A Guide to Visiting Luquillo – Puerto Rico

Luquillo is a small city along the northern coast of Puerto Rico’s main island. It sits not far east of San Juan and offers a quieter and more laid back vibe than the bustling capital. The area is also known for its pretty beaches and easy access to the beautiful El Yunque National Forest. We stayed here for about a week, enjoying the serene coastline and taking day trips around the area. Here’s a simple guide to help you plan a visit to Luquillo.

Taking a walk down Luquillo Beach
Taking a walk down Luquillo Beach

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When to Visit

Puerto Rico is warm year round with monthly high temperatures averaging in the 80s (°F).

December to April are supposed to be the driest months, though we experienced rain daily during our visit in mid-December. Luckily, the storms always passed quickly. These months are generally more popular among tourists, so tours, accommodation, restaurants, etc. can be more expensive. We didn’t find many crowds in Luquillo compared to San Juan.

August through November offer cheap prices and attractions are less crowded. But this is hurricane season, so keep an eye on the weather before your trip. August is usually the rainiest month.

Rainy season occurs during the summer months and it is usually a bit warmer and more humid. While there aren’t as many foreigners visiting during the summer, our host said more local families hit the beaches during this time and attractions can get quite busy.

For a good combination of decent weather, fewer crowds, and slightly lower prices, consider visiting between mid-April and June.

Gloomy skies over Luquillo
Gloomy skies over Luquillo

Getting to Luquillo

Luquillo sits about a 45-minute drive from San Juan’s main airport. This time can vary greatly with traffic on PR-3, so give yourself ample time to drive and check the traffic if you need to get to the airport, have a tour, or have another time commitment.

The easiest way to get to Luquillo is by car rental. We usually resort to public buses, but we had our luggage, couldn’t find much public transport information for Luquillo, and were told that bus schedules are unreliable and that it would take much of the day to get around. So, we took an Uber from the airport to a car rental agency in San Juan, picked up the car, and went on our way. The rental agencies are usually much cheaper if you don’t rent directly at the airport. We definitely enjoyed having a car for flexibility and convenience when needing to go to the grocery store, visiting neighboring towns, and for daytrips to San Juan, El Yunque National Forest, and Culebra.

If you don’t want to rent a car, there are taxi services, Uber, and options to hire private transport to get you to Luquillo. If you opt for one of those options, we’d recommend organizing a ride before the day of arrival.

Getting Around Luquillo

Luquillo is fairly small, so it is quite a walkable city. Many of the beaches, accommodation options, restaurants, and shops are all within walking distance of each other.

If you need a ride or don’t feel like walking for any reason, there are some taxis and Ubers available. These services are much more limited than in San Juan, so we wouldn’t rely on them. There are some taxi services in Luquillo, such as Tabonuco Taxi, that allow you to organize rides; however, these are designed more for a day tour or longer trips than just driving to the grocery store or dinner.

As mentioned in the section above, the easiest and most reliable way to get around is by renting a car.

Luquillo Beach sign

Where to Stay in Luquillo

Hotel options are somewhat limited in Luquillo. If you’re looking for that resort experience, it may be better to stay in San Juan or another larger town.

Most of the accommodation options are apartments and vacation homes that are listed on sites like Booking.com, VRBO, and Airbnb. We stayed in a VRBO condo run by a local woman who had lived in the Luquillo area for many years. It was nice to have our own large living space with parking near the beach, and the host was very helpful in providing information on activities and logistics when we were planning our trip.

But if you’re looking for a hotel, some good options in Luquillo include:

Casa Coral: dorms and double rooms with shared bathrooms

The Surfing Turtle: dorms to private king suites

Selva Boutique Hotel: double rooms to suites with private kitchenettes

Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn: double rooms and family suites

Many condos and town homes line the coast in Luquillo
Many condos and town homes line the coast in Luquillo

Where to Eat in Luquillo

The famous kiosks are located in Luquillo just behind Luquillo Beach. Here, you’ll find a variety of cuisines, from mofongo and empanadas to lobster dishes and burgers. There are also some cocktail stands where you can grab a refreshing drink to take to the beach. Some of the restaurants are set up to order to go, and others have seating areas. Many also display their menu out front or wouldn’t mind showing one to you if you ask for it. We frequented the kiosks for lunch and dinner during our time in Luquillo and enjoyed the numerous options.

Mojito Lab - one of the cocktail kiosks
Mojito Lab – one of the cocktail kiosks

In addition to the kiosks, you can also find some food trucks, like Vive la Vida and Mi Parcela, further towards the center of Luquillo back behind Playa la Pared.

This central area is also where more of the restaurants are located. For breakfast/brunch, head to Simple Food, Panderri Bakery, Coffee Therapy, or the Cafetería La Diferencia stand. Other good options include La Fonda and El Rincón del Sabor for a variety of Puerto Rican dishes, Sama for steak and seafood, Bistecca for meat dishes and pasta, Pizzella for pizza and pasta, and Boardriders for burgers, fish tacos, and more with a view over the ocean.

Puerto Rico has some delicious local seafood dishes
Puerto Rico has some delicious local seafood dishes


There are various markets to get groceries at around Luquillo. We mostly went to the Amigo as it was centrally located and prices were reasonable. There, you’ll find all the basic groceries, including fruit, dairy, canned goods, snacks, deli meats, bakery goods, bottled drinks, and other food items. They also sell liquor, beer, basic toiletries and beauty items, and some household goods if needed.


There are many amazing things to experience from Luquillo, including snorkeling, the famous bioluminescent bay tour, El Yunque, and more. There aren’t many tour agency offices located in Luquillo – they are mostly located in San Juan and Fajardo. But, if you are looking to organize a tour, information and contact info can generally be found online on company websites or pages like Get Your Guide and Viator. Some tour options offer pickup in Luquillo or may be able to help you organize a ride to the pickup point if you don’t have a car.

In addition to tours, there are options to take surf lessons and rent boards, kayaks, jet skis, flyboards, and more right in Luquillo. Surfing is more common near Playa La Pared and Playa Azul, whereas jet skiing, kayaking, and activities better suited for calmer water are available more over towards Luquillo Beach.

Culebra Island is a popular day trip from the Luquillo area
Culebra Island is a popular day trip from the Luquillo area


We found that most places around Luquillo accepted card. However, when renting beach chairs, buying things from street stalls and beach vendors, etc., cash is often the only accepted payment method.

Puerto Rico uses the US dollar. If you need to withdraw cash, there is a Banco Popular with an ATM. The options to withdraw cash and exchange currencies are more plentiful in San Juan.

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