A Vegetarian’s Food, Culture & Nature Guide in Puerto Rico

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Advisor - Catarina Rivera
Curated By

Catarina Rivera

  • Puerto Rico

  • Arts & Culture

  • Domestic Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Local Cuisine

  • Local Culture

  • Vegetarian

Puerto Rico overlook blue and white ocean and sky with white buildings and green grass overlooking on cliff
Catarina’s Take

Food sovereignty is important to me because of my background as a community organizer and desire to know where food comes from. If people have control over their food, this changes the course of their life and it changes their ability to be healthy. This is a big reason why I focus on creating experiences around food sovereignty. The below guide will walk you through Puerto Rico, a haven for foodies and those who want to embrace new cultures.

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Where to stay in Puerto Rico

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Things to do in Puerto Rico

Hills of green tropical trees with cloudy sky in Puerto Rico

Outdoor activities

Immerse yourself in El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service where you can hike, bathe in natural pools beneath waterfalls or soak in the tropical vista. Learn about the 240 plant species endemic to Puerto Rico and enjoy some of the best birdwatching on the Island. Spot woodpeckers, green mangos and the Puerto Rican parrot! El Yunque is less than an hour drive from San Juan. Tour guides depart from most major hotels in San Juan, so ask your concierge to book you a guide.

Travel west on the island to reach Finca Agroecologica Bohiti, a family farm that includes guided tours, raising animals, workshops with the community and farm-to-table culinary experiences.

Arts & culture

Stroll through Loiza, an Afro-Latino community where you will find world-famous artist Samuel Lind's studio which is also his lifelong home – a place that was inspired by the cultural richness and tropical beauty of his natural surroundings.

Samuel Lind is a world-famous Afro-Latino artist who opens up his house (which is also his studio) to the public. Anybody can visit him, which is what we did. He was extremely welcoming and nice, took photos with us and showed us some of his artwork. The whole charm about Loiza is that it is a community that represents Afro Puerto Ricans’ connection to Africa in a way that you don't always see.

Experience a caving adventure and pottery workshop with Local Guest that caters to travelers who want to make a difference by supporting the local economy through legitimate, memorable, transformational experiences that impact community through sustainability. 

Discover a bit more of Taino Heritage in Puerto Rico. In the town of Morovis, you will have the opportunity to explore a system of more than 60 caves full of limestone karst formations, hieroglyphs and legends. Also, as part of this experience you will have the chance to attend a workshop of Taino pottery where you will learn how Tainos created these art pieces.


Take an educational tour with Plenitud PR in Las Marias, the first ecological agro-tourism project certified by the department of tourism in Puerto Rico. It is an experience of harmony embodied in the blending of the natural buildings inserted within the scenery. The sense of connection with nature is felt when harvesting fresh food for the delicious natural meals and collecting potable rainwater.

Places to eat & drink in Puerto Rico

Fine dining in Puerto Rico with blue sky and ocean white lit building and chairs overlooking

Coffee & breakfast

Sit down to savory caramelized french toast and coffee at Cafe Berlin or grab your own freshly ground brew at Café Cola'o located in Old San Juan. 


Six miles from San Juan is Coop Organic Madre Tierra, a farmer's market where you can grab lunch and shop for freshest foods to bring with you while sightseeing.

Dinner & drinks

Cocina Al Fondo: Helmed by James Beard-nominated chef Natalia Vallejo, Cocina Al Fondo offers lunch and dinner prepared with ingredients locally-sourced from farmers, fishermen, local producers, and harvested from their own garden. The beautiful fare is inspired and nurtured by art, nature and those who consciously work the land.

Lote 23: A gastronomic park located in the heart of santurce that highlights puerto rico's culture and cuisine. hop from kiosk to kiosk tasting the delicious food our chefs have to offer.

Vianda: Recently honored to be selected among the 20 Best New Restaurants in America by the James Beard Foundation, Vianda serves a full suite of creative cocktails and an extensive wine list with a constantly evolving farm-to-table dinner menu anchored by local ingredients and products.

Day trips in Puerto Rico

aerial view of two islands in Puerto Rico with blue calm ocean white sand and green palm trees

Take a short 30 minute boat ride from Puerto Rico mainland to the stunning island of Vieques just six miles off the coast, which is home to a pristine wildlife refuge and the world's brightest bioluminescent bay.

Drive two and a half hours southeast from San Juan to the Pink Cabo Rojo Salt Flats. The best time to go is on a bright day when the pink is most vibrant. The coastline, mangroves, seagrass beds and offshore coral reefs next to the area are prime fish habitats and are vital nesting and feeding areas for the snowy plover, least tern, Wilson's plover, peregrine falcon, yellow shouldered blackbird, brown pelican and several species of sea turtles. No fewer than 118 bird species have been recorded for the area.

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