FMTC Affiliate Disclosure: Blond Wayfarer contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This disclosure pertains to all affiliate links.
Are you searching for a convivial and chilled out Caribbean city for your next solo trip? Well, you’ve definitely come to the right post!
Without a doubt, San Juan is such a fun city to explore if you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico or even a longer Caribbean “island hopping” adventure. Obviously, I’m not going to pretend that San Juan is the only destination to see in Puerto Rico, but I absolutely adored it. Adored.
Of course, we all know that Puerto Rico’s beaches and jungles and smaller cities are equally impressive and beautiful. However, San Juan really stole my heart. The colors of Old San Juan alone made my inner photographer sing.
Furthermore, even as a woman traveling on her own, I had the best time, especially popping into the shops and restaurants in Old San Juan, and as a result, I would recommend San Juan even to new solo travelers.
As for me, I definitely want to go on another trip here in the near future.
Additionally, San Juan is a well-known starting port for many Caribbean cruises, as well as the location of Puerto Rico’s biggest airport.
However, as a city lover, I personally think San Juan is worth a solo vacation in its own right. You’ll find plenty to see and do, and will eat and drink extremely well. I actually think San Juan would be perfect for a “self-care” vacation to unwind and indulge. You deserve it.
Furthermore, I think San Juan is perfect for a variety of solo travelers. Tourism is a major industry here, so activities are available for almost every interest.
For example, if you’re young and looking to experience nightlife, San Juan has plenty of options for you. Outdoorsy folk will love San Juan’s proximity to gorgeous nature, such as El Yunque National Rainforest.
And foodies? Pack your stretchy clothes, because you will eat remarkably well. Mofongo? Deep-fried plantains? Lechón asado? The list goes on and on.
And, obviously, San Juan is a perfect city to sit at the pool with a good book.
Unsurprisingly, San Juan has strong tourism infrastructure that make the city very accessible for solo travel. I mean, you couldn’t go on all the available tours in or around San Juan in a single lifetime.
So, whether your have only 24 hours in San Juan or an entire week, you will find a ton of great things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico.
10 GreatThings to Do Alone in San Juan Puerto Rico
Okay, let’s be honest here, there are way more than ten great things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico, but I still hope that this guide gives you some ideas for your solo vacation to this beautiful Caribbean city.
Let’s plan an adventure!
Check Out the Entertainment at DistrictoT-Mobile
Looking for some great entertainment to spice up your solo trip to San Juan? Then check out San Juan’s Districto T-Mobile!
You won’t run out of eating and shopping opportunities, because this neighborhood’s mission is to keep you entertained and starry-eyed and happy. You can even go ziplining at Toro Verde Urban Park or attend a concert at the bustling Coca-Cola Music Hall.
Districto T-Mobile is in close proximity to many of San Juan’s largest hotels, so you’ll have no issues taking a rideshare here.
Drink Cocktails at La Factoria
San Juan is known for fantastic cocktail bars. As a solo traveler, it’s easy to pull up a chair at the bar and people watch at La Factoria.
La Factoria has been among The World’s 50 Best Bars for 5 years in a row. It even won a James Beard Award in 2018. You definitely don’t want to miss the fun, rustic vibe here, as you sip a beautifully crafted cocktail.
Don’t worry about visiting this bar alone. Despite it’s fame, La Factoria is pretty laid back and relaxed.
As a side note, if you’re wondering whether or not San Juan is safe to travel alone, I absolutely felt safe exploring popular bars like La Factoria at night. Just pace how much you drink and take a rideshare back to your hotel. As always, only accept drinks from the bartender and if you lose track of your drink, dump it and order a new one. Better safe than sorry.
Explore Old San Juan
Old San Juan is one of the most popular neighborhoods for tourists. Sure, while it’s expensive and bit more crowded than other areas, San Juan is beautiful for getting lost and wandering on your own.
Safety isn’t really a concern in Old San Juan (I had zero issues), but as always, use common sense and keep a close eye on your belongings, especially phones and cameras. Which you would do in any other city in the world.
Although beautiful for pictures, Old San Juan also has a rich history that’s important to learn about and understand. So I also recommend booking an Old San Juan walking tour with a local author for even richer insights. You can make new friends on your guided walk too!
Go on a Food Tour
Nervous about dining alone in San Juan? Argh, I totally get disliking that dreaded “table for one,” haha. Never fear, San Juan has plenty of restaurants with bar seating, so you won’t stick out like a sore thumb as a single diner.
However, if you want to connect with other people over a scrumptious meal, then book a spot on an Old San Juan food tour.
While a little pricey, food tours help you form bonds with other travelers, as well as the tour guide. You’re also able to sample a wider choice of restaurants than you would if you were just dining on your own.
No doubt a yummy food tour is among the best things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico.
Learn History at Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Castillo San Felipe del Morro (or El Morro) is another one of the best things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico.
As a World Heritage Site, El Morro is a sweeping 16th-century Spanish fortification that overlooks the aqua waters of San Juan Bay. El Morro is open seven days a week, so a visit is easy to fit into your itinerary.
The National Park Service oversees El Morro, so you’re guaranteed to learn a lot of history here. Architecture fans will feel awed by the citadel’s construction too.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the walk up to El Morro, because of all the families flying their kites! I feel like admiring the kites is an attraction in and of itself that shouldn’t be missed on your solo trip to San Juan.
Partake in Outdoor Adventure Sports
San Juan is a hub for adventure and outdoor sports. I mean, the weather is phenomenal, so why not get outside and enjoy every second?
If you have a day to spare, I highly recommend taking a tour out to El Yunque National Rainforest and completely immersing yourself into the flora and fauna of one of the Caribbean’s most amazing rainforests. Going swimming here is a truly life-changing experience!
Plenty of other options are available for solo travelers who have limited time and want to stay closer to the city. For example, a San Juan guided snorkel tour is a great way to connect with nature while staying in the city perimeters.
San Juan’s outdoor activities are welcoming to solo travelers, especially when you book with a qualified guide. So pack your water shoes and sunscreen, and have a blast!
Sample Rum at Casa BACARDÍ
San Juan is well-known for rum, particularly Bacardi. Trust me, you haven’t truly had Bacardi unless you taste it here in San Juan.
Casa BACARDI offers a wonderful and educational rum tasting tour on the property that is well worth your time and money. You will taste a wide range of rum styles. Some of these rums are only sold in Puerto Rico, so you’re definitely in for a real treat here. You will also enjoy a welcome drink and learn all about how rum is made on the distillery portion of the tour.
Personally, I think touring Casa BACARDI is one of the best things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico, because tasting rum is a communal experience. I loved it!
Sip Pina Coladas Where They Were Invented
Sorry, but it’s time to talk about even more cocktails. I can’t write a San Juan post and not mention Pina Coladas. That would just be absurd. San Juan is the literal birthplace of the Pina Colada.
Two places are highlighted in most San Juan guides. The first is Caribe Hilton Hotel, which is supposedly the birthplace of the frozen Pina Colada, and boy oh boy, is it worth it to sit at the bar as a solo traveler and enjoy this frozen coconut cream cocktail of deliciousness.
The second place is Barrachina, located in Old San Juan, and is well-known for its Pina Coladas on the rocks. However, I have to disclose that it was REALLY hard to get into Barrachina, so I honestly don’t know how friendly it is toward solo travelers. You may be better off just sticking with Caribe Hilton Hotel.
As a final note, for non-drinkers, definitely try a virgin Pina Colada. I think it would be a delicious dessert, and you’re on vacation to spoil yourself silly, after all.
Swim and Relax at the Pool
Okay, normally I am running all over the place on my trips, because I literally want to see everything. However, in San Juan, you will also want to take time to unwind and relax, which means (for me) going to the pool!
Unsurprisingly, I definitely recommend splurging for a hotel that has a pool available for visitors. I absolutely loved the expansive and beautiful pool at Caribe Hilton.
As for me, floating on the water and staring at the palm trees was one of the best things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico.
Venture Through Luxurious Condado
Swanky Condado is a wonderful neighborhood in San Juan that solo travelers will love exploring. This elegant area is set along the waterfront and has an abundance of outdoor activities, such as paddle boarding and yoga, available during the day.
San Juan isn’t really known for its beaches in comparison to the rest of the island. However, you can definitely get a “beach fix” in Condado! Condado Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in San Juan, and in addition to sunbathing, you can also go snorkeling or surfing in crystal clear waters. What could be better?
Practical Tips for Solo Travel in San Juan
Whew! Now I want to share some practical packing and hotel tips now that I’m done talking about all the fabulous things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico.
As always, I know that everyone is different and these tips are just meant to get the ball rolling in the planning process.
What to Bring for a Solo Trip to San Juan
Whether you only have a single day in San Juan, a longer trip around Puerto Rico, or a Caribbean cruise, you will want to be adequately prepared for tropical weather. Here are some solo travel essentials:
- Bathing Suit: Okay, I know you only have a day, but still. You’ll want to go into the water in San Juan. Whether you’re swimming in a pool or kayaking, don’t forget a good bathing suit!
- Bug Spray: Bugs are super annoying and you don’t want them to bother them on your trip. Pack a small bottle of bug spray as an additional precaution.
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: Old San Juan is gorgeous, but the cobblestones will legit destroy your feet if you wear crappy shoes. Ditch the strappy heels and go for a solid pair of walking shoes that you’ll appreciate once you’re out and about.
- Day Bag: A lightweight day bag is really all you need for exploring San Juan. As a FYI, I had no issues with pickpockets or safety in San Juan, but at the same time, I understand that some travelers want a bit of extra protection. Bring a crossbody Pacsafe bag for the extra peace of mind.
- Sunglasses: Without question, sunglasses are very important to keep your vision pristine while you wander the streets of Old San Juan and beyond. You can find many affordable sunglasses to take with you if you don’t want to spend a ton of money.
- Sunscreen: You don’t want sunburn to be one of your souvenirs in Puerto Rico. The UV rays are very strong here, especially at the hottest times of the day. Make sure to pack high quality, environmentally friendly sunscreen to stay safe as you sightsee around San Juan.
- UBF Clothing: So, not to be a jerk, but let me repeat myself … Don’t mess around with the hot sun in San Juan. For even more precautions, pack clothing with UBF protection that will keep your body safe from the sun’s rays. Even though they’re a little expensive, Coolibar makes great quality clothing that’s perfect for San Juan including this fun sundress tunic and these gorgeous white wide leg pants. Explore their line for pieces that fit your style.
Where to Stay in San Juan
For a short visit in San Juan, I recommend staying either close to the airport or Old San Juan. This will make your next day departure a lot easier to handle. I’ve listed a couple of suggestions to get you started on finding accommodation.
- Caribe Hilton: The home of the original frozen Pina Colada (supposedly), Caribe Hilton has a great pool and beach, and also is very close to the airport, making a great choice for one day in San Juan. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com
- Candado Vanderbilt Hotel: If you want to splurge, then you ought to check out Puerto Rico’s first luxury hotel, which was opened in 1919. This resort is only five miles away from the airport. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com
- DREAMCATCHER By DW: Looking for something a bit smaller but still wonderful? DREAMCATCHER by DW is the perfect little boutique hotel that’s only a block from the beach. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com
I hope that you all enjoyed reading about the many wonderful things to do alone in San Juan Puerto Rico. San Juan is a beautiful and warm city with a lot to see and do. You’ll have a wonderful experience as a solo traveler.