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How to Spend 3 Days in San Juan

How to Spend 3 Days in San Juan

San Juan is packed with both historic and cultural appeal, and it’s also surrounded by rain 

forest and beach-lined Caribbean islands, making it an excellent base for exploration. Here are our recommendations for how to spend three days in the Puerto Rican capital.

Day 1: City Sightseeing

Kick off your trip to Puerto Rico with some sightseeing in Old San Juan. Zip around the 500-year-old city on a guided Segway tour, or lace up your walking shoes and hit the cobblestones the old-fashioned way. No matter how you choose to tour, you’ll learn more about the island’s colonial history while visiting some of its most impressive sites, including the forts Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal—together a UNESCO World Heritage Site—San Juan Cathedral, and Paseo de la Princesa. Continue your explorations in the afternoon with a visit to the Museu de las Américas to learn about the indigenous cultures of the area, the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, or the Bacardi Rum Factory. In the evening, treat your taste buds to a tasting tour of Old San Juan to sample some of the island’s best craft beers, cocktails, and local foods.

Day 2: Aquatic Adventures

No visit to Puerto Rico (or the Caribbean, for that matter) would be complete without spending some time in the water. Choose your level of adventure today. Cruise aboard a high-speed catamaran to the island of Culebra for a day of swimming or sunbathing on the white-sand beaches; head to Vieques Island for some of the region’s best snorkeling; catch a wave during a surf lesson at La Pared Beach in nearby Luquillo; learn to scuba dive or Snuba; or charter a boat for a day of deep-sea fishing for blue marlin, dorado, wahoo, sailfish, or tuna. Back on dry land, sign up for an evening salsa lesson before hitting the town for a night of dancing.

Day 3: Into the Jungle

Puerto Rico holds the distinction of being home to the only tropical rain forest in the United States, El Yunque National Forest. There’s plenty to do within the park, from jungle trekking and ziplining through the canopy to waterfall rappelling or kayaking, depending on your interest. Alternatively, spend the day exploring two of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders in one tour. Start with a waterfall hike in El Yunque, with time for a cooling swim at the base of the waterfall. After lunch, continue your adventure to the mangrove channels of Laguna Grande, one of the island’s bioluminescent bays. Once the sun goes down, grab a paddle and head out onto the water, where tiny, harmless plankton illuminate the water to create an otherworldly scene.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Culebra Day Trip by Catamaran from Fajardo
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Culebra Day Trip by Catamaran from Fajardo

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880
Cruise by high-speed catamaran to Culebra from Fajardo for a fun-filled day trip swimming, beach combing and sunbathing on this island paradise. Spend your morning exploring the fascinating undersea creatures that populate the island’s coral reefs before enjoying a buffet lunch complete with rum punch and piña colada refreshments. Then take the afternoon to relax and swim on the area’s perfect sugar-sand beaches, including Playa Flamenco and nearby Culebrita. Your excursion offers optional round-trip transportation from hotels in Old San Juan, Condado or Isla Verde.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$147.00
From
$147.00
Taking safety measures

El Yunque Rainforest Off the Beaten Path and Bio Bay Kayaking Combo Tour

El Yunque Rainforest Off the Beaten Path and Bio Bay Kayaking Combo Tour

star-4.5
470
Spend an adventurous day exploring two of Puerto’s most incredible natural wonders on this full-day excursion to hike in the El Yunque Rainforest and kayak at the island’s famed Bioluminescent Bay. Start your morning with a hike in the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest system, enjoying incredible mountain views and an optional waterfall swim to cool off. Then continue with a nighttime kayaking trip to the magical Bioluminescent Bay, which features a unique variety of plankton that glow when the water is touched or moved. Your Puerto Rico outdoor adventure also includes round-trip hotel transport, professional guide, and national park fees.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$166.00
From
$166.00
Taking safety measures

El Yunque Off the Beaten Path Hiking Tour

El Yunque Off the Beaten Path Hiking Tour

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371
Feel like a true Puerto Rican explorer during this day of "off-the-beaten path" discovery in El Yunque rainforest. Avoid the big crowds from the cruise ships and hotels as you blaze a trail to the lesser-known attractions of this lush tropical eden. Admire gorgeous orchids, exotic birds and wildlife like the Coquí (tree frog) as you hike to secret waterfalls and hidden swimming spots, enjoying your secluded adventure amidst the fresh air and beautiful scenery of this Puerto Rican paradise. National park fees, plus round-trip hotel transport, are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
From
$95.00
Taking safety measures

Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour

Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour

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2270
Get a taste for the flavor and culture of Puerto Rico on this small-group Old San Juan food tour featuring several local eateries. Join your guide for a culinary exploration of island staples like plantains and sofrito, all with the cobblestone streets and colorful facades of the city’s oldest neighborhood as your backdrop. Your tour includes an alcoholic beverage or non-alcoholic substitute if you prefer. 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$147.00
From
$147.00
Taking safety measures

Old San Juan Sunset Sail

Old San Juan Sunset Sail

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129
Float past hundreds of years of history and picturesque scenery during this 2-hour sunset sailing excursion in Old San Juan Harbor. Climb aboard the "Amazing Grace," a topsail schooner fashioned in the style of 19th-century American sailing vessels, for an unforgettable ride past the wonders of this historic area. As you sail you’ll enjoy up-close views of Old San Juan sights like El Morro fortress, La Fortaleza, Paseo la Princesa and more, all set aglow by the fading late afternoon light. A guide and complimentary beverages and snacks are all covered.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$139.00
From
$139.00
Taking safety measures

Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour from San Juan

Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour from San Juan

star-3.5
153
Join a nighttime adventure into the waters of Laguna Grande as you visit the area’s amazing bioluminescent bay during this half-day excursion. Hop aboard a clear-bottomed kayak as you paddle through the dense mangrove forests, heading to the area where the microscopic plankton puts on its surreal aquatic light show when you glide through the water. Your professional guide also tells you more about this fragile ecosystem and how visitors can help protect it.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.00
From
$105.00
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Zipline and Waterfall Rappelling Adventure Near San Juan

Full-Day Zipline and Waterfall Rappelling Adventure Near San Juan

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442
Go on a rappelling and zipline adventure at Puerto Rico’s Carite State Forest. After a convenient pickup from select hotels, travel by private van with a small group and local guide and enjoy a hike along the river. Then, rappel 80 feet (24 meters) down El Salto Waterfall and glide across five ziplines back to basecamp. Enjoy a home-cooked meal—included in the tour price—before returning to San Jose.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$155.00
From
$155.00
Taking safety measures

Beginners Scuba Diving Tour in San Juan

Beginners Scuba Diving Tour in San Juan

star-4.5
80
Get introduced to the world of scuba diving in Guaynabo on this tour specifically for novices. Explore the underwater world off the coast of Puerto Rico and learn about the underwater flora and fauna in the company of an experienced scuba diving guide. All instruction and use of equipment are included. Complimentary GoPro video of your experience is included.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.00
From
$115.00
Taking safety measures