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10 budget-friendly things to do in Puerto Rico

Although Puerto Rico is pretty small, only 100 miles x 35 miles, there’s a lot to do. From beaches to rivers, from mountains to historic 500-year-old towns, there are plenty of options of things you can do on the Island of Enchantment. And the best part?? There are a ton of FREE things to do! Or at least at a really good price.

Perfect for budget travelers!

1. Visit the historic cobblestoned streets of Old San Juan

Plaza de las Palomas

Other than paying for parking at the Doña Fela parking garage or La Puntilla parking area, walking around Old San Juan is absolutely free. Walk the colorful cobblestoned streets of this historic 500-year-old town, and stop for a refreshing Medalla beer or mojito at one of the bars in San Sebastian street.

2. Explore the mountains and rivers of El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque National Forest

Only an hour away from San Juan, visiting El Yunque National Forest is the perfect way to feel like a true islander. El Yunque offers plenty of hiking paths and river beds to get a workout or a cold swim and enjoy the beautiful greenery and charm of this rainforest. Although there are different entrances to the forest, and most of them are free, there is a $2 USD reservation fee per car at the main entrance to the national forest. You can make the reservation online, but make sure to do it with enough time as tickets are limited.

3. Take a day trip or camp overnight in Flamenco Beach, Culebra

Flamenco Beach, Culebra

Flamenco Beach is one of the top 10 best beaches in the world for a good reason. And getting there, although slightly complicated, is pretty affordable. Drive around an hour east of San Juan, to the city of Ceiba, where you can catch a ferry ($5 USD roundtrip) to the island of Culebra. Once there, you can grab a taxi that’ll drive you to the beach and you can schedule a pickup time with the driver (around $5 each way). At the beach, you’ll have to pay a $2 USD fee per person to enter the beach area and around $30 USD to camp for 1 night.

4. Explore La Cueva del Indio in Arecibo (Indian’s cave)

Cueva del Indio

About an hour away from San Juan, taking road PR 22 heading west, you’ll find a spiky cavern by the sea full of Taino Indian drawings on the walls, and the most dramatic splashes of seawater. Although the way down to the actual cave isn’t accessible anymore, you can still see the drawings on the walls, and the views from the top of the stone structure are pretty spectacular. The entrance fee is around $5 USD per person.

5. Jump from the pier in Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla

Crash Boat beach pier

All the way in the northwest of Puerto Rico is the beautiful beach of Crash Boat. Crash Boat beach’s charm comes from the delicious food trucks selling pinchos (meat, chicken, or seafood skewers) and the pier which is perfect for some daring jumps. Access to the beach is completely free, and there’s free parking as well. But keep an eye on men trying to charge you for parking spots closer to the beach. It isn’t worth it and as far as I know, they don’t have any way to impose or enforce their fees.

6. Soak in the sun at Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo

Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path, free, and mostly enjoyed by locals, then you should go to Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo. Although the name Playa Sucia translates to “dirty beach”, this hidden beach at the southwesternmost point in Puerto Rico, is anything but dirty. Its pristine and clear blue waters will have you refreshed and relaxed with its gentle ebbing. But bring plenty of drinks and snacks since there are no nearby stores or restaurants. And always make sure to clean up after yourself.

7. Eat lechon a la vara (pork on a stick) in Guavate


Guavate, located in the mountains of Cayey, Puerto Rico, is popular amongst Puerto Ricans for their delicious lechon a la vara restaurants. Just next to the PR 52 highway, is a row of local restaurants offering a variety of authentic Puerto Rican dishes including pork on a stick (their specialty), plantains, yucca, rice and beans, tembleque and so much more delicious side and main dishes. Plates cost around $10 – 20 USD, depending on what you order.

8. Take a scenic route to Casa Bavaria restaurant in the mountains of Morovis

Casa Bavaria in Morovis

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Casa Bavaria myself, but this quaint German restaurant in the mountains of Morovis offers delicious german/Puerto Rican food, as well as beautiful views all the way up the restaurant. And if you ever visit during October, they throw a HUGE Oktoberfest celebration. Plates cost around $5 – 20 USD, and beers are usually pretty cheap.

9. Zipline in Orocovis with Toro Verde Adventure Park

Toro Verde Adventure Park

Are you an adrenaline seeker on a budget? Go to Toro Verde Adventure Park and conquer The Beast and/or The Monster ziplines. Claiming they have the longest zipline in the American continent, you shouldn’t pass the opportunity to fly like a bird at over 90 mph and enjoy the views of the mountains and beaches of Puerto Rico. Tours start at $48 USD per person.

10. Learn about Puerto Rican history at Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

If you like old historic military monuments, then you’re going to love visiting Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan. For only $10 USD per person, you can enter the 16th-century Spanish-built fortification used to protect Puerto Rico and the Caribbean from enemy boats coming from Europe. And even if military fortifications aren’t your thing, the surrounding green hills and views of the ocean and the Spaniard buildings in the area are enough to mesmerize you.

Which one are you most excited to do?? Let me know in the comments below! 👇🏽

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

El Morro in Old San Juan

February 15, 2022

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