• El Yunque National Forest - Puerto Rico

No visit to Puerto Rico is complete without at least a stop at El Yunque, the island's vaunted slice of rainforest. Hiking through its misty, forested hills, you'll find sparkling-clean waterfalls, overgrown gulches and canyons, and more exotic plant and animal life than you've ever seen in one place. What to do there: Visit the Arecibo radio telescope, where Pierce Brosnan takes on Sean Bean (playing Agent 006) in GoldenEye’s final scene

  • Flamenco Beach - Puerto Rico

Culebra Island Regularly shortlisted in collections of the world's best beaches (including ours!), Culebra Island’s Flamenco Beach boasts powdery white sand and picturesque palm trees matched by luminously blue seas, creating a scene right out of a Corona commercial. Decades of use by the US military kept the developers at bay and left the beach with its signature abandoned tanks -- now artfully decorated with colorful Caribbean patterns. What to do there: It's time to relax. Spread out your towel, catch some rays, and go swimming. If you're really bursting with energy, the nearby lagoon often hosts a flock of flamingos.

  • La Perla - Puerto Rico

San Juan Not all of San Juan's inhabitants were lucky enough to enjoy the protection of the city's mighty walls (flanked by three imposing strongholds, the city’s colonial-age fortifications are the most extensive in the Caribbean). Jammed between the city’s northern walls and the crashing surf of the Atlantic, the neighborhood of La Perla is San Juan's answer to São Paulo's favelas -- with a reputation to match. Can't beat the views, though. What to do there: It's safe enough to explore the colorful streets, but be considerate and respectful when taking photos -- this is a real neighborhood where people live, not a tourist attraction.

  • The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse - Puerto Rico

The Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo is one the many lighthouses constructed by the Spanish at the end of the 19th century, and by far the most spectacular. Splendidly perched atop 200ft limestone cliffs, the recently restored tower shines out over the Caribbean and affords grand views of the surrounding coastline. What to do there: Take pictures! Walk the grounds around the lighthouse and soak in the views.

  • Playa Mar Chiquita - Puerto Rico

This beach on the north coast of Puerto Rico offers some of the most spectacular seaside scenery on the island. The shallow, secluded cove is almost completely blocked off from the sea by two huge coral formations. The Atlantic surf crashes against them, spraying water over the coral that cascades in a thousand tiny waterfalls down into the brilliant blue tide pools below. What to do there: Snorkeling and swimming in the cove's mostly placid waters is seriously nice, but strong currents are created near the tiny sea's frothing mouth. Be careful.

  • La Parguera Nature Reserve - Puerto Rico

Just about as far away from San Juan as you can get is the resplendent La Parguera Nature Reserve, a collection of mangroves, salt marshes, coral reefs, and tiny islands scattered across an expanse of brilliant turquoise water. What to do there: Snorkel! The calm waters of the reserve are perfect for lazily paddling your way through spectacular reefs. Stick around a couple hours, and you're likely to spot sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins.

  • El Morro - Puerto Rico

El Morro citadel dates back to the foundation of San Juan and is the oldest part of the city's fortifications. Underneath, a warren of dank and battle-scarred tunnels provide respite from the tropical sun. The fort's sun-baked upper levels, on the other hand, are a great spot for scenic views of San Juan, its palm-lined bay, and the Atlantic. What to do there: Climb up the crumbling stairs to the top and peer out over 500 years of Puerto Rican history.

  • Beautiful Floating Condo

Palmetto, FL Body of water: Manatee River Rate: $115/night Docked in Florida's biggest live-aboard marina, this fully furnished barge offers access to a pool and spa, gym, and nearby beaches. Also, manatees! And dolphins. Both of which you can watch from on deck.

  • Port Royal - Jamaica

Port Royal was known as the world’s "wickedest city" for a reason -- while European explorers were first checking out the Caribbean, the city at the mouth of Kingston Harbour became a one-stop shop for prostitution, booze, and pirates. Yup, real-life pirates were thoroughly enjoying themselves in Port Royal up until one fated day in 1692, when part of the town was suddenly submerged during a severe earthquake and tsunami. Now, several hundred sunken ships, paved streets, and fallen buildings sit below 40ft of water off of the city's coast.

  • Dive into Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bay

By far one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico, not to mention the world, Bioluminescent Bay lights up at night (thanks to science) with the blue glow of little creatures called dinoflagellates. The best way to experience the show is either by diving or on a kayak -- it's like you're in Narnia..

  • Virgin Gorda

This small but beautiful escape gives you a more intimate experience of the Virgin Islands, making it perfect for a relaxing retreat or couples vacation. The Baths Not for the claustrophobic or water averse, these baths are more like adventure caves. You can take a guided tour, but the route is easy to follow settled among natural rock formations that have grown up and around the ocean side for thousands of years. Hog Heaven Bar The best views on the island come with a side of Corona or Red Stripe at this bar and restaurant. Get a car with serious four-wheel drive to take you to the top of the summit, and then pull up a chair to enjoy the most picturesque meal you’ll ever have. Saba Rock Nestled in the bay of Virgin Gorda, a quick boat ride will have you home to the eight-room Saba Rock Resort and restaurant in no time. You can spend a whole day on this small patch of land thanks to activities like snorkeling, kite-boarding, or lounging in beach hammocks.

  • St. John

St. John is known for its tranquility and natural beauty so you can get plenty of R&R while here. That being said, there's also great shopping and food to experience as well if you ever manage to tire of the beach! Rhumb Lines You wouldn't think of great Thai food as a destination in the Caribbean, but this spot came locally recommended and did not disappoint! It's tucked away off a side street so ask around to make sure you're headed in the right direction. Once you find it, don't miss the Tempura Rock Lobster Tail or Pad Thai—both delicious. Mongoose Junction Sadly we didn't see any furry friends at these shops (as the name suggests), but we still had a ball! There are wares from local artists, woodworkers, print shops, and more that you won't be able to find anywhere else in the world. It's all situated in and amongst the hillside with trees peaking in through store windows and cute little bars to stop and have a drink after you shop. Bamboo Studio Another unique shopping destination, the jewelry sold here is handmade right on St. John so you can pick up a hook bracelet to take home. Each island has its own special hook design, and they're the perfect delicate daily reminder of your time in the sun.

  • Tortola

A quick ferry ride from St. Thomas, will take you to the British Virgin Islands. Pack your passport for Tortola, and don’t miss the views of the colorful West End houses on your way in. Callwood Distillery Long before Johnny Depp took on Captain Jack Sparrow, rum has made the islands of the Caribbean famous. It's also the basis for many of the tiki cocktails you’ll taste on your trip, so drink up, take a tour, and buy some for the trip home. Good Moon Farm If you’re a foodie, there is no better place to watch the farm-to-table movement really take place. They grow some of the freshest produce on the islands, so if you’re staying in an Airbnb or other house rental, you’ll definitely want to stop by and stock your kitchen. But even if you’re not cooking, the views are unparalleled and the staff will give you a beautiful food education. Belmont Estates This is the place to stay on Tortola, with relaxing estates across the island. If you’re doing a group vacation, or just want to feel seriously pampered while you relax, check this estate's various locations.

  • St. Thomas

St. Thomas is one of the most popular destinations in the Virgin Islands, and you don’t need a U.S. passport to take a trip here! It is a destination for many cruise ships so it can be touristy, but is also a gorgeous first stop on your tour. Glady's Cafe For a taste of island cuisine that the even locals recommend, Glady’s Café is the spot. You’ll have to ask for special directions, and head down a side alley, but they have been serving seafood and Caribbean classics like callaloo for years. Coral World Ocean Park Ride in a semi submarine, do a sea trek in an underwater suit, or “snuba” to see underwater life that usually can only be found at great ocean depths. This is great for anyone who wants to experience the sea, but isn’t ready for the full plunge.99 Steps If you’re worried about missing your workout while on vacation, try the 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie, which lead to amazing views of the island. This trek is not for the faint of heart, but ends at the historic Blackbeard’s Castle. (There are 103 steps to be exact!)

  • Coconut Grove - Nevis
  • Golden Rock Inn - Nevis

Restaurant with stunning views

  • Sunday Reggae Brunch at Mango's - Nevis

Beach views

  • Hotels - Martinique

Fort-de-France is the capital city of Martinique and where the airport is located. You’ll find the most modern hotels here and a larger selection of dining options, museums and tourist attractions because the Fort-de-France Bay is where many cruise ships dock when visiting the island. Hotel Squash and Hotel L’Imperatrice are both centrally located and walking distance to downtown. Les Trois-Îlets is a beach town just south of the capital, across the Fort-de-France Bay. This area is about as close to a resort area as you’ll find on the island; jet skiing, dolphin tours and live music are everywhere along the beach (along with colorful, Instagram-worthy frozen drinks). Check in to Hotel La Pagerie on Pointe du Bout for easy access to all of the beach-front amenities and their guest-only bars and restaurants. Saint-Pierre is on the northern half of the island and is home to Mount Pelee, a semi-active volcano surrounded by miles of hiking trails. Head to Saint-Pierre if you’re hoping to unplug and lace up your sneakers to explore untouched terrain of picturesque waterfalls, footbridges and tourist-free views of the Caribbean Sea. We love the Airbnb options – especially this bungalow and this villa, which both have private swimming pools, sleep up to 5 guests, and are less than $100 a night.

  • Things to Do - Martinique

If you’re a history buff, the island is flush with sights dating back before Christopher Columbus discovered the island in the late 1400’s. In the capital city, you’ll find the Schoelcher Library (1887), Cathedrale Saint-Louis (1895) and Fort St Louis (1669). Venture out of the downtown area to tour some of the island’s oldest homes steeped in history of the now defunct ocean trade routes. Habitation Clement is one of the most popular, and is still home to a functional rum distillery. For the foodie, hop around the southwest coast to try some amazing meals of traditional Creole and fresh seafood. Try Pignon Nouvelle Vague and Le Kano in Les Trois-Îlets and then head south to Le Diamant to hop around beach-front bars where you can split local appetizers at Chez Lucie, La Voile Blance and Carre Blue with your feet in the sand. If you prefer your vacations with some adventure there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Head west from Fort-de-France to the town of Le François on the Atlantic side of the island. Les Ballades du Delphis sails guests out to explore private islets and islands around the La baignoire de Joséphine (the Bath of Josephine), a secluded area of the Atlantic Ocean where you can float in warm shallow water. Snorkel with wildlife, explore untouched terrain and sunbathe on private island beaches.

  • St. Lucia

Visit the colonial-era buildings in the town of Soufriere, a gateway point for the pair of pointed mountains known as the Pitons. Nearby, you can hike to Toraille Waterfall, which spills 50 feet over a cliff. In the pool below, you can bathe under the waterfall and even get a back and shoulder massage. Visit the Millet Bird Sanctuary or the Edmund Forest Reserve to see orchids, giant ferns, and dozens of the country’s more than 180 bird species. You might even spot the rare St. Lucia parrot. For lounging in the sun, try Anse de Pitons beach. Snorkel the coral reef just off shore to see moray eels, parrotfish, and squid. Scuba divers have other options, including the wreck of freighter Lesleen M or Turtle Reef, home to sea grass-grazing hawksbill and green turtles.

  • Serafina Beach Hotel - Puerto Rico

A boutique beachfront hideout inspired by the owners’ travels to Italian beach clubs. Serafina is San Juan’s newest hotel and is located in Condado (which is only 10 minutes from the airport and a 10-minute uber ride to Old San Juan). Splurge on a room with an ocean view and enjoy the clean, modern design inspired by the colors of the sea. And plan on spending your afternoons sipping piña coladas while watching the waves crash on the rocky beach from the envy-inducing infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic.

  • Condado Vanderbilt Hotel - Puerto Rico

A large, luxurious hotel in Condado with exquisite ocean views, two pools, and four incredible restaurants. For opulent rooms and highly personalized service, stay at The Condado Vanderbilt.

  • Hotel El Convento - Puerto Rico

A historic hotel located in the heart of Old San Juan. If Spanish tile, mahogany beams, and Juliet balconies are your thing, then this is the spot for you. Step outside and you’ll find yourself wandering the colorful, cobblestone streets that San Juan is known for. And don’t worry, there’s a rooftop plunge pool for cooling off during those warm Puerto Rican afternoons.

  • Cuatro Sombras - Puerto Rico

A local micro-roaster and coffeehouse located in Old San Juan with a rustic interior and cozy courtyard.

  • El Jibarito - Puerto Rico

An unassuming, inexpensive, local restaurant where you must know what to order. And what to order is the sweet fried plantain (thank me later) and creole chicken. I promise you won’t regret it.

  • La Factoría - Puerto Rico

If you want to party with the locals, then this is the bar for you. Or walk through the swinging doors located behind the bar for a quiet, cozy drink in the hidden speakeasy wine bar.

  • Señor Paleta - Puerto Rico

Artisanal popsicles sold near the port in Old San Juan. I have not stopped craving the strawberry-mango popsicle (vegan-friendly!) since leaving. I promise not to judge when you lose count of how many popsicles you’ve had.

  • Patio del Níspero - Puerto Rico

Rest your feet after hours of wandering Old San Juan in Hotel El Convento’s restaurant. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time while eating beneath the shade of the hotel’s century-old Níspero fruit tree.

  • Lote 23 - Puerto Rico

Another spot highly recommended by many locals. Enjoy a diverse menu from a collection of food carts — including a vintage airstream. I heard several people rave about the fried mac n’ cheese. Enjoy your lunch with locals at shaded picnic tables.

  • Ola Ocean Front Bistro - Puerto Rico

One of the four mouth-watering restaurants located at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. Sit ocean-front and enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner. These fresh, flavorful dishes are 100% worth the splurge (if you’re there for lunch, order the quinoa power bowl).

  • Serafina Restaurant - Puerto Rico

Dine al fresco beneath the string lights and meandering ivy at this locally owned Italian restaurant. Order the brick oven pizza and snap your perfect #foodie gram between slices — every corner of Serafina is winning at the aesthetic game.

  • 1919 Restaurant - Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience with ocean views, then make a dinner reservation at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel’s highly reviewed 1919 restaurant. But be prepared for an unforgettable island creation from the Michelin-star rated chef.

  • Ropa Vieja Grill - Puerto Rico

A delightful fusion of Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine located in Condado. The entrees are large, thus perfect for sharing.

  • Get lost in Old San Juan - Puerto Rico

Put away the map and simply wander down the colorfully-lined cobblestone streets. Keep an eye out for one of the gorgeous murals and color block walls. Note: Old San Juan is small enough that you can easily get around on foot. But start exploring as early in the day as possible to avoid crowds (still allowing yourself several hours to see the city).

  • La Placita - Puerto Rico

Join locals for an evening of salsa dancing in the square.

  • San Juan Beaches - Puerto Rico

Playita del Condado and Playa Ocean Park are wonderful beaches to lay down your towel and go for a swim. Take note: Playita del Condado is the perfect spot for a sunset swim.

  • Laguna del Condado - Puerto Rico

If you want to get out on the water, rent a kayak or paddleboard on the Lagoon.

  • Castillo San Cristóbal & Castillo San Felipe del Morro - Puerto Rico

History buffs unite. Old San Juan was once surrounded by three miles of stone walls and two forts, both of which you can explore to your heart’s content. Note to the neutral lovers: there’s a gorgeous all-white arched corridor In Castillo San Felipe del Morro if you’re looking for the perfect gram.

  • Day Trip - Puerto Rico

Once you’ve explored San Juan, take a day to chase waterfalls in The El Yunque Forest, discover hidden coves on the southwest corner of the island, or swim in the crystal clear waters of a Spanish Virgin Island.

  • El Yunque National Forest - Puerto Rico

About 45 minutes from San Juan you’ll find the entrance to Puerto Rico’s national rainforest — a refuge the locals take great pride in. Rent a car (or hire a tour guide) and chase waterfalls on the 29,000 acres. Just between you and me: for a quiet swim, head to the hidden and less known Rio Espiritu Santo. You’ll likely have this waterfall all to yourself.

  • Island Hop - Puerto Rico

Visit one (or several of the Spanish Virgin Islands). There are plenty to choose from: Culebra, Vieques, Icacos Island, Palomino Island, or Palominito Island! If you prefer to go to an island and stay several hours you can hire a water taxi for $20-$40 to take you to: Icacos Island, Palomino Island, or Palominito Island. Or if you prefer to visit several islands you can join a catamaran tour for $80-120 (this option usually includes lunch, snorkeling, and a lot of music). If your budget allows, you can even charter your own sailboat.

  • Isla Espiritu Santo - Baja California
apr 27 2016 ∞
mar 24 2019 +