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This Is What Happens When You Travel Solo To Puerto Rico

By Jessie Festa. My solo trip to Puerto Rico was sponsored by Marriott. This article also contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!

“You’re traveling alone?”

The man at the El Yunque National Forest Visitor Center puts down his coconut lunch, furrowing his brow.

His expression makes my heart stop, the typical words of warning from loved ones playing through my mind.

“You’re going to Puerto Rico alone?! That doesn’t sound safe…”

Suddenly, his brows unfurl and his mouth turns into a warm smile. “No worries! It’s perfectly safe. You just need to worry about the crazy monkeys. Luckily I’m holding them under my desk.” With that, he laughs loudly, hands me a map and explains how I can trek to the top of the rainforest.

I have the feeling this guy — not the “desk monkeys” — might be the one who is a bit crazy, but in an adorable kind of way. Regardless, I’m ready for the adventure.

And I don’t just mean the adventure of hiking (more on that below!), but also traveling Puerto Rico solo.

Let’s be honest. Puerto Rico isn’t exactly the first place people think to take a trip by themselves, whether because they worry if it’s safe to explore on their own or because they think it’s a place reserved for couples and families.

In reality, there’s plenty on the island to enjoy solo.

Quick tip: While Puerto Rico is safe for solo travel, it’s still smart to pack travel safety essentials. One top pick is the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm, which is TSA-approved and can help scare away potential attackers. Other recommendations include Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments and Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden Pocket Scarves.

Free Resources For Your Puerto Rico Itinerary

But first, before we go over how to travel alone in Puerto Rico, I invite you to grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit — which includes 40+ travel resources — from printables to quizzes to itineraries — all meant to help you explore the world beyond the guidebook!

Some highlights of the kit include:

  • Free “Where Should You Travel Next?” personality quiz
  • Budget travel calculators for vacations, road trips, backpacking & more
  • Pre-plotted Google Maps for 45+ destinations (including Puerto Rico)
  • Printable travel journal with writing prompts
  • Packing lists for different types of trips
  • And more!

Once you’ve grabbed your copy, keep reading for tips on planning a solo trip to Puerto Rico.

No Filter

The catalyst for the trip was an invitation from La Concha Renaissance Marriott San Juan to take part in their #PuertoRicoNoFilter Instagram campaign.

This means that the photos I share in this Puerto Rico travel guide aren’t altered with filters or Lightroom presets. Instead, the goal is to give people a look into the real “unedited” Puerto Rico.

things to do in Puerto Rico
Looking up at the sky at El Yunque National Forest Visitor Center. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Stay: La Concha Renaissance Marriott San Juan Resort

If you’re looking for luxury on a budget, this is your place. Puerto Rico is an amazing destination for a solo beach trip, and this accommodation helps to make that clear.

The beachfront property is located in the upscale Condado neighborhood and features two towers — one with amenities geared toward families and one for adults-only (so my Infinity pool dip is baby-cry-free).

My room is an Ocean View Suite, featuring a huge balcony overlooking the beach, deep Jacuzzi with Aveda bath products, sumptuous robes and a separate room with kitchenette (and strong coffee, thank you!).

things to do in Puerto Rico
A glass of bubbly in the Jacuzzi. Ahhhh….. Camera: GoPro.

One focus of the hotel is mixology, so I get to experience numerous Bar Rituals where guests get a free mini mixology class — including a free drink.

Don’t miss their “Lavender Scents” showcasing Bombay gin, St Germain, fresh lemon juice and house-made lavender syrup. The lavender-garnished drink is the perfect poolside sip or after-hot-tub refreshment.

Speaking of house-made, while they have seven bars and restaurants on-site, I have dinner in the local-focused Delicias.

So. Good.

They take traditional Puerto Rican dishes and give them a modern twist, with all ingredients sourced locally and everything made fresh in-house.

This includes their avocado hot sauce — aka my two life loves combined — which is heavenly on my succulent Angus tenderloin paired with lemon oil smashed fingerling potatoes as well as the roasted pork shoulder on risotto.

things to do in puerto rico
La Concha’s Delicias Restaurant makes a mean margarita with foam salt. Yum!. Lens: Nikon 40mm.

Oh, and they do boozy weekend brunch AND make their margaritas with salt foam. This is so certain people (okay, maybe me) don’t lick the rim off before even taking a sip. Genius.

A Note On Budget

I wouldn’t call Puerto Rico cheap as a whole — “affordable” might be a better word. That being said, there are a few things so cheap I almost can’t believe it:

  • My Enterprise Rent-A-Car rental. I literally wake up, decide I want to drive to El Yunque National Forest, and book a car on the spot for $24.99 for the day. You can also use a tool like Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options and save up to 70%!
  • El Yunque National Forest. Have I lived in NYC for too long? I nearly faint when I arrive at the site and am told I only owe $4 to enter. By the way, there are some great Puerto Rico fun facts surrounding this attraction! 
  • Drinking water within El Yunque. I always expect when I go to a ticketed attraction I’m going to pay $3+ for water. It’s only $1.35 per bottle. Note: you can drink the tap water in Puerto Rico! I just want extra bottles for my hike.
  • Ubers. While the exact price of your ride will ultimately depend on your route, rides were typically between $4-$7 to get around the main tourist areas like Old San Juan, Condado, Santurce, and Distrito T-Mobile.


So the big question the other solo travelers are probably curious about:

“Do you feel safe exploring Puerto Rico on your own?”

Look, I’m not going to say the entire island is oh so safe. But in touristic areas like San Juan and El Yunque you should be fine if you use common sense.

A local advised I avoid walking alone through Old San Juan at night, so I heed his words. To be honest, when I’m on a solo Caribbean vacation I’d rather spend my nights sipping a glass of wine on the balcony listening to the waves than roaming the streets to party.

I also always — whether I’m in Puerto Rico or elsewhere — carry travel safety gear items like a personal safety alarm and pickpocket-proof garments. Both suggestions are inexpensive, so there’s really no reason not to protect yourself.

Staying in the Condado neighborhood feels very safe to me, and in this and other neighborhoods I feel safe asking locals for help with directions and suggestions on where to eat. The responses I receive are welcoming and helpful.

Case in point: I notice while driving I’m almost on empty, so I pull into a gas station to fuel up. I park near the fueling station, put in my credit card and then…realize I’m from New York and never pump gas.

How the heck do I operate this machine?!? 

As I debate whether it’s more embarrassing to admit this to the attendant or just break down on the highway and push the car back, a man comes over with a smile to help.

things to do in puerto rico
Viewing the Atlantic coastline from La Concha’s rooftop. Lens: Nikon 40mm

Another time I’m taking a taxi back from Old San Juan to La Concha in Condado, when I meet possibly the world’s nicest cab driver.

I learn all about his family in New York — by the way, more than half of the locals I meet are originally born in The Bronx — and we even have a spirited debate about baseball.

In reality, I’ve been to one-quarter of a Yankee game one time, but I like to show my state pride.

Okay, so the people are nice! But what do you actually do on your own?!

I’m so glad you asked.

Morning Yoga

“If there’s one thing I want you to take away from your yoga mat, it’s the bandha.”

First thing in the morning I find myself on La Concha’s rooftop, following my instructor Virna’s soothing instruction as we move into Three-Legged Dog pose.

There’s no music, just waves gently crashing on the beach, the faraway giggles of sandcastle builders and my own breathing.

“Inhale…exhale…now, contract the belly and hold, but continue breathing. It’s like a 911 signal to the body to release. Once you start feeling the healing properties of the bandha you’ll start doing it everywhere you go.”

things to do in puerto rico
Getting into Dancer Pose during rooftop yoga. Lens: Nikon 40mm.

Because I’m on vacation, Virna’s goal is to challenge yet relax me; to make me feel strong yet rejuvenated. Through every Cat-Cow, Warrior 2 and Downward Dog, we practice the bandha to do this.

And enjoy the view.

Seriously. Just one look at the azure waters puts me instantly at ease. Which must curb my anxieties, because suddenly I find myself accomplishing not only the bandha, but Crow Pose.


This has been a goal of mine for a while. Sure, I only stay up for about two seconds, but it feels so good. Virna is patient, slowly guiding me into the correct positioning for the pose.

While previously I’d awkwardly tried to sit on my own arms, when I nail the pose I feel more like I’m leaning on myself for support.

things to do in puerto rico
Views from my rooftop yoga class. Wow! Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

At the end of the session Virna places a drop of neroli oil on each of my palms.

From there, she instructs me to rub my hands together until they feel hot.

“Cup your hands near your face and breath the oils in with your nose and out with your mouth. Scent is powerful for memory. Hopefully when you smell neroli again you’ll remember this view and what you’ve accomplished.”

venice italy experiences
Click here to grab your FREE Ultimate Travel Planning Kit! It includes a Google Map of this Puerto Rico trip itinerary.

Old San Juan Discoveries

With energy running through my veins, I’m on to my next adventure: exploring Old San Juan beyond the famous Castillos of San Felipe del Morro and San Cristobal.

Sure, these sites are very important and absolutely worth a visit if you’re a history enthusiast, but Old San Juan is also the perfect place to wander without a plan.

A bit about the area:

Old San Juan dates back to 1509 with the arrival of the Spanish settlers, established by Juan Ponce de León.

What’s unique is this history can still be felt and seen today; not only through the slew of historic attractions and museums but also the cobbled streets and pastel-colored Spanish Colonial architecture.

Additionally, a modern twist means there are loads of shops, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants — both traditional and contemporary — to discover.

things to do in puerto rico
Colorful Old San Juan. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

While I spend most of my time just admiring the buildings, I do indeed step inside a few. Highlights:

Lunch at Deaverdura

Panting in my sweat-soaked tank top, the cheerful lime green walls and wooden bar lined with straw-poked coconuts beckons me in.

As Latin music fills the room, the waitress tells me in half Spanish, half English what’s being served that day (because there’s no paper menu).

Everything sounds simple and delicious — pork chops, fried chicken, pasteles.

I order the grilled grouper fish with beans and potatoes, buttery rice, and a small bowl of fried plantains (tostones).

The entire meal — which comes to $16 — is accompanied by house-made sauces.

things to do in puerto rico
A delicious lunch at Deaverdura. Lens: Nikon 40mm. 

Craft Beer at La Taberna Lúpulo

This hip bar is filled with locals and visitors sipping craft Puerto Rican brews — there are about seven breweries on the island — when I pop in around 1pm.

There’s a chalkboard wall listing the bartender’s picks, though I personally recommend trying one of their quirky beer cocktails.

The “Perla Punch” features tropical fruit juices, lemon and coconut rums, and wild sour ale.

Savor Señor Paleta In The Squares

Old San Juan reminds me of the island version of Savannah, with tons of parks and squares breaking up the streets.

I never visit a new city without trying the local ice cream.

In Old San Juan this equals Señor Paleta (or Ben & Jerry’s, which I love, though isn’t exactly Puerto Rican).

Savoring a strawberry cheesecake ice cream pop is the perfect way to cool down.


Get napkins because it melts FAST.

things to do in puerto rico
Savoring Señor Paleta in Old San Juan. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Sip Coffee Culture At Cuatro Sombras Cafe

If you want a trendy coffee shop packed with java culture, Cuatro Sombras Cafe features a wooden bar with baristas working their magic.

There’s also a Coffee Lab, rustic indoor space with tables, and an outdoor courtyard with beer bottle vases, communal tables, and sprawling vines.

I pop in here to cool off with the air conditioning while fueling up with a latte!

Get Inspired At Poet’s Passage

So freaking whimsical!

It’s literally a winding hallway with multiple adventures to choose from.

Go left and you’ll find yourself in a cafe featuring Puerto Rican coffee and chalkboard poetry.

Turn right, and there’s a room where almost every space of wall and shelving showcases poetry on ceramics.

In the back is a chill performance nook with comfy mismatched furniture where open mic nights take place Tuesdays at 7pm.

things to do in puerto rico
Poet’s Passage in Old San Juan. Lens: Nikon Fisheye. 

Try An Inventive Cocktail At La Factoria

If you love cocktails but aren’t interested in the myriad restaurants offering sugary 2-for-1 mimosas and sangrias, La Factoria does mixology right.

In this old brick building with no sign you’ll need to find the hidden entrance.

Once inside, Spiced Old Fashioneds and Lavender Mules complement the multi-room dance party, salsa music, and chill unpretentious vibe.

The best part:

Cocktails I usually spend $15 on in NYC are just $8-$9.

Shop At The Artisan Corner

This store has everything you could want for a unique souvenir:

Red wine soap, brandy-flavored coffee, handmade jewelry, pineapple lotion, colorful artwork — all made by Puerto Rican artisans.

It’s a big bright store — with plenty of free product samples — that gives you a glimpse into the local culture.

It’s super affordable, too. I buy two bags of coffee for $12.

things to do in puerto rico
The Artisan Corner. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Bike The Murals

While I’d typically be exhausted after a day of walking in the heat, my morning yoga session has put me in the right mindset.

Grabbing one of La Concha’s free bike rentals, I set off to explore what I’m told is San Juan’s street art haven: Sancturce.

Most of the murals are on and around Calle Cerra, though Calle Loiza is considered the main drag full of indie culture like street art, conscious cafes, yoga studios, and even mural-clad food truck parks (I love Lote23!).

Spearheading the movement is Santurce es Ley (SEL), a group committed to turning Santurce into a contemporary arts hub since its inception in 2010.

While once dangerous — and still gritty — it’s a place you can feel safe walking or biking solo, at least during the day.

things to do in puerto rico
Hiking the murals in Santurce, San Juan. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Awkward: Despite being only 15 minutes away I somehow get lost, though luckily US phones work in Puerto Rico (because it’s still the US!).

Eventually, though, I find myself seeing enormous mural after enormous mural.

El Yunque National Forest

The next morning I wake up oddly energized, despite such active exploring the day before. This is the beauty of visiting somewhere new.

Your sense of curiosity constantly propels you forward, making you forget you’re tired.

I’m told the hiking trails in the forest are clear, and decide not to hire a guide.

But because El Yunque National Forest is 35 minutes away by car, I also don’t want to pay for a cab. I decide to have La Concha call the nearest car rental agency for me to check what the damage to my wallet would be.

“So the total for a one day rental would be…”

My heart quickens as I prepare for the worst.


I stare at her dumbfounded. That’s less than the cost of two drinks back in NYC!

Even better, when I pick up the car the attendant asks me if my name is Scott.

“No,” I laugh.

He smiles, “Well, since Scott’s not here you’re getting a free upgrade.”

Despite that I can’t tell the difference between a Civic and Maserati, I’m really excited about this. No matter what kind of car it is, it’s better than the original one I booked. Score!

things to do in puerto rico
A stream in El Yunque. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Happily, I drive to the National Forest without issue.

This is unlike when I went to the South of France and full-on parked on a highway because I got frazzled. Not surprisingly, my boyfriend banned me from ever driving with him in the car again.

I actually find Puerto Rico to be relatively calm to drive in.

You know what’s not calm?

The rainforest.

Let me explain.

El Yunque National Forest — located in the Luquillo Mountains — is the country’s only National Forest to include rainforest.

You’ll pay just $4 to be immersed in its lush beauty. There’s no dangerous animals like bears, mainly just 200 native tree species, lots of frogs, butterflies, and colorful birds (like the endangered Puerto Rican parrots!).

The indoor-outdoor visitor center offers an awesome free exhibit, as well as trail maps depicting the many hike options and lookout points along the winding road climbing up through the site.

things to do in puerto rico
El Yunque National Forest is so lush! Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

Coca Falls is probably the most popular attraction within the Forest, though I don’t even stop to take a photo.

Too many people climbing it and taking selfies. Instead, I head to the Baño Grande Trail, sitting at 2,000 feet elevation.

This trail intersects with the El Yunque Trail, which leads to the top of El Yunque Peak for a view from 3,496 feet.

I’m pumped!

Now, when it comes to solo hiking there are a few factors I take into consideration.

  • I like few enough people that I can get in touch with my own thoughts in nature…
  • …but enough people that if I break my ankle a human will find me before I get eaten by bears (or in El Yunque’s case, butterflies and frogs).

The El Yunque Trail is perfect, allowing me to be the only one wrapped in a blanket of rainforest beauty for long stretches at a time. Some parts are steep, but for the most part I don’t feel all that exasperated.

I guess it helps when you’re surrounded by waterfalls, streams and lizards.

things to do in puerto rico
Doing a rain dance in El Yunque. It worked. Lens: Nikon Fisheye.

No, the real struggle comes when it starts to rain.

You’re probably thinking, Well, duh, Jessie. It is the RAINforest after all.”

Maybe I missed the memo. Or maybe I’m just so drunk on sun I forgot.

Regardless, I’m not prepared to protect my gadgets. My not-so-waterproof backpack holds my iPhone, while I cradle my DSLR like a baby under my raincoat (though neglect to put my hood on).

I still have about 45 minutes to the top and don’t want to turn back, though it’s actually an even farther way to return to the car.

I tread carefully up rock path and thick orange mud, through the cloud forest and thousand-year-old trees. Despite how thick the forest is there isn’t much cover, and the rain is coming down so hard it’s like taking a shower.

My DSLR is no match for the fight. When I finally get to the top, I hope to pull her out for a quick shot.

But it’s too late. She’s gone.

Dramatics aside, I still enjoy the hike (and luckily I insure all of my gear, so now I can get a better model).

Despite not really being able to take in the view due to the fog, I reflect that there wasn’t a single moment of the hike where I wasn’t in awe of its beauty. Even the rain would have been awesome if I weren’t body blocking my camera from the weather like a protective mother.

I didn’t need an iPod at all either; the sounds of tropical forest were my soundtrack.


I really love driving to the Yokahu Observation Tower, within the Forest.

Constructed in 1963, the Tower sits at 1,575 feet high and you can climb its 98 steps to take in the surrounding peaks, Luquillo Beach and the northeast coast.


Luckily, the rain stops and I’m able to take some iPhone photos.

things to do in puerto rico
Walking up the Tower stairs. Camera: iPhone5.
things to do in puerto rico
Views from the top of the Tower. Camera: iPhone5.

Drive The Panoramic Route

After El Yunque, I decide to make use of my inexpensive car rental and spend time driving. At Enterprise the staff had told me about a panoramic section along Route 3.

I enter “Punta Santiago” as my Google Maps destination, and it doesn’t disappoint.

things to do in puerto rico
Driving the panoramic route near El Yunque. Camera: iPhone 5.

Along the highway I pass cities like Luquillo and Fajardo, both offering restaurants, coffee shops, and other places of interest; however, I just want scenery.

I continue on until I come to a sign welcoming me to Humacao.

Suddenly, busy road transforms into a quiet dirt stretch with few cars.

Beautiful beach backed by windmills makes the perfect setting to park and just let time slowly drift by.

An Inventive Meal

That night, I treat myself to a delicious dinner at Cocina Abierta in the Condado neighborhood, about a five minute walk from the hotel. I’m told by a local that its “very creative” cuisine.

They were not kidding. I would seriously go back to San Juan just to eat here again.

The restaurant features a giant yard with lots of tables.

Inside, you’ll find an industrial chic feel with bold metal chandeliers, wood accents and an open kitchen.

Now, you can make this an inexpensive or expensive evening, as dishes are on the smaller side — 4-6 ounces each.

Not tiny, but you’ll probably still be hungry if you just have one. Also, every item is so creative you just want to try everything.

things to do in puerto rico
The “Don Guanapena” cocktail at Cocina Abierta. Camera: iPhone 5.

The menu is separated into five “Acts” — starters, seafood, white meats, structured dishes and desserts. Here’s how my evening goes.

Cocktail: “Don Guanapena” ($13) featuring Tequila Don Julio Blanco, Don Q Rum Anejo, guanabana juice, lime, house-made agave-jalapeno syrup and Elemakule tiki bitters, garnished with flowers so beautiful I feel bad drinking it.

Course 1: Tuna tatake atop ripe plantain brûlée. The dish is laced with avocado, shiitake mushrooms and scallions, and has the most pronounced sweet and salty flavor. Amazing.

Course 2: Pacific salmon stuffed with mushrooms duxelle on top of corn and beet-laced risotto. And how pretty is that plate below?!

Course 3: Thai fried chicken with coconut-green aioli and lychee-baby cucumber salad. A sprinkling of cashews adds a delicious finish.

things to do in puerto rico
Salmon and Thai Fried Chicken at Cocina Abierta. Camera: iPhone5.

The dessert menu features uber inventive combinations.

Like the “Chocolate,” featuring chocolate pot de creme with hazelnut biscotti, chocolate whipped cream, espresso agar, chocolate sponge cake, nutella fuid, white chocolate bark and….dried kalamata olives.

Say wha?!?

The meal is a delicious trip around the world, exploring cultures at their craziest through the palate.

Hiking To A Hidden Waterfall

Possibly my favorite excursion of the trip is hiking to Charco Prieto Waterfall in Bayamón, about an hour drive from Condado.

While El Yunque is a must-visit, this hike — which I booked through Jerrys Adventures — takes me away from what tourists typically see to embark on a trek to a 130-foot waterfall.

visiting Charco Prieto Waterfall while traveling Puerto Rico solo
Charco Prieto Waterfall. Photo via Jessie Festa.

The trek is challenging as you’ll need to traverse slippery stones, uneven ground, and rock scrambles, though the ending makes it worth it.

Seeing the cascades of Charco Prieto — which is locally known as Poza Negra — plunging down jagged rock into a natural swimming pool while butterflies and dragonflies flutter about is truly a magical experience.⁠

I also find that it’s easy to make friends as a solo traveler in Puerto Rico, as the group is constantly helping each other through the hike.

If you book with Jerry’s Adventures, you’ll also get to visit Mimi’s BBQ at the end for some traditional Puerto Rican food. Yum!

Visit Paradise At Cayo Icacos

On a catamaran cruise with Castillo Tours, I get to visit a place that truly defines the word paradise: Cayo Icacos.

This uninhabited island sits about 30 minutes off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico.⁠ Here you’ll find soft white sand, warm turquoise waters, and gorgeous views.⁠

solo female traveler in Puerto Rico posing on Cayo Icacos
Cayo Icacos. Photo via Jessie Festa.

As it’s located within La Cordillera Nature Reserve, you’ll also find other small islands, rocky islets, and coral reefs teeming with fish (at least 83 species!).⁠

While snorkeling, I see fish of all colors, sizes, and stripe patterns — and one boat-goer even spots a manatee!

Onboard the catamaran, there is also a flowing open bar, which helps create a social environment for solo travelers in Puerto Rico wanting to meet other people.

Explore Laguna del Condado

Speaking of acquatic experiences, closer to the hotel is Laguna del Condado (Condado Lagoon), which is home to a variety of sea creatures: fish, conch, starfish, eagle rays, sea turtles, and even manatees.

If you love searching for wildlife, you can opt to kayak, paddle board, or even snorkel the lagoon.

solo female traveler in Puerto Rico snorkeling in the Condado Lagoon in San Juan
Condado Lagoon. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Personally, I opt for a morning trip with Champion Snorkel Tours and love the experience. As with the above excursions, it’s easy to make friends, especially as this one actually has a few other solo travelers on it too!

A Beach-Filled Goodbye

My final day is spent doing what no island trip is complete without: soaking up the sun and splashing around.

I switch from walks on Condado Beach to warming up in the hot tub to cooling off with a swim in the pool.

Or should I say pools. It’s so relaxing, and the perfect sendoff back to NYC where I won’t see a pool for a while.

things to do in puerto rico
Enjoying the Infinity pool at La Concha Resort. Camera: GoPro // Swimsuit: Unique Vintage

Sometimes traveling solo makes you more self-conscious.

Other times it makes you feel like you can do anything and nobody will care.

So, I decide to do a cartwheel right there on the beach. Sure, not the most daring move in the world. But it feels good, like being a kid again.

From there I plop down right at the edge of the water, laying back in the sand. Granules stick to my skin and my hair knots with Atlantic Ocean waves.

But I don’t care. Because I’m happy. 

I — and you — don’t need travel companions to enjoy Puerto Rico’s pleasures.

Would I love to take my boyfriend here or head back with friends?


But I’ll also happily return for a solo trip in paradise.

things to do in puerto rico
Camera: GoPro. // Swimsuit: Unique Vintage.

In Condado

A few other things I love around the Condado neighborhood:

Breakfast at Pinky‘s

Across from La Concha is an amazing all-day breakfast spot with hearty omelets and sandwiches (including vegetarian options) and batidas.

The latter are fruit smoothies laced with brown sugar, milk, vitamin boosters, oatmeal, and other tasty enhancements.

I love having breakfast on their sidewalk, though note it gets very busy here so it’s best to arrive before 10am.


Expect to pay around $5.50-$10 for a large omelet or sandwich. Pinky’s boasts not changing their prices in 13+ years!

Tacos at Kabanas

This parked food truck has communal picnic tables and possibly the best tacos I’ve ever had.

Not only is the meat juicy and tender, the tortillas are thick and crispy, yet oh-so-flaky. They’re also full of flavor.

It’s a chill spot to listen to current hit songs and dine on dishes like avocado-topped burgers, fresh catch, oven-baked chicken breast, and nachos showcasing anything you can imagine (including hummus and falafel).


Most tacos are $3.85 each, with main dishes being around $7.50-$15.95 (for steak!).

things to do in puerto rico
Kabanas Tacos. Yum! Lens: Nikon 40mm

Paddleboarding The Condado Lagoon

About a 15-minute walk from La Concha is the large Laguna del Condado, reaching depths of 36 feet.

Here it’s possible to stand up paddleboard (SUP).

The water is typically calm, so don’t worry if you haven’t tried SUP before. If you’re lucky, you may also see manatees, dolphins, and stingrays! 


You can book at VIP Adventures right near the lagoon for $30/hour.

venice italy experiences
Click here to grab your FREE Ultimate Travel Planning Kit! It includes a Google Map of this Puerto Rico trip itinerary.

Puerto Rico Packing List:

Puerto Rico Car Rental

The best way to explore all that Puerto Rico has to offer is by car, as many attractions aren’t within walking distance.

My recommendation:

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Puerto Rico Travel Insurance

When visiting Puerto Rico — or anywhere else in the world — make sure to get travel insurance.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Solo Travel Puerto Rico FAQs

Q) Is Puerto Rico safe to travel alone?

Solo travel in Puerto Rico is typically safe. The main tourist areas are very safe and the locals are welcoming to travelers to the island.

Q) Is Puerto Rico safe for female travelers?

Yes, solo female travel to Puerto Rico is also typically safe. There are plenty of things to do alone on the island and as long as you take the typical precautions outlined above, you should have no worries.

Q) Is San Juan safe for solo travelers?

Yes, San Juan makes a great base for your Puerto Rico solo trip. The Condado neighborhood in particular is very safe and makes a nice place to stay.

Q) What are the best things to do alone in Puerto Rico?

Some of the best things when you solo travel to Puerto Rico include hiking in El Yunque National Forest, exploring Old San Juan, and driving the panoramic route to Punta Santiago.

What are your favorite things to do in Puerto Rico? Anything you’d add to this Puerto Rico solo travel guide?


Getting There: When visiting the San Juan area of Puerto Rico, you’ll typically fly into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. From there, you can grab a taxi to your hotel. There are also buses in terminals A and D.

Language: Spanish & English. I found that almost everyone spoke English, at least in the San Juan and El Yunque areas.

Currency: US Dollar

Plugs: US citizens won’t need an adapter/converter when traveling to Puerto Rico. Here is full voltage info with photos.

Safety Essentials:

Getting Around: The local bus in San Juan is efficient (here are fares and maps). Otherwise, cabs are prevalent and easy to hail. It cost $19 each way to and from the airport to the Condado neighborhood. When going to and from Condado to Old San Juan it cost $14.

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What to Expect Traveling Solo in Puerto Rico
Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

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  1. Nitin Khanna on at 8:10 am

    It’s amazing experience shared by you about Puerto Rico! I also love to travel alone and explore new things.

    Thanks for such a great information!

  2. Stephanie Yao on at 3:25 am

    Thank you for such an in-depth post about Puerto Rico. Bookmarked all the restaurants you recommended! I can’t wait!

  3. Monty on at 3:44 pm

    This was such a cool article to read. I am a very avid solo traveler, and it was so nice to read that there are people who sometimes prefer this! I’ve got my trip booked to Puerto Rico in August, and I am very much looking forward to it. 🙂

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