Puerto Rico is such an amazing place. The natural beauty of it blew me away—not to mention how much there was to see and do on the island. It’s definitely easy to get some great Puerto Rico vacation pics! In fact, the problem will be making sure you have enough storage space for all the photos you’ll be taking! Although I was only traveling to Puerto Rico for three days, I packed in as much as I could from sunrise to sunset. I am happy to share my favorite 14 Instagrammable spots around Puerto Rico. These are the most beautiful places in Puerto and the best views in Puerto Rico…and there are more! Read on for my list of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico.
Most Instagrammable Spots Around Puerto Rico
Paseo de Sombrillas
Old San Juan is one of the most instagrammable spots on the island! You can find colourful buildings and this art installation of floating umbrellas on Fortaleza Street. It is the perfect place for a pic for the ‘gram. If you’re ever traveling to Puerto Rico, don’t miss a visit to this site.
The Paseo de Sombrillas was actually installed by the Umbrella Sky Project as an inspirational form of art after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. When you visit this iconic street, you’ll see a plaque that reads…
“Just as umbrellas move fluidly with the wind, Puerto Rico is a place that flows and majestically embraces every challenge it faces.” The island’s artistic response to the natural disaster is mean to give hope to anyone in need of it! It definitely makes for a great photo opp as well, and is one of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico.
La Perla is just outside the city walls of Old San Juan and is a community that is full of history….and also so much colour! It is located right in between the forts of San Cristobal and El Morro, two of the most significant historic landmarks in Puerto Rico.
There is so much history and culture on this island! Back in the 19th century, being outside the San Juan city walls was not desirable. There was a slaughterhouse and slaves, the homeless, and non-white servants were required to live here.
However, this bright and colourful barrio was already initiating big changes in the years prior to the filming of the popular music video, Despacito. They had started painting their structures those vibrant colours they’re now so famous for. Plus, they had begun painting murals around the squares and throughout the neighbourhood.
The location was already in their favour—after all, it has a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaders of its community only hope these changes can continue bringing further tourists traveling to Puerto Rico and into La Perla. This could help contribute to more growth and business development into the area.
You can see more shots of La Perla in the music video Despacito by Luis Fonsi which is apparently the most viewed YouTube video of all time.
You can see more of La Perla in the music video Despacito by Luis Fonsi which is apparently the most viewed YouTube video of all time.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Castillo San Felipe del Morro is one of the most popular and significant landmarks in Puerto Rico. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. El Morro is right by the water and this fort was built to protect the city from an invasion. If you have time during your visit, I highly recommend that you stop by. It’s certainly one of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico.
A special thanks to Harold for taking me to all these Instagrammable spots in Puerto Rico. If you need a photographer…definitely contact him!
A little more about the history at Castillo San Felipe del Morro…
One of the reasons this site became so historically important is because it essentially became the gateway to the Spanish Empire. It also took over 200 years to complete—talk about long construction projects! But all that work and time was worth it once it was finally finished in 1790. It gained a powerful reputation of being unconquerable. The location was chosen strategically, since it was located at the entrance to one of the best Caribbean Sea harbours.
Hotel El Convento
Hotel El Convento was built in 1646 as a convent. This is one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico, and is a part of the San Juan Cathedral Square. The building housed nuns for 252 years until closing in 1903. It then served as a store, a dance hall and a flophouse before opening as a luxury hotel in 1962.
What Makes Hotel El Convento so Special?
Fun fact—did you know this cathedral is actually the second largest in the western hemisphere? Its lively yellow colour and Spanish Colonial styled architecture truly draws you in and makes you want to stay awhile. These characteristics also make it one of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico!
This site is also a great example of how many other things there are to do in San Juan besides just going to sit on the beach. It definitely makes for some stunning images and I loved all the history here.
Isla Verde Beach
Speaking of beaches, you won’t want to miss this one. Puerto Rico attracts surfers from all over the world, and the beach at the Courtyard Isla Verde is perfect for surfing and surf photos. The beach here is called Isla Verde and it is a must visit during your travels! If you’re looking to level up with your Puerto Rico vacation pics, this is the spot to do it. When traveling to Puerto Rico, definitely make a stop off here.
At this beach, there is plenty of shade from the palm trees, plus convenient parking, showers, and lots of options for eating and drinking while you’re there. Get out there early and get your perfect spot—you might even end up wanting to spend a half of a day here relaxing. You’ll enjoy some of the best views in Puerto Rico while lounging here.
What else can you do at Isla Verde Beach?
The beach also has San Juan Waterfun, which offers water sports rentals. This includes water activities such as parasailing, banana boats, and much more. It’s located right in front of El San Juan Hotel and Casino.
Check out my Puerto Rico trip vlog! You can watch on YouTube for higher quality.
Cuartel de Ballajá
The Cuartel de Ballajá was built in 1864 to house regiments in Old San Juan. From 1898 to 1936 the US infantry occupied the building and during WWII, this structure became a hospital. Since then, Puerto Rico has acquired the building from the US with the intention to use it for educational, touristic, and cultural purposes.
The architect of the building, Mario J. Buschiazzo, describes the significance of the Cuartel de Ballajá, saying that “It is one of the most important buildings of an era in which Spain defended, at great expense and energy, one [of] its last domains of the Americas.”
Today, the centre hosts events every year such as artistic festivals, opera, and concerts. There’s just so much history there, and look at those colours!! For these reasons alone, it’s got to be one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico.
Pinones is a beautiful area and it is just a few minutes east of Isla Verde. It has beaches, mangroves, restaurants and an 11-kilometre-long nature trail. In fact, nearby to the beach is the island’s largest mangrove forest! There are also lots of delicious food options from within the local Afro-Caribbean cuisine that’s available.
Compared to the other beaches on the island, such as Isla Verde Beach, this one is much wilder and has more of a natural feel. We have the fact that they’re not government-run to thank for that! This means lots of natural beauty. It isn’t an ideal spot for swimming, but the array of food available to beach-goers is plentiful. Overall, this area definitely feels like a totally different world than the busy tourist areas of Old San Juan, Isla Verde and Condado.
This hike is located between Cayey and Salinas and worth the trip if you enjoy hiking. I wish there wasn’t clouds when we went, but such is life. Here you get great 360° views of the mountains and valleys, the surrounding towns, and the Caribbean Sea.
This is what makes Cayey Viewpoint one of the most Instagrammable spots around Puerto Rico—it has some of the best views in Puerto Rico, too! You can also see the Arbol Solitario (or Lonely Tree) but we didn’t go quite that far. Next trip for sure!
If you love natural swimming pools…which I am always excited to visit when I travel, then Charco Azul is a great place to visit when you are traveling to Puerto Rico. Charco Azul (which means blue pond in English) is one of this island territory’s most famous pools, and when you see the colour, you will see where it gets its name. It has deep, blue water, plus a 10-foot waterfall!
Will you have Charco Azul all to yourself?
You might get lucky with having this lovely spot to yourself for a while, but your chances get slimmer on the weekends. This is when it inevitably gets more crowded, especially during the summertime.
Where is Charco Azul located?
The pool is located in the middle of the Carite Forest about 20 minutes from Cayey. You will love the view here – in my opinion, it was one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico.
Gozalandia Falls (or Las Cataratas) was one of my favourite places in Puerto Rico. It’s located on the west side of the island, in San Sebastian, and is more of a locals’ spot. There are two beautiful waterfalls here…one has a rope swing and the other you can do cliff jumping. 🙂 One of the falls is sixty feet tall! This spot was perfect for getting some amazing Puerto Rico vacation pics. It was also a great place to go for the day to enjoy the water and get a breather from the crowds of tourists. Add Gozolandia Falls to your list of places to visit while travelling to Puerto Rico… you won’t be disappointed!
Plan your Visit to Gozalandia Falls Accordingly
Although it can be a nice getaway from the crowds, it still might get a little crowded here when it’s the summertime. Plan to get there earlier in the day when you’re visiting during that time of year.
Is Gozalandia Falls Free?
Entrance to the waterfalls is free, but you’ll need to pay $5 for parking. You might have to go into the restaurant in the parking lot if you don’t see parking attendants monitoring the lot outside.
Borinquen Beach in Aguadilla is one of the most stunning beaches I have ever been to. It is an expansive beach with just amazing views and one to add to your list if you are travelling to Puerto Rico. I recommended heading here for sunset. It’s also recommended to walk all the way to the east end of this beach before you head back to the car park at the west end. Why? Well, to fully enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico, that’s why!
What Else can you Do at Borinquen Beach?
You may find shells and sea glass to peruse along the stretch of sand at Borinquen Beach while travelling to Puerto Rico. It’s also a great spot to have a little picnic on the beach—stop by a bakery along the way so you can grab a snack! Between this beach’s deep blue ocean water and the golden sand, you’ll be tempted to spend all your time adding to your Puerto Rico vacation pics. However, make sure to also take a few breaths to just enjoy it in the moment.
If you’re planning on traveling to Puerto Rico, don’t miss this hike! Cerro Mime, which is located in Orocovis County, is a great hike for those that enjoy seeing views from above—maybe even some of the best views in Puerto Rico. It’s an easy hike that only takes 20 minutes, and at the top you can see lush, green mountains…which was a very unexpected view. Who knew Puerto Rico had mountains!?!
Suffice it to say that there was lots of reward for little effort. All this just adds up to this hike being, deservedly, one of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico.
Cascada Las Delicias
Cascada Las Delicias is a picture-perfect tropical waterfall and I am so glad that we made it here! This waterfall is located in the town of Ciales, which is in the centre of the island. You have to drive some winding roads to get there, but it’s so worth it. Once you’ve navigated those roads and reached the higher-up town of Jayuya, this tropical oasis is a short walk (just off the road) and within Tres Picachos State Forest. The water there is so refreshing!
La Concha Resort
La Concha Resort has multiple infinity pools but I think this one was my favourite with the wind-sculpted palm trees hugging the ocean! Having that element of symmetry always adds a nice touch to your travel photos. I got some of what I’d consider the best views in Puerto Rico from this spot. Resorts can be a great place to get some beautiful Puerto Rico vacation pics for Instagram.
Let me know if you have any other Instagrammable spots around Puerto Rico that I should add to the list. These are some of the best places to take pictures in Puerto Rico that I visited. Travelling to Puerto Rico was a great experience and I can’t wait to get back to see more. I hope this gave you inspiration for the best views in Puerto Rico and the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.