The wealth of attractions that await on Puerto Rico belie its tiny size. White-sand beaches, rugged mountains, crashing waterfalls and stunning rainforest – the variety of landscapes seem endless. Most visitors head straight to the more developed shoreline of the north coast, but those willing to make the trip out to Vieques, an offshore island to the east, are rewarded with deserted beaches, bays that glow at night, and the chance to spot wild horses roaming freely. The adventure continues inland, with limestone caves and hiking trails amidst the canopy of El Yunque National Forest. All that said, the appeal of this island does not solely rest with its natural beauty. Puerto Rico’s distinct culture is formed of Caribbean, Hispanic and American influences, which makes for fantastic music, food and festivals. There’s no better place to get a taste for it than in the island’s salsa-fuelled capital, San Juan. Before you put your dancing shoes on, take some time to get to know the city. You can explore the old town and its mighty forts, San Felipe del Morro and San Cristóbal, both over five centuries old. Walk along the famous Paseo de la Princesa which runs beside the old city walls. Or go jet-skiing or kitesurfing in Isla Verde, a lively district facing Laguna San José. Accommodation options are plentiful in Puerto Rico, with the bulk of hotels and guesthouses strung along the coast. You can expect more choice in San Juan and Ponce, the country’s second biggest city.
The 12 best places to stay in Puerto Rico: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests