Close this search box.
SSA fingerprint logo, Make an impression

7 Unforgettable Day Trips from San Juan

7 Unforgettable Day Trips from San Juan

Table of Contents

The island of Puerto Rico has various incredible, unique experiences and landscapes. While on your Puerto Rico program, you will want to explore the island rather than stick solely to San Juan. Get excited for this list of 7-day trips from San Juan, though. Feel free to extend your trip for a weekend getaway! 

1. El Yunque National Forest

Distance from San Juan: 40 to 60 minutes 

El Yunque is the USA’s only national rainforest. Go for a scenic hike, get your adrenaline pumping by flying through the forest canopy on the ziplines, rent an ATV tour, or go horseback riding.

Make sure to listen for the coquí, a unique tiny frog native to the island and known as the loudest amphibian in the world!


2. La Parguera, Lajas 

Distance from San Juan: 2 hours

A fishing town found along the southwestern coast, La Parguera has something for everyone. 

Start off by diving in the turquoise waters of La Pared to see coral reefs, manta rays, and turtles. See the mangrove and nature reserves, then get something good to eat while walking in El Malecón. 

The biggest attraction is the bioluminescent bay which lights up from dinoflagellates (a tiny single-cell organism). This bioluminescent bay is the only one in Puerto Rico where visitors can swim or snorkel.

3. Rincón

Distance from San Juan: 2 to 2.5 hours

This town is on the island’s west side and provides an incredibly unique experience. Every year, between January and April, humpback whales swim in the waters off the coast of Rincón. 

Watch them from Punta Higüeras Lighthouse Park, which has been guarding the shore since 1892. In Puerto Rico, outside of the whale season, you can also surf the waves on Maria Beach or snorkel in Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. 

4. Arecibo 


Distance from San Juan: 1 to 1.25 hours

A mix of nature and history, Arecibo is a destination you can’t miss. Head to Cueva Ventana, a cave sitting atop a hill in the city. As the name implies, the cave is famous for its window-like openings and the unique and historic petroglyphs that the Taino Indians drew centuries ago. 

Getting inside might be tricky, but the petroglyphs and scenery are worth it. Make sure to also check out the Arecibo Lighthouse and swim in La Poza del Obispo or the waterfalls of La Planta River. 

5. Cataño

Distance from San Juan: 25 minutes

Cataño is an excellent option for a quick, affordable trip with plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. Hop on the ferry from Pier 2 in Old San Juan and cruise across the bay for a quick 10-minute ride at only a $1.00 roundtrip. 

Start your excursion at Casa Bacardí Cataño for rum-tasting tours and mixology classes at $75 a ticket. Make your way to the pink bridge along Cataño’s beach boardwalk and finish with delicious local food and a picture with the flag of Puerto Rico

6. Orocovis

Distance from San Juan: 1.25 to 1.5 hours 

If you’re a thrill-seeker, this is the trip for you. Located in the center of Puerto Rico, Orocovis is home to the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park. 

The park is famous for having the longest zipline in America. Yet, it also boasts suspended bridges, bikes on ziplines, and climbing towers. If you’re looking for something less intense, stop at Mirador Villalba, take a dip in Charco La Guitarra, or hike in Cerro Mime. 

7. Utuado 

Distance from San Juan: 1.25 to 1.5 hours

Utuado is a great day trip choice to get out of the city and head somewhere less touristy. Prepare yourself for a day outdoors and book excursions for rappelling, kayaking, or river caving in the Tanamá River. The Cañon Blanco River is also a beautiful spot to check out or hang out at La Hamaca, the hanging bridge. 

Utuado also has a variety of farms to tour. Café Gran Batey provides free tours for visitors during specific hours. Learn about the unique coffee-making process and enjoy a fresh cup of joe. Make a tasting reservation at the only vineyard in Puerto Rico, Finca Vista Bella, and learn how the locals make wine. 

We hope you will visit one of these beautiful locations. Remember that public transportation in Puerto Rico is mainly limited to metropolitan areas in the North.

Studying abroad in this modern, tropical paradise is an excellent option for North American students. 

Check out our website or email with any questions you may have. We’re more than happy to help!

Table of Contents

More To Explore

Start studying abroad with SSA Education Abroad

Step 1. Choose your program

Choose your program!

Choose your program by destination, term, or subject.

Step 2. Start your Appliction

Start your application

Launch your application and complete the required paperwork

Step Three. Acceptance and deposit

Acceptance & Deposit

Once you've submitted all your paperwork, SSA will confirm your acceptance. Secure your place by paying your deposit.

Quick Links

Boost your resume, flourish as a human being, and have the time of your life.

Discover our custom programs for high schools and high school study-abroad opportunities.

Before study abroad: learn why SSA is your family’s partner in secure, enriching study abroad experiences. See how we support your student’s growth every step of the way.

After study abroad: make the most of your study abroad experience: get career support, become an ambassador, request a transcript, and more.

Learn about SSA’s custom programs, book a site visit, or become an esteemed SSA partner to earn exclusive benefits and discounts.

SSA Education Abroad logo
Who We Serve
Click here to further see Liberal Arts in English Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Immerse Yourself in the Vibrant Spanish Life in Seville! 🇪🇸✈️🎓

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, otherwise known as Sagrada Família

Barcelona, Spain

Explore Barcelona’s Rich Heritage & Spanish Delights! 🌟🏙️🇪🇸


Alicante, Spain

Dive into Spanish Culture and Education in Sun-Kissed Alicante! 🌅📖🇪🇸

Click here to see Liberal Arts in Advanced Spanish San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Experience the Fusion of Cultures in San Juan’s SSA Adventure! 🌴📚🇵🇷

Click here for Liberal arts in Advanced Spanish

Córdoba, Argentina

Dive into Authentic Cultural Immersion in the Heart of Argentina! 🇦🇷📚🌆

Click here to see Liberal Arts in Advanced Spanish San Juan, Puerto Rico

Panama City, Panama

Navigate Through Panama’s Cultural Diversity with English Studies! 🛤️🌐🇵🇦

Patagonia Header

Patagonia, Argentina

Venture into Patagonia’s Wild Beauty with the SSA Environmental Studies Program! 🏞️🔍🇦🇷🇨🇱

We're Here to Help!


Beth Tyler


Beth is your go-to contact for navigating the complex process of study abroad. 

She aims to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

Trying to learn more about Study Abroad?

We’re sending you our A-Z study abroad guide, including:

  • What study abroad is
  • Why you should study abroad
  • Where you can study abroad
  • Best universities for international students
  • How much study abroad normally costs
  • Financial aid requisites and how to apply
  • Hot tips for living abroad
  • How to get started
Skip to content