You sip a pina colada on the beach, the Puerto Rican sun shining upon you as you stare into the depths of the clear blue water. Nothing matters except this very moment when you feel like you could be on vacation forever—
The telephone rings, and you jolt back to reality. Your dreams of tropical sunshine and ice-cold drinks fade as you return to the daily grind.
Many of us can only imagine getting away on a dream vacation, but the warm ocean breeze may not be as far away as you think. After all, Puerto Rico is part of the United States and produces over 70% of the rum sold in the USA.
You're not alone if you’re looking for a tropical vacation destination but think you can’t afford more than a few hours in paradise. However, most people don’t realize you can visit Puerto Rico on an affordable and achievable budget.
Our guide includes several places to visit in Puerto Rico, from sunny, sandy beaches to historical sites. You’ll make vivid and exciting memories among Spanish-speaking residents who might know a thing or two about rest and relaxation.
Are you ready to learn more about our 3 days in Puerto Rico itinerary? Let’s get started!
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Puerto Rico?
Three days in Puerto Rico might not seem like much, but it’s plenty of time to see a few historical sites, visit the beach, and even go on an adventure. Plus, if you plan it right, you can maximize your spending to maximize your time in this lovely destination.
The United States dollar is the official currency of Puerto Rico, meaning you won’t have to worry about exchanging money. It’s also one of the cheapest places to visit in the Caribbean.
You’re also not required to have a passport to enter Puerto Rico. Many of the same regulations about drinking water, accommodations, and amenities exist in Puerto Rico as in the States.
Travelers to Puerto Rico often find the cheapest rates for airfare and boarding between April and October. September is the worst during hurricane season, which falls between June and November.
As you can imagine, it’s best to leave and return during the week for lower airfare rates. However, you can easily find round trips that cost around $150 per person.
Hotels cost about what they would here, around $100 or so per night, depending on where you stay. Airbnbs can save you money versus a premium resort, but some places let you camp on the beach.
A couple can easily visit Puerto Rico for three days without spending more than $2,000 on basic expenses. It depends on where you’re staying, what attractions you see, what type of food you purchase, and how far you travel from your hotel.
Puerto Rican Airports
Many seasoned travelers recommend arriving in Puerto Rico as early as possible and departing late on your last day. Scheduling your itinerary in this way can help you avoid travel mistakes that dampen your fun on your vacation.
Here are a few common airports (and nearby destinations) you can fly into if you’re visiting Puerto Rico for only a few days:
- Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (San Juan)
- Benjamin Rivera Noriega Airport (Culebra)
- Rafael Hernández Airport (Aguadilla)
- Antonio Rivera Rodriguez Airport (Vieques)
- Mercedita Airport (Ponce)
If you plan on renting a car during your stay in Puerto Rico, it’s often best to rent one from the airport. While you will pay a bit more than you would in town, it can be worth the trouble.
Itinerary for 3 Days in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is some 30 miles wide and 90 miles long. Remember to pack insect repellent, a day bag, sunscreen, a light waterproof jacket, a dry bag, a reusable water bottle, and sunglasses.
The itinerary below assumes you fly in the day before your vacation begins. Departure is the morning of the fourth day.
Day 1: Travel to the Beach
Shake off the effects of jet lag with a visit to one of the many beaches in Puerto Rico. You can snorkel, surf, swim, or just take in the sun and waves here.
One of the best destinations for surfing is Rincon. Nestled on the west coast, this Puerto Rican town hosts several tourists each year.
Puerto Rico is also known for its bioluminescent bays, one of which is located in Parguera. Known as “bio bays,” these destinations host microorganisms called “dinoflagellates,” which cause the water to glow.
Scuba diving is also popular in Parguera. Here are some other beaches you can visit while in Puerto Rico:
- Flamenco beach
- Poza las Mujeres
- Black Sand Beach
- Poza del Obispo
- The Pink Beach
- Poza de Teodoro
If you only visit one Puerto Rican beach during your stay, we recommend staying in Condado. Part of the newer side of Old San Juan, Condado, is within walking distance of the closest beach.
There are many islands near Puerto Rico as well, including:
- Culebra Island
- Vieques Island
- Cardona Island
- Mona Island
- Palominitos Island
As you can see, it’s not difficult to travel outside the city you’re staying in and find a beach to relax upon.
Day 2: Visit Historical Sites
Locals might argue that there are just as many historical sites to visit in Puerto Rico as there are beaches. Indeed, Puerto Rico has a rich history of exciting facts and amazing stories.
One of the more awe-inspiring ways to experience Puerto Rico’s sites is via helicopter. Provided you have the money to fund such an adventure, these helitours can offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Bacardi Tour at Casa Bacardi: Learn where this world-famous rum is distilled and take in the Puerto Rican sun on an outdoor patio.
- Serralles Castle Museum: Located in Ponce, this mansion was built in the 1930s and is a beautiful sight.
- Old San Juan Gate: Known as Puerta de San Juan, this historical site was built around 1635 to control entry into San Juan.
- Barrachina: Here, Ramon Marerror invented the pina colada.
- Cementerio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzi: This cemetery can be found in Old San Juan. Ignacio Mascaro oversaw construction in 1863.
- Catedral Basilica Menor de San Juan Bautista: Translated in English to Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist, this cathedral is stunning.
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro: Known by the locals as “El Morro,” this historical site was built between the 16th and 18th centuries. It is located near San Juan.
- Castillo San Cristobal: Another popular attraction, this fortress is also located in San Juan. It is one of the largest forts built by the Spanish.
- Canon Blanco: This natural setting hosts an outcropping of looming white rocks the area is known for.
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico: Art lovers probably already have this destination listed on their itinerary. Puerto Rico’s art culture lies at the center of this destination, which showcases Puerto Rican art from the 16th century onward.
- Parque de Bombas in Ponce: A former fire station in Ponce, this site is one of the most recognizable in the area.
You don’t have to have a history degree to recognize the rich culture and heritage Puerto Rico holds dear. Add a few of these historical sites to your 3-day Puerto Rico itinerary.
Day 3: Relax and Have Fun
Spending your last day taking on an adventure can leave you with a satisfying feeling on the plane ride home. Here are some ideas for your last day in Puerto Rico:
- Visit Toro Verde to zipline across Puerto Rico
- Travel to the Auto-Cine Santana for drive-in movies
- Hike the Paseo del Morro Trail
- Pay the Save a Gato cat sanctuary a visit
- Explore Camuy Cave Park
- Take in the view from the Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque
- Enjoy the Las Pailas natural water slides
- Surround yourself with nature at the Jardin Botanico Caguas
It’s impossible to see everything there is to see in Puerto Rico within 72 hours. All the same, it’s more reason to make plans for a return trip come next year.
What to Eat in Puerto Rico
Trying the local cuisine can help fund your Puerto Rico trip and travel for free if you work for a food magazine. Even if you’re no food connoisseur, there are many new things to experience when eating in Puerto Rico.
For example, many street vendors and kiosks near the beach can offer authentic meals for affordable prices. If you want something more organic, farm-to-table and locally-grown operations exist.
If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic drink to enjoy in tropical Puerto Rico, consider Coco Rico. This traditional coconut drink is the Coca-Cola of this American territory.
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico
Not sure where or how to book a hotel room in Puerto Rico? Here are a few popular resorts to get you started.
- Hacienda Negrón
- Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel
- Casa Isleña
- Villa Cofresí Hotel & Restaurant
- Rincon Beach Resort
- Casa Verde Hotel
- Villa Montana Beach Resort
- Blue Horizon Boutique Resort
- Hotel El Convento
Most of these resorts will allow you to book online. Check-in times will vary and differ from what’s listed online, so ask the concierge for updated information.
Additional Sites to See in Puerto Rico
Staying an extra day can often help you round out your vacation experience, especially if you’re visiting Puerto Rico. Here are a few additional destinations you can add to your itinerary:
- Hacienda Munoz: Known as a coffee drinker’s haven, Hacienda Munoz offers tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. If you want a closer look at the coffee-making process and to smell those delicious coffee beans, Hacienda Munoz is the perfect destination.
- Chocobar Cortes: With locations in Old San Juan and Condado, there’s no reason why you can’t visit this chocolate lover’s destination. Have you ever heard of the Chocoburger?
- Paseo de la Princesa: If you like to shop and want to enjoy some tropical Puerto Rican air, Paseo de la Princesa is the perfect spot. This promenade features shops and restaurants.
- Gozalandia Waterfall: These waterfalls are as picturesque as it gets. Spend some time in a natural setting with this stunning water feature.
- Guajataca Tunnel: This tunnel connected Isabela to Quebradillas and was once a central passage for trains traversing Puerto Rico.
If one or more of these sites tickles your fancy, consider swapping them out for the destinations we listed in the itinerary above. It’s all about making this trip into your experience to remember for years.
Puerto Rico Itinerary FAQs
You can do several things in Puerto Rico in three days. You can visit historical sites, walk along the beach, take on the zipline, watch a drive-in movie, or even eat at a chocolate-themed restaurant.
Yes, it is safe to travel to Puerto Rico. Many individuals, couples, and families travel to Puerto Rico for a nearby tropical vacation that doesn’t cost a fortune.
Winter and spring are the best times to visit Puerto Rico. July and August are often the busiest months due to tourist traffic.
No, you do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico as a U.S. citizen. You can also visit the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands without needing a passport.
Recharge in Beautiful Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is home to some of the most awe-inspiring and refreshing scenery, from crystal-clear beaches to tropical rainforests. A three-day vacation in Puerto Rico is within reach if you budget your time and money well.
We hope this article has helped you to see that vacationing in Puerto Rico isn’t as out of the question as you might have thought. Though it’s certainly an investment, many travelers find it necessary for their well-being.
If you plan to visit Puerto Rico, no matter how long, this itinerary can help you maximize your time there. Plus, you can scout out destinations for your next visit.
What will you do in Puerto Rico?
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