A Perfect Day In Puerto Rico – Rainforest, Beaches & the Bioluminescent Bay

There is so much to do across Puerto Rico that there’s a variety of itineraries you can create to have a perfect day on the island, but what is better that exploring what both the rainforest and ocean have to offer. Put your toes in a waterfall in the morning, and your fingertips through the glowing bioluminescent bay at night.

Spend your day getting into nature and chowing down on some amazing Puerto Rican cuisine.

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Wake Up With The Perfect View

Guest House Pool View Puerto Rico

To start your perfect day in Puerto Rico on the right foot, you’ll want to wake up in the perfect place. Stay the night at El Escondido Guest House tucked up right outside of El Yunque Rainforest, where you can get the feel of the forest all night.Take in the beautiful view of the sunsets and listen to the Coqui frogs come out for the evening. Listen to them calling their name as you relax for an evening unattached from the rest of the world.

You’ll start your morning with that view, but this time, join the owners for a delicious breakfast including local fresh fruit you’ll want to devour.

Spend The Morning In The Rainforest

One of the highlights of Puerto Rico is El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the United States. Here you’ll find a unique experience with different plants, animals, sites, and sounds, than in any other forest you’ve visited.

Drive up PR 191 for the main drag to visit the rainforest, here you can hit the highlights and get a good feel of the forest. One of the first stops you see is La Coca Falls right on the side of the road. A great place to stop and take a photo.

Next up, you’ll find Yokahú Tower if it’s open you can climb up to the top and get an exceptional view of the forest. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t open, but the view from the base is still breathtaking. Take a look at the video below for a sneak peak at the view and more of what El Yunque has to offer.

Planning the perfect day in Puerto Rico. If you don't have long on the island some tips on where to go, stay and things to do.

Before you leave El Yunque you must take a hike down to La Mina waterfall. We were told if you skip this part you didn’t really visit the forest and I have to agree. Hike down from the Big Tree Trail, unless you want a more strenuous hike. It’s a decent but easy walk, and once you get there you’ll love the refreshing chance to jump in the waterfall itself.

Head Down To The Beach

On your way down to the Fajardo area, you drive right by La Estacion. Tied for one of our favorite places we ate on the trip, you’ll find a blend of Puerto Rican and American cuisine. While the burger was tasty, what you really want to get here is the Mofongo. This Puerto Rican dish of plantains and delicious spices will leave you wanting more. If you’re up for starting a little early, I also recommend grabbing their fresh Piña Coladas, some of the best we had on the island.

Planning the perfect day in Puerto Rico. If you don't have long on the island some tips on where to go, stay and things to do.

Now that you’re stuffed it’s time to relax for awhile. Head to Seven Seas Beach for a relaxing afternoon. One of the Blue Flag beaches on the island, meaning it is kept at a high quality and provides basic amenities. The beach is almost 600 meters long allowing for a good chance to walk the beach. You’ll also find the waters calm and perfect for floating around in. There are reefs protecting the beach from waves, and on either end, spots to get some snorkeling in the calm water.

Tour the Bio-Bay

After the sun has set head over to the other side of Fajardo and take one of the kayak tours to visit the bio-luminescent bay. Meaning there is microscopic plankton in the lagoon that when disturbed light up the water. You can watch a glowing fish swim away or run your hand through the light. This out of the world experience can only be found in only a dozen bays around the world, three of which are in Puerto Rico.

Take a kayak tour out to the lagoon where you’ll get the chance to be in the middle of one of these amazing bays. Make sure to book your tour ahead of time, even if it’s just a day before. There are a lot of options, but we loved Pure Adventures. They run their tours at slightly different times than the rest, so for awhile our group was the only one in the bay.

It was a memory that will last a lifetime both because of the insane beauty of the experience, but also attempting to use a two person kayak without constantly running into things.

After your tour, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. You’ll see a variety of kiosks, similar to food trucks, in the park where all the tours end. The best of the bunch is Bistro Del Mar at Las Croabas. With everything freshly prepared that day, sit down and have a chat while you’re meal is pulled together. Here we found out favorite empanadas on the island as well as some delicious ceviche.

The Perfect Day In Puerto Rico

If this sounds like the perfect day for you don’t forget that Puerto Rico is only 2 1/2 hour flight from Orlando, making it an easy visit from the Continental U.S. Plus, you get to skip the difficulties of going abroad, like using your passport, exchanging money, or having to find an outlet converter.

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks for planning the perfect trip to Puerto Rico take a look at my archive of posts and best things to do list.

Traveling to Puerto Rico Soon?

I loved visiting Puerto Rico, it quickly became one of my favorite places I’ve visited.
Learn more about and book more fantastic hotels in Puerto Rico on Priceline and TripAdvisor.

Planning the perfect day in Puerto Rico. If you don't have long on the island some tips on where to go, stay and things to do.

If you’re thinking about exploring Puerto Rico let me know what excites you the most? What do you think would make your perfect itinerary? Leave a comment below.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.