Everyday life in Puerto Rico is a party. With quite the backdrop — the island is blanketed with mountains and rainforests and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Pour some year-round sunshine over it, and you've got plenty of reasons to celebrate. But Puerto Rico isn't just another dreamy beach destination. Its delightful and supremely helpful locals are what make the island so special. Take advantage of Puerto Rico vacation deals, and you'll be able to join the fun on a budget.
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As far as the Caribbean goes, it doesn't get much more affordable than Puerto Rico. In addition to its gleaming beaches, you can also hit up historic sites and museums for cheap or even free.
Beaches & Nature
- El Yungue National Rainforest, Rio Grande 00745 — The El Yungue National Rainforest, not far from San Juan, makes a great day trip. Hike through the unbelievably green forest and take a break at the waterfall, a great excuse to relax with the scenery. There is no admission.
- Flamenco Beach, Flamenco, Culebra 00775 — With super clear, shallow water, this is cove is great for snorkeling.
- Playa Sucia, Ruta 303 Km 12 Península de Morillos, Cabo Rojo — This out-of-the-way beach is worth the long, winding walk. It's especially clean and family-friendly, with calm waters perfect for swimming.
- Blue Beach, Isla de Vieques — Looking for the kind of relaxation you can only get on a remote beach? This one, tucked away on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, is your best bet.
- Tropical Agriculture Research Station, Mayagüez, 00682 — It will take you a few hours to stroll through the sprawling, tropical gardens located here.
- Old San Juan, central San Juan — If you love art, go to Old San Juan on the first Tuesday of every month for beautiful, local art and free wine. 20 galleries keep their doors open late on this day.
- Patron Saint Festivals — Every town in Puerto Rico has a patron saint, who is honored once a year in a Festival Patronal. Since every town participates, there’s likely to be a festival going on somewhere on the island every week of the year. Each festival goes on for days, so you can thoroughly enjoy the music, culture, dancing, and local food. The festivals are always free.
- Paseo de la Princesa, San Juan, 00901 — This promenade might be the best place to introduce yourself to Old San Juan. The views are beautiful, the food carts tempting, and and the locals approoachable.
Museums & Tours
- San Juan National Historic Site, San Juan, 00901 — The historic Spansih forts in San Juan have a lot of stories to tell. Discover them for just $5.
- Museo de Arte de Ponce, 2325 Ave Las Americas, Ponce, 00717— Victorian art and art from Europe's Baroque period are highlights here.
- La Cueva del Indio, 681 Carretera 7.9 Barrio Isloce, Arecibo — For a free jaw drop (well, it costs $2 to park), check out the centuries-old cave drawings, made by the Taino Indians well before Columbus stumbled upon the Americas.
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Museum of Art of Puerto Rico 299 Avenida De Diego, San Juan, 00909 — In addition to the Puerto Rican art work on display here, you can also check out the gorgeous on-site garden.
- El Museo Castillo Serralles, #17 El Vigía, Ponce — This 1930s hilltop mansion, or castle really, has its own Japanese gardens, and one of the best views of the city. Good thing you can tour it all for $12.
- Coffee Plantation Tours, all over Puerto Rico, but especially in Ponce — Puerto Rico's coffee plantations are almost as famous as its beaches. Although most are untapped (the labor required is not worth the pay out, for most residents), you can learn about their busier days from days gone by on a tour, which averages between $10 to $30.
There’s no shortage of Puerto Rico vacation deals on food. And that's good news, because you'll want to eat as much of it as possible. Or drink: the smoothies in Puerto Rico are legendary.
Lunch and Dinner
- La Tasca de Yiyo, Calle Loiza, San Juan — If you want to eat like a local, go to La Tasca de Yiyo for cheap, yet filling, Puerto Rican and Cuban food. The daily specials are all under $10, making this a popular place to go for lunch or dinner. Try the mofongos, fried pork chops or vaca frita.
- Food Kiosks — If you’re out sightseeing or headed back to your vacation rental from the beach, stop by one of the food kiosks that abound on the side of the road. They feature everything from fritters to bite-sized snacks.
- Pinky’s, 1451 Ashford Ave Ste 100-B, Condado — Enjoy a healthy breakfast or lunch at Pinky’s. You’ll want to try one of their fresh fruit smoothies, made right in front of you. At lunch, go for a burrito or fresh wrap.
- One-Ten Thai, Carr. 110, Gate 5, Aguadilla — Get a taste of Southeast Asia in Puerto Rico! Choose from dishes like red curry and pad thai.
- Zaco's Tacos, 21 Pedro Marquez Culebra, 00775 — Try the pork belly tacos, and then top it off with a mojito.
- Bajuice Juice Bar, Ave Isla Verde, Carolina 00979 — Here you can get a healthy, organic pick-me-up in the form of a fruit or veggie drink. But that's not all - you can also grab breakfast.
- The Pool Bar, Carr 115 Rt 413, Rincon, 00677 — Go for a swim and then treat yourself to top-rated sushi.
- Pirilo Pizza Rustica, 201 Calle Fortaleza, San Juan — This super popular spot is great for a drink, too.
- Roots and Fruits Juice Bar, 353 Calle Recinto Oeste, San Juan — Vegetable lasagna, raw carrot cake and more: this is a great spot for foodies with a health conscience.
- Peace n Loaf, 1402 Ave Americo Miranda, Caparra Terrace — Great pizza, and with a vegan cheese option, great for the non carnivores.
Coffee and Dessert
- Carta Buena, Road 413, KM 1.2, Rincon 00677 — Smoothies and coffee, the healthy way. Heavy on the nutiricious, fresh ingredients, light on the sugar crash.
- Jendy's Heladeria Artesanal, Luis Munoz Marin Avenue, Caguas — Does vanilla ice cream bore you? Well, try garlic, corn, avocado, or carrot-flavored ice cream instead. Standard, less risky flavors are also available.
- Banana Dang, Carr. 413 Km 4.1, Bo. Puntas, Rincón — Homegrown coffee and banana smoothies. Homegrown YUM.
- Ben & Jerry's Old San Juan, 61 Calle del Cristo, Old San Juan —Standard ice cream sundaes and more.
- Joybee, 200 San Francisco, 00901 — Add as many toppings to your frozen yogurt as you like.
- Yogen Fruz Aguadilla, 2066-8 Ave. Pedro Albizu Campo Suite 7, Aguadilla 00603 — If you like fruit with your frozen yogurt, this place is a "Must."
Besides dining out, why not take the time to buy fresh ingredients and prepare a meal in your vacation rental? A full kitchen really comes in handy when you're trying to save money.
Staying in a Puerto Rico vacation rental is the best way for you to stay close to the beaches and activities, without breaking the family budget. You can stay in a spacious, comfortable vacation rental for a fraction of the cost of a traditional hotel. Plus, there’s plenty of room to spread out and make yourself at home.
Looking for additional Puerto Rico vacation deals? Here are some tips to help you stretch your dollar as far as possible:
- The best time for Puerto Rico vacation deals is April to June, right after the winter season. The winter season is always busy with snow birds. Spring weather, on the other hand, is just as pleasant and you’ll miss the rainy summer season.
- Pack along bottled water and snacks so you're not forced to over pay for these must have items while you're out and about.
- While beachfront Puerto Rico rentals offer up the best views, they are a lot more expensive to stay in than rentals located a short drive from the beach.
- Plan your day before you head out. Puerto Rico is a big island and there's a good chance you'll want to explore it. By knowing the fastest way to get to all the attractions, you can save money on gas. Ferries, buses, taxies, bikes, and motorcycles all may make an appearance during your trip, so get to know your options for getting around town before your arrival.