juan. With its Museo de Arte showcasing works by Puerto Rican and European artists, it is one of the best cities in Puerto Rico for art lovers and museum-goers alike.
Beautiful buildings can also be found in the Centro Cultural de Ponce Sola de Pereira and the Museum of Puerto Rican Music, a repurposed neoclassical home that now exhibits historical instruments. Similarly, housed in a stunning home is the Museo Castillo Serralles. From Ponce, you can go to different coffee plantations, some of which are now museums. Puerto Rico used to be in one of the top 50 coffee exporting nations, so find out what makes the coffee so special in Puerto Rico.
A perfect Puerto Rico itinerary consists of visiting Colonial San German, which may be reached from Ponce in about an hour. San German was Puerto Rico’s second city, and it was founded by the Spanish. Historic buildings in this Puerto Rican community include styles as varied as Art Deco, Spanish Baroque, and Edwardian. Visit the red and black cobblestone square of Calle Ruiz Belvis, the town’s most impressive cathedral, San Germán de Auxerre, and the Puerto Rican Victorian mansion, Casa Juán Perichi.