It might be a territory of the United States, but Puerto Rico is very far removed from mainland America. The Spanish speaking-island is a cultural melange of influences from across the Caribbean, offering a diverse mixture of colonial architecture, unique Afro-Puerto Rican cultures and tropical landscapes.
The island has been hit hard by hurricanes in the past, but tourism is once again beginning to boom, as visitors arrive looking for sunny climes, white sand beaches and a relaxed yet lively lifestyle.
There are some excellent tours that will immerse you in Puerto Rican culture, as you mix cocktails, learn to salsa or indulge in some Caribbean cuisine. Explore the dense jungles of the interior, hike to dramatic caves, or hit the coral reefs for a spot of snorkelling.
To help inspire you to visit Puerto Rico, here are the best tours that the island has to offer.
1. Puerto Rico: Old San Juan Walking and Tasting Tour
Start your adventures in Puerto Rico by taking a walking and tasting tour through San Juan, the island’s capital. This historic port city was founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century and can claim to be one of the oldest European settlements in the Americas.
Hundreds of years of history have left Old San Juan with a wonderful array of colonial architecture, and this tour will walk you through the best sights in the city. You’ll visit churches and castles, fortifications and colonial mansions, all the while learning from your local guide.
Along the way, you’ll also be calling in at different Puerto Rican eateries and cafes to sample some of the best local delights on offer.
2. Old San Juan and Bacardi Factory
Puerto Rico is famous for its rum, and the island is home to the internationally-known brand, Bacardi.
On this tour, after exploring the charming colonial streets of Old San Juan, you’ll be taken to the Bacardi factory, which produces thousands of bottles every day.
Learn about the distillation process and the piratical origins of rum in the Caribbean, before enjoying a few tastings and local rum-based cocktails.
3. Old San Juan Sunset Cruise
Set sail on the high seas as the sun begins to set over Puerto Rico, in this fantastic tour from Old San Juan.
Enjoy the beautiful scenes of the harbour and colonial fortifications from the water, in a classic replica of an 18th-century American schooner.
Drink cold cocktails as the sky turns from blue to vibrant colours of red and yellow over the city.
4. El Yunque Rainforest Half Day Tour
Some of the most diverse ecosystems in the Caribbean can be found on Puerto Rico. El Yunque National Forest protects an area of pristine tropical rainforest that’s full of flora and fauna.
On this half-day tour, you’ll be transported into the jungle, stopping off at magnificent waterfalls and wild areas of natural beauty. You’ll hike under the canopy of the forest and see a unique part of Puerto Rico first hand.
5. Two Caves Half Day Adventure
This outdoor tour will take you from San Juan into the wilderness, as you travel to two of the most unique caves to be found on the island. Start the journey by visiting Cueva Ventana, The Window Cave, where you can enjoy incredible views over the landscapes below you from the enormous entranceway.
Next, move on to Cueva del Indio, where after a short hike you’ll arrive at a spectacular cave formed from millions of years of weathering, which offers great views out to sea.
6. Full Day Tour Taino Caves and Caguana Park
This unique tour takes you to both the Cueva del Indio and the Cueva Ventana, but you will be accompanied by an archaeologist who is able to explain the pre-Colombian history of the local area.
You’ll search out cave paintings and petroglyphs carved into the rocks thousands of years ago, before heading to Caguana Park where you will visit the excellent archaeological museum.
7. Vieques: Bioluminescent Bay Boat Ride
The island of Vieques can be found a short boat ride away from the main island. Here, one of the most spectacular natural spectacles in the world is awaiting you.
At Mosquito Bay, you will take to the waters after the sun has set, and will soon be surrounded by the strange, eery glow of bioluminescence. The water literally shimmers bright blue, a neon colour that lights up the darkness. It’s a magical experience and perhaps one of the best tours to take in Puerto Rico.
8. Sailing and Snorkelling – Catamaran to Icacos Island Area
Puerto Rico truly is a tropical paradise, and this tour will see you set sail aboard a modern, comfortable catamaran for a journey over the Caribbean Sea to the palm-fringed island of Icacos.
Relax on the deck in the sunshine as you make your way to epic snorkelling spots around the island, where you can find colourful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life in the waters.
Enjoy the Caribbean in style, as you are served a delicious buffet lunch and plenty of cold drinks and cocktails along the way.
9. From Fajardo: Full Day Culebra Islands Catamaran Tour
If you’re staying in the Fajardo area when visiting Puerto Rico, then this tour will take you further out into the Caribbean Sea, to visit the Culebra Islands.
Jump aboard a catamaran and island hop your way through paradise. You’ll stop off at white sand beaches, laze under swaying palm trees and enjoy a few rum-based cocktails too, of course.
There will be plenty of opportunities for relaxing, or if you are feeling adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling in the clear waters too.
10. From San Juan: 2 Hour ATV Adventure at Campo Rico Ranch
Leave the city behind as you head into the countryside of Puerto Rico for an action-packed day of adventure. This tour will see you exploring the beautiful but rugged landscape of the Camp Rico Ranch on an off-road ATV.
No experience is necessary, as these small vehicles are easy to drive, and you’ll soon be whizzing along dusty trails, surrounded by greenery and epic views.
In true Puerto Rican style, you’ll end the day at a mojito bar perched in the hills, to enjoy plentiful cocktails with an outstanding panoramic view of the ranch.
11. Taste of San Juan Evening Tour
Mojito lovers will want to join the Taste of San Juan Evening Tour when they are on the island, as this trip will introduce you to a wonderful array of local drinks.
You’ll enjoy an evening meal of Puerto Rican tapas while you visit a local craft brewery serving up a great selection of beers. After eating and drinking, you head to a Rum Bar, where you learn from experts how to blend the perfect Puerto Rican cocktails.
12. Old San Juan Photography Workshop
This tour gives budding photographers the chance to practice their skills in the photogenic surroundings of Old San Juan.
Alongside a local guide and photography expert, you’ll be shown the skills you need to take your game to the next level, while also learning about the island’s unique colonial history. Explore the streets, camera in hand, and search out some of the best photography spots in Old San Juan.
13. Half Day Afro Puerto Rican Heritage Tour
Explore a different side of the island as you delve into the enthralling Afro-Puerto Rican heritage that is ever-present here.
This half-day tour takes you to beautiful beaches and rural communities where you can learn how the culture developed during colonial times. You’ll learn about the good and the bad, about slavery and colonisation, and about the vibrant traditions that grew from the hardships. There are few other tours in Puerto Rico like this, and you don’t want to miss out on this intriguing cultural experience.
14. Countryside Foodie Tour with Carite Rainforest
Food lovers will want to sign up for this culinary tour into the Puerto Rican countryside as you visit a locally famous ranch for some delicious eats.
As well as indulging in gourmet delights, this tour also sees you exploring the Carite Rainforest and swimming in natural pools, for an all-encompassing day trip into the interior.
15. Salsa Dance Workshop
As beautiful as its beaches and mountains may be, Puerto Rico is just as much about culture and traditions as it is about the outdoors.
Puerto Ricans are famously good salsa dancers, and this workshop in San Juan will give you the chance to learn the best moves from the locals.
It’s a great way to get involved with local activities, and after the class, you can take your new salsa skills out across Puerto Rico.