A Solo Traveler's Guide to Puerto Rico: Where to Stay and What to Do (2023)

Last updated on November 14, 2021 bya couple

Curious about solo travelers to Puerto Rico? Let this guide, based on my very first solo travel adventure in Puerto Rico, be your one-stop shop for all the burning questions you might have about traveling safely on this island as a solo female traveler. This guide for women traveling alone in Puerto Rico provides the best places to stay, eat and things to do in a safe and fun way if you are traveling solo to Puerto Rico, and for the first time too!

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Is Puerto Rico a safe destination for solo female travelers?

Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island that is also a US territory, is a destination that is very close to my heart because this is the first place I've visited alone (not once, but twice) and I've enjoyed every minute of it .To answer your question: YES, Puerto Rico is a safe destination for women to travel alone.

Although I spent some time in the more modern area of ​​Condado with beach hotels due to the conference I attended, theMost of my stay was inPicturesque Old San Juanwhere I made my way alone on both visits and ate my way through some of thembest old restaurants in san juan. In thissolo trip to puerto rico guide, I will detail all the sights that IVisited as a solo traveler that made me feel incredibly safe.

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did and visit the island which definitely needs some tourism money sincestill recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. For details on how badly the island has been decimated, read my blogger friend Lola's post right hereLife in PR after the hurricane. For more solo travel inspiration, check out this mobileSolo travel guidefrom another blogger friend.

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Where to stay in Puerto Rico as a solo traveler?

Although the Condado area is mostly touristy due to modern hotels and access to beaches, my heart lies in the charm of old San Juan, d in a very different era. I have stayed twice in the heart of old San Juan and it is incredibly safe to stay there.

People flock to San Juan and Puerto Rico for the pristine beaches that dot the island. I'm not a beach bum at all, but there are several public beaches in the Condado area that people love. If you're staying at one of the adjacent resorts (like the San Juan Marriott), you'll also get your own umbrella and beach chairs.

I was inHotel Casablanca,(a Moroccan themed hotel on Calle Fortaleza) on my second visit and loved the convenience and service!Seriously, if you're looking for a budget boutique hotel in the heart of the old city, Casablanca might be the place for youone of the best hotels in San Juan.Contrary to what the website says, the hotel now has a working elevator, so you don't have to climb the stairs with your luggage in tow.

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Fun things to do on your solo trip to Puerto Rico

There's no shortage of fun activities to enjoy on your own as a solo traveler in Puerto Rico. Here are all the things I did during my visit as a solo female traveler, all of which I loved (apart from the beach because I'm not a beach bunny):

How to enjoy Puerto Rico as a solo female traveler: Relax on the beach

Since Puerto Rico is an island, there's obviously no shortage of those fabled Caribbean beaches that will blow your mind. Put on some sunscreen, grab a good book, put on your floppy hat and you're ready for a day at the beach! I spent some time at thebeach countynear our conference center which is most popular among tourists.

Here are the ten best beaches in Puerto RicoFor those who prefer to laze in the sun, just lather up on sunscreen as you'll be fully exposed to the blazing sun. A day at the beach is one of the most beautiful things to doPuerto Rico with kids!

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Solo Travel Activity in Puerto Rico: Kayaking in Bioluminescent Bay

For the adventurous soul, kayaking in Bioluminescent Bay (named for the bioluminescent bacteria that feed on special plankton that grow there) is suitableNot to be missed even if you are traveling alone in Puerto Ricobecause this island is one of the few places in the world with a healthy bio-bay.

This activity also welcomes solo travelers, where you're simply matched with another person or a guide. In fact, Puerto Rico is blessed with three such bays, with the brightest being Mosquito Bay in Vieques, followed by the second brightest in Fajardo (where I kayaked on my first visit) and the last, due to not being well maintained is large influx of tourists, in Lajas.

Because these organisms reside in a protected ecosystem, getting to the actual body of water is quite strenuous, and that means traversing swamps and lagoons in the dark of night. I'm not a very outdoor person but found the effort really worth it and I highly recommend this moderately strenuous activity.

Please contact a good tour group in charge of this kayaking adventure and follow all the instructions. You don't need any prior kayaking experience to join in, but it's best to go in pairs or in a group (I went alone but a lovely lady in the group joined me, definitely you'll be paired with someone). ).Outdoor viewsAndEco-Touren Puerto Ricoare two responsible kayaking groups to tour with.

Tours start at sunset and also later in the evening, and you'll be picked up from your hotel if you specify that transportation is required. Please wear a bathing suit underneath your clothes or bring a dry towel as you may get significantly wet on the lower part of your body depending on the venue.

For example, when I was kayaking in Fajardo, the Bio Bay was at the mouth of a very narrow lagoon, so we had to wade through a swamp with our kayaks, which got our legs and lower bodies wet.

Safe things to do in Puerto Rico as a solo traveler: Explore Old San Juan

Old San Juan (Read this guide to San Juan beaches and other attractions) was the highlight of my Puerto Rico trip, not only because it looked like it was straight out of a coloring book, but also because it is very navigable on foot and all the top attractions are safe to visit on your own. You can read my detailed blog post onmain sights of the old townas well asbest restaurants and cafes in San Juan.

I must add that I felt safe in the old town even late at night (as there are always so many people around) but please take sensible precautions if you are in the newer part of the capital and want to go partying, clubbing or hitting the bars.

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Guided Tour for Solo Travelers in Puerto Rico: El Yunque Rainforest Day Trip

The El Yunque rainforest is Puerto Rico's national treasure as it is the only rainforest in the US National Forest System and is maintained by the Federal Forest Service. The rainforest is protected and therefore picking leaves, fruits and flowers or causing damage of any kind is prohibited and against the law.

The rainforest is a 30-35 minute drive from the old town and can be visited either on your own (if you have a vehicle) or as part of a guided tour which I highly recommend if you don't drive but want to see this forest as part of yoursSolo Traveler Adventures in Puerto Rico. Although there are several options for the latter, I recommend itLouies VIP-Tour(This VIP tour is not expensive as it includes transportation and is only $60 compared to other tour options).

Luis Robles (Louie) is the owner and guide of this tour and is a living encyclopedia of all things El Yunque Rainforest. Once you have been contacted and confirmed by email, you will need to call him again 1-2 days before your trip by calling him again. Louie will pick you up from a location near your hotel (I met him at Plaza Colon) and then pick up other members of the group (our group included me and 10 others) and then he will make his way to the rainforest.

Not only was Louie very friendly, but he rattled off a lot of amazing little things about Puerto Rico, the rainforest, and everything else under the sun. He knows all the flowers, trees and every inch of the rainforest and never ceases to remind us of the importance of preserving and preserving the rainforest for future generations.

He also told us fun facts about the forest such as there are no large mammals or predators there as no animal that couldn't be washed by the ocean or carried by the wind could have made it there. Likewise, the rainwater runs off in strong currents and therefore there is no stagnant water in which mosquitoes can breed, i.e. You cannot be bitten by one in the forest.

Our first stop was the visitor center where we watched a film narrated by Benicio Del Toro (a native Puerto Rican Hollywood star and Oscar winner) which was a documentary about the forest, its past and current conservation efforts.

The rainforest was called El Yunque by the native Taino people and then renamed El Yunque because of the mispronunciation of the Spanish. After introducing us to the flowers and shrubs nearby, Louie gave us directions to the La Mina Falls, which we were to encounter after 445 steps/550ft descent.

Due to the fragility of the ecosystem and to avoid damage to the flora, one should always stay on the paved path. We had a fantastic view of the paunchy human mountain from Yokahu Tower and then made our way to the waterfall.

We spent about 30 minutes at the waterfall (I stayed firmly out of the water while the bathing suit splashed around) and then walked up about 255 steps, staying firmly on the paved path, to return to the parking lot where Louie was waiting for us.

Famished, we made our way to one of the three food stalls at the entrance to the rainforest. The food was good enough for our hungry tummies (vegetarians ate rice, beans and cheese arepas) and there was plenty of fresh coconut to quench our thirst.

Finally, Louie dropped us off at our respective hotels and was kind enough to offer us assistance should we need recommendations during our stay.I give two big thumbs up for this tour which was super enjoyable thanks to Louie!

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Cultural Escape for Solo Travelers in Puerto Rico: A Trip to the Museum

Art lovers can rejoice, because theArt Museum of Puerto Rico, is a shining jewel of a place and your entry into some of the most beautiful and breathtaking artistic exhibits of this island's vibrant arts scene for free admission of $6.69!

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Puerto Rican masters such as Rafael Tufiño (Puerto Rican artist and printmaker known as the artist of the common man), Ramón Frade (his masterpiece "El Pan Nuestro de Cada Dia"/Our Daily Bread of a man holding a plantain symbolizing the spirit of Puerto Rico) and Francisco Oller, who were significantly influenced by European art while remaining true to their Puerto Rican roots.

My favorite of all the exhibits was undoubtedly Tufiño's gigantic mural "La Plena" in which he paid homage to this Puerto Rican style of music (of African origin) with images of different people (representing all races found on the island) and activities. Too bad the museum doesn't allow photography (even without a flash) because I really wanted to photograph this masterpiece.

The museum in Santurce has 5 floors and was the San Juan Municipal Hospital in the 1920's. It is also one of the largest art museums in the Caribbean. There are exhibitions on the 3rd and 4th floors while there is a beautiful sculpture garden with a serene koi pond once you step off the second floor.

The second floor has a dedicated room for children's activities and exhibitions. This museum is a must-see for all art lovers and if you want a free visit, admission is free after 2pm on Wednesdays (I saw that on one of the signs but please confirm).

Outside the museum stands an enigmatic sculpture consisting of a giant crashing into a car. I looked around the internet and found out that the installation is by Thomas Dambo, who made this gigantic sculpture out of broken pallets and wood shavings collected from around the island. The defunct car was donated by a local named Wilson, and a construction worker helped redesign the car to fit the giant's fist.

Originally built for the Santurce Street Art Festival, the sculpture found a permanent home after celebrations with the MAPR. To see this amazing sculpture and the many wonders of Puerto Rican art in person, visit the museum.

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That concludes my guide to solo travelers in Puerto Rico and all the fun things to do as a solo traveler. Puerto Rico is an incredibly safe destination for first-time travelers and the locals are extremely friendly! So please visit themCaribbeanisland if you are planning to take those small steps to travel solo. Thank you for reading!

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