A Quick Guide to San Juan, Puerto Rico

I’m just returning from San Juan, Puerto Rico & I put together a quick guide for you all. I had an absolute blast visiting with my best-friend! One of the things that stood out to me the most about visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico was how friendly and helpful the people were. Like I said in my Puerto Rico Photo Diary, the locals didn’t hold back on showing love for their home. Upon our arrival, a man working at the car rental place sat us down and told us everything we needed to know within about 15 minutes. It got to the point where we had to stop him mid-conversation and say ‘Um, so….where is our car?’. It wasn’t just him though. For the remainder of our trip, locals would share with us the best places to go and various other tips without us even asking. Needless to say, I learned a lot about the best parts of San Juan. I’m sharing some of these tips with YOU because SJ is definitely a place you want to visit. It offers great beaches, historic sites, weather, nightlife, and people.

What to Do in San Juan, Puerto Rico

What you should know: If you live in the US, you don’t need a passport! 

This is common knowledge, but I think it makes PR a great destination for new and seasoned travelers alike. So if you’ve never been out of the country and don’t know where to start, you should definitely look into PR. You get the out of country experience without all of the extra work. No passports, visas, or shots needed.



This is a given! Although all of the beaches are nice, Culebra and Vieques are known to be the best islands. You can catch a ferry to either by booking tickets online or fly from the mainlands. Top beaches in San Juan include Escambron, Isla Verde, Condado, Luquillo and Ocean Park. We went kayaking and jetskiing, but there are other water sports as well.

El Yunque National Rainforest

Cost?  Free

How to get there? You can either pay for a tour ($60-$70)  or drive if you’ve rented a car.

We rented a car because you don’t need a tour guide to visit the rain-forest, it’s free, and the cost of a tour was the same price we each paid for our rental car for the full 4 days.

Best part? La Mina Falls. Oh, and Did I mention that it’s free?


LaMina Falls


Old San Juan


Castillo San Felipe Del Morro – A fortress that protected San Juan for hundreds of year. You’ll see people flying kites on the grounds and spending time with family/friends

Castillo de San Cristoba– Another fortress near Del Morro with great views.

Old San Juan – Roam the cobblestoned streets, stop in coffee shops, enjoy live music, and marvel at the beauty of this old town. We stayed ‘in the heart of San Juan’ and absolutely loved it! We never used it, but there is a free trolley that runs all day.

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista


Old San Juan – Nuyorican Cafe(Salsa Dancing), La Factoria, and other small bars.

La Placita(Plaza del Mercado) – Several streets of markets & restaurants that turn into bars at night. SO much fun! We wanted to go back each night, *best nights are Thursday & Friday*

More things to do: 

Rio Camuy Cave Park

Bioluminescent Bay at Fajardo

The Bacardi Factory Tour

More than anything, just explore! Wander the streets and talk to as many locals as possible to really get a feel for the city. With everything that we did, we still didn’t scratch the surface in San Juan. We did have such a great time though and I know that we’ll make our way back soon. If I missed any gems, please leave a comment so others can check it out!

Have you been to San Juan? If so, what was your favorite thing about it? If not, what’s something on this list that you’d like to do? 

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Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more? 

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