Best Things to Do in Puerto Rico: Boating, Snorkeling, Adventuring, and Relaxing

Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful landscape and turquoise blue waters that bring people worldwide to its shores. This post will tell you the best things to do in Puerto Rico to help you get the most out of your vacation on this beautiful island! The best activities in Puerto Rico are sailing, snorkeling, ATVs, horseback riding, ziplining, and hiking.

TIP: Book your main activities towards the beginning of your trip just in case they reschedule due to bad weather or maintenance.

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post that I receive a small commission from, but they do not add cost to your tour booking. Some links in this post send you directly to the tour company’s site that I do not get commission on when I think it is the better/easier way to book the activity.

Sail to Nearby Islands

This is my favorite activity when it comes to taking in the island life! These trips are around 5 hours and include food, music, floats, and drinks. Boat day trips are just a combination of all things great on an island- clear endless water and good vibes. Some boats require you to meet at the marina in Fajardo, which is about 1 hour from San Juan. Others offer roundtrip transportation from your hotel. These boats have plenty of floats so you can just chill in the water or swim to shore and lay on the beach.

Puerto Rico Catamarans will usually take you to 1 of 3 islands off of Puerto Rico: Palomino, Icacos, or Culebra. For the best snorkeling, Culebra is the best option, but for just a nice clear beach, Icacos and Palomino are both extremely fun for a day in the sun!

Soar Through the Treetops

Puerto Rico is a rare gem in the fact that, if you are a US citizen, you do not need a passport to see a tropical rainforest. Ziplining is an awesome way to get a bird’s eye view of this tropical wonder! There are 2 areas you can zipline at: the rainforest and the dry forest. Both are beautiful, it just depends what you want to see or where you are staying.

Enjoy Caribbean Sunset Sailing

This is a great option that departs right out of the San Juan harbor, making it easy to get to by Uber or taxi. This sailing excursions takes you around the Old San Juan historical walls, giving you a new perspective on this beautiful city. The sunset sail is from 5pm-7pm so that you can take in the entire sunset and make it back to the dock as soon as it gets dark. These sails come with snacks and drinks, and are the perfect setting for any occasion- a date night, a girls trip, or a family activity. The sunset sail is usually more calm whereas the boating day trips that I mentioned earlier can get rowdy, depending on the crowd, but both are extremely enjoyable.

Ride through the Foothills of the Rainforest

I LOVE Carabali Adventure Park, and I think you will too! They offer ATV rides and horseback rides on a large, beautiful property just below the El Yunque Rainforest National Park. I’ve ridden horses twice and loved it. Carabali also offers ATV and UTV tours. They may let you go fast on certain straight paths in the tour, but remember this is a tour, so you have a guide who sets the pace.

Be Adventurous on a Puerto Rico Rainforest Hiking Tour

If you are looking for adventure, but feel a little weary of doing it on your own, a guided tour is perfect for you! Puerto Rico tour guides cannot bring tour groups to the actual El Yunque Rainforest National Park road right now, but they will take you to great hikes, waterfalls, and natural water slides on the outskirts of the national park road, which are fun and adventurous! Be sure to wear water shoes or tennis shoes that you do not mind getting dirty as it can be extremely muddy. Guides will show you where to jump off into the water and will usually provide life jackets for safety during the tour. Honestly, locals go to these places by themselves all the time, but if you don’t have a rental car or just want to be on the safe side, I recommend a guided tour.

These are some of the best excursions in Puerto Rico with easy access from San Juan. I did not list the bioluminescent bay tour just because I have not personally been, but have been told by friends that it is best to experience during a new moon (no moon) so that you can see the water light up best. I hope this helps you when planning your next Caribbean adventure!

If you have experienced an excursion in Puerto Rico that you enjoyed, list it in the comments below!

Happy Travels,

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Culebra Island, Puerto Rico Snorkeling Day Trip

Last week, I visited Culebra Island right off of Puerto Rico and experienced the best snorkeling so far while living in Puerto Rico! The clear waters of Flamenco Beach are truly breathtaking, and I’ve officially fallen in love with this tiny island.

However, Culebra was not love at first site for me, and I will tell you why here. This post is going to talk about:

  1. Getting to Culebra Island
  2. Culebra Island Transportation
  3. Recommended Time Spent in Culebra
  4. Best Culebra Snorkeling and Beaches

If you choose to purchase from some of the links below, I receive a small commission at no cost to you, so thank you in advance for keeping this blog going!

Flamenco Beach Culebra Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach Culebra

Getting to Culebra Island from Puerto Rico

There are a few ways to get to Culebra Island from Puerto Rico, but the most common ways are to fly with AirFlamenco or take the Ferry in Ceiba, which is about 1 hour East from San Juan. The cheaper option of the 2 is the ferry, but tickets are released about 2 weeks out and sell out fast! AirFlemenco round trip is about $90 per person, or if you have a big group, you can charter a plane. The ferry takes 1 hour from Ceiba and flights take about 15 minutes.

I am going to elaborate on the Culebra ferry option in this post because I think it is a good option for large or small groups. We chose to ferry, so I have first-hand experience with it. When you type in the Ceiba Ferry Terminal into Google Maps, you will end up at Roosevelt Roads, which is an old Navy base. You can drop off a some of your group to wait at the ferry terminal with the bags while you park the car. Car parking is about a mile further (there are plenty of signs for directions), where you pay in cash based on the amount of days that your car will remain in the lot- $7 for 1 day, $15 for 2, and so on. A shuttle will drive you from the parking lot back to the terminal to meet back up with your group and board the ferry.

As far as facilities, there are porta potties at the parking lot, and the ferry terminal has a snack and coffee bar and restrooms.

Present your email that contains your ferry tickets to the gate guard, and you are on your way. The ferry leaves promptly, so get there about an hour prior to departure like the tickets recommend. To be honest, they did not check our additional bag tickets, so if you are a stickler for rules, go for it, but I am not convinced that the additional tickets are necessary as long as you keep it to a reasonable amount of luggage. The seas can be rough depending on weather, so take some Dramamine the night before and sit on the bottom level if you are prone to seasickness. I personally LOVED the ferry ride as it was so peaceful. Passing nearby islands and being on the open sea for $2 plus tax is a steal!

You arrive at the Culebra Ferry Terminal, and depending on what mode of transportation you choose, your driver will be there waiting for you with a sign.

Flamenco Beach Culebra Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach Culebra

Culebra Island Transportation

For transportation around Culebra, although it is pricey for the day, I don’t know of many other options, especially during COVID closures, than to rent a golf cart or Jeep. There are 2 companies on the island, Jerry’s Jeep Rental and Carlos Jeep Rental. Jerry is the only one who will rent for 1 day and his website is more user-friendly. He will pick up only the driver from the terminal, and you can pick up the rest of your crew afterwards. I recommend having your group walk to the left, and up the hill, further out of the congested terminal area to be picked up. If they walk to the steep road that leads to Tamarindo Beach, you can pick them up and head straight to Tamarindo Beach for snorkeling with the sea turtles!

Melones Beach

Recommended Time Spent on Culebra Island

During COVID, just about everything was closed indefinitely or sporadically as far as restaurants went. There was a to-go spot to the left of Kokomo’s at the ferry terminal, a convenient store up the hill, and Moncho’s Barbecue to-go. Blac Flamenco Coffee in town is open until like 10:30AM and Zaco’s Tacos is open some evenings.

Basically, food should not be the reason you go to Culebra, and you should definitely bring a cooler with wheels to this island. Although it would be an early morning, I recommend taking the 7am ferry to Culebra and the 4pm ferry back to Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The reason I fell in love with Culebra was for the amazingly clear Flamenco Beach and the beautiful snorkeling of Tamarindo and Melones. The small, congested roads near the ferry were enough to make me wonder why anyone would live there, but the snorkeling is incomparable and is the very reason I would go back in a heartbeat!

I booked an airbnb, and rented a Jeep for 2 days for our group, and I just don’t see a need to spend all that money when you can snorkel and beach bum it out in a day, for about $300 cheaper. If you get a larger group to go, a longer stay would make sense as you can split the cost of car and lodging. Another cheaper option is camping at the Flamenco Campgrounds for $30/day, but they were closed for construction last I’ve heard.

Flamenco Beach Culebra
Flamenco Beach

Best Snorkeling in Culebra Island & Tour Guides

For sea turtles, head to Tamarindo Beach, which has grass straight out from the beach where sea turtles love to snack! I saw a stingray in the coral more towards the left of the beach, but the sea turtles were just a few feet from the beach. For the most beautiful coral, head to Melones Beach and swim right, towards the rockier area. Colorful coral and fish both big and small will wave all around you. Wear water shoes or fins as I saw more sea urchins than ever before in this water. Also be sure to check the weather before going into any water in Culebra or Puerto Rico. Rip currents are no joke here in the winter, but we did snorkel early February, and I did not feel a huge pull at Tamarindo or at Melones. At Flamenco, I felt a stronger pull when snorkeling, and the reef near the main beach entrance is not very colorful. The reef may be better near the beached military tank on the far left. Flamenco is best for just sitting in the white sand and floating in the shallow, clear waters.

There are a couple other beaches that I did not go to that are also known for snorkeling like Playa Carlos Rosario and Culebrita, which requires a boat transfer to get to. Once you are already on-island, companies also offer snorkel kayak tours. One of the easiest day trip options if you are more concerned with the clear blue water and snorkeling rather than exploring the island is to take a boat trip from Fajardo. They will take you to a Culebra beach, a snorkel reef, and will provide all gear, drinks, and lunch. That way, you don’t have to even mess with the ferry tickets, parking, renting a car, or anything.

Catamaran Snorkel Tour Puerto Rico Icacos Island Tobias Traveler Catamaran
Catamaran Snorkel Tours

In conclusion, you won’t believe your eyes when you visit the beautiful beaches of Culebra, filled with clear waters and abundant sea creatures. However, I think that you can cover what there is to see in the span of a day, unless you are really into snorkeling and want to see all of the beaches in one trip. Although most of the restaurants are closed, I still recommend visiting because you practically have all of the beaches to yourself, and Flamenco is the most beautiful beach in Puerto Rico. I hope this helps you plan your Culebra excursion!

Happy Travels!

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Utuado, Puerto Rico: Canon Blanco

Located in Utuado, Puerto Rico is a breathtaking, extremely random landscape. At the bottom of the winding mountains, there’s a mass of white stone with a river running through it called Canon Blanco (White Canyon.) Although the drive is about 1 hour and 40 minutes from San Juan, this is a sight that is really…