Swimming in clear blue ocean water, drinking cervezas after a day of surfing, and dancing until the sun rises, just your typical day in Puerto Rico. Now getting to do this every week while playing volleyball professionally…. what every athlete dreams of. It took a lotttttt of convincing to get me to return home.
Puerto Rico is an untapped tourist destination (for the most part) that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Here are just a few of the places to check out next time you’re thinking about jetting off to this island paradise.
My favorite thing to do if you get an off day is go on a catamaran or take a boat over to the islands. Bring some snorkel gear or more preferably a cooler with some coronas and have yourself a time! Most of the islands are completely natural so bring your own food and drinks.
You can do a catamaran out of fajardo that will take you to the island Icacos. After a few hours spent swimming and sun bathing you’ll hit another snorkeling location where you might be lucky enough to swim with some turtles. 70$ a person-lots of fun kind of expensive but it’s an all day trip complete with food/drinks.
- Salty Dog (more fun and relaxed and staff is hot haha)
- Travelercatamaran (i did this one and had a really great experience)
For a cheaper, less planned route to the islands just go to the dock (using your best spanish or broken english) try to get a fisherman’s boat to take you there and back. Just inform them when you want to be picked up and it’s about 25$ round trip. Also right outside the marina is a bomb restaurant with fried plantains… my weakness.
If you ever want to rent your own boat for the day and go out to some mangroves and park it in clear blue water you can do that in la parguera for 20$ an hour. This is really fun and you can bring coolers and make friends with the locals.
Caja de Muertos in Ponce is another island encompassed by the bluest hues of water. It’s an absolute hidden gem of Puerto Rico. Make sure to do a little planning. To get here, you need to take a ferry. Rides leave at 9 and come back at 330. Bring a cooler and hike a little ways to the beaches on the other side… not the main beach that everyone goes to. It’s about 25$ per person for the ferry and only 60 people allowed on the island at a time. The ferry fills up so I would arrange it early if you decide you want to go.
Playa Buye in Cabo Rojo is one of my favorites. Its beautiful and the water is so blue! On weekends you’ll find a ton of locals parking their boats with barbecues and music blasting. It’s a great environment to meet people and for a little Sunday Funday.
Playa Santa in Ponce. The water is warm and calming. They offer a ton of water activities from jet ski rentals to banana boat rides. The best part is the walk up bar that serves all types of cervezas and tostones!
Gilligans island in Guanica. Tricky to find the port so do some research ahead of time. Upon arrival you’ll freak with excitement on how clear the water actually is. It is located in a natural mangrove so you can snorkel or float around. Watch out for the iguanas and wildlife.
Playa Dome in Rincon. A great beach for surfing near Mayaguez. Fun waves and some pretty great places to eat as well. The locals are just as friendly too!
Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo. The beach and water are great for swimming but there are also lots of neighboring cliffs to explore. The hikes offer some crazy views and you can head over to the lighthouse there for an even better picture.
WATERFALLS AND CAVES
Las Tinajas! Definitely one of my favorites for sure its about 45 min from caguas. It has two rope swings and if you hike a little further there are natural rock slides. Just make sure you drive all the way down and pay the guy at the gate and then walk the path DO NOT HIKE THE RIVER. We accidentally did that and it took us an hour and half. the path is a 7 min walk… lol
Gozlandia in San Sebastian. Really cool and super easy to get to. There’s two waterfalls one that has a rope swing and then one that is a pool and pretty cool too. it’s five dollars to park and that’s it!
Rio de la Planta in Arecibo. This has two different waterfalls and the furthest one back is really cool and you have to hike through the river to get there so don’t bring valuables. Also don’t leave anything in your car kind of sketch. The river is crazy blue and really pretty.
Cueva Ventana. If you’re into caves then go for it. This was my worst nightmare honestly. It’s filled with bats and theres a boa snake in the cave and I just was scared out of my mind but the view once you get through the tunnel was incredible! I think it’s like 5$ we snuck in somehow and went for free
Cueva India in Arecibo. This is actually really cool because they filmed a bunch of famous movies here. It’s like half caves and rock formations basically with some incredible views!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to Culebra or Vieques…so you’ll have to let me know if you go here while in Puerto Rico and I’ll be totally jealous!
Old San Juan
Caficultura has breakfast or lunch and it’s dank sauce haha by far my favorite restaurant
Norte Polo is my teammates bar and it’s so much fun it’s a champagne whisky bar so great if you want a night out to dress up and be classy! If you go… tell the owners I recommended it!
Pinkys is my favorite all time for grabbing something fast.. smoothies, sandwiches, breakfast, wraps, coffee, salads.
Abracadabra. Great breakfast/brunch with an even better atmosphere!
Casitamarimar. this is a must. YOU HAVE TO GO HERE… for like a nice dinner it’s really great puerto rican food and it’s like a whole thing they bring out little soup and appetizers and give you a shot when you’re done and it’s so cute the food was amazing too!
Check out more of what to see and where to go in North America!