Thinking about what to do while you're in Puerto Rico? These tours bring you the best of the island's cultural, natural, culinary, and adventurous attractions. These aren't in any particular order, as they depend entirely on where your interests lie; but they all offer something special.
One of the best tours in Puerto Rico is an entertaining, informative, nighttime walk through the Old City section of the nation's Capital, San Juan. The tour will give you insider access to the walled city, cobblestone streets, and centuries-old buildings of Old San Juan as you learn of its rich history. As the tour's website notes:
"The imagination of thousands of travelers have awakened while listening to what happened before, during and after the battles at the strongest Fortress City built by Spain in the Western Hemisphere."
Night Tales is just one of numerous tours run by Legends of Puerto Rico, which include walking tours of the city during the day, Thanksgiving culinary excursions into the countryside, and nature tours.
If you're more in the mood for an excellent Puerto Rican fare, the Flavors of San Juan tour gives you the chance to experience the country's excellent food and culture in an easy three-hour walking food tour in the heart of Old San Juan. The tour takes you to several great restaurants and landmarks, and the journalistic skills of its tour guides ensure you'll learn at least a few new things about the local culture.
Feel like going sailing? Then book a tour with Erin Go Bragh, a 50-foot ketch from Fajardo to tiny islands and snorkeling spots on Puerto Rico's east coast. Captain Bill and Ingrid are wonderful hosts, and they might even let you play your own soundtrack during the trip. One reviewer on Trip Advisor raved after the excursion: "Such an amazing treat to have a private sailing experience with a wonderful crew." The day trip that travels the coastal waters around the island also offers snorkeling in the sparkling Puerto Rican waters.
Combine the picturesque natural beauty of Puerto Rico's subtropical rainforest, El Yunque, and the chance to go hang gliding in near-perfect conditions, and you can't beat what Team Spirit offers you. And if hang gliding seems like an unnecessarily risky thing to do, try paragliding instead. "I found this as something unique to do in Puerto Rico for my husband and teenage travelers," noted one reviewer. "The setting was amazing in a remote part of the rainforest." The organization sponsoring the adventures, Team Spirit Hanggliding and Paragliding, also offers a kayak trip to Cayo Santiago, better known as "Monkey Island.
You can take a four-track, mountain bike, or horse ride through lush, forested areas at the Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park nestled in the foothills of the El Yunque rainforest. Choose your ride, and take off on a fun, relaxing, or invigorating romp through the forest to an idyllic spot where you can even swim in across the crystal clear waters of the Mameyes River.
There are three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, but not all bays are the same. Mosquito Bay in Vieques is the by far the most incredible, and there are two guides who run excellent trips to this awesome natural wonder: Abe's Snorkeling & Bio-Bay Tours and Island Adventures. If you can't make it out to Vieques Island but still feel like glowing in the dark, head to Fajardo, where Yokahu Kayaks runs a great tour.
This tour features two totally different destinations, but many companies operate an excursion to the spectacular Camuy Cave system, a million-year-old cavern, and the Arecibo Telescope, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world. They rank among Puerto Rico's best attractions, and you can visit both in a single-day, nine-hour trip.
If caving, rappelling, canyoning, zip lines, and free jumps sound like your idea of a perfect day out, you're going to love heading out with companies like Acampa and Aventuras Tierra Adentro, both of which will introduce you to the more daring side of the El Yunque rainforest. Be sure to check out Toro Verde, a rainforest eco-park that boasts one of the longest zip lines in the world, a thrill-ride 600 feet in the air strapped into a custom harness.
There are many dive companies in Puerto Rico, but Culebra Divers is one of the best. The waters off Culebra's Cayo Norte will give you a perfect opportunity to see some of Puerto Rico's underwater sites, including:
- The Wit Power, a sunken tugboat resting a mere 40 feet below the surface. As far as shipwrecks go, this is certainly one of the most accessible, and because the Wit Power has been here since 1984, divers will find plenty of coral, turtles, fish, and other marine life.
- A vibrant coral reef just off of Carlos Rosario that is much loved by both divers and snorkelers because of its display of coral and fish.
- The Geniqui Caves, which provide a chance to explore underwater tunnels and admire a unique underwater vista by lamplight.
- Many cayos — or keys — around Culebra that are well worth exploring.
The only free tour on this list (actually, you even get a free sample of Bacardi rum at the end of it), Casa Bacardi's guided tour of its distillery in Cataño, near San Juan, is an interesting one. From the history of the founding family of rum's most recognizable brand to the story behind the bat logo, the experience is worth it for anyone who wants to know more about the rum, and the island, behind the piña colada.