What a delightful Caribbean experience you can have in just 3 days on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. If you only have a long weekend this is the perfect spot for a quick trip. Grab a book, sunscreen and some good comfortable shoes and you will be set for a fabulous 3 day itinerary in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
One super bonus to this itinerary is that if you are a U.S. citizen you will not need a passport to travel! Yet, you will experience that island paradise you are seeking. Many U.S. cities offer direct flights to San Juan making this quick trip even easier. You can pack in a simple carry on for this trip, avoiding the hassle of checking a bag. I’m serious y’all, just pack a few swimsuits, some breezy casual clothing and comfy shoes. You will be set! We did a quick stopover in San Juan on our way to the BVI for our family sailing adventure and cannot wait to return.
Day 1: Old San Juan
Spend the day walking the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan. You will find authentic restaurants, shops, colorful buildings, and town squares to soak in the culture. Indulge in the fresh juices and tropical fruits and by all means eat the rice and beans! Those comfy walking shoes will come in handy as you explore. Make your way to the historic site of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, an incredible military outpost for Spain and later the U.S. The views are amazing and if you like to fly kites, this is an amazing spot to watch or participate!
Day 2: Beach Day Trip to Cayo Icacos
For a day of relaxation bliss make your way to the east coast of the island for a beach day. Consider renting a car for this day trip. About an hour’s drive plus a water taxi to Cayo Icacos you will find pristine beachfront where you can read a book and soak in the sunshine. But, don’t miss this opportunity to swim, snorkel and paddle board in the clear blue waters on this nature preserve island. Pack a picnic lunch, snacks and plenty of water to keep you going through the day. Your body and soul will thank you for a day trip like this. Make your way back to San Juan for some chill night life.
Day 3: Adventure in El Yunque National Forest
Visit the only tropical rainforest in the United States on the island of Puerto Rico. El Yunque is a destination must. (*reservations are currently required due to limited entrance during the pandemic. Use the link to find out more information about making reservations in advance). Adding a little adventure into a short itinerary can be tricky, but you cannot pass up this opportunity.
Here you can find lush trails from beginner to advanced with mountain views and swimmable waterfalls. Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the island. Don’t forget to look UP for tropical bird sightings! Tour guides operate from most major hotels in San Juan, but you could also rent a car just for the day. The drive is about 45 minutes from downtown San Juan and well worth the visit. Kids and adults alike will get their adventure fill here. There are several kiosks and family restaurants nearby to stop at on your way back to San Juan after a full day of adventure. Pack your rain jacket, waterproof shoes, towels and change of clothes so you are comfortable on your ride back to town.
Making the Most of Your 3 Days
Try to arrive the night before you start your 3 day San Juan, Puerto Rico itinerary so you can wake up and get moving the next morning with a full day to explore. That means you’ll be booking 4 nights at your hotel so you can get your relaxation vibes and your adventurous spirits their fill. In all seriousness keep your packing light for ease of travel and it makes unpacking when you return a breeze.
Yep three days goes quickly, but with the ease of flights and no passports needed, San Juan Puerto Rico is the perfect spot for a long weekend. If you have more time, use it! This little island paradise has so much to offer and we can’t tell you how much we are waiting to get back there. Blissful beaches, luscious rainforest hikes, vibrant culture and delicious food are wooing us back any day now.