20 Things Puerto Rico Is Known And Famous For

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Puerto Rico is known for its stunning beaches, rich nature ecosystems, and exciting festivals.

Located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. With its sunny climate and beautiful coastline, it is no wonder that so many people flock to this Caribbean island for a taste of tranquil life.

Soak up the sun, satisfy your taste buds, explore the island’s deep history, or immerse yourself in its vibrant culture. There are plenty of reasons why Puerto Rico is famous for being an attractive travel destination for many around the world.

What Is Puerto Rico Known For?

Puerto Rico is known for its pristine beaches with tall, leaning palm trees. The island boasts a blend of stunning natural habitats, from mangrove islands to rainforests. It also has a rich and diverse culture that sets it apart from other destinations. 

With its unique cuisine, incorporating Spanish, African, and indigenous Taíno influences, you will indulge in flavors like nowhere else.

That said, Puerto Rico is also famous for several luxurious resorts and breathtaking landmarks, ranging from the island’s incredible coasts to its fascinating caves. There’s no shortage of breathtaking sights on this enchanting island.

Puerto Rico promises to leave a lasting impression on you, from the unique culture and traditions to the must-see attractions and delectable cuisine.

Here is some information about things Puerto Rico is known for to help you enjoy your visit to this one-of-a-kind destination.

History, Culture, And Traditions Puerto Rico Is Famous For

Fiesta De Los Reyes Magos

The Feast of the Three Kings in Puerto Rico is known as Epiphany. Puerto Rico is famous for this tradition that is an integral part of the holiday season, alongside Christmas and New Year’s.

According to Catholic tradition, the Three Wise Men, or “Los Tres Reyes Magos” in Spanish, presented baby Jesus with gifts when they visited him in the manger.

In Puerto Rico, town festivals include parades in which locals and actors dress up as the Three Wise Men and distribute gifts to children during the festivities.

If you’re visiting Puerto Rico this season, you can witness the colorful and lively celebrations and learn more about this fascinating tradition. It’s an excellent way for you to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Puerto Rican people, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the island’s religious and cultural heritage.

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián

The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián is Puerto Rico’s most significant and renowned festival. It is considered the unofficial culmination of the world’s lengthiest Christmas holiday season, La Navidad.

Typically, the festival dominates the streets of Old San Juan for several days, commencing on Wednesday evening and concluding on Sunday afternoon during the third weekend in January.

During the day, local artists and artisans showcase their vibrant paintings, beautiful handmade jewelry, and more in the old city plazas. As the sun sets, the real party begins with a blend of art, music, and spontaneous dancing. You will undoubtedly relish the festive atmosphere.

Music And Dance

The musical tradition of Puerto Rico boasts an incredibly diverse and rich heritage. Its unique sound is attributed to ancient instruments such as the Mayohuacan, Guiro, Cuatro, and Tambours, all of which emphasize percussion and set Puerto Rican music apart from other styles.

Salsa’s popularity serves as evidence of the significant influence of this musical genre, making it a preferred choice in Puerto Rico.

Similarly, the dance forms of Puerto Rico reflect the country’s diverse cultural roots, which include Taino, Spanish, and West African communities. The visual spectacle of the dances is enhanced by the use of costumes such as flowing skirts for women and large hats and sashes for men.

The Bomba dance is a prime example of the beauty and skill involved in Puerto Rican dance forms. More than the food and delights Puerto Rico is known for, its dance and music are must-learn experiences for visitors.


Cities And Travel Destinations Puerto Rico Is Known For

San Juan

San Juan is the famous capital city of Puerto Rico, filled with vibrant energy The variety of restaurants, historical landmarks, fashion boutiques, and pubs means there is always something to see or do in San Juan.

Walking through the historic district of Old San Juan is a great way to get a taste of the city’s rich cultural heritage. Roam around the cobblestone streets and check out the colonial architecture and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Truly a magical place to explore Puerto Rico.

>Check Out Old San Juan Food Tour

Photo Credit: eddtoro35 /Depositphotos.com


Dorado is a city in Puerto Rico that you shouldn’t miss visiting. It is renowned for its natural splendor, unique geography, and breathtaking beaches.

With many dining options and dozens of restaurants serving delicious cuisine, Dorado is also a food lover’s paradise. You won’t be able to resist its all-encompassing beauty and charm.

Another factor that makes Dorado a popular tourist destination is its central location. It is surrounded by other cities such as Toa Baja, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja. That makes a good base with convenient access to explore the rest of Puerto Rico.  

Whether you’re searching for a laid-back beach getaway or a thrilling adventure, Dorado offers unforgettable experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.


Caguas is a hub of activity in Puerto Rico for good reason. With its diverse range of attractions, including a famous shopping mall, restaurants, pubs, and historical landmarks, it caters to all types of visitors.

The Botanic Garden of Caguas is an excellent relief spot if you want a relaxing break from the city’s lively atmosphere. Its serene and verdant surroundings offer a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle. 

If you are ready to soak in the fun, there are numerous other exciting activities to enjoy in Caguas. That makes it an ideal destination for an all-encompassing island experience.


El Morro Fort

El Morro Fort is situated on a peninsula in Old San Juan. It’s one of the famous known landmarks in Puerto Rico. 

This historic national park offer you a glimpse of life 500 years ago. You can explore the dungeons, walkways, ramps, and tunnels, most of which were constructed centuries ago. 

Don’t forget to climb to the top of the walls and walk out to the guard towers for stunning views of the ocean and Old San Juan.

It’s just a short walk from the Old City to El Morro. The best time to visit is in the morning when the temperature is not so hot. You can also beat the crowd if you go earlier.

The fort is also beautifully illuminated at night and provides an excellent opportunity to capture stunning photos. You should visit El Morro if you are a history buff interested in Puerto Rico’s rich culture and heritage. It’s an experience that you won’t want to miss.

Landmarks And Architecture Puerto Rico Is Famous For


The El Yunque National Forest

One of the exciting facts about Puerto Rico is that it is home to the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System.

El Yunque is an impressive showcase of Puerto Rican landscapes. It is home to over 240 species of trees, hundreds of plants and flora, and plenty of wildlife.

The peak of El Yunque reaches a height of 3,500 feet above sea level. And the lush greenery spans an area of 43 square miles, including three-quarters of the island’s remaining virgin forest. 

As one of Puerto Rico’s most famous natural attractions, El Yunque National Forest is often visited as a tour from San Juan. For convenience and deeper local knowledge, you can always join a group tour from the city.


Condado Beach

Condado Beach is located just a few minutes from Old San Juan’s historical attractions. The beach is surrounded by condos and hotels, making it one of the liveliest places in the city. It is perfect for people-watching.

Although relatively small, Condado Beach has golden sand and warm ocean waters. This is one of the must-visit Puerto Rican beaches for every beach lover.

Museum Of Art Puerto Rico

The Museum of Art Puerto Rico is a cultural landmark that Puerto Rico is known for. As one of the most significant museums in the country, it boasts a vast 130,000-square-foot space filled with 24 halls displaying permanent and temporary collections. 

The museum spans two buildings, one modern and the other historical. It offers a range of artwork from the 17th century to contemporary pieces. 

The Museum of Art is superb whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking for an enriching cultural experience. Trust me; you won’t regret it.

Rio Camuy Caves

The Rio Camuy Cave Park is a true gem in the heart of Puerto Rico. This natural beauty spans a vast area of 268 acres. 

The park boasts a unique system of underground caverns formed over a million years ago. There are around 16 entrances and 11 kilometers of passages carved out by the river. It is one of the most extensive underground formations in the Western Hemisphere.

Puerto Rico is known for its significant cave networks, and the Rio Camuy Cave Park is one of the most impressive. 

There are also various amenities that will enhance your experience, including picnic areas, walking trails, food facilities, an exhibition hall, and a souvenir shop. 

Explore its expansive outdoors and indulge in the breathtaking scenery and natural wonders of Puerto Rico.

Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay

Mosquito Bay is often regarded as the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. Although it’s challenging to capture the true magic of the Bay on camera, the memory of the experience will undoubtedly stay with you forever. 

Kayaking Puerto Rico’s bio bays is one of the popular things to do in the country. However you choose to admire the glowing waters, this rare natural phenomenon is a highlight of Puerto Rico’s geographical landscape.

Don’t miss your chance to witness this awe-inspiring work of nature during your adventure. Many claim that no trip to Puerto Rico is complete without experiencing the intriguing sight of the island’s three bioluminescent bays.
>Check Kayak Tours To Bioluminescent Bays

Food Puerto Rico Is Known For


The Piña Colada

Puerto Rico is known for Piña Colada, which is its national drink. The cocktail is world-famous for its delightful blend of coconut cream, pineapple juice, white rum, and ice. 

Despite originating in San Juan, the identity of the drink’s creator is still a subject of debate on the island. It can be served either blended or shaken with ice, and is usually garnished with a slice of pineapple, a maraschino cherry, or both.

To experience the essence of Puerto Rico, you must try the Piña Colada. It is a big part of local culture. This refreshing cocktail represents the island’s tropical and carefree spirit.

The delicious drink is perfect for a hot day on the beautiful Puerto Rico beaches or while admiring the sunset. With its sweet, fruity flavor, you can even enjoy it as dessert in Puerto Rico.


Arroz Con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules is a famous Puerto Rican food that showcases Caribbean flavors. However, it has its distinctive taste thanks to the use of sofrito sauce. 

The dish combines pork, red peppers, and olives with sofrito sauce, fresh peas, herbs, and seasonings to create a filling side dish that can be served as a satisfying entrée. 

This Puerto Rican classic often comes with white rice to pair, and seasoned with olive oil and salt. You can easily find it in local restaurants on the island. Be sure to try it for an authentic taste of Puerto Rican cuisine.



Mofongo is a famous Puerto Rican food made by mashing deep-fried green plantain pieces with garlic, butter, or oil. 

Some recipes also use a salty broth to soften the plantains during mashing. You can serve it as an entree or a side dish and stuff it with stewed chicken, crab meat, octopus, seafood, or vegetables.

Famous People From Puerto Rico

Photo Credit: arp /Depositphotos.com

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Rafael Phoenix is a famous Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, producer, and social activist. 

He began his entertainment career as a child actor. Pheonix rose to prominence for his role as Commodus in the 2000 film Gladiator, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. 

He received further recognition for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and was nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. 

Phoenix has also directed music videos, produced films and television shows. He even received a Grammy Award for his work on the Walk the Line soundtrack.

Subsequently, he was nominated for his third Academy Award for his outstanding performance in the 2012 film The Master.

Miguel Cotto

Miguel Cotto Vázquez is a professional boxer who competed in the lightweight and light welterweight divisions at various international amateur events and won a silver medal.

Cotto won the WBO junior welterweight championship in 2004. He was promoted to the welterweight and won the WBO welterweight championship. 

Gigi Fernández

Beatriz Gigi Fernández is one of the famous Puerto Ricans known globally for her tennis skills. Making history as Puerto Rico’s first professional female athlete to attain an Olympic gold medal, she became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Fernández also raked in 17 Grand Slam doubles titles and two Olympic golds playing for the United States. She was once ranked first in the world in women’s doubles.

Discovering More Things Puerto Rico Is Known For

Puerto Rico truly is a fascinating and charming destination whether you are seeking relaxation or adventure. There are endless opportunities for enjoyment, from its rich history and vibrant culture to its breathtaking beaches and diverse landscapes, including rolling deserts.

With so much to see and experience, there is always more to discover. Take your time, explore, and discover all the fantastic things that Puerto Rico is known for.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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