6 Water Activities That’ll Make Your Puerto Rico Trip
We get it. When there’s a lush rainforest, rolling countryside and lively cobblestone streets on the table, how do you choose where to spend your time? One look at those warm, turquoise waters and your mind will be set.
You need sailing. You need a boat tour. You need to be kayaking around that tropical archipelago with tanned skin and salty hair. You need water activities. And Puerto Rico is the place to be for surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and beyond.
You’ve just got to figure out which of the Puerto Rico water activities you want to tackle first. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:
There’s something about kayaking in Puerto Rico that just feels right. It’s a dash of adventure, friendly for all experience levels and most importantly—it can get you to cool places faster.
From Puerto Rico’s unique bioluminescent bays to the coral gardens of Culebra, a kayaking trip gives you unprecedented access to some of the island’s most exciting spots.
Paddle out in moonlit Mosquito Bay for a bioluminescence tour where the water glitters and glows with your every move. Weave through mangrove forests on an early morning nature tour. Or grab a kayak rental in La Parguera and create your own adventure, tucking into private coves and beaches.
A true aquatic paradise, the mangrove forests, bays and reefs around Puerto Rico are teeming with marine life. Some of it you’re even able to see with just a quick swim from shore.
But for colorful reefs full of tropical fish and gentle sea turtles, you’ll want to book a snorkel tour. Head out to Culebra or Vieques, the area’s two most popular snorkeling sites, for a full day of pure Caribbean adventure.
Many charters offer combo tours with lunch and drinks, or glass-bottom kayaks and SUPs in addition to snorkeling. This is one of the best ways to see the island—both above and below the sea—and is great for all ages and experience levels.
With over 140 islands spread across the archipelago, you better believe there’s some truly epic scuba diving in Puerto Rico.
Explore the coral reefs and clear waters of local islands like Vieques or Culebra. The dive sites here range from beginner to advanced, with everything from tropical marine life to sunken ships to check out.
Or, test your skills by heading into the deeper, cooler waters of Humacao or La Parguera. Here, advanced divers will be able to swim deep toward underwater caves and drop-offs, with the chance to view whales, dolphins, sharks and more.
If scuba diving in Puerto Rico is on your list of things to do, you’ll have no shortage of amazing options just a short day trip from San Juan.
Boat Charters and Rentals
You’re going to want to get on a boat at least once during your trip. Whether that’s on a luxury yacht or a snorkel excursion, a catamaran charter or boat rental, Puerto Rico is simply made for boating.
Calm winds and clear seas are typical, so there’s plenty of opportunity to rent a boat. But nothing pairs with a Caribbean day at sea quite like a cooler full of beer or a tropical drink. So, we suggest booking a captained boat charter or public tour instead.
Most boat tours in Puerto Rico will depart from either San Juan or Fajardo, where the island’s main marinas are located. From sunset sails to lunch-and-snorkel cruises, there are endless options.
For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, captain your own mini boat on a snorkel and sightseeing tour in Fajardo. You’ll travel with a guide, moving from a secluded beach to coral reef and back again. But piloting the mini speed boat? That’s all you.
If you’re looking for a higher-octane experience, head to open water on a jet ski rental or tour.
This is by far one of the easiest ways to explore the ocean, with rentals leaving from the beach and running for 30 minutes each. Feel the salty spray, get a glimpse of the island from the water and zip across the Caribbean Sea at high speeds.
With those clear waters beneath you, there’s always a chance to see sea turtles or dolphins swimming alongside you. Opt for a guided tour to make it a slower paced, sightseeing excursion.
Ask any surfer you know and they’ll tell you—Puerto Rico is a world-class surfing destination. Powerful reef breaks cater to experienced surfers around Rincón, while the warm, mellow waters of Luquillo welcome surf schools and beginners.
Winter months bring the most consistent swell to Puerto Rico. But if you’re a beginner just looking for mild, user-friendly waves in warm water, almost any time of year will work.
You can even live out your Blue Crush dreams just 45-minutes outside of Old San Juan! Paddle out with local surf instructors into a gentle shore break on a sand bottom beach.
Water Activities & Tours In Puerto Rico
It’s not easy to pick just one, is it? If you only have a short amount of time, we always recommend a bioluminescent bay kayak tour, as Puerto Rico is one of the only places in the world where you can experience this phenomenon.
Otherwise, it’s a great time to try surfing or any water sports you haven’t done before, as the water is so warm and clear. If you’re still on the fence, opt for a full-day boat tour where there are multiple activities on the itinerary, like a sailing cruise that stops for a snorkel or an island lunch and boat ride combo.
Of course, you’ll be happy with whatever you choose. That’s the rule—there are no bad days in Puerto Rico.