Rain is a common occurrence on tropical islands, and usually blue skies return in a matter of minutes. But what do you do when your plans are dampened by the pouring rain?
Here are my favorite rainy day activities in the metro San Juan area of Puerto Rico. These indoor and covered activities are the perfect alternative when your San Juan Plans are rained out.
Walking Old San Juan
Buy an umbrella and explore the historic city of Viejo San Juan (aka, Old San Juan). There are plenty of things to see and explore, even on a rainy day. Designed for wet, rainy conditions, the old city is still a great rainy day option as long as you have sturdy shoes, an umbrella, and a spirit of adventure.
In light rain condition, the covered tram will still be running throughout the old city. This will usually provide enough coverage to help keep you dry on the various stops.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro Fort
The first stop on your tram ride should be the old Spanish forts, El Morro and San Crisobal. Castillo El Morro is the larger of the historic forts and contains a large indoor exhibit.
Once inside the main entrance of El Morro Fort, the exhibits are housed in the interior rooms, protected from the rain (and mid-day heat).
More information on exploring El Morro Fort.
Historic Churches of Old San Juan
Located within 200 meters along Calle del Cristo are San Juan Bautista Cathedral and San Jose Church.
Catedral Metropolitana Basílica de San Juan Bautista is the second oldest church in the Americas. Built in 1521 and rebuilt in 1540 after hurricane destruction, this historic church is still in use for tours, services, and even weddings! Featuring beautiful stain glass windows, impressive ceiling, and the tomb of city founder Ponce de Leon.
San Jose Church built in 1532 features one of the earliest examples of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture that is still standing. The Ponce de Leon coat of arms is on display near the main alter and Ponce de Leon II (Grandson of Ponce de Leon) is buried in the crypt below the church sanctuary floor.
Museo del Las Americas
Located in old army barracks, learn about the history of early Tiano people and the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico.
Exhibit information is available in Spanish and English, with a variety of artifacts on display. The museum is a great activity for children, with kid-friendly dioramas and exhibits throughout the museum.
The Museo del las Americas is open six days a week (closed Mondays) with an adult admission price of $6 for the permanent collection and most of the temporary exhibits.
The majority of the museum is climate controlled indoors with a few larger pieces of the collection along the open air (covered) patios making this an ideal activity for a rainy (or brutally hot) day.
Anam Spa and Cocktail Lounge
Located next to the Parque Las Palomas (also referred to as the pigeon park), Anam Spa and Cocktail Lounge is a great spot for watching the cruise ships in port, as well as a covered escape from the rain.
Stop into Anam spa for a pedicure or massage while you wait out the rain. Complementary Sangria comes with spa services, or order one of the signature mojito cocktails from the bar. The ginger mojito is my favorite and will help you forget, or not care, about bad weather.
Cannon Club at the Gallery Inn
Enjoy live music in the Cannon Club piano lounge in the Gallery Inn. This gorgeous 17th Century hidden gem is filled with art, music, and history. Food and drinks are available with a $20 table charge to sit in the piano lounge.
Museo de Arts Puerto Rico
The permanent collection at the Museum of Art features Puerto Rican art and artists work housed in 1920’s neoclassical building. The multi-level art gallery is well curated and specializes in a diverse collection of artist styles.
Located in the heart of San Juan, valet parking is available with more parking off-site. In a heavy rain downpour, have a taxi or Uber car drop you off at the front entrance to minimize the rain.
With large scale murals, paintings, sculpture, contemporary pop-art, modern art, impressionism, and the stained glass wall, there is something for every art lover in the gallery.
On a clear day, guests can also enjoy the outdoor garden complete with koi pond. Click here for more information about this beautiful museum and surrounding art pieces.
Did you know that gambling is legal in Puerto Rico? An nice escape from the rain (or extra hot days) is to visit one of the many casinos around the island.
Two of my favorite casinos are San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and Casino Del Mar both located in the neighborhood of Condado.
Casa Bacardi Tour
Casa Bacardi Rum distillery in Catano San Juan, Puerto Rico is a fun tour rain or shine.
Stay dry indoors while you learn about rum history and making rum in the Caribbean. Bacardi started in Cuba and relocated to the island of Puerto Rico in 1936, and moved to the current location across the Bahia de San Juan in 1958. Casa Bacardi can be seen from Old San Juan, but does require driving out of San Juan proper into the nearby suburb of Catano.
The tram is open air, so you may get a little wet under the covered roof of the tram. This may require waiting a few minutes between rain swells around the Bacardi property. The bat pavilion waiting area and the majority of the tour are covered, and this is a great tour even in light rain.
During the tour, you will learn the history of the Bacardi family and rum products, and finish with a stop at the gift shop before riding the tram back to the outdoor Bacardi Bat Bar Pavilion.
What are your favorite rainy day activities? Leave a comment below with your favorite, or any that I missed and should be added!
16 thoughts on “Best Rainy Day Activities in San Juan, Puerto Rico”
As someone from the tropical region, currently living in Europe, I can see both sides of the coin. As much as I hate rains in Europe, I love them in India. I hate to go out in rain in Europe but I’d gladly go out in India! The difference between cold rains & warm rains… Hahaha…
I’d gladly go out in rains of San Juan. As a history buff, both the historic churches & forts of San Juan would be atop my list, despite any rains! Oooohhh. Bacardi Rum Tour? I wouldn’t miss that!
Exactly! Rain in the tropics is common and not gonna stop my fun!
So many great places! I love San Juan. Old San Juan is by far one of my favorite spots in the city. Walking the streets of Old San Juan on a rainy day sounds like it would be quite the adventure. It might mean less crowds and more space for exploring. The forts were a great hit for us on our visit. We didn’t get to visit the Museo de Las Americas, but it looks like it would be an interesting place to visit. Thanks for the great recommendations!
There were so few people out in the rain, it was really quite pleasant!
It’s great that there are so many things to do on rainy days. In these climates rain is so frequent, I always felt bad when it was rainy during popular vacation times in FL like Spring Break. I wish I knew someplace to get a Mojito while having a pedicure! That sounds so nice. The Spanish Forts also look really interesting and would make a fun rainy day activity for sure.
Mojitos are my favorite drink with pedicures!
I love Puerto Rico! Thankfully, we had some awesome weather when I went. I’d love to go back for some of these activities even if it’s not raining! The Museo de Las Americas looks great. I love learning about the origins of civilizations, so I’d really enjoy learning more about the original Taino inhabitants. A ginger mojito while relaxing and getting my feet done? Hell yes please!
Anam is the best hidden gem, and the outside patio overlooks the water so you can watch the cruise ships and marine traffic.
San Juan is a port we have returned to several times. We have had great weather on all visits. But great to have some ideas for a rainy day. Or a too hot day! We have seen many of the churches from the outside. But would love to see the beautiful stained glass windows from the inside. A spa day at Anam Spa sounds like the perfect rainy day activity. A Sangria is a perfect complement to my pedicure. We have missed the Bacardi Tour so my rum drinking hubby certainly needs to visit. Some good options. Thanks.
Thankfully I’ve only ever been when it’s sunny. The fort was one of my favorite things! Although, my choice would totally be the cocktails and spa on a yucky day. I’ve never explored the museums, either – I need to do that next time I go.
The museums are also really good in the mid afternoon, when it is the heat of the day.
This post is so insightful especially when you travel to a destination where you have wanted to go for so long, but once you get there, you are stuck because of silly rain. San Juan looks amazing and has a great architecture which can be explored on a sunny day, but touring the museums and houses is great as well. Casa Bacardi is fascinating and deserves a unique tour for its beauties.
It’s been a long time since I visited Puerto Rico. I have fond memories of wandering Viejo San Juan and enjoyed El Moro and San Cristobal. If I had have known about the Casa Bacardi Tour I would have been first in line. Looks like I may have to return for another visit.
There are even more amazing activities outside of San Juan, you should definitely come back for another visit!
It’s always a bummer when it rains on vacation. It sounds like there are a lot of great rainy day things to do in San Juan though. It’s nice to know that there is a tram that runs through the old city. I always think museums are great places to go on rainy days. The Museo del Las Americas would be a good place to learn about the cultural of Puerto Rico. I like practicing my Spanish and reading the info in Spanish, but it can get exhausting so good to know the info is in English too.
I have always wanted to visit Puerto Rico and San Juan looks like a beautiful city. Lots to do there as well, I would love to see the old spanish forts and museums and I have to visit the rum factory too. Hopefully I can avoid the rain but great to know there is still so much to do even with rain.