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Things to do in San Juan

Things to do in  San Juan

Welcome to San Juan

Island lovers, nature enthusiasts, and history buffs alike flock to San Juan’s tropical rain forest, turquoise waters, and 16th-century Spanish colonial historic district—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Puerto Rican capital’s proximity to El Yunque National Forest makes it easy to escape into the lush wilderness, hiking to waterfalls or soaring through the air on a zipline. If you only have time for only one epic adventure, make it a kayaking tour of Laguna Grande, where you can marvel at the natural phenomenon of millions of bioluminescent microorganisms glowing in the water after dark. And don't miss a visit to the Casa Bacardi rum distillery.

Top 10 attractions in San Juan

Old San Juan

Old San Juan

The cobblestone streets of Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan, lined with brightly colored Spanish colonial houses, lend themselves to aimless yet inspired wandering—but don’t let yourself pass by the neighborhood’s key attractions. From the UNESCO World Heritage-listed forts of Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and Castillo San Cristobal to restaurants serving plates of aromatic rice and fried plantains, Old San Juan charms travelers at every turn.More
Laguna Grande

Laguna Grande

During the day, Laguna Grande in Fajardo looks like other bays along the tropical Puerto Rican coastline. But come nightfall the bioluminescent lagoon glows fluorescent, thanks to pyrodinium bahamense, microscopic plankton that thrive in its shallow Caribbean waters and glow when disturbed.More
El Yunque National Park

El Yunque National Park

The El Yunque National Park is the only tropical rain forest under the protection of the US Forest Service, as well as the largest nature reserve in densely populated Puerto Rico. Situated in the mist-wreathed Luquillo Mountains—where year-round precipitation ensures lush, green landscapes and a healthy diversity of animal life—El Yunque is home to the rare Puerto Rican parrot and the Coqui frog, whose distinctive croak provides El Yunque's soundtrack.More
San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista)

San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista)

Built in 1521, San Juan Cathedral(Catedral de San Juan Bautista) is one of the highlights of Old San Juan. The second-oldest cathedral in the Americas, this landmark in the heart of Old San Juan has an impressive array of religious and historical artifacts. The church is still operational, with services held throughout the week.More
Luquillo Beach

Luquillo Beach

Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Beach (Playa Luquillo), also known as Balneario Monserrate, is a tranquil crescent famed for its coconut palm trees and long stretch of powdery white sand. Considered one of the island’s best public beaches, the calm waters here are perfect for swimming, wading, kayaking, and other water sports.More
Icacos Island (Cayo Icacos)

Icacos Island (Cayo Icacos)

A small, uninhabited island located just a 15-minute boat ride from the Puerto Rican town of Fajardo, Icacos Island (Cayo Icacos) is part of Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural los Cayos de la Cordillera). Its white-sand shores, pristine waters, and colorful reefs make it a popular day-trip destination for snorkeling and diving.More
Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Just north of Old San Juan, within the San Juan National Historic Site, stands 16th-century Castillo San Felipe del Morro. The fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the northwestern tip of the islet of San Juan, kept watch over the Atlantic and protected Old San Juan and the Bay of San Juan from incoming enemies for centuries.More
La Fortaleza (The Fortress)

La Fortaleza (The Fortress)

The blue-and-white Santa Catalina Palace (Palacio de Santa Catalina), otherwise known as La Fortaleza (The Fortress), is the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico. Situated in Old San Juan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site occupies a spot that was long one of the most contested strategic positions in the Caribbean.More
Paseo de la Princesa

Paseo de la Princesa

Located just outside the city walls south of Old San Juan, the Paseo de la Princesa is one of the most pleasant and popular walks in the city. Dating back to 1853, the lovely pedestrian promenade is lined with trees, antique street lamps, benches, gardens, sculptures, and fountains, and offers wonderful views of San Juan Bay.More
San Juan Bay

San Juan Bay

San Juan Bay sits in the heart of the city of San Juan, with plenty of sites, neighborhoods, and attractions along its shores. The most iconic spots are the pair of fortresses that face each other at the bay’s mouth. On the eastern side sits El Morro, and across the way, the Islas de Cabras National Park boasts the San Juan de la Cruz Fort.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in San Juan

How to Spend 2 Days in San Juan

Top activities in San Juan

Things to do in San Juan this...

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Recent reviews from experiences in San Juan

This was our first time...
Jessie_M, Jun 2022
Old San Juan Walking Tour
Before we did any other tours, we made sure to learn about San Juan first and got a lot of recommendations on places to visit for the duration of our stay.
Amazing sail!
Olivia_K, Jun 2022
Sunset Sail by San Juan Historical Bay
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about sailing and provided great recommendations to visit in San Juan!
Great Experience in Old San Juan
Rachel_B, May 2022
Old San Juan Walking Tour
The guide took us to so many stops and pointed out places to visit in our free time.
An amazing day!
Julianne_G, May 2022
Casual One: El Yunque Rainforest, Waterslide, Beach, Dine, and Shop w/ Transport
I would definitely recommend this to people want to see a part of El Yunque and get out of San Juan for the day!
Good deal
Phillip_J, Apr 2022
Great way to see San Juan!
10/10 would recommend
James_F, Apr 2022
Sunset Harbor Boat Ride in San Juan
Incredible perspective to see Old San Juan from the outside looking in.
It’s a great tour to sign up for
Paul_J, Mar 2022
Let A Local Show You Puerto Rico: Visit to El Yunque Included
We got a chance to see all parts of the Island and taste the food.
Worth every penny
David_R, Mar 2022
Luxury Private Round-Trip Airport Transfer : Luis Muñoz Marín Airport to Hotel
This was our first time in San Juan and she was very helpful in telling us some things to do to enjoy our stay!
A good time had by all
Liam_O, Mar 2022
Full-Day Rainforest and Waterfall Adventure from San Juan
Climbing to the upper pool and swimming with the falls onto you was great.
Our tour guide gave us a...
Shari_E, Mar 2022
Old San Juan City Tour and Piñones Sightseeing Experience!
Our tour guide gave us a great experience in and around San Juan and many places to visit that otherwise we wouldn't have known.
Great tour
Susan_M, May 2022
Old San Juan Walking Tour
We enjoyed the tour very much and would recommend it to anyone wanting to see Old San Juan.
Perfect Evening Sail
Sarah_A, Feb 2022
Sunset Sail by San Juan Historical Bay
Lovely to see San Juan from a different perspective.
Don't miss the Rainforest
Gail_S, Jan 2022
El Yunque National Forest Half Day Tour
We were able to see the highlights and do a short hike .
An amazing and unique experience
Linda_P, Jun 2022
Full-Day Zipline and Waterfall Rappelling Adventure Near San Juan
They have picked out the perfect route that let's you hike through the rainforest for 45-60 minutes and then each person in the group gets to repel down the waterfall and you end with 3 ziplines.
Best food tour in PR!
Stefanie_R, May 2022
Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour
Highly recommend this as one of your 1st things to do in Puerto Rico.
Great tour, waterfalls were a blast!
April_C, May 2022
Private Full-Day Puerto Rico Nature Lovers Tour: Cave, Waterfall and Beach Combo
I think we loved the waterfalls the most but the entire trip was fantastic.
SO GOOD but you need the right shoes (read on)!
Ansley_F, Apr 2022
El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour
There were other groups we passed doing the same activities without a helmet (and one group was literally JUST in bathing suits) but these activities are *definitely* potentially dangerous.
Chill Times
Jeremiah_M, Apr 2022
Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour from San Juan
We went on the night of a new moon and were able to see the bioluminescence without tarps after the sun set.
Very good tour
anne_k, Apr 2022
Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour
Still, an enjoyable way to see old San Juan.
Amazing tour worth it all!
elizabethniche, Mar 2022
Tinajas Hiking Adventure to El Yunque Rainforest
We had an amazing jungle hike, including the waterfalls, rope swings and jumps.
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All about San Juan

When to visit

Winter in San Juan means warm temperatures, dry weather, and tons of events including the Puerto Rico Heritage Artisans Fair and San Sebastián Street Festival. Be sure to book ahead if you want to enjoy Puerto Rico’s peak season, when snowbirds flock to the island. Crowds typically die down by April, but pleasant weather remains, making spring a great alternative.

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People Also Ask

What is San Juan best known for?

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico, with soft sand beaches, cultural attractions, and a laid-back, lively vibe. It's a popular tourist destination and a common cruise ship stop. Much of Puerto Rico’s rum is produced here, and the city is one of the most important Caribbean ports.

What activities do people do in Puerto Rico?

With its landscape of lush mountains and picturesque waterfalls, Puerto Rico attracts travelers drawn to natural attractions, such as the El Yunque tropical rainforest. In Old San Juan, tour colorful Spanish colonial buildings, museums, historic forts, and more. Stop by Casa Bacardi for a guided tour followed by a rum tasting.

Do you need a passport to go to San Juan Islands?

It depends. US citizens visiting from mainland destinations do not need passports to enter Puerto Rico since it's an unincorporated US territory. Instead, use a government-issued photo ID like a driver's license or a birth certificate. Visitors from other countries, including Canada, need a valid passport to land in Puerto Rico.

What should I not miss in Old San Juan?

Don't miss the streets of Old San Juan, in the heart of the capital city. They offer a glimpse into the past, with historic forts and Spanish colonial architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city combines history with contemporary Puerto Rican culture. Many of the old buildings are home to attractions.

What do locals do for fun in Puerto Rico?

Don't miss the streets of Old San Juan, in the heart of the capital city. They offer a glimpse into the past, with historic forts and Spanish colonial architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city combines history with contemporary Puerto Rican culture. Many of the old buildings are home to attractions.

Is San Juan dangerous for tourists?

No. Most neighborhoods in San Juan are safe during the day, but some become dodgy at night. Travelers are advised to avoid walking and instead take a taxi to their destination in the evening. Locals recommend following the usual travel precautions: Don't walk alone at night and avoid unsavory neighborhoods.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in San Juan?
What are the top activities in San Juan?
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