12 Reasons Why San Juan, Puerto Rico Should Be Your Top Caribbean Destination
San Juan, Puerto Rico is known as the “Island of Enchantment” for good reason. With its bioluminescent bay, rainforests, beaches, warm people, and infectious music, there’s never a dull moment!
Puerto Rico captivates travelers from all over the world with its tropical climate, colonial architecture, traditional cuisine, colorful culture, and cobblestone streets. Plus, as part of the U.S., it’s easy to find flights to and from Puerto Rico. Due to the pandemic, a negative Covid test is required upon arrival.
The main island is diverse and there are endless natural features to explore, such as:
- Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy (Camuy River Cavern Park)
- Guánica Dry Forest
- El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System.
From forests to mountains and beaches to incredible waterfalls, San Juan Puerto Rico is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean Sea.
For an extensive travel guide, check this out. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Spanish before you go, check out:
- How to Learn Spanish in 6 Months
- How Spanish Immersion Online for Kids Is the Answer You’re Looking For!
Read this article to learn more about why San Juan, Puerto Rico should be your next travel destination!
12 Reasons to Visit San Juan, Puerto Rico
Let’s find out why San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of a kind!
Here are some of the best San Juan Puerto Rico hotels and resorts. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
1. Diverse Landscapes and Tropical Weather
San Juan, Puerto Rico has a surprising amount of landscapes and exciting activities to choose from. Warm and sunny weather throughout the year makes it an ideal spot if you’re looking for adventure and relaxation.
Enjoy street food including pastelillos (little cakes), empanadas, or piragüeros (flavored shaved ice.) San Juan and the whole island of Puerto Rico has a vibrant atmosphere and culture.
2. Enjoy Bioluminescent Bays
When you’re there, check out Puerto Mosquito. It’s a famous bay that’s home to the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay! There are only five bioluminescent bays in the world, and three of them are in Puerto Rico.
The organisms that make the bay illuminate are called dinoflagellates. They’re responsible for the amazing phenomenon that produces the beautiful blue-lit waters.
3. Go Back in Time in El Viejo San Juan
San Juan is Puerto Rico’s largest city. What makes it so magical is how the old world meets the new. Old San Juan Puerto Rico is over 500 years old, and it’s the home to one of the most unique and richest cultures in the Caribbean Sea.
Visit century-old forts and along gorgeous beaches. Experience Old San Juan while enjoying the warmth of the kind-hearted locals.
4. Amazing People and Music
Puerto Ricans have a vibrant and warm culture. They invented salsa dancing and listen to infectious music such as salsa, cumbia, and more! The danza and the bomba are two popular dances in Puerto Rico, and people love to invite tourists to learn them!
The music scene is strong in San Juan’s local culture. Ask the locals about the best places to go dancing and experience all the city has to offer.
5. The City is Easy to Navigate
Getting around the island is simple. Rent a car or take public transportation or Uber. Check out this San Juan Puerto Rico map and see which places catch your eye:
6. Do Good While Traveling
If you’re looking to volunteer and make your travels meaningful, Puerto Rico is an excellent place for that. Love in Motion is an NGO in San Juan, Puerto Rico that was opened by locals who run tours where they take travelers off the beaten path destinations and show them the reality of Puerto Rican citizens who lost their homes due to hurricanes that have hit the island.
Many say it is a one-of-a-kind experience where they get to meet locals and do their part to help out. And it doesn’t have to be your whole vacation. You can volunteer for one or two days and make a huge difference in someone else’s life.
7. No Crowds
It’s wonderful to go to the Caribbean during the low season (June to November.) That way, you don’t have to worry about crowded beaches or tours being sold out.
Instead, have the beaches to yourself and avoid the crowds. It has all the beauty of a Caribbean vacation without excessive amounts of tourists. It’s a perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture and practice your Spanish in the process.
Neighborhood parties, street parades, and city festivals happen constantly in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Everyone loves to flock to the streets and dance along to the beat of the drums. People come together to celebrate Puerto Rico and its rich roots.
San Juan hosts the San Sebastián Street Festival each January! They also celebrate several patron saint festivals in different neighborhoods throughout the year.
9. Delicious Food
Even though San Juan, Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., the island has its own unique culture and cuisine. Traditional recipes also known as cocina criolla that includes dishes such as mofongo (a seafood mound with plantains), lechón (roasted pig), and arroz con gandules (rice, pigeon peas, and pork.)
Puerto Rico’s cuisine has influences from Africa, Europe, and the Taíno people. Their hot sauce is called pique. The coffee is strong and delicious, and they have an endless amount of desserts to choose from.
10. Historical Architecture
San Juan features a beautiful mix between old and new architecture. The brightly painted homes make it a charming destination. Some call the Raíces Fountain at La Princes the most romantic place on the island.
It’s the perfect place to go for sunset. Walkthrough an old Spanish fort on the cliffside called Fuerte San Felipe del Morro in old San Juan.
11. Pristine Beaches
The beaches are mesmerizing in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some of the best beaches are Vieques and Culebra. Both islands are accessible by plane or boat and they both have picturesque shores and warm waters to enjoy the beaches to the fullest! Check out Flamenco, Condado, and Isla Verde beaches, too.
12. Practice Spanish!
Even though Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., 95% of Puerto Ricans speak Spanish. That’s why it’s the perfect place to practice! Most locals won’t greet you by saying hello but rather buenos días!
Go test your skills by ordering from a restaurant, going to the market, and asking people for directions. Don’t worry if you make a mistake; the locals are friendly and willing to help you out.
Travel to Puerto Rico and Practice Your Spanish
San Juan, Puerto Rico is full of wonder, history, and amazing culture. It’s fun and accessible to practice your Spanish speaking skills there. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience in San Juan?
One of the many reasons to learn Spanish is to become a translator or interpreter and travel for a living! Spain, the United States, and many countries in Latin America are looking for interpreters and translators on a regular basis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interpreters and translators are among the fastest-growing occupations, and the opportunities in these fields are expected to increase by 46% by 2022. By learning Spanish, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your career and even teach your children Spanish or set a family goal to become fluent together and travel to Spanish-speaking countries.
To prepare for your trip to Puerto Rico, sign up for a free 1-to-1 class at Homeschool Spanish Academy! Speaking dramatically improves your comprehension skills, and being able to communicate in Spanish enhances your vacation experience.
Want to learn more about Latin American culture? Check out our latest posts!
- The Origin and History of Jews in Latin America
- A Traveler’s Guide to Cali, Colombia
- A Traveler’s Guide to Córdoba, Argentina
- A Traveler’s Guide to Bogotá, Colombia
- All About the Alasitas Fair in La Paz, Bolivia
- 6 Alarming Facts About Education in Guatemala
- A Traveler’s Guide to La Paz: the World’s Highest Capital
- All About Peru’s National Symbols
- 10 Learning Habits of Highly Effective Spanish Learners - January 10, 2022
- A Traveler’s Guide to La Paz: the World’s Highest Capital - January 1, 2022
- Etnica: 10 Reasons to Experience Ethical Tourism in Guatemala - December 30, 2021