Puerto Rico's enchanting east region offers secluded beaches, tropical cays, and a legendary rainforest.
This region of the Island—comprising 15 towns and two small islands—offers a great combination of coastal and inland life with tranquil beaches, diverse towns, upscale resorts, great museums, botanical gardens, art galleries, roadside chinchorros, and upscale restaurants. Less than an hour from San Juan is El Yunque National Forest, one of Puerto Rico's greatest natural and cultural treasures. A bit further east you'll find the beautiful beaches of Fajardo, a gateway to the small islands that lie just off Puerto Rico's eastern coast.
Driving distance from San Juan’s airport: 1 hour or less
Driving distance from Aguadilla’s airport: 2–3 hours
Explore the East Region
Home of the beloved El Yunque National Forest, and much more.Explore Río Grande
A great home base for exploring nearby islands and cays, as well as some of Puerto Rico's best beaches.Explore Fajardo
Because of its location, Caguas is known as the “Center and Heart” of Puerto Rico.Explore Caguas
Things to Do
The east is home to El Yunque, the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. Its waterfalls, hiking trails, and panoramic vistas are a nature lover’s wonderland. For a bit more adventure, head to Carabalí Rainforest Park, where activities include running ATVs and horseback riding on the beach or in the forest.
The waters off the east coast of Puerto Rico are teeming with marine life, making them ideal for snorkeling and diving adventures, fishing, and boat charters. Beaches like Balneario La Monserrate, Playa Escondido, and Cayo Icacos—an uninhabited island just off the coast of Fajardo—are considered some of the best on the Island. Fajardo is also home to Laguna Grande, one of Puerto Rico's three bioluminescent bays.
Where to Stay
There’s plenty to do outdoors in this region, but that doesn’t mean you need to be roughing it. Accommodations include the renowned Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, the Wyndham Palmas Beach & Golf Resort, and El Conquistador Resort.
For travelers seeking more budget-friendly accommodations, the east region also has the Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel and Casino; small inns such as the Hotel Yunque Mar, the Parador Costa del Mar, and the Parador Palmas de Lucía; and bed and breakfasts such as the Rainforest Inn. Some of these locations, with nightly rates that are usually lower than that of larger hotels, are family-owned properties located near some of the most popular attractions in the region.
Where to Eat
From seafood-stuffed mofongo to brunch and barbecue, the eastern region of Puerto Rico has a little bit of everything. Don't miss a chance to sample local favorites beachside at the Luquillo kiosks, where vendors specialize in fritters, cold beer, and other tasty dishes. Along the coast, you'll tend to find plenty of fresh-caught seafood. You may also head further inland for all kinds of restaurants featuring local, creative gastronomic fusions, vegetarian and international cuisine. And toward the mountains for more tasty traditional dishes, local sausages, our famous roast pork in the lechoneras and chinchorros.
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