The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a great destination for couples hoping to enjoy a romantic escape any time of year. Featuring a rich Latin culture, historic elegance, and laid-back charm, this unincorporated U.S. territory is an ideal destination for honeymoons, weekend getaways, and romantic retreats. Whether you're riding horseback on the beach at sunset or learning to salsa dance with your partner, there are plenty of things to do on your trip to Puerto Rico that will make for an intimate and unforgettable vacation.
Seeing the glowing green waters of a natural bioluminescent bay at night is one of the most interesting and romantic activities you can do in Puerto Rico, which is home to three of the world's five biobays. Formed by microscopic single-cell organisms called dinoflagellates, these glowing bays attract visitors from around the world to witness the ethereal lights each night and make for a truly romantic trip with your loved one.
- Mosquito Bay: Located on Vieques Island, this is the most popular and impressive biobay in Puerto Rico. Known for having the highest concentration of dinoflagellates, this sheltered biobay is only accessible by booking a trip with the Vieques-based company Abe's Snorkeling and Bio Bay Tours or other similar tour companies.
- Laguna Grande: If you can't make it to Vieques, rent a car from San Juan and drive yourself to Fajardo, where you can book a kayak eco-tour with Yokahú Kayak Trips or Kayaking Puerto Rico that will take you from Las Croabas to this smaller, sheltered biobay.
- La Parguera: On the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico near Lajas, La Parguera is much smaller than Puerto Rico's other biobays due to over-boating in the bay. However, the glass-bottom boat tour offered by Alelí Tours is the cheapest biobay excursion on the island.
While horseback riding on the beach may seem a bit cliche and generic, there's no denying the romantic appeal of taking a sunset ride with your loved one on the shores of one of the island's beaches.
Tropical Trail Rides in Aguadilla offers daily 4 p.m. sunset tours that take you from Puerto Rico's beaches to its verdant forests just in time to see the brilliant colors of dusk take over the sky above the island. The tour typically two to three hours and includes a stop where you can either hike or take a dip in the ocean.
Alternatively, head out to Rincón on the western tip of Puerto Rico—about 90 miles from San Juan—to book a private horseback ride with Pintos 'R' Us. Rincón remains one of the most secluded and least visited portions of the island, and the private sunset tour offered by Pintos allows you and your loved one to enjoy an uninterrupted horseback ride along the beach for two hours.
If you're not familiar with the quality and breadth of the theater and music venues in Puerto Rico, you'll be pleasantly surprised at what's available no matter where you go on the island. However, as the city's cultural center, San Juan is the best city to visit if you're looking to catch a performance during your trip.
The magnificent Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré on Ponce de León Avenue in San Juan's Santurce barrio (neighborhood) is the city's modern, spacious, and elegant performing arts center. With three main concert and theater halls, this is the place to go for a night of ballet, opera, a play, or a classical music concert. The center is also a fine destination for art lovers, and one of its most beautiful works is "The Muses" by Annex Burgos—a series of six-foot bronze sculptures that evoke the different artistic expressions.
Some say the most romantic thing to do in Puerto Rico is simply to stroll along the streets of Old San Juan and imbibe its special charm. This is especially true on Sundays when the Puerto Rico Tourism Company hosts a free event called Atardecer Romántico, or "Romantic Sunset," along Paseo de La Princesa. This is a lovely tree-lined promenade at the foot of the city, with the city walls stretching up on one side and the majestic Raíces Fountain and the San Juan Bay at the end. As you walk, browse the stalls lining the road selling food, drinks, and arts and crafts; stop at a free musical show; join the many couples dancing in the street to the sound of a live band; and steal a kiss by the fountain.
If you're looking for a truly intimate escape with your special someone on your trip to Puerto Rico, book a flight with Air Flemcno or Vieques Air Link or take a ferry from Fajardo to the island of Culebra—located 17 nautical miles east of mainland Puerto Rico.
Known for its pristine, private beaches and a natural barrier of coral reefs, Culebra is the ideal destination for couples who want to get away from all the noise of the city. Stay overnight at Culebra Beach Villas and then snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Flamenco Beach to see the natural wonder of the coral reef there. Afterward, you can also hike to Carlos Rosario Beach to spend the day laying in the sand.
Puerto Rico is home to the only rainforest managed by the U.S. Forest Service, El Yunque National Forest, where you'll find lush foliage, miles of hiking trails, and several semi-private waterfalls. If you're hoping to see one of the biggest falls on the island, take La Mina Trail to La Mina Falls, a 35-foot waterfall with a crystal-clear swimming hole underneath it. Alternatively, couples can work up a sweat on the Mount Britton Trail, which leads guests through the jungle, past a few small falls, and to an elevation of 2,493 feet to find an old watchtower that offers great views of the island.
Spend the Day at the Beach
While you may be able to spend the day with your loved one at the beach at home, there's nothing quite like the beaches of Puerto Rico for a romantic afternoon with your special someone. Whether you're looking for a secluded spot to escape or if you'd rather enjoy the comforts of resort amenities nearby, Puerto Rico has plenty of beaches you and your lover can enjoy.
- Candado Beach: Located right across Laguna del Condado in San Juan, this pristine stretch of sand is great for couples who want to experience all the joys of a day at the beach without leaving behind the creature comforts of the city.
- Flamenco Beach: Located on Culebra, this remote beach is great for couples looking to get away from tourist crowds.
- Sun Bay Beach: Found on Isla de Vieques, this long beach features numerous food and beverage kiosks and long stretches of white sand not too far from several great resorts.
- Luquillo Beach: At the border of El Yunque Rainforest in Luquillo, this beach also offers access to coral reef snorkeling and numerous beach kiosks with relatively small crowds during the week.
- Ocean Park Beach: Also located near San Juan, this beach is more popular with locals than tourists, making it a great place to take in Puerto Rican culture while you relax on the white sand.