Where to stay in Puerto Rico – Our favorite cities for your ultimate pleasure
Puerto Rico, one of the most fascinating islands in the Caribbean Sea, with its many white sandy beaches, a large stretch of tropical rainforests, and the beautiful turquoise sea is simply breathtaking. Apart from its diverse landscape, this island also has a rich cultural and historical heritage owing to strong influence coming from the surrounding islands of the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, and the spirit of the colonizers, which is still widely present.
As landmarks and landscapes don’t make one country, their citizens surely do. The people of the ‘rich port’, which is an English translation of Puerto Rico, are ‘’buena gente’’, very good people in the local slang. They are incredibly friendly and hospitable to the tourists making sure they have the best experience of the country.
Although the Caribbean is assumed to be a very safe travel destination, you have to bear in mind that crime in Puerto Rico largely consists of the drug trade thanks to the favorable position of this country and its proximity to the USA. As far as tourists are concerned, they are usually victims of theft and mugging. To avoid this from happening to you, leave your valuables at home, stay off the beach and neighborhoods such as La Perla and Puerta de Tierra during the night, and nothing bad will happen to you.
Five best cities to stay in Puerto Rico
Image source: Britannica
Given the proximity to the United States and the cosmopolitan capital, Puerto Rico has been attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The most prominent tourist hotspot is the capital, San Juan, as a place where the greatest majority of cultural and historical landmarks are located. Nonetheless, this beautiful country has several smaller islands worth exploring. While public transportation works just fine in San Juan, that is not the case with the islands nearby. If you want to visit them, renting a car or going for a boat ride seems like a good idea.
The selection of the cities and islands was based on the following criteria:
- Cultural and historical landmarks
- How easy it is for a tourist to explore
- Costs of accommodation
Based on these criteria, we have selected the following cities:
- Old San Juan
And here is what is each neighborhood ideal for and why:
City or an island
Old San Juan
The cultural and historical value
A modern area with many nightclubs and restaurants
|On a budget||
Stripped of all the glamour and luxury, perfect for relaxation
Laid-back atmosphere by the beach with an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean
Great conditions for a longer stay and a slower lifestyle
Where to stay in Puerto Rico for the first time – Old San Juan
You have probably seen Luis Fonsi’s video for his planetary popular song Despacito and wondered where it was filmed because of the exquisite scenery. Well, the answer is Old San Juan.
Image source: tom_wellborn
As a part of Puerto Rico’s capital, this vibrant part of the town represents the good old times and takes you to an amazing historical ride as you walk past numerous museums, art galleries. and public displays, along with centuries-old forts and Spanish colonial architecture. Wherever you turn in Old San Juan, there is a reminder of the past. If you are visiting Puerto Rico for the very first time, finding a place to stay in this part of the town will be a great decision since it will allow you to familiarize yourself with this country’s immense cultural and historical attractions.
Things to see and do in Old San Juan
As Old San Juan is home to the majority of Puerto Rico’s culturally and historically significant landmarks, there is plenty to see and do in this part of the town.
Here are the musts when in Old San Juan:
- Take a walking tour with a local guide through the colorful streets
- Visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro and fly a kite
- Visit outdoor galleries
- Take a walk along the Paseo la Princesa and get all the way down to the Paseo Del Morro
- Sign up for rum tasting at the Bacardi factory
- Go salsa dancing on Calle de San Sebastian
Wander around and get immersed in the colorful streets of Old San Juan
Image source: ahsatanpics
Fly a kite at Castillo San Felipe del Morro
One of the most popular historical sights in Puerto Rico is this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main role of the castle was to protect the capital from foreign enemies entering and conquering it. It is a local custom to fly a kite on the spacious lawn surrounding the castle.
Image source: domxxx82
Aside from the regular and traditional art galleries, Old San Juan is filled with street art and murals. Tourists from all over the world can acquaint themselves with the social and political turmoil through these unique pieces of art.
Image source: davidgelpi1
Walk along Paseo la Princesa and Paseo del Morro
This bright and lively promenade will lead you right to San Juan Gate where you can enjoy the beauty of San Juan Bay.
Image source: whateverpuertorico
Image source: dylantsullivan
Rum tasting at the Bacardi factory
It would be a sin to visit Puerto Rico and San Juan and not to taste any rum! It is one thing to drink rum in any of the local bars, and a completely different when you visit the factory where it is produced. Sign up for a rum tasting tour, you won’t regret it.
Image source: nitaenrique
Dance salsa at the Calle de San Sebastian
Puerto Ricans live and breathe salsa music. While you are visiting this cheerful country, you must at least try to dance salsa at one of the clubs in the street of San Sebastian as it is a big part of their culture.
Image source: abstractphotographics
Where to stay in Old San Juan
Despite being a part of Puerto Rico’s capital, Old San Juan has both budget and luxurious hotels, as well as affordable and well-located Airbnbs all over the neighborhood. The prices largely depend on whether you prefer to stay in proximity to the beach so you can enjoy the view or not. The average price in Airbnbs is $147 per night.
Our top 3 picks for accommodation in this part of the city are the following ones:
Budget option – This colonial apartment
Moderate price – This design-loft
Luxury option – This one bedroom apartment with Oceanview and Bayview
Check out more Airbnbs in Old San Juan here.
Where to stay in Puerto Rico for nightlife – Condado
Condado is neatly located by the ocean and because of this position, the numerous restaurants, bars, and shops have the most amazing view of the sea and the beaches. The best thing about this place is that it is so compact and almost all of the attractions are within walking distance from one another.
During the day, you can relax and have a meal somewhere on the beachside, do some light shopping, or go paddleboarding in the lagoon, while in the night, this place turns into a wild party. Whatever your ideal night looks like, you can find it in Condado. Take a stroll along the Ashford Avenue where luxurious lounges and swanky clubs can be found. This area truly provides a wholesome nightlife experience that you will never be able to forget.