The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (2024)

Puerto Rico is truly the ideal island for travelers! Although Puerto Rico is a small island, just 100 by 35 miles, it is packed full of beautiful places to see and fun activities to do. The incredible beaches alone are more than enough reason to visit PR, but the island really has so much more to offer. One week in Puerto Rico is a great amount of time to be able to explore the island and stay in (at least!) two beautiful towns. Ready to plan your trip to PR? Keep reading for an epic Puerto Rico 7 day itinerary.

Puerto Rico 7 Day Itinerary

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Days 1-3: San Juan

When visiting Puerto Rico, most travelers will fly into San Juan. This is the largest airport on the island serving the vast majority of flights.

San Juan is also one of the most famous and popular areas of Puerto Rico, not surprisingly as it’s the capital. In San Juan you’ll find great bars and restaurants, beautiful beaches and the picturesque neighborhood of Old San Juan – the oldest part of the USA.

When visiting San Juan there are a few options for neighborhoods to stay in, depending on what you value most as a traveler. The two most popular areas for tourists are definitely Old San Juan and Condado.

Old San Juan

Old San Juan is my favorite part of San Juan. This neighborhood is a tiny island separated from the rest of the city.Don’t worry, it’s still very easily accessible by car, foot, scooter, etc.

Old San Juan is a colorful neighborhood with Spanish colonial style buildings, cobblestone streets and tons of fun things to do and great places to eat!

The one downside to Old San Juan is that it’s not beachfront, although there are beaches nearby. All of the beaches in Puerto Rico are public, so you can go to any of the beaches in the nearby Condado area.

Hotels in Old San Juan

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (2)


If you’re looking for beachfront resorts and an overall “beach vacation vibe,” then Condado is the neighborhood for you. Its main street, Ashford Ave, is filled with hotels and restaurants and there’s plenty to do nearby.

From Condado, when the weather is nice, you can walk to Old San Juan in 45ish minutes. The walk is scenic and there are places to stop for breaks along the way. Otherwise, Ubers are inexpensive and the ride to Old San Juan is about 10 minutes.

Hotels in Condado

The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (3)

Day 1: Check into Your Hotel and Explore Old San Juan

Wander Around Old San Juan

After arriving in Puerto Rico, I recommend dropping your luggage off at your hotel and starting to explore Old San Juan. Just wandering around the colorful streets, sipping a coffee and taking in the views is the perfect start to any PR trip.

Old San Juan is a small neighborhood, but there is a lot to do and see! Be sure to check out my post all about the best things to do in Old San Juan, but a few highlights not to miss on your first day include:

  • Drinking a delicious Puerto Rican coffee
  • Touring El Morro Fort
  • Having a Piña Colada at Barrachina
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Grab Lunch at a Local Cafe

I love that Old San Juan has so many wonderful cafes that are perfect for breakfast and lunch. Many of these cafes serve up fresh, delicious food that pairs perfectly with a strong Puerto Rican coffee.

A few of my favorites include

Take a Walking Tour

Depending on what time you arrive in Puerto Rico, I definitely recommend taking a walking tour of Old San Juan to learn more about the neighborhood, its history and its culture. There are both daytime and sunset tours.

Even if you’ve already walked around Old San Juan on your own, a guided tour is a really interesting way to learn more about the city’s history and culture.

Walking Tours of Old San Juan

Some tours include entrance and a guided tour of the famous El Morro fort. If your tour doesn’t include entrance, I highly recommend taking the time to visit on your own.

El Morro fort is one of the most famous and historical buildings in Puerto Rico. This fort was built over 500 years ago by the Spanish and was later used by the US during WWII. Now, visitors can tour the inside of the fort, which is designated as a National Historic Site. This means you can enter for free if you’re a National Parks Pass holder!

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Have a Traditional Puerto Rican Dinner

While in Puerto Rico there are a few dishes you definitely need to try! One of the most famous is mofongo (the unofficial dish of Puerto Rico) but you’ll also want to try mallorcas (fried, sweet bread), alcapurrias (deep fried meat fritters), bacalaítos (fried cod fritters) and empanadillas (fried turnovers with a variety of fillings) – just to name a few.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t miss out on the passion fruit juice (jugo de parcha) – it’s one of my favorites. Passion fruit mojitos are also a great option, if you’d prefer a co*cktail.

While there are many restaurants that serve great Puerto Rican food in Old San Juan, a few of my top picks include:

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (7)

Enjoy a Drink at the Top Rated Bar in the Caribbean

Old San Juan is home to the #1 bar in the Caribbean, La Factoría. This fun bar features six different bars, all connected by hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) passageways.

Each of the six bars has a different vibe, but they’re all fun. You’ll find a low-key co*cktail style bar, one all about dancing, and so on. There’s really something for everyone and it’s definitely worth a visit.

Keep in mind that if you want to visit all six bars, plan to go to La Factoría after 11pm. Before that, some of the rooms may be closed.

Day 2: Go on an Adventure to El Yunque Tropical Rainforest

Start Your Day With a Coffee and Pastry

To start your first full day in San Juan, grab a Puerto Rican coffee and quesito pastry (cream cheese pastry) and get ready to go to the tropical forest!

If you’re staying in Old San Juan I recommend:

In Condado I recommend:

Tour El Yunque Tropical Rainforest

El Yunque tropical forest, located about one hour from San Juan, is the only tropical forest in the US! Every year this tropical forest gets over 100 billion gallons of rain. It’s a fantastic place for nature lovers as well as anyone who enjoys a good hike or swim in a rocky river.

While you can drive to El Yunque on your own, I highly recommend going on a guided tour. This way, you’ll have an expert guide to teach you about the abundant plant and wildlife, as well as to take you on the best hikes and to the best swimming spots.

Tours to El Yunque

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El Yunque is also home to amazing natural rock water slides that are a ton of fun to visit. Often these tours don’t officially go into El Yunque, but instead are in rivers right on the forest’s outskirts.

Natural Waterslide Tours

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Enjoy a Delicious Dinner

For dinner, I recommend heading back to Old San Juan to check out another great restaurant.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, Bacaro is really dealicious. This restaurant is very small, though, so make a reservation in advance.

If you like tapas and Flamenco dancing, make a reservation at Triana Tapas & Flamenco. They have an excellent tapas and flamenco show, but be sure to contact them first as it’s not offered every day of the week.

For foodies who are looking for a fine dining experience, Marmalade is very highly regarded. They only offer tasting menus and it’s definitely a pricier restaurant, but I’ve only ever heard wonderful things about the food and experience.

Grab a Paleta for Dessert

Puerto Rico has some of the best popsicles I’ve ever had. My favorite popsicle shop (and also the most famous) is Señor Paleta. This little popsicle shop serves up a plethora of delicious flavors of paletas, both fruit flavors with a water base or ice-cream like flavors with a milk base.

Eating paletas at Señor Paleta is something I always look forward to when visiting Old San Juan and Condado.

Optional: Have a Night Out at La Placita

La Placita de Santurce, less than 15 minutes by car from Old San Juan, is such a fun place to go for a night out.

In the evening, this area comes alive with tons of bars, restaurants and dancing in the streets. In total, La Placita is about 3 blocks by 2 blocks, and there is no shortage of bars and great music.

I will preface my recommendation for La Placita by saying that it may be more enjoyable for young travelers. These aren’t fancy bars, but instead are more indoor/outdoor style bars with lots of drinking and loud music in the streets. I wouldn’t recommend this area for families or for travelers who prefer a low-key co*cktail bar.

You’ll find people of all ages at La Placita though, so if it sounds like fun to you, I highly recommend checking it out.

Enjoy the Low-key bars in Old San Juan

If you’d prefer a more low-key bar experience, there’s some great options in Old San Juan. This neighborhood is so pretty at night and enjoying a co*cktail on a balcony is the perfect way to end an evening.

co*cktail bars in Old San Juan

Day 3: Enjoy a Relaxing Beach Day

At this point you must be thinking, “hey, where are the beaches? This is Puerto Rico after all!” Today, for your last day in San Juan, a beach day is a great option!

While those staying in beachfront properties in Condado will likely already have had a little time at the beach, now’s a great time to enjoy it more fully.

If you’re staying in Old San Juan, the closest swimmable beach to you will be Balneario del Escambron. This is about a 30 minute walk from downtown Old San Juan, or any easy Uber. This beach has vendors, bathrooms and a park area as well! You can also bring a picnic and spend the whole day.

You can also check out the beaches in Condado, both Condado Beach and Playita del Condado, make for great places to spend the day.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (11)

Have Lunch in Condado

After spending the morning at the beach, head to Ashford Ave, the main street in Condado, for lunch.

Go on an Evening Sunset Adventure

For your last day in San Juan, enjoy a beautiful sunset either from the beach or on the water. From the Condado area, Playa del Escambrón and Playa del Capitolio are pretty places to watch the sunset.

From Old San Juan, La Verguenza bar offers nice sunset views, decent food and good drinks.

If you’d like to see the sunset from the water, consider taking a sunset cruise:

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (13)

Have Dinner at the Distrito T-Mobile

Distrito T-Mobile is an entertainment center filled with bars, restaurants, art and more. It’s such a fun place to spend the evening!

A couple of the best restaurants at Distrito T-Mobile include:

After dinner, you can spend some time checking out the bars or walking around the rest of Distrito T-Mobile before taking a quick Uber back to your hotel.

Days 4-7: Rincón and the West Coast

The second part of your trip will be spent on the West coast of Puerto Rico, an area known for its beautiful beaches. I recommend basing yourself in the town of Rincón, located about 2.5 hours from San Juan.Rincón is one of the larger towns on the West Coast with nice beaches, hotels and restaurants.

You will need a car for this portion of your trip in order to explore the towns and attractions along the West Coast. The town of Rincón is walkable, but there is so much to see in the area that you’ll definitely want to make sure you have a car to explore.

The airport is only 15 minutes from Old San Juan (or 10 from Condado), so it’s easy to head to the airport in the morning, grab your rental car, and drive to Rincón.

Day 4: Drive to Rincón

Rincón is a popular town known for its beaches, surfing and sunsets. The town certainly has a “surfer” vibe to it, which is evident in the downtown area filled with its low-key bars, coffee shops and restaurants.

The main downtown area is a great place to stay, as you’ll be walking distance to great eateries, bars and even a beach.

Hotels in Rincón

Enjoy Lunch at One of the Many Cafes

After checking into your hotel, wander around the main plaza area in downtown Rincón before lunch. There are a few great cafes where you can grab something to eat before heading to the beach.

Brunch/Lunch in Rincón

Head to the Beach

If you’d like to visit a nearby beach that’s walkable, check out Playa Doña Lala Beach in downtown Rincón. There are shops and restaurants nearby, making this a convenient place to spend the afternoon.

If you don’t mind driving, check out Sandy Beach. Sandy Beach is a popular beach for both swimming and surfing and although there are no amenities (bathroom, restaurants, etc.), it’s a great place to spend the afternoon.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (15)

Have a Sunset Dinner

Enjoy your first evening in Rincón with a sunset dinner! Tamboo restaurant is a well regarded option that has great views of Sandy Beach!

If it’s raining, or you’d prefer a downtown option, check out:

Day 5: Surfing and a Day Trip

Grab Coffee and Breakfast

Rincón has a bunch of great coffee shops, so if you’re a coffee lover, be sure to check out a few during your trip.

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Take a Surfing Lesson

If you like to surf, or have always wanted to try, Rincón is a great place for you! While it is possible to rent (or bring) your own surfboards and head out to a beach, I recommend taking a lesson with a local instructor. That way you know you’re in the location with the best conditions and you can have someone to help navigate the waves.

The waves and water conditions can be pretty rough, so having an expert there to guide you is a good idea.

Surfing lessons in Rincón

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (18)

OPTIONAL: Take a Trip to Aguadilla

If you decide you’ve spent enough time in Rincón and are ready to see somewhere new, just 30 minutes by car from Rincón, back towards San Juan, you’ll find the town of Aguadilla.

In Aguadilla, like in Rincón, you’ll find great beaches!

Crashboat Beach is the most well known in the area and it’s a great place for swimming, relaxing and water sports. At this beach you’ll find food vendors, a restaurant and water equipment and umbrellas for rent.

This beach is very popular, so be prepared for a busy parking lot.

If you’re looking for something more low-key, consider checking out Surfer’s Beach. This beach, as the name suggests, is popular with surfers. Although this beach isn’t recommended for swimming, it’s still a nice spot to relax for a couple hours.

From Surfer’s Beach, you can also take the 30 minute hiking trail to Survival Beach (bring closed toed shoes). While you can swim at this beach, be very careful as the waves and currents can be extremely strong.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (20)

Check out the Casas de Colores (colorful houses) behind El Parterre Square

In the main town of Aguadilla (behind El Parterre Park), you’ll find a collection of beautifully painted houses on a hill. These houses are part of a project with Proyecto Pintalo to revitalize the town, showcase talented local artists and help bring tourism to the area.

The houses are bright and beautiful and they are a great spot for taking photos. Just be aware that these are people’s homes, and while the area does function as a sort of outdoor museum, you’ll still be taking photos of local residences.

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Watch the Sunset from Punta Higuera Lighthouse Park

Back in Rincón, Punta Higuera Lighthouse Park is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Overlooking Domes Beach (a great surf spot), this lighthouse park and bar area offers beautiful sunset views.

Grab a drink and enjoy the evening!

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (23)

Enjoy Dinner in Rincón

After watching the sunset, head back into Rincón for dinner.

A few options in downtown include:

  • La Cambija (seafood focused)
    • They don’t have a website, but their address is Calle Cambija, Rincón 00677.
  • Capriccio Trattoria
    • Make a reservation.
  • Cowboys
    • Outside of the main downtown area, this BBQ restaurant is famous in the area!
  • Rincón Beer (a microbrewery with local beer and bar food)

Day 6: Head to La Parguera

After some coffee and breakfast at any of the great spots around Rincón, hop in the car for the hour long drive to La Parguera.

If you don’t want to move hotels again, and would rather just take a day trip to La Parguera, that’s an option, too. On this itinerary I include a nighttime bioluminescent bay tour (which is definitely a must do), so you’d be driving back to Rincón at night.

This isn’t a problem in any way, I’d personally just prefer to spend the night, especially because there’s some great hotels in the little town of La Parguera.

La Parguera is definitely a vacation town for locals. This small town has great water activities like chili boating and snorkeling and boat tours. Like I mentioned, it’s most famous for its bioluminescent bay.

Although Puerto Rico has three of these bays, the one in La Parguera is the only one you can swim in.

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Go on a Chili Boat Adventure

Chili Boating, basically a huge bicycle on the water, is such a fun and unique activity to do in La Parguera. On this tour you’ll ride your chili boat along the coast, seeing colorful homes and numerous mangrove islands called cays.

You’ll chili boat out to one of these mangroves where the water is shallow and you can swim.

I was surprised how sturdy the chiliboats are. I’m not a strong swimmer and was worried I’d fall off, but I felt totally stable and safe the whole time.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (26)

Have Lunch in La Parguera

There aren’t a ton of restaurants in La Parguera, because of the town’s small size. But the few options that are available are pretty good.

For lunch, I recommend checking out Isla Cueva right downtown. This casual restaurant has burgers, tacos and great vegetarian options. All of the food tastes very fresh.

Check Into Your Hotel

For being such a small town, La Parguera has some good hotel options!

My top recommendation is the newly remodeled La Parguera Plaza Hotel. This adults-only hotel has a beautiful pool area, boho style rooms and an onsite restaurant. It’s a very relaxing spot to spend time.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (28)

Other great hotel options in La Parguera include:

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (30)

Go Snorkeling in the Bioluminescent Bay

Before visiting La Parguera, I didn’t know much about bioluminescent bays, but they’re really interesting! Essentially, a specific type of microscopic organism (dinoflagellate plankton) live in certain bays. When they’re agitated, like when you move the water quickly, they start to glow a blue-green color.

Sometimes, they’re strong enough to see from the boat, but other times you’ll need to get in the water and move them around yourself. I definitely recommend swimming in the bay, as it’s a rare and unique experience, and the glowing is so cool to see up close and under the water.

I had so much fun on my bioluminescent bay tour; we watched the sunset from the boat, had some drinks and swam in the glowing bay.

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One Last Dinner in Puerto Rico

After your amazing bioluminescent bay tour, it’s time for one last dinner in Puerto Rico!

If you’re in the mood for a casual seafood spot, check out El Turrumote, a few minutes outside of the main downtown area.

Right downtown, you’ll find Brujula (at the Parguera Plaza Hotel) and Moons Bar and Tapas which are both solid options.

Enjoy Live Music

If you happen to be in La Parguera on a weekend, Friday – Sunday, there is often live music in the main plaza. Here you’ll find people dancing, hanging out and enjoying some drinks.

Day 7: The Last Morning in PR

Have a Relaxing Morning by the Pool

For your last morning in Puerto Rico, a coffee by the pool before heading to the airport is a great way to say goodbye to the island.

There is only one place in La Parguera to get coffee and breakfast in the morning that’s not at a hotel, M&M Bakery and Deli. You can either check it out (the food is pretty good), or see what your hotel has to offer. La Parguera Plaza Hotel has its own coffee shop, but in my experience, the hours are a little sporadic.

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Head to the Airport

From La Parguera, the drive back to the airport in San Juan is about 2.5 hours. Make sure you give yourself enough time to drop off your car and get to the airport.

Tip: If you’re flying back to NYC (and sometimes to Florida), check out the airport in Aguadilla as it offers direct flights to these locations. Aguadilla is about an hour drive from La Parguera, so it’s an easy place to fly home from.

Stop in Ponce

If your flight home leaves in the late afternoon, you can add a quick stop in Ponce to your itinerary. Ponce is on the way to the airport and this little city is just as charming as Old San Juan.

Ponce is known for its museums and there are several worth checking out!

Museums in Ponce:

  • Museo Castillo Serralles
    • A 1930s, Spanish Revival mansion with breathtaking views.)
    • You can also take a Don Q rum tour.
  • The Ponce Art Museum
    • This is the largest art museum in the Caribbean and has Latin American, Puerto Rican and European art.
    • Note: this museum was badly damaged during the most recent hurricanes and not all exhibits are currently open. I recommend reaching out directly to the museum to see what exhibits are currently open for visitors.
  • The Ponce History Museum
    • This museum doesn’t have a website, but is open on weekdays from 9am-4pm.
  • Museum of Puerto Rican Music
    • This museum doesn’t have a website, but is open Wednesday-Sunday from 8:30am-3:30pm.

Grab Coffee/Lunch in Ponce

Ponce has some great cafes that make for an awesome spot to grab a quick snack or lunch.

Cafes in Ponce:

Fly Back Home, See You Later PR!

After spending a couple hours in Ponce, it’s time to drive the remaining hour and a half to the San Juan airport. Hopefully you had a great time in Puerto Rico and are already thinking about booking a trip back to the beautiful island.

More posts for planning a trip to Puerto Rico:

  • Planning an Epic Trip to Puerto Rico: Step-by-Step Guide
  • The 16 Best Things To Do in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Epic 48 Hours in Old San Juan: The Best Things to Do and See
  • The Ultimate 7 Day Road Trip Around Puerto Rico

Q&A: Puerto Rico 7 Day Itinerary

  • Is a week in Puerto Rico enough?
    • A week in Puerto Rico is enough to see San Juan and part of the West Coast of the island. It’s definitely a great amount of time for a first trip to get to know the island, enjoy the beaches and eat amazing food. However, in one week, you cannot explore the entire island of PR.
  • What month is best for Puerto Rico?
    • The winter season, December – March, is considered the best time to visit Puerto Rico as the weather is the most mild and dry. I’ve visited in every season and the winter months are definitely my favorite. Just be prepared for hotels and flights to be more expensive.
  • When is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?
    • Hurricane season in Puerto Rico is June-November. This doesn’t mean that if you visit during these months there will definitely be bad weather, but rain and storms are more likely. The plus side to visiting Puerto Rico this time of year is, generally, flights and hotels are less expensive.
  • Do I need a passport for Puerto Rico?
    • US citizens do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico. If you are from another country, you will need a passport.

So there you have it! I hope you found this Puerto Rico 7 day itinerary helpful as you plan your trip to the incredible island. If you have any questions about this Puerto Rico itinerary, please let me know in the comments or DM us on Instagram, @twosistersabroad.

We also appreciate you sharing this post with someone you know who’s traveling to PR and on social media.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary for Puerto Rico - Two Sisters Abroad (2024)
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