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4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico

Last updated on May 30th, 2023 at 12:33 am

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – While Old San Juan, El Yunque, and the beaches of Puerto Rico are classics, we add some of the best off the beaten path destinations in Puerto Rico for your 4 Day itinerary.

Related Travel Guides – 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary

Booking Your Insurance in Puerto Rico

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Where to Stay in Puerto Rico – 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers a wide variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels and vacation rentals to luxury resorts. Here are a few of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico:

Old San Juan

This historic neighborhood is a popular spot for tourists and offers a wide variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. The area is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and offers easy access to many of the city’s historic sites and museums.

Rincon – 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary

This small town on the west coast is known for its world-class surf and beautiful beaches. The town offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Rincon is also known for its laid-back atmosphere and great dining and nightlife options.

El Yunque National Forest

For those looking for a more secluded and nature-focused experience, El Yunque National Forest offers a variety of accommodation options, including eco-lodges, cabin rentals, and camping sites. Visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming, and bird-watching in the lush and tropical forest.

Fajardo

This small town on the east coast is known for its bioluminescent bay and is a popular spot for eco-tourism. The area offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, sailing, and fishing in the nearby waters.

Ponce

This southern city is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, as well as its picturesque architecture and parks. The city offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. Visitors can enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as the beautiful beaches nearby.

Keep in mind that the island is small and it’s easy to move around, so you can choose to stay in one location and explore the others during the day. It’s best to research the different areas and choose the one that best suits your interests and preferences.

Getting Around in Puerto Rico – 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico

There are several ways to get around Puerto Rico. Check the options below. For the more off-the-beaten parts of your 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary, renting a car is the more efficient way to get around especially to make sure you are controlling your own time unless you are working with our companies.

Rental car

Renting a car is a good option if you want to have the flexibility and the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. You can rent a car at the San Juan International Airport or at one of the many rental car agencies located throughout the island.

Public transportation

Puerto Rico has a fairly extensive public transportation system, including buses and trains. The bus system, operated by the government-owned Tren Urbano, covers the greater San Juan area, while the metro and train lines connect San Juan with other cities and towns.

Taxis and ride-sharing services

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available throughout Puerto Rico, and can be a convenient and affordable way to get around, especially in the cities.

Private tours

Private tours are a good option if you prefer to have a guide and a more structured experience. Many tour companies offer day trips and excursions that cover the island’s most popular tourist destinations.

Click here to book online tours in Puerto Rico

Walking and biking

Walking and biking can be a great way to explore Puerto Rico’s cities and towns, especially in Old San Juan, where many of the main attractions are located within walking distance of each other.

Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico – Typical Things To Do in Puerto Rico

It’s tough to miss the best things to do in your 4 Day Puerto Rico itinerary, so here’s a list of the top things people like do to and experience in the country. Later, we’ll give you a full itinerary combining the top things to do plus off the beaten path destinations and what to do in Puerto Rico.

1. Old San Juan

Visiting Old San Juan Puerto Rico - 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico
This is a scene in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s rich heritage can be seen and felt just by touring around the old San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Here you’ll see historic buildings, 500 of them. Five centuries of castles, churches, and restored buildings – it might just transport you back in time.If you’re exploring San Juan and the San Juan National Historic Site, most of the preserved heritage suites and the fort will be in the San Juan National Historic Site while the San Juan town itself is beautiful on its own for walking around and seeing spaces for photographs.

2. San Juan National Historic Site

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan National Historic Site - 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico

San Juan National Historic Site is a National Park in Puerto Rico housing some of San Juan’s top historic moments and colonial forts like the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

3. El Yunque National Rainforest

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico vs Bahamas - Choosing Your Next Best Caribbean Vacation

This is the El Yunque National Forest.

When it comes to natural beauty, Puerto Rico is simply one of the top destinations that you can go to. Visit El Yunque National Forest, in Luquillo, Rio Grande. Explore nature trails, and enjoy all these in the Rio Grande. El Yunque is one of the world’s natural wonders of the world and you’ll be in awe to witness it on your own.

4. Bioluminescent Bays

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico

One of Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bays / Image via Wikimedia – Edgar Torres

Seen in only some parts of the world, the phytoplanktons are water organisms that create a blue and glittering effect in the waters at night. This is what makes bays bioluminescent. In Puerto Rico, you can see the bioluminescent bays in Mosquito Bay, Vieques, in Laguna Grande (Fajardo) and La Parguera (in Lajas).

5. Cayo Icacos

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico

Isle of Icacos / Image via Wikimedia – Jeff Gunn

Puerto Rico’s incredible beauty is just incomparable. You can visit the beautiful Cayo Icacos and experience its beautiful blue waters, and do activities like the catamaran, snorkeling, and enjoying a bit of some sun.

Cayo Icacos is a small uninhabited island that is reachable by water taxi from Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

6. Culebra

Island of Culebra Puerto Rico - 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico, 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary
The beautiful island of Culebra

Visit the Culebra for a beach trip in Puerto Rico and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can see a few beaches on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico: the Flamenco Beach, Zoni Beach, Playa Tamarindo and Playa Tortuga.

7. Cabo Rojo – Puerto Rico

Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico, 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

If it’s wildlife that you want to see, then there’s no better destination to see and experience than Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge. In addition the wildlife that you can experience in Cabo Rojo, this island also has some of Puerto Rico’s and the whole Caribbean’s top beaches.

Cabo Rojo is 28 miles long, all coastline which gives you access to various beaches – Buyé and Combate for more family-friendly beaches that have restaurants close to them. If you’re looking for more remote beaches, then you can visit the La Playuela Beach.

8. Giligan’s Island

If you’re visiting Guanica, Puerto Rico never miss Giligan’s Island with all its natural pools.

9. Camuy River Cave Park

The Parque Nacional de las Cavernas del Río Camuy is a cave system in Puerto Rico. Add this to your things to do in Puerto Rico.

10. Cueva del Indio and the Seven Arches

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Best Things To Do with Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico

Visit the beautiful destination in the city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico and see the Cueva del Indio and Seven Arches, and lavish in the beauty and things to do here – Caves, more nature and just incredible scenery.

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Combined Typical Things to Do in Puerto Rico and Off the Beaten Path Destinations

Day 1 – Get to Know San Juan

San Juan Puerto Rico - 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico
San Juan Puerto Rico
  • Arrive in San Juan and check into your hotel
  • Explore Old San Juan, including the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the Paseo de la Princesa, and the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
  • Visit the El Convento Hotel and take in the rooftop views of the city
  • Take a sunset sail in the San Juan Bay

Day 2 – El Yunque, San Juan Reserve and Beaches

San Diego Falls in El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico - 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary
  • Rent a car and drive to El Yunque National Forest
  • Hike the El Portal Trail to see the Yokahu Observation Tower
  • Visit the El Portal Tropical Forest Center and learn about the flora and fauna of the forest
  • Drive to Fajardo and take a boat tour of the bio bay
  • Visit the Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
  • Visit the off-the-beaten-path beach of Playa Sucia, an undeveloped beach with crystal-clear waters and great snorkeling opportunities

Day 3 – Arecibo Observatory and Camuy Caves

Camuy Caves – 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico
  • Visit the Arecibo Observatory and learn about radio astronomy and the search for extraterrestrial life
  • Visit the Camuy Caves, a series of limestone caves that are open for tours
  • Visit the Ponce Historic Zone, which includes the Ponce Museum of Art, Serrallés Castle, and the Parque de Bombas
  • Visit the off-the-beaten-path beach of Playa Rosada, a secluded beach with pink sand and great views
  • Enjoy dinner at a local seafood restaurant

Day 4 – Guajataca Tunnel and Beaches

Guajataca Tunnel in Puerto Rico - 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico
Guajataca Tunnel – 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico
  • Visit the Guajataca Tunnel, an abandoned train tunnel that was used to transport sugarcane in the early 20th century.
  • Take a dip in the natural pools of La Parguera, a small fishing village
  • Visit the off-the-beaten-path beach of Playa de Jobos, a surf spot known for its consistent waves and beautiful views
  • Return your rental car and fly home

This itinerary offers a chance to explore some of the lesser-known but equally beautiful and interesting places in Puerto Rico. Keep in mind that some of these places may require a bit more effort to reach and may not have the same level of facilities or tourist infrastructure as the more popular spots. But visiting these places will give you a chance to experience a more authentic and unique side of the island.

4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico – Mostly Off the Beaten Path Destinations

Including beaches in Puerto Rico, here’s a 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico you can do if you want to focus on the beaten path destinations. This is perfect if you love Puerto Rico and want to avoid the tourist track.

Day 1 – Old San Juan and Santurce

On your day one of your 4 day itinerary in Puerto Rico, you can arrive in San Juan (or your designated area for your hotel) to check in, then get a self-guided art tour in Santurce. You can also go and visit Casa Blanca and then end the day with a traditional Puerto Rican meal or you know a restaurant of your own choosing!

– Arrive in San Juan and check into your hotel
– Take a self-guided street art tour in Santurce, a neighborhood known for its vibrant street art scene
– Visit the Casa Blanca, the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the Western Hemisphere
– Enjoy a traditional Puerto Rican meal at a local restaurant

Day 2 – Utuado

For some, it will be easier to stay in Utuado since it’s an off-the-beaten-path but if you’re willing to spend the extra time in travel, you can still stay in San Juan to do this trip. Rent a car to visit the town of Utuado, and visit the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park. Then you can hike to the La Coca Waterfall, and go to the natural pools of La Mina. To add a beach to your 4 day Puerto Rico itinerary, you can go to Playa Sucia, an undeveloped beach with crystal clear waters and great snorkeling opportunities.

– Rent a car and drive to the town of Utuado
– Visit the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park, an archaeological site that features Taíno petroglyphs and ballcourts
– Hike to the La Coca Waterfall, a hidden waterfall located in the heart of the island’s central mountain range
– Take a dip in the natural pools of La Mina
– Visit the beach of Playa Sucia, an undeveloped beach with crystal clear waters and great snorkeling opportunities

Day 3 – Guayanilla

On day 3, you’ll do another drive to Guayanilla and visit the Poza de la Felicidad, a natural swimming hole. Then you can see the historic lighthouse Guayanilla Light. If you have more time, take a boat tour of Guayanilla Bay, visit Guánica Dry Forest and visit the beach of Playa Rosada, a secluded beach with pink sand and great views.

– Drive to the town of Guayanilla and visit the Poza de la Felicidad, a natural swimming hole
– Visit the Guayanilla Light, a historic lighthouse that offers panoramic views of the coast
– Take a boat tour of Guayanilla Bay, where you can see mangroves, seabirds, and possibly even dolphins and manatees
– Visit the Guánica Dry Forest, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its unique ecosystem and hiking trails
– Visit the beach of Playa Rosada, a secluded beach with pink sand and great views

Day 4 – Guajataca Tunnel and Beach Day

More beaches and natural pools on your last day in Puerto Rico to enjoy the country’s nature and natural beauty.

– Visit the Guajataca Tunnel, an abandoned train tunnel that was used to transport sugarcane in the early 20th century.
– Take a dip in the natural pools of La Parguera, a small fishing village
– Visit the beach of Playa de Jobos, a surf spot known for its consistent waves and beautiful views
– Return your rental car and fly home.

Keep in mind that some of these beaches may not be as well-known as others, and you may have to do some research to find out the best way to reach them and what facilities are available. But visiting these beaches will give you a chance to experience the island’s natural beauty and avoid the crowds.

Safety in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is considered very safe and is one of the top destinations in the world when it comes to beautiful beaches and nature reserves. However, like any country, you’ll have to practice good decision-making and common sense, and avoid visiting places on your own that are unfamiliar especially at night. Do your own research, however, this is some information that might help.

San Juan: As in any large city, some neighborhoods in San Juan may be more dangerous than others. It’s best to avoid walking alone in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas, particularly in the neighborhoods of La Perla, La Perla II, and La Trenza, which are located next to the historic district of Old San Juan.

Loiza: Located on the northeastern coast, Loiza is known for its high crime rate and is best avoided, especially at night.

The towns of Comerío, Naranjito and Toa Baja: These towns, located inland, have a high crime rate and should be avoided, especially at night.

Some beaches: There are some beaches that can be dangerous due to rip currents, especially during the summer. It’s best to check with the lifeguard station for the current conditions before going for a swim.

Natural hazards: As previously mentioned, Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean and is affected by the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November. It’s important to be aware of the forecast and take the necessary precautions in case of a storm.

It’s always a good idea to stay informed about the local situation and to follow the advice of local authorities and your country’s embassy or consulate in Puerto Rico. If you’re unsure about an area, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid it. Don’t be afraid to explore as long as you take the necessary precautions. Puerto Rico is beautiful and there isn’t anything stopping you from experiencing it to the fullest!

Best Time to Visit – 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary

The best time to visit Puerto Rico depends on your personal preferences and the type of trip you’re planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding when to visit:

Weather

Puerto Rico has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The island has a rainy season from April to November, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in September and October. The drier season is from December to March, which is also considered the peak tourist season.

Crowds

The peak tourist season is from December to March, so if you prefer to avoid crowds and want to get better deals on accommodations and activities, it’s best to plan your trip during the shoulder seasons (April-June and September-November).

Festivals and events

Puerto Rico is known for its vibrant culture and lively festivals and events. If you’re interested in experiencing the island’s festivals, you should plan your trip around the following events:

The Three Kings Day Parade in January, one of the largest parades in the Caribbean.
The San Juan Bautista Festival in June, which is a celebration of the island’s patron saint and includes parades, music, and food.

The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián in January, which is a street festival with music, food, and art in Old San Juan.

Hurricanes

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean, which is affected by the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November. While it’s not common for hurricanes to hit the island, it’s important to be aware of the forecast and take the necessary precautions in case of a storm.

Check the updated weather in Puerto Rico here.

Cash and ATMs – 4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary

Puerto Rico is actually one of the US Territories so rules traveling to the United States apply here. The official currency is US Dollars, and if you’re an American citizen, you won’t need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico.

You will easily get by the touristy areas like San Juan (the capital) with credit cards, but it’s always smart to bring cash and small bills when visiting more off-the-beaten paths, and when going for smaller businesses.

Hope you enjoyed and got all the information needed for your 4 Day Itinerary Puerto Rico. In our opinion, combining the top destinations to see in Puerto Rico with off the beaten path destinations can give you a lot of chances to see what Puerto Rico is all about while still experiencing it in a real and raw way.

Let us know what you ended up doing in Puerto Rico and if you have any questions!