Sports in Puerto Rico: Where to Play, What to Watch

A tropical island with ideal weather and diverse geography means Puerto Rico is naturally a paradise for athletes and fans of a variety of sports. Here's a rundown of what you can play and watch around the island, throughout the year.

  • 01 of 12

    Baseball

    Little boy at baseball game
    ••• Baseball is extremely popular in Puerto Rico. Allen Donikowski/Getty Images

    Baseball is one of the most popular sports on the island, with homegrown stars (Carlos Beltrán, Roberto Alomar, Roberto Clemente, and more) and its own league (the Liga Profesional de Beisbol).

    Where to Go
    Baseball is played all over Puerto Rico, but the most well-known park is the Hiram Birthorn Stadium in Hato Rey, San Juan.

    The Season
    Puerto Rican baseball runs from November to January.

  • 02 of 12

    Boxing

    ••• Felix Trinidad. Photo © Al Bello/Getty Images

    In Puerto Rico, boxing has a storied legacy that began in 1899. This island has produced some of the sport's all-time greats, including Hall of Famers Carlos Ortiz, José "Chegui" Torres, Edwin "El Chapo" Rosario, and more recent icons Hector Camacho, Felix "Tito" Trinidad, and Miguel “Junito” Cotto, to name just a few. There are currently seven Puerto Ricans in the Boxing Hall of Fame, a staggering number for the size of the island and testament to its boxing tradition.

    Where to Go
    The Coliseo de Puerto Rico, or Coliseum, is host to the biggest showdowns and tickets in the sport.

    The Season
    There is no specific season.

  • 03 of 12

    Equestrian

    Paso Fino
    ••• Paso Fino Horses. Jean/Flickr

    The Spanish brought several things to the New World, including horses. In particular, they brought Paso Fino horses to Puerto Rico, a breed much prized for its elegance and smooth gait, which provides a remarkably smooth ride. This makes Paso Finos a joy to learn on as well as show off, and there are competitions, trails, and stables around the island.

    Where to Go
    Here are just a few places where you can hop in the saddle:

    The Season

    Year-round

    Special Events

    Mother's Day and Father's Day are celebrated with a Paso Fino Competition in Vieques.

  • 04 of 12

    Golf

    El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico
    ••• Golf Course at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico. Tony Roberts/Getty Images

    Puerto Rico offers many temptations to the avid golfer: a diverse landscape that offers stunning ocean views, verdant slopes, and lush flora; championship courses designed by some of the biggest names in the business; and the credibility of its recent addition to the PGA circuit. The Puerto Rico Open was inaugurated in 2008. Finally, there's this handy golf portal that lists just about everything the golfer needs to tee off around the island.

    The Season
    Year-round

    Special Events
    The PGA Puerto Rico Open is the biggest tournament on the island, held annually in March. The Puerto Rico Golf Association also hosts a tournament each year.

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  • 05 of 12

    This round-up says it all about hang gliding in Puerto Rico. Team Spirit will take you high above the treetops of El Yunque, giving you breathtaking birdseye views of the island while you float on thermal wind currents.

    Where to Go
    Team Spirit flies from Cubuy.

    The Season
    Year-round, weather permitting.

  • 06 of 12

    Kayaking

    Couple kayaking in tropical setting
    ••• Kayaking. Justin Lewis/Getty Images

    Kayaking is a popular activity all over Puerto Rico and can be enjoyed in a variety of settings: bioluminescent lagoons, mangrove forests, lakes encircled by mountains, and the splendor of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Hotels in Vieques, Culebra and along the coast frequently have kayaks available for guests, and several companies offer tours or rentals.

    Where to Go
    Virtually all over the island, but here are a few useful contacts:

    The Season
    Year-round

  • 07 of 12

    Rappelling, Canyoning and Caving

    Zip-Line Canyoning in El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
    ••• Zip-Line Canyoning in El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico. Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    There's one company that stands out above the rest for its adventure tourism programs; even other tour guides nod respectfully in their direction and say, "yup, they're the best." They, in this case, is Aventuras Tierra Adentro, and they should be the first people you call if the idea of leaping across chasms, rappelling down mountains, exploring subterranean rivers, and zip-lining over thousand-foot drops is your idea of a good time. (Check out my adventure tourism photo gallery to give you an idea of what to expect.)

    Where to Go
    Aventuras arranges all the details, including pick-ups and meeting points. Excursions explore the area above and below the El Yunque rainforest.

    The Season
    Year-round

  • 08 of 12

    Running and Hiking

    A woman walks along a trail in the forest while on an adventure in Puerto Rico.
    ••• Hiking in Puerto Rico. Michael Hanson/Getty Images

    Puerto Rico offers trails and tracks along beaches, through forests, and in its verdant parks.

    Where to Go

    • Hikers will love the trails that snake through El Yunque and the milder treks through the Guánica Dry Forest. Eco Action Tours and Legends of Puerto Rico organize tours to both.
    • Runners should check this handy list of routes around the island. San Juan also has many parks with jogging/running tracks, including Parque Barbosa (Ocean Park), Parque Lineal Enrique Marti Coll, and Parque Luis Muñoz Marín (Hato Rey), and the Botanical Garden (Río Piedras).

    The Season
    Year-round

    Special Events
    The World's Best 10-K Race kicks off in San Juan in February/March; it's the largest participatory sport on the island.

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  • 09 of 12

    Sailing

    Sailboat Anchored in Clear Water
    ••• Try sailing in Puerto Rico. Onne van der Wal/Getty Images

    The sailing capital of Puerto Rico is Fajardo, but you can also learn how to sail and attend regattas in San Juan, Rincón, and Culebra. Note: This section doesn't cover charters and tours.

    Where to Go

    • Caribbean Sailing School in Fajardo offers sailing courses throughout the year.
    • Sail Caribe in Fajardo offers sailing courses on their beautiful Hunter 33 yachts.
    • Rincón Sailing has very affordable 3-hour and 12-hour courses, as well as a summer youth sailing camp.
    • The Club Náutico de San Juan in Miramar has classes tailored for kids and adults.

    The Season
    Year-round

    Special Events
    The biggest event on the island is the Club Náutico's International Regatta.

  • 10 of 12

    Surfing

    Puerto Rico - Recreational Surfing
    ••• Surfing in Puerto Rico. Ken Cedeno / Getty Images

    If Fajardo is the sailing capital, Rincón is the unquestioned home of surfing. But you'll find surfers, wind-surfers and kite-boarders riding the waves in other parts of Puerto Rico as well.

    Where to Go

    • Velauno in Ocean Park is your best surfing resource in San Juan. As for where to go, Punta Las Marías, between Ocean Park and Isla Verde, is where the surfers gather.
    • Rincón Hangout lists the best surf spots along the west coast.
    • Playa Azul and Playa La Pared near Luquillo Beach are popular local hangouts.

    The Season
    The Surfing season in Rincón runs from November to March, and on the rest of the island generally from October to April.

    Special Events
    The Professional Surfing Association of Puerto Rico hosts pro meets throughout the year.

  • 11 of 12

    Swimming

    Playa Caracas
    ••• Go swimming in Playa Caracas. John and Tina Reid/Getty Images

    It's no surprise that you can dive into the water from almost anywhere in Puerto Rico. Between sea, ocean, lagoon, lake, and pool, there is no dearth of destinations for swimmers.

    Where to Go
    The list is almost endless: San Juan? Check. Vieques and Culebra? Yup. Fajardo? Of course. Rincón? Absolutely.

    The Season
    Year-round

  • 12 of 12

    Scuba Diving

    Diver at Creole Canyon.
    ••• Scuba Diving in Creole Canyon in Puerto Rico. Steve Simonsen/Getty Images

    One of the most popular water sports in, or I should say under, the island, Puerto Rico has many spots for scuba divers and even more for snorkelers. I'll have to save snorkeling for another article, but here's the scoop on scuba.

    Where to Go

    • Check out the top dive sites in Puerto Rico.
    • Blackbeard Sports in Vieques is the island's most complete scuba outfit.
    • Culebra Divers is my choice for diving excursions from Culebra: Walter and Monika Rieder are wonderful guides.
    • Ocean Sports in Isla Verde is a good resource for divers who want to stick to the San Juan area.
    • Sea Ventures in Fajardo is a PADI 5-Star Dive Center.

    The Season
    Year-round