The best things to do after dinner in Puerto Rico proves how much the island shines at night. No matter where you happen to be, there’s almost always a place to go dancing and enjoying tropical beverages. Whether you’re into hip and trendy or authentic and traditional, or even outdoor fun in the dark, you’ve got plenty of options here.

    Your days in Puerto Rico are likely to be filled with time on white sandy beaches soaking up the sunshine, swimming, and snorkelling, walks through lush rainforests, and sightseeing, but what about after dinner? Well, you’ll be happy to find out there’s as much to do on the island throughout the evening as there is during the day.


    Paseo De La Princesa

    Watching the sunset from here is a must if you’re seeking romance

    • Families
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Paseo De La Princesa offers one of the very best sunset strolls in the entire Caribbean. You can start or end your walk at the historic Puerta de Sa Juan, which is the official gate that was used during the colonial period to protect the old city.

    You’ll see the nearly-400-year-old city walls and, as you meander along the boardwalk, pretty fountains and lamp posts, street vendors, and stunning views of San Juan Bay. Local buskers serenade passers-by looking to soak up the evocative colonial setting. When it comes to romantic moments, this is hard to beat.

    Location: San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico


    Laguna Grande

    Paddle through a glow-in-the-dark lagoon

    • Families
    • Nightlife
    • Photo

    One of the must-dos in Puerto Rico is to paddle through bioluminescent Laguna Grande, the most popular bio bay on the island. It’s not technically a bay; rather a long, narrow canal that leads to magnificent ‘glow-in-the-dark’ water.

    This is one of the rare places around the world where when the right factors come together, including nutrient-rich warm water and shallow depth, as well as a lack of light pollution, so you can witness the spark of brilliant blue lights created by tiny creatures called dinoflagellates. There are few experiences like riding a kayak under a canopy of stars across what looks like twinkling blue fairies in the lagoon.

    Location: Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico


    Night hiking in El Yunque National Forest

    Discover what’s lurking in the rainforest after dark

    • Nightlife
    • Adventure

    A night tour of the El Yunque National Forest often results in spotting bioluminescent mushrooms and insects. As most of the wildlife is nocturnal, exploring the forest after dark is great for animal lovers who want to spot exotic species in Puerto Rico.

    As the El Yunque National Forest closes before nightfall, a guided tour is required for a night hike. Your guide will point out the various creatures like coqui frogs. There are multiple tour options, with some including the chance to take a dip into a swimming hole.

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    Open: Daily from 7.30 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 787-888-1880


    Teatro La Perla

    Puerto Rico’s second-oldest theatre

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • History

    Constructed in 1864, Teatro La Perla has a distinctive neoclassical style with an entrance that features 6 towering columns. It showcased the first silent film on the island in 1911. Nearly 3 decades later, the theatre was destroyed in an earthquake. In 1940, the original façade was rebuilt and has stood here ever since, now serving as a hub for performing arts in Ponce.

    Teatro La Perla hosts film screenings as well as concerts, plays, ballets, and operas, providing a great opportunity for a night out in Ponce. The theatre is popular with those looking to learn about Puerto Rico's art and culture scene.

    Location: Calle Mayor, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico

    Phone: +1 787-843-4080


    Caribar at Caribe Hilton

    Order a piña colada in the place it was invented

    • Nightlife

    Caribar at Caribe Hilton is the birthplace of piña colada, one of the tastiest tropical cocktails ever invented. It was created by bartender Ramon Marrero when he was working at the hotel. He whipped up his concoction – originally called monchito – for the first time in 1954 by mixing run, coconut cream, and pineapple juice.

    For the next 35 years, he personally served his cocktail while bartending at Caribar. In 1978, it was declared Puerto Rico's official drink. Today, you’ll be able to taste the original piña colada at Caribar while enjoying an awe-inspiring panoramic ocean view.

    Location: Calle Los Rosales, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 5 pm to 1 am, Friday–Saturday from 5 pm to 2 am

    Phone: +1 787-721-0303


    La Terraza de Bonanza

    An authentic night of traditional bomba and plena dancing

    • Nightlife

    Head to La Terraza de Bonanza on a Monday night if you want to dance the night away in San Juan. This is a great place to enjoy traditional bomba and plena. Immerse yourself in these traditional Puerto Rican music styles with driving drumbeats and intricate dance moves. 

    It’s tempting to join the crowd, but you might want to let the experts show you how it’s done before heading to the dancefloor. Alternatively, just sit back and unwind with a cold beer and tapas.

    Location: Av. Eduardo Conde, San Juan, 00912, Puerto Rico

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 787-508-8877


    Triana Tapas

    Take an authentic journey into Spanish culture

    Triana Tapas is particularly renowned for its live music, flamenco and other dance shows that provide an authentic journey into Spanish culture. Come and see authentic flamenco dancing or take advantage of the opportunity to learn salsa. Free lessons are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

    Triana Tapas is also a great dinner spot in Old San Juan, thanks to its signature seafood paella. You can unwind for the evening with sangria and tapas. The bar is around 850 metres east of Paseo de la Princesa and La Fortaleza in San Juan. 

    Location: 251 C. del Recinto Sur, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from noon to 8.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 787-725-8819


    Duffy’s Esperanza

    One of the best bars on Vieques Island

    Duffy’s Esperanza is often called the best bar on Vieques. Located in the heart of Esperanza, it’s the place where many islanders and vacationers gather to celebrate the end of the day. While it's not the place for a late-night out, it’s great for those who want to mingle with the locals.

    Duffy’s Esperanza sits along the waterfront and has an outstanding range of craft beers and cocktails. If you want a bite, go for one of the specials listed on the chalkboard – the conch fritters are must-tries.

    Location: 140 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, 00765, Puerto Rico

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 8 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 787-435-6585


    photo by H. Michael Miley (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Isla Verde nightclubs and casinos

    Delve into one of the hottest club scenes in San Juan

    • Nightlife

    Isla Verde is San Juan’s fancy resort strip – a neighbourhood with a fabulous crescent of beach. But it’s also where you’ll find some of the hippest nightclubs and casinos for plenty of fun after dark. Lounges, late-night hangouts, and clubs abound, while casinos stay open at least until 4 am. You can find many that open 24/7.

    Club Brava at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino is the hottest spot on Isla Verde, while Wet at the Water & Beach Club has a magnificent rooftop setting for a relaxed lounge night.

    Location: Parque Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico


    La Placita

    Dance the night away in Santurce

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife

    La Placita is a quiet area with farmers' markets, small local eateries, bars, and street vendors. After dark, it's the place to go for the chance to mingle with the locals and get a taste of authentic nightlife in San Juan.

    All the bars in La Placita open their doors, allowing live salsa music to spill out onto the streets. It draws visitors and locals from across the island to take part in celebrations throughout the area, complete with impromptu dance parties.

    Location: 300 Calle dos Hermanos, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico


    photo by (CC BY 2.0) modified

    K.C. Dermody | Contributing Writer

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