Puerto Rico Travel Guide ⎮ Tourism Guide to East Coast
Home to El Yunque National Rainforest, Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Lagoon, Luquillo Beach & Offshore Islands
5 Star Icacos Puerto Rico Tour
The east coast of Puerto Rico is a popular tourist region, offering the best resort choices and four of the top activities in Puerto Rico. This guide covers all the reasons why you may consider staying on the East Coast, but we’ll also cover the reasons why you may want to choose to stay on another region of the island. Please take some time to read this guide so you can make an informed decision; it is our goal that you have a wonderful time in Puerto Rico and avoid disappointments.
East Coast Region Guide
Activities & Experiences – East Coast
Places to Stay – East Coast
Travel & Need to Know
Getting Acquainted with the East
Flying Here – The best and most convenient option is flying to the San Juan Airport, offering the most daily flight and choice of airlines (about 45 minutes away).
Driving from San Juan to the east coast hotels and attractions is easy. There are major highways from San Juan to the east coast towns. Google Maps App works very well in Puerto Rico (just get ready for the really long highway names that Siri can’t pronounce well). We suggest you give yourself at least 30 minutes extra to get to places during work traffic hours.
Beyond San Juan, the east coast is Puerto Rico’s second most popular tourist region, offering a wealth of world-class attractions, beachfront resorts, and vacation rentals. Our guide is your trusted companion, aiding you in selecting the best towns for your stay and unforgettable experiences sure to get you to fall in love with Puerto Rico.
+ Accommodations Summary
The East Coast offers luxury beachfront golf resorts and budget-friendly vacation rentals. The resort communities are in the towns of Rio Grande, Fajardo, and Humacao. See the top resorts on the east coast region.
+ Activities & Places to Visit Summary
The East Coast serves as the gateway to remarkable natural wonders.
- Top Attractions – Must-visit attractions include the globally acclaimed El Yunque National Rainforest, a magical bioluminescent lagoon, and nature reserves.
- Beaches – Two of the best and most popular beaches in Puerto Rico are on the East Coast; with a car rental, we’ll show you other beaches you may enjoy exploring.
- Offshore Islands and Cays – The East Coast offers the dreamy offshore keys of La Cordillera Nature Reserve, such as Icacos Cay, with gorgeous turquoise waters. From Fajardo, embark on an array of extraordinary boat tours that lead to the stunning Flamenco Beach in Culebra. You can take the ferry from nearby Ceiba to Vieques and Culebra and explore on your own for the day.
+ Do you need a car rental to explore the East Coast?
Yes & No
- No, if your time is limited to a long weekend, it may not be worth it to book a car rental. You can book ahead the best tours to top attractions such as El Yunque National Rainforest, Laguna Grande bioluminescent lagoon, and Icacos Cay and Culebra.
- Yes, if you wish to visit the best beaches around the coastline, do activities at your own pace and save money. No worries, our guide will help you sort it all out; please stick around and trust that this guide will take you through the steps to plan a great vacation.
+ Do you need to book tours to explore the East Coast?
Most of the places you can visit on your own with a car rental; some places we recommend you book a tour for safety reasons, not crime but physical safety. For some places, you’ll have to book a tour due to accessibility such as Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Lagoon and Icacos Cay. We cover those details below under each attraction/activity.
Towns on the Northeast
- Main Attractions – Home to El Yunque National Rainforest, if you wish to hike the trails and really explore the rainforest, Rio Grande and Luquillo are the best towns to stay for easy access.
- Places to Stay – Rio Grande has four wonderful resorts on the beach with golf courses (see below).
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort
- Main Attractions – Fajardo is the home to the Laguna Grande, the bioluminescent lagoon, one of the top five natural wonders of Puerto Rico. Icacos, a secluded cay, and a popular attraction is about 15 minutes off the coast of Fajardo and the point of departure for most charters. There’s one nice beach bay and other beaches to explore inside a nature reserve.
- Best Places to Stay in Fajardo – Fajardo offers one of the island’s most iconic and beloved resorts, El Conquistador. Nestled on a cliff overlooking the Cordillera Reserve Keys, guests have exclusive access to Palomino Island and a fun waterpark for the kids and the young at heart. There are also plenty of vacation rentals to choose from.
- Main Attractions – Home to the famous Luquillo Beach as well as other great beaches. Luquillo Beach has calm waters, and a couple of beaches popular for surfers. In Luquillo, you can have fun at the family-friendly Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park; they offer ATV / Off-Road Tours and horseback riding, among other activities. Luquillo is also known for the Kioskos de Luquillo (Luquillo Kiosks), a very popular spot for locals and visitors right next to Luquillo Beach, with many places to eat traditional Puerto Rican food and small shops with souvenirs.
Towns on the Southeast
- Main Attractions – Most attractions are about 45 minutes away, so be prepared to drive. The beaches near Humacao are not the best for visitors all year round.
- Best Places to Stay – This town lures travelers who choose to stay at Palmas del Mar, a beautiful gated community where you can rent condos and villas. There’s also Wyndham Palmas Beach & Golf Resort.