There is just so much more to Puerto Rico than the beaches, casinos and nightlife. Below is a list of unique things to do in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico. Many of the activities can also be done independently for travelers with a vehicle.
Bioluminescence Bay and Kayak Adventure
Duration: 4 hours Cost: about $125 per person
Under the blanket of the night sky and the historical lighthouse of Fajardo, you can touch the waters that glow with the bioluminescent organisms. It’s an unforgettable experience available in only five lagoons around the world and Puerto Rico holds three of them. Join us on this tour that will leave you breathless. Don’t let your day end when the sun goes down! Take part in this relaxing Kayak tour at sunset that leads to rge fascinating lagoon at Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserve. Hotel pickup times are 3:30 and 5:30.
El Yunque Rain Forest Eco Wonder
Duration: 5 hours Cost: About $60 per person
Discover the exotic vegetation of El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Park System. It features over 240 species of plants and wildlife, waterfalls, streams and hiking trails leading to enticing locations. With a professional guide you will visit El Portal Visitor Center, La Coca Falls, and a low-moderate impact trail to admire the flora & fauna. Visit all this popular locations accompanied by an expert guide that will make your trip meaningful and joyful. Tour includes: Motor-coach transportation, guided tour, entrance to El Yunque Rain Forest. Hotel pickup is generally at 8 AM.
Rio Camuy Cave Park and Arecibo Observatory
Duration: 9 hours Cost: About $120 per person
A trip to Puerto Rico is not complete without descending into the depths of a million year old cave! Few cave systems in the world are as massive or dramatic as the Rio Camuy Cave Park. Wait until you see the Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest radar/radio telescope, nestled in the tropical mountains of northern Puerto Rico.
This tour takes you from San Juan to Northwestern Puerto Rico, part of the third largest underground river cavern system in the world. You’ll enjoy a safe, guided tour of the marvels. From sinkholes and cathedral-like caverns to views of the mysterious river and its eons-old stalactites and stalagmites. Be sure to wear comfortable, non-slippery shoes! This tour also takes you to where you’ll see the largest radar/radio telescope. Operated by Cornell University, the telescope probes the ionosphere, examines planets and monitors natural radio emissions from distant galaxies, pulsars and quasars.
The caves at Camuy are actually 45 million years old, but it took a few million years for nature to adorn their towering ceilings with crystalline stalactites, their walls with flowing stone tapestries and their floors with mushroom mounds of stalactites. Few cave systems in the world are as massive or dramatic as the Rio Camuy Cave Park; none have a thundering tropical river traversing countless miles of uncharted channels. Three crater-like sinkholes and one cave of the huge system in the park are open to the public and they are truly memorable experiences.
The Arecibo Observatory is nestled in the mountains of northern Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from Arecibo and is the world’s largest radar/radio telescope. Here, scientists from all over the world use a giant 1000 foot (305 meter) diameter dish to listen to the universe. You may view the huge telescope from an observation platform, where its austere metallic symmetry shimmers in dramatic contrast with the dense, green, tropical landscape.
Colonial Ponce Tour
Duration: 8 hours Cost: About $100 per person
The city of Ponce unveils an enchanting portrait of colonial history, art and culture. The architectural splendor and detailed neoclassic and art deco style of the city makes Ponce an essential part in your itinerary. The 19th century Fire Station and Ponce Cathedral demonstrate more than 300 years of an elegant tradition that has made Ponce the center of Puerto Rico’s southern economy. The visit includes the Museum of Art, house of the “Flaming June”. Discover major sites like El Vig a Cross and the Serralles Castle, former home of the Island’s oldest rum-producing family. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ponce, “The Pearl of the South”, Puerto Rico’s second oldest and largest city.
Horseback Riding Countryside
Duration: 4 hours Cost: $95 per person
Ride beautiful Paso Fino horses around 2,200 acres of Puerto Rico countryside in gentle, but spirited, healthy horses that can accommodate beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. We start with basic lesson in horseback riding and safety orientation. Once mounted on the horse, the two hour excursion begins and traverses through table top ranges, around lakes, along subtropical forest. We take a short break at the halfway point to give the horses and guests a breather. Then we ride back to the reception area taking in the sights and sounds of all the wildlife. Includes transportation and basic horseback riding lessons. Pickup at hotel at 8 AM.
Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip
Duration: 8 hours Cost: $95 per person
Sail, snorkel and picnic to a Paradise Island. Board a catamaran for a leisure sail to an uninhabited Island, where you can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, collect shells, sunbathe, wade or swim offshore. Complimentary lunch (buffet style with fruits, cold cuts and salads) and tropical drinks will be served. Non-swimmers as well as swimmers can take advantage of professional instructions in snorkeling to fully view the diverse ecology of the area. Equipment is included. Have fun and relax!! Hotel pickup (8AM) and equipment are included.
Toro Verde Adventure Park – Ziplines and More
Duration: 8 hours Cost: $225 per person
Travel to the center of the island to visit a thrilling nature adventure park. Fly like a bird, with a harness attached to your waist and chest of course and feel like superman in the largest zip line in the world, with a longtitude of 4,745 feet. Combine this with eight exciting two line wire zip lines each arrival and departure platform. There are different options of cables and they vary with the wind and speed. All of this makes for a super fun day. Includes: La Bestia ride, eight zip lines, lunch & rountrip transportation in metro area and Dorado. Pickup at hotel is at 9 AM.
Culebra Day Trip by Catamaran from Fajardo
Duration: 6 hours Cost: about $100 per person without hotel transport or $120 with hotel pickup
Let a high-speed catamaran zoom you to one of the 10 top beaches in the Caribbean! This day trip from Fajardo takes you across pristine waters to a beautiful beach – Flamenco or Culebrita (Little Snake) – situated just off Culebra Island, known for crystal clear waters and colorful reefs. On the way, your crew will make a snorkel stop, including a buffet lunch accompanied by piña coladas and rum punch. The remainder of the day is yours for sunbathing, swimming or beachcombing along miles of powdery white sand.
ATV Adventure Tour
Duration 3 1/2 hours Cost: $120 per person
Venture off the beaten path, rev up the engine of a 4×4 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and spend two hours exploring 2,200 acres (890 hectares) of the vast Puerto Rican countryside. Circle lakes, climb tabletop mountains and drive through lush subtropical forests. Near the end of your ATV tour, take a break at an area known for spectacular cavernous formations, where you’ll have an opportunity to explore stalactites, stalagmites and hieroglyphics.
Whether you’re an avid ATV rider or just a beginner, try this adventrue. A 4×4 ATV adventure is the perfect way to explore Puerto Rico’s diverse landscape. Start your morning with a brief overview and safety instruction, followed by time to test out your personal ATV. Once you feel comfortable, dive into the forest with your ATV tour guide.Climb mountains and hills, explore lush subtropical forests and stop at picturesque lakes. You’ll have dozens of opportunities to take pictures of the scenic vistas. Near the end of your tour, stop at an area known for spectacular cave formations. Explore the caves, and see bats, stalactites, stalagmites and hieroglyphics.
Casa Bacardi and Old San Juan Tour
Duration: 5 hours Cost: About $85 per person
A fan of Bacardi spirits? Then don’t pass up a chance to visit Casa Bacardi, known as the Cathedral of Rum. Kick back a cocktail before hopping aboard a trolley through the distillery’s museum, and soak up insight into the world’s largest privately held, family-owned spirits company. Next, cross a bridge into Old San Juan and learn about this National Historic Preservation site. Visit San Cristobal Fort and take in panoramas of San Juan Bay and El Morro Fort. This half-day tour by minivan comes with transport from selected hotels.
Upon afternoon hotel pickup by minivan, take a short drive to Cataño, home of the famous Casa Bacardi. Bacardi was started in Cuba in 1862 before moving to Puerto Rico in 1936. It is still the largest rum distillery in the world.
Kick off your guided tour with a 12-oz welcome cocktail prepared on-site at the distillery’s pavilion.Then, take a seat in a trolley, which takes you through an interactive exhibit, and learn about the Bacardi brand and family-owned business. See a recreation of the original distillery in Cuba, as well as memorabilia and photographs showing Bacardi’s history. Take a whiff of displays of rum you pass by and get to know the different varieties of the spirit. At the bottling plant, gain insight into the fermentation and production process.
After the tour, you’ll have time to browse the gift shop and purchase rum and souvenirs to take home.
Back aboard your minivan, you’re off to Old San Juan, the second oldest city in the New World. A National Historic Preservation site, this charming town dates back to 1513.
Drive past well-preserved examples of Spanish colonial architecture, including the white-marbled Capitol Building facing the Atlantic and the Spanish Moorish architecture of Casa de España. As you wind your way through the hilly and narrow streets, learn about Old San Juan’s history.
Pass parts of the massive City Wall, or La Muralla, nearly 20 feet (6 meters) thick and up to 60 feet (18 meters) tall in certain places. Stretch your legs with a stop at San Cristobal Fort, built in 1785. Your guide shares insight into the largest Spanish military structure in the New World, explaining its innovative layout and its tumultuous history in guarding the city from attack. Capture mesmerizing views of San Juan Bay and 400-year-old El Morro Fort.
At the end of this half day tour, shop along Old San Juan’s blue cobblestone streets before drop-off at your hotel.
Old San Juan Food Tour
Duration: 3 hours Cost: $88 per person
Experience Puerto Rican food on this food tour in San Juan! Begin your culinary tour in Old San Juan, where you’ll walk through the blue cobblestone streets to six tasting locations for a taste of unique Puerto Rican flavors. Your guide will lead the way through Old San Juan and share interesting historical tales of this 16th-century city and highlight some of the areas architectural achievements. Led by a local guide. Includes snacks. Family friendly.
Adjuntas Coffee Plantation Day Trip
Duration: 9 hours Cost: About $200 per person
Curious about the process of coffee production? Explore harvest to cup on this tour from San Juan to Adjuntas is for you! You’ll visit a private coffee plantation located in the mountains of Puerto Rico that grows Arabica beans and learn from professional coffee collectors as you try your hand at picking the cherries. Enjoy a freshly brewed cup with a pastry at Hacienda Melín. A delicious three-course lunch is served at a local restaurant followed by a coffee roasting plant tour. See beans processed, roasted and packed for commercial use.
Small Group Night Sailing
Duration: 2 hours Cost: About $120 per person
Enjoy the perfect evening out in San Juan on this intimate nighttime cruise, limited to just six passengers. Enjoy sparkling wine and strawberries as you admire the views of the San Juan waterfront after dark. Help sail if you wish, or just lounge on a deck chair, basking in the refreshing nighttime breeze. You’ll pass UNESCO World Heritage sites like San Felipe del Morro Fortress and La Fortaleza, and hear about the history of these attractions from the crew. Plus, you may spot dolphins, sting rays or other sea life!
Professional Surfing Lessons at La Pared Beach
Duration: 2 hours Cost: About $68 per person
You’ve always wanted to surf, and now here’s your opportunity. Experience the thrill of catching a wave on Puerto Rico’s preferred learn to surf location, La Pared Beach in Luquillo. Conveniently located on the east coast, and instructed by Former National Surf Champion Brian Ramos, this fun packed lesson will teach you everything you need to know to ride a wave with confidence and will have you up in your feet asking for more!
Las Cabachuelas De Morovis Caves with Lunch
Duration: 7 hours Cost $125 per person
This full-day trip takes you to Las Cabachuelas de Morovis. Explore a network of caves in the heart of Puerto Rico’s northern region of karst limestone peaks. With the help of an insider guide, enjoy special access to protected caves located on private land that most people don’t get to see. Explore like a scientist as you come upon petroglyphs and creatures like spiders, bats, snakes and crustaceans. Not for the squeamish, this small-group tour limited to 12 adventure seekers includes a restaurant lunch and round-trip hotel transport from San Juan.
El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hike and Waterfall Tour
Duration: 7 hours Cost: About $90 per person
This El Yunque Rainforest Hiking Eco Guided Tour is the best way to hike & explore El Yunque. This guided hiking tour is a personal and educational active experience. Discover a multitude of plant and animal life throughout the magnificent forest. Take a refreshing swim under one of the stunning waterfalls surrounded by a majestic rain forest.
This tropical rain forest was first set aside for protection by the Kingdom of Spain in 1876. More recently, it was nominated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. The United States Forest Service manages this 28,000 contiguous acres within the Sierra de Luquillo. With peaks, escarpments, myriad streams and waterfalls, and a lush green vegetation represent various forest types in this bio-diverse paradise.