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The Perfect Puerto Rico 4 Day Itinerary

Here’s an incredible Puerto Rico 4 day itinerary to help you plan your trip!

palm trees and ocean during four days in puerto rico

There’s so much to see and do on the island of Puerto Rico that it’s hard to know where to start. 

Even if you only have 4 days in Puerto Rico you can see a lot if you have a solid plan. 

I strongly suggest sticking with attractions in the northeast corner of the island if you only have four days. 

Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on your trip!

Puerto Rico 4 Day Itinerary Day One: Old San Juan

el morro fort in san juan puerto rico

You will likely fly into and out of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) which is located on the outskirts of the capital city, San Juan. 

Your arrival or departure day is perfect for exploring the part of the city known as “Old San Juan” which is about 15 minutes from the airport. 

colorful buildings in old san juan puerto rico

In Old San Juan you’ll find historical forts, gorgeous architecture, museums, delicious food, and shopping.

It’s definitely not to be missed in any four day itinerary for Puerto Rico!

Here are some highlights:

el morro fort san juan

Castillo San Felipe del Morro ( known locally as “El Morro”) is a 500-year-old Spanish fort located in the northwest corner of Old San Juan. 

It essentially served as the gateway to the Caribbean for centuries and was critical to Spain’s rule of the area. 

walls of el morro fort

Now it’s an incredible historic site run by the US National Park Service.

You can explore all six levels of the fort, including the original section which is almost 500 years old. 

girl on cannon at el morro

While the fort makes for fun photo ops, it also has exhibits that will walk you through the extremely sad history of Spanish colonization of the area, including the enslavement and attempted genocide of the native Taino people.

It is tough to learn about but also critical to understanding life in Puerto Rico today, so I highly recommend spending some time in the exhibits on the fifth floor. 

El Morro is always one of the highlights of a day in Old San Juan. 

colorful buildings in old san juan on four day puerto rico itinerary

I love wandering Old San Juan’s streets to see all the beautiful buildings.

While I am wandering I definitely work up an appetite!

We’ve snacked our way through the city on several occasions, and here are our favorite stops. 

girl in front of chocolate at chocobar cortes

Chocobar Cortes is both a place to grab some fancy treats from the ruling family of chocolate in Puerto Rico and a spot for a nice meal. 

We ate at the restaurant inside Chocobar Cortes on our latest visit and it was excellent! They serve brunch all day and almost everything on the menu has some element of chocolate in it (don’t worry, it’s usually subtle). 

inside of san juan frappes restaurant

San Juan Frappes is another frequent stop for us. 

A frozen fruit drink is perfect for enjoying as you stroll around the city. 

cookies and cream paleta

Paletas are another delicious frozen treat to keep you cool while you cruise around. 

We like Senor Paleta and have enjoyed paletas from there on a few occasions. 

There are numerous sit-down restaurants in Old San Juan as well, of course. You really can’t go wrong with any Puerto Rican cuisine.

I definitely suggest trying Mofongo, a dish made with mashed fried plantains – it’s delicious!

cats of old san juan

If you visit the west side of Old San Juan near the forts, you’ll likely see some of the cats who roam there. 

We love to visit them and donate to Save a Gato, an organization that feeds them and helps get them fixed. 

For even more ideas for things to do in Old San Juan, check out this post. 

Where to Park in Old San Juan

flag in old san juan puerto rico four day itinerary

It’s easy to get to Old San Juan by Uber or rental car – there are several parking garages found right in Old San Juan. 

Here are the two I have used before with success: 

  • Ballaja Parking Garage – FV9J+485, Calle Morovis, San Juan

  • Cochera Parking Gargage – 205 C. de San Francisco, San Juan

Check out this post for more things to do in one day in San Juan!

4 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary Day Two: El Yunque

people standing under waterfalls in el yunque rain forest

One day of your 4 day Puerto Rico itinerary should absolutely be devoted to El Yunque, the rainforest located about 30 minutes from the San Juan airport. 

El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest Service. 

It has hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming, exotic plants & animals, outdoor adventure, and more. 

Here are some highlights but click here for my detailed post on the best things to do in El Yunque to plan your visit!

hiking trail in el yunque national forest

There are hiking trails for all levels in El Yunque. 

My favorite is the 1.6-mile hike to the top of Mt Britton. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the whole northeast corner of the island from the top of Mt Britton Tower.

rainbow over rio mameyes el yunque puerto rico

I also love the short Angelito trail to Rio Mameyes. You can swim in this scenic river so bring your swimsuit. 

girl in front of juan diego falls el yunque

You’ll also find a bunch of gorgeous waterfalls in El Yunque, including some you can wade into for a cool shower. 

el portal visitor center el yunque

El Yunque has a new visitor’s center called El Portal that has a nice restaurant and educational exhibits. 

There is an entrance fee but I think it’s worth it. 

mom and daughter on horseback in el yunque rainforest

And last, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure in El Yunque, including horseback riding and ziplining through the jungle. 

You will need a reservation to visit parts of the rainforest, so be sure to get the details on planning a day in El Yunque in my full post here

Day Three: Culebra & Flamenco Beach

wooden bridge leading to sandy beach with ocean and green mountains in background

The most famous beach in Puerto Rico is located on a smaller island called Culebra off the main island’s east coast. 

It’s called Flamenco Beach and it’s often honored as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. 

Here’s an overview but be sure to click here for my detailed post on how to get to Flamenco Beach.

girl walking on beach in surf flamenco beach

Though Culebra is challenging to get to, you’ll be rewarded with a pristine beach, crystal-clear water, snorkeling, and excellent amenities. 

Flamenco Beach is hands-down the nicest beach I’ve been to in my life! I feel like I’m spoiled forever for beaches. 

kiosks at flamenco beach culebra

There are kiosks next to the parking lot where you can get food, drinks, and equipment. 

There are also outdoor showers and bathrooms. 

blue skies and clouds, woman standing in blue green ocean water

We brought our own snorkeling gear and were able to see lots of fish by swimming out only a short way. 

puerti rico fast ferry at dock

Visiting Culebra involves securing ferry tickets which are in high demand, so be sure to get the details on how to get to Flamenco Beach here. 

You won’t be disappointed by dedicating a day to Culebra on your 4 day Puerto Rico itinerary. 

Day Four: Beaches, Snorkeling or Bio Bay Kayaking

kayaking through mangrove forest

The perfect activity for your last day in Puerto Rico actually takes place in the evening – kayaking to one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays, Laguna Grande. 

The “bio bay” is home to rare phytoplankton that give off their own light when stimulated by movement. 

There are only five bio bays in the world, and three are found in Puerto Rico!

kayaks on laguna grande

2-hour kayaking trips leave every night from Fajardo, located about 45 minutes from San Juan. 

You’ll kayak through a mangrove forest on your way to the bio bay. 

I booked our kayak tour with Pure Adventures through Viator and was really happy with it. The guides were funny and professional. 

We were able to see the “bling bling” on both trips we have taken. It’s such a cool unique experience and not to be missed on your visit to Puerto Rico. 

luquillo beach with palm trees 4 days in puerto rico

Since the kayaking trip takes place at night, you’ll have the day to relax and enjoy more beach or resort time. 

My picks for the best public beaches in northeast Puerto Rico are Luquillo Beach and Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo. 

kayaks on seven seas beach fajardo puerto rico 4 day itinerary

Both have ample parking and food and drink available close to the beach. 

Or if you are looking for more snorkeling, I recommend visiting Escambron Marine Park located right outside of San Juan. 

sign for emcambron marine park

You just have to pay $5 for parking at Escambron Beach then you can access the marine park on the far right side of the beach. 

snorkeling in san juan puerto rico - escambron marine park beach

You can swim from this small beach across the protected lagoon and see lots of fish – we even saw two sea turtles!

It’s the best place I’ve found for snorkeling close to San Juan. 

If you don’t have your own equipment you can rent some (or book a guided tour) from Scuba Dogs which is located right next to the marine park. 

Click here for their detailed map of Escambron Marine Park which we used to explore the lagoon on our own. 

ocean and palm tree during 4 days in puerto rico

You’ll definitely want some time to just chill out and enjoy the perfect weather in Puerto Rico at the end of your trip. 

I hope this Puerto Rico 4 day itinerary will help you get the most out of your vacation!

You can definitely have lots of amazing experiences in 4 days in Puerto Rico. 


If you have any questions just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help. 

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Tuesday 19th of March 2024

Thank you so much for your information. I was wondering if the roads are as challenging as they are in the USVI? Are the roads steep and narrow with hairpin turns? Also do you have suggestions on lodging if you want to be near the ferry in Ceiba? We would like to do trips to both Vieques and Culebra . Thank you for help in this matter .Regards. Cindy

Leah Crocker Althiser

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

Hi Cindy! I haven't been to USVI. The roads aren't steep and narrow in PR, though sometimes they aren't marked as clearly as you'd like. I find that familiarizing myself with the route ahead of time helps me vaigate with my gut when needed lol. But overall I find it fairly easy to drive in PR - I felt that way after my first visit and now my fourth. As for lodging for the ferry, I stayed in a condo complex in Ceiba recently and it was les than 15 minutes to the ferry. Anything in Fajardo will be close as well. While I can't recommend the particular place I stayed (nightmare check-in) I think there are many good properties on Airbnb and VRBO in those towns. There are good grocery stores and food nearby. Have fun!


Monday 19th of February 2024

Hello! thank you so much for your insightful details on your trip to PR. Questions, did you stay in San Juan, rent a car, and drive around to these places?? The last time I went i rented a car and used google maps and apple Maps and was getting lost, the exits were not named what the GPS was telling me so am curious to how you got around or had any problems?? I am planning to go back and want to visit Culebra but am scared of the drive because it was not as easy as I thought.


Tuesday 20th of February 2024

Hi April! I have stayed all over the north east part of the island including San Juan. I've used Google Maps to navigate all over the island and have actually never had an issue or gotten lost! I don't know how many years it has been since you visited but GPS maps coverage seems to be very good now. It's also a pretty straight shot from San Juan to Cieba (where the ferry terminal is located) so it's an easy drive to catch the ferry to Culebra.

Dipika Kothari

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

A quick question - are non PR residents allowed to take the rental vehicle to the Culebra Island from San Juan, PR? Please advise.


Thursday 7th of September 2023

Rental cars are not allowed on the ferry.

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