A few months ago, we Traveled Over the Rainbow to Puerto Rico, touring the island’s LGBTQ scene. Puerto Rico is one of the best islands in the Caribbean for our community, with a very active gayborhood, a thriving nightlife, and more than enough adventure to fill several vacations.
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean Island that is a territory of the United States. This makes it very easy for American citizens to travel there because no passport is needed. A driver's license will do the trick, making it an accessible way to explore the Caribbean.
It is a land with a vibrant culture and beautiful people. Here are seven things to do in Puerto Rico that will allow you to truly see what Puerto Rico offers its visitors.
1. Water Fun - No matter where you are going in the Caribbean, the beaches and ocean are an essential part of the trip. In Puerto Rico, areas like Culebra, Vieques, and El Yunque are great places to visit. Culebra is the perfect spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Flamingo Beach in Culebra offers the ideal backdrop for your snorkeling and diving adventure. Vieques is the home of a beautiful bioluminescent bay, and El Yunque is the only subtropical rainforest in the United States.
2. An Old Spanish Fort - Castillo San Cristobal is a 500-year-old Spanish fort erected to protect the Spanish interest in their New World colony. This fort was the largest that the Spanish built in the New World as it was six stories tall and took up 27 acres of real estate on the tip of the island overlooking the ocean.
3. Festivals - Puerto Rico is an island that knows how to party, and they know how to do it well. Some festivals are going on every month all year long. There are even festivals and celebrations that go on all year. These festivals are highlighted with parades, music, food, drinks, and dancing. They are a convergence of Puerto Rican culture. The best months for these festivals are December and January, and daytime is the best time to experience them. At night, they tend to get a lot more crowded and rowdier.
4. Great Drinks - Puerto Rico is considered the King of Rum, and they embrace the moniker. There are amazing innovative mixologists all over the island that are using Puerto Rican rum and native fruits (like passion fruits, mangoes, papayas, and more) to create a perfect taste of Puerto Rico. Many of these mixologists also compete internationally, so they are a lot of fun to watch work. There is everything from great drinks to beautiful paired drinks and courses, and you can find it all.
5. The Food - The "Dining Capital of the Caribbean" is how many Puerto Ricans refer to their homeland. Their cuisine is a harmonious blend of Taino (the native people of Puerto Rico), American and Spanish cuisines. These different influences combine to generate unique dishes like mofongo (mashed plantains) and Arroz con gandules y Lechon (rice with pigeon peas and pork).
6. Bacardi Rum Factory - The Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico is the largest in the world as this factory can bottle up to 100,000 bottles a day. Aside from just touring the factory itself, you can also go on a tasting tour. This tour allows visitors to learn all about the rum, the bottling process, and the different flavors and tastes that Bacardi manufactures. It is an essential part of Puerto Rico, and it is a lot of fun.
7. Old San Juan - San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, and Old San Juan is the colonial remnants of San Juan's days as a Spanish colonial city. Old San Juan is the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere. Its brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets give it an old-world feel at your fingertips. You can go on guided tours to learn about the over 500 years of history of this area of the city. Aside from colonial history, there is fantastic food and bars all over so that you can make a whole day out of your visit to Old San Juan.
Hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico, and it has been a long, hard road to rebuilding. The resilience of the people of Puerto Rico is evident when you see how far they have come since then. Tourism is an integral part of their economy, and it is an integral part of how they are rebuilding their island, one brick at a time. Your fun trip to Puerto Rico is not just for you but for the Island of Puerto Rico itself.
Whether you’re ready to book and travel now or book and travel later, Puerto Rico is the ideal destination for just about every type of traveler. Schedule an Initial Consultation to start planning today.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable to enjoy and explore your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you’ll have an experience that is just as unique as you.
If you haven't already, be sure to request your free LGBTQ Guide to the Caribbean at the bottom of the page.