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  • Padre Tim

Puerto Rico: To Do - 5 Amazing Things

Visitors always ask me for a list of the "Can't Miss" things-to-do in PR. These are geared toward the NE side of PR but apply to the whole island (you can add zip-lining and surfing if you are athletically inclined).

So in no particular order here they are:

1) EL YUNQUE RAINFOREST, Rio Grande area

-The rainforest is THE can’t-miss activity. Managed by the US Forest Service, it is safe and

clean with snack bars and visitor center. Great for hiking, and swimming under the

waterfalls, truly an amazing experience and lots of fun for everyone!

2) OLD SAN JUAN, Old San Juan

-The oldest city in the Caribbean, established in the 1500’s. On the high side there are the

historic forts El Morro and San Cristobal, with upscale shopping in the middle, and bars/restaurants/shopping on the low side. It looks and feels like an old European city; bright and colorful with cobblestone streets. Plan to spend the day (or stay at El Convento Hotel, a spectacular converted nun’s convent in the heart of OSJ) and wear comfortable shoes!


-One of the 2 islands off PR, Vieques is the larger of the 2. Great beaches (Blue, Red,

Green Beaches), excellent restaurants (Next Course, Coqui Fire, Tin Box, Duffy’s) and

beautiful natural reserves with wild horses. There is also an outstanding bio-

luminescent bay that is the best in the Caribbean. Take the ferry from Fajardo ($2.50

each way) or a quick flight ($25 - $40) and stay for the day or stay for a week (W Resort

or numerous (air)B&B’s). Snorkel, swim, eat, drink, repeat.


-The other large island, Culebra is smaller but it also has Flamenco Beach, voted one of

the Top-10 beaches in the world. My favorite way to visit Culebra is to go by catamaran

on one of the day trips (East Island Excursions, you get snorkel equipment, lunch and

drinks for about $100/person) that will take you to the best spots and spend the

afternoon on Flamenco. You can also take the ferry or fly (same as Vieques), great for

day-trips or a few day’s stay. And yes, there are sea turtles that love to swim with you!

5) BEACHES-There are great beaches all over PR, but some of the best are in the NE area between Luquillo and Fajardo. You can DIY with a cooler and a trip to the store for beverages/snacks (Luquillo: La Pared Beach has surfing on the right side and snorkel/swimming on the left with a surrounding corral reef, Playa Azul Beach is calm and mellow, great for sunning/swimming), or you can go to the Balneario Luquillo Beach just past the Kioskos with snack bar and beach rentals (snorkel equip to jet skis). If you are really adventurous you can find yourself a “secret” beach; in the natural area between Luquillo and Fajardo, turn toward the ocean and drive (a Jeep is good here) until you hit the beach, then find your own secluded spot and it’s yours for the day.

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