Puerto Rico ⎮ Puerto Rico South Coast Things to Do

Puerto Rico South Coast Things To do and Places to Visit

Go Sailing on the South Coast

To make your vacation planning easier, we present the best places to visit and activities by region.  This guide introduces you to the most interesting attractions and activities in the southern towns and great day trips nearby.   You can explore most of the activities and places of interest on your own; some tours are available to enhance your experience.

We hope you enjoy your online tour.  Feel free to contact us with any questions or if you need itinerary help for your specific needs.

Have an Unforgettable Day La Parguera Nature Reserve – Cays, Great Food & Magical Swim on the Bioluminescent Bay

Lajas, Puerto Rico

La Parguera - Lajas, Puerto Rico - Best places to visit on the west coast for bioluminescence

The great fond memories we hold of La Parguera growing up, we can re-live today. This seaside fishing village has managed to retain the casual, low-key ambiance with the warmth and charm that makes the west coast of the island the best destination for travelers that wish to experience the island life.  La Parguera is in the town of Lajas and attracts sea lovers, scuba divers, sailors, eco-travelers, and foodies.

During the day, you enjoy the water under the sun.  At the end of the afternoon, head back to the village to eat dinner at local prices.  After eating, head back to the water and jump into the water to swim in the bioluminescent water. 

The Bioluminescent bay in La Parguera is the only one where you are allowed to swim.

Walk the Historic District of Ponce

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Places to Visit in the South Region of Puerto Rico - Ponce

Ponce is the most visited town in the south region with a number of interesting places to visit.  Visitors will enjoy walking around the main square to admire the architecture, visit museums, and historic sites.  During weekends visitors may find cultural events celebrated at the Plaza de Las Delicias.   The best place to start is by taking a stroll around the plaza of Ponce.  Ponce did suffer damage from the earthquakes in 2020, and since then many buildings are being restored.

Go Beach Hopping to Guanica and Cabo Rojo

Puerto Rico's South Coast Best Beaches Guide

Of course you want beaches while on vacation, staying in the south coast of the island, gives you easy access to the beaches of Cabo Rojo and Guanica and the uninhabited island of Caja de Muertos.  In Cabo Rojo you’ll find the best and most calm beaches for swimming all year round.   Guanica is unique destination attracting eco-travelers, with a unique climate on the island, it rarely rains and you’ll enjoy them without crowds.   Some of the beaches are inside The Guánica State Forest, with a subtropical landscape not found anywhere else on the island.  The Guanica coastline is perfect for long walks, relaxation, hiking, and watching the surf and there are a few offering calm clear and turquoise water for swimming and snorkeling.  See the full guide to best beaches in the south coast of Puerto Rico to plan your coastline adventure. 

Go Sailing to Explore the Cays of Bahia de Jobos Nature Reserve

Guayama, Puerto Rico

Bahia de Jobos Nature Reserve - Guayama - Places to Visit in the Southern Region

In the southeast coastal towns of Salinas & Guayama, visitors can sail to explore Bahia de Jobos (Jobos Bay)Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve consists of mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, mudflats, and evergreen littoral forests.  Bahia de Jobos is a rich natural educational resource for students and researchers on the island.  Locals love exploring the cays and snorkeling the coral reefs by kayak or boat.  Visitors can book a sailing trip to explore the cays.

Bahia de Jobos Sailing Experiences

Go Swimming & Snorkeling at Gilligan’s Island / Cayo Aurora

Guanica, Puerto Rico

Gilligan's Island / Cayo Aurora - Best places to visit in Guanica, Puerto Rico

Book a Private Tour to Gilligan’s Island

Back in the early 2000’s barely anyone knew about this gorgeous place, not even residents of Puerto Rico… we’ve always loved exploring the island, and when we experienced it, we shared it with the world… today it is one of the most beloved places in Puerto Rico.

Cayo Aurora (Gilligan’s Island) a tiny little paradise absolutely adored by families with small children and honeymooners wishing for a dreamy quiet spot in the winter months.  Although this is not the same island featured on the famous “Gilligan’s Island” show, it’s so pretty, it should be featured in a paradise-themed movie.

The formal name of this cay is Cayo Aurora, the waters are among the clearest on the west coast of Puerto Rico.  Giligan’s Island is a giant pool with shallow waters lined by mangrove trees, a perfect environment for schools of fish to flourish and play.

Small children can see the fish around their feet or simply put their heads down in the water… parents will rejoice at the children’s reactions.  Get here early in the morning for the best conditions, bugs tend to come in the early afternoon, so bring bug spray if you plan on being here in the afternoon.  After enjoying Gilligan’s, stop by Copamarina Resort for a nice lunch or dinner, some drinks and sunset.

Escape to Caja de Muertos Island

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Islands - Caja de Muertos

Caja de Muertos Island, is an inhabited island off the coast of the city of Ponce.  Caja de Muertos offers visitors Playa Pelicano, one of the prettiest beaches in Puerto Rico, an interpretive hiking trail that leads to lighthouse ruins with spectacular views of the island.  There are no facilities on the island, but the experience and beauty is the reason why it is kept pristine and undeveloped.

Getting to Caja de Muertos:  Visit WaterLandAdventure.com

Museo de Arte de Ponce

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Flaming June - Museo de Arte de Ponce - Art Museums in Puerto Rico

Flaming June by Frederic Leighton. Flaming June – Wikipedia

Museo de Arte de Ponce is the most prestigious art museum in Puerto Rico, and one of the most well-known across the Caribbean.  “The Ponce Museum of Art is recognized worldwide as an important center of European art in America and continues to offer its visitors a rich panorama of Western art, from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Two strong points within the European collection are Baroque art and Victorian painting.”

Visit Los Morrillos Lighthouse – The Most Scenic Spot on the Island

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Los Morrillos Lighthouse - Beautiful places to visit in Puerto Rico

Head west to the town of Cabo Rojo, about an hour and 20 minute drive from Ponce towards the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, a day trip filled with adventures to the most scenic corner of the island.

Visitors will enjoy touring the Los Morrillos Lighthouse, from the cliffs enjoy sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea, migratory and endemic birds flying over the Salt Flats, the stunning beach cove of La Playuela, and views of the lush green mountains extending out to the town of Lajas.  A short hike down from the lighthouse will take you to Puente de Piedra (Natural Bridge), one of the most photographed scenic spots.

 Take a Hike at Guánica State Forest & Biosphere Reserve

Guanica, Puerto Rico

Bosque Estatal de Guanica (State Forest) - Places to Visit in Guanica Puerto Rico - West Region

The crown jewel of Guanica is The Guánica State Forest & Biosphere Reserve, often referred to as the best example of a dry forest in the world.  In 1981, the forest was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  At the Guanica State Forest, you can spend days hiking the numerous trails leading to scenic spots, caves, and secluded beaches.  The Guanica State Forest has the largest population of birds on the island.  It is very important to know that you u must hydrate well the night before hiking and bring a lot of water and healthy snacks for your hike as it gets very hot.

The best time to visit is during the winter months when the weather is cooler.  Bring bug spray as well to repel mosquitos, especially on the interior hiking trails of the forest.

Visit the Coffee Plantation of Hacienda de Café Pomarosa

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Hacienda Pomarosa - Ponce -  Coffee Plantations to Visit in Puerto Rico - Tours

Temporarily Closed – If you’re a coffee-lover, make a call to make a reservation and head up to the mountains for a tour of a charming Hacienda with passionate coffee growers.  Learn about the island’s coffee history, coffee production on their plantation, and a wonderful coffee tasting at the end.  Their coffee is delicious and best of all you will be able to grab a bag of fresh coffee to take home.

+ Read more

Tours are from Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm.  Be sure to call and make a reservation in advance to secure a spot.

  • Tel: 787-844-3541
  • Cost of Tour: $20 per p/p /  Children (10 and under) – $10. (Prices subject to change)

Tour Museo Castillo Serrales & Enjoy Rum Tasting

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Museo Castillo Serrales - Places and Things to Do in Ponce Puerto Rico

Castillo Serralles, a 4 story mansion built in early 1930, was designed with an elegant Spanish revival style.  The mansion was built by Juan Serrales, son of Juan Serralles, founder of Destileria Serralles (Serralles Distillery), which was the family’s headquarters for 70 years.   Today the mansion belongs to the Municipality of Ponce, and houses a museum where you can learn about the sugar industry in Puerto Rico and the making of rum.  You’ll also get a guided tour of the elegant mansion.  You can walk around the gardens on your own.  As you drive around town you can see Castillo Serralles sitting at the top of the hill next to La Cruceta overlooking the center city of Ponce.

Eat Pork, Shop & Dance at Guavate – “The Pork Highway of Puerto Rico”

Cayey, Puerto Rico

Eat Pork at Guavate - Puerto Rico Best Food Cultural Experiences

Puerto Ricans love pork, it is served in just about every major festivity, especially Christmas.  Up in the cool breezy mountainside town of Cayey, you’ll find a spot called Guavate, a famous place for delicious pig roasts.  You’ll be driving past many restaurants competing for the title of best pork on the island.  The best time to go is on the weekends, where you’ll find a lively crowd, live music, and dancing in some establishments. 

A good indicator of the best places to eat pork is the crowds.  You can get there by renting a car or booking a tour with a knowledgeable guide, tours include more interesting places in the itinerary.

Driving Distance from Ponce:  1.5 hour

Visit the Most Colorful Hillside of Puerto Rico

Yauco, Puerto Rico

Yauco - The most colorful town in Puerto Rico

Head to the town of Yauco, just 30 minutes from Ponce, a hillside turned into art by local and guest artists from other countries.  Plan to spend an hour walking around to see murals and colorful houses; you’ll have tons of colorful vacation photos to share.  During weekends, the hillside is more lively with music and artisans welcoming visitors from across the island.

Driving Distance from Ponce: 30 minutes

Centro Ceremonial Indígena Tibes

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Centro Ceremonial Indigena Tibes - Ponce - Places to Visit in Puerto Rico

Centro Ceremonial Indígena Tibes is the oldest Antillian Indigenous ceremonial complex.  The flooding of Hurricane Eloisa in 1975, uncovered a great archeological treasure in Ponce of great significance to the Antilles.  If you are traveling with children, it is educational and fun.  As you walk around you can have the kids look for petroglyphs on the rocks.  This is a great place to visit in conjunction with Museo de Arte de Ponce.

Top Rated Taino Ancestral Cultural Tours

Watch the Sunset in Puerto Rico

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Sunsets - Watch the Sunset in Puerto Rico

For sunset lovers, Puerto Rico will satisfy your soul’s desire to end the day watching the sun go down on the Caribbean Sea.  We are happy to share the best places to watch the sunset in Puerto Rico sure to wow you.  Best places to watch a gorgeous sunset?  From the south region, the town of Cabo Rojo ranks among the top three places to watch the sunset on the island.  The very best spot is Balneario de Boqueron.  Other great spots are the beaches of Combate and Buye.

Hacienda Buena Vista

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Hacienda Buena Vista - Best places to visit in Ponce and Southern Region of Puerto Rico

Head up to the mountainside of Ponce and visit Hacienda Buena Vista, there you can enjoy a guided tour of what used to be one of the most important coffee plantations in Puerto Rico.  Hacienda Buena Vista was built in the mid-19th century.   Visitors can learn about the methods of coffee production back in the 1800s.  The plantation was purchased from the Vives family in 1984 by The Conservation Trust of Puerto RicoHacienda Buena Vista is listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesVisit ParalaNaturaleza for more information.

Top Rated Tours - Puerto Rico South Region

Puerto Rico ⎮ Puerto Rico South Coast Things to Do