Puerto Rico  > Puerto Rico Islands 

Puerto Rico - Islands of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an archipelago made up of about 143 islands, cays, and islets.  Just like Hawaii is the major island of the islands of Hawaii, Puerto Rico is the major island of the islands of Puerto Rico.  The largest islands consisting of Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, along with the islet of Old San Juan, are the only ones inhabited.  The offshore islands, cays, and islets, are all very unique, offering visitors the more natural side of Puerto Rico and possibly the last true “virgin islands” experience in the Caribbean.  Vieques & Culebra are truly special.  Just ask anyone who’s been there and read the reviews.  Many have become die-hard island fans and go back year after year.  The well known Islet of Old San Juan is a destination every traveler ought to visit.

There’s no denying the beaches on the main island of Puerto Rico are beautiful, but the beaches of Vieques & Culebra are pure perfection.  The rest of the islands and cays offer seclusion and lush green landscapes with little to no development  – that true “island life” feel Caribbean dreams are made of.  IslandsofPuertoRico.com was the first website to bring the most complete guide to the offshore treasures of Puerto Rico.  We consider them among the top treasures of Puerto Rico and we just had to share them with the world.

For your convenience, we’ve included a map at the bottom of this page of Puerto Rico Islands, Islets, and Cays that are most enjoyable, easily accessible and popular among tourists.

What is the difference between an Island (Isla), Islet (Isleta) and Cay (Cayo)?

The difference between an island and islet is strictly a matter of size.  They are both “stable” since they are made of rock.  Islets are simply very small islands made of rock. 

Cays differ from islands and islets in the method in which they are formed (sand deposited over time on top of coral reefs).  Cays are not made of rock and are “unstable”. 

Theoretically, all three can and have been inhabited by humans and wildlife.  Cays are the least stable and susceptible to erosion over time.

Puerto Rico Islands Map

Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico
/ Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.  The main island is about 35 miles wide (north-south) and 100 miles long (west-east) and just under the size of Connecticut.  This island was blessed with so much natural diversity, it feels more like a country.  Puerto Rico is an island constantly progressing, with a modern city and small towns with all the stateside conveniences and services you’ll find on the mainland (United States), however, visitors can experience an authentic tropical Caribbean escape with exciting opportunities to immerse in the vibrant Puerto Rican culture.  Puerto Ricans proudly preserve, maintain and celebrate their history, made up Native Tainos, Spanish and African, evident in their food, language, dance, cultural traditions and music.  Traveling to Puerto Rico is just like flying to another state with no passport required for USA Citizens, English is widely spoken and just about everywhere ,you’ll see the American influences in everyday life around the island.

Visitors that venture out of the resort property can testify to the island’s magnificent natural treasures and exciting activities both on the water and terrain.  Stay a little longer and explore the amazing beaches, a rainforest, bioluminescent bays, caverns, cays and much more.  When you get here, you can immerse yourself in the happy and vibrant culture of a place adored by the sea and the sun, with Old World Elegance and sounds of salsa filling the breezy balmy air.

Islet of Old San Juan

(aka Islet of San Juan / Isleta de San Juan)

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Islet of Old San Juan consists of Old San Juan, the historical area in the western half, and the Puerta de Tierra government/business district in the eastern half.  This once walled city is connected to the main island of Puerto Rico by bridges – 1 to the east and 2 in the southeastern corner.  Old San Juan is the most popular tourist destination in Puerto Rico and the hottest cruise port in the Caribbean. Old San Juan is packed with world class historic attractions, excellent restaurants, and unique shops.

This colorful town is the cultural center of Puerto Rico, the best place to immerse yourself in the warm and vibrant culture of the island. Whether you choose to vacation in San Juan or another destination in Puerto Rico, Old San Juan is one place you can’t miss visiting during your stay.  More about Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Spanish Virgin Islands

Following, we’ll introduce you to Vieques & Culebra, Caribbean’s last true virgin islands. These sleepy islands are commonly known by sailors as the Spanish Virgin Islands.  While most destinations in the Caribbean are saturated with high rise hotels and tourist traps, these gems allow visitors to experience the Caribbean of the past.

Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico

Isla de Vieques - Puerto Rico Islands

Vieques, the bigger of the two sister islands is a unique island with unmatched beauty, winning various prestigious awards as one of the best islands in the Caribbean.    Spend all day beach hopping on pristine beaches without a single building onsite or crowds.  After dinner, the magic begins under a starry sky on the bioluminescent bay, where you can kayak over waters that light up like a science fiction movie.  More about Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Isla de Culebra, Puerto Rico

Isla de Culebra - Puerto Rico Islands

Culebra, an archipelago made up of smaller islands and cays is the sleepier of the two islands.  Few get to make the trip to this gorgeous island, residents and Culebra lovers would love to keep it that way.  This tiny island is home to Flamenco Beach, consistently included on “Best World Beaches” lists.  Culebra’s coral reefs and superb underwater visibility make it a world-class snorkeling and scuba diving destination.  More about Isla de Culebra.


Culebrita - Puerto Rico Islands

Culebrita is part of the Culebra Archipelago.  You may book a charter for a marvelous morning or afternoon enjoying the pleasures of total seclusion.   While visiting Culebrita you can spend the morning hiking to the lighthouse ruins with awe-inspiring views.  After the hike, refresh with a dip on the tidal pools.  Finally head over to Tortuga Beach, a gorgeous cove with clear turquoise tinted water and white sand popular for boaters and typically only busy during summer months when boaters from the main island head over to Culebra with family and friends.

Isla Palomino (Palomino Island)

Isla Palomino / Palomino Island - Puerto Rico Islands

El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, one of the top 10 resorts in Puerto Rico, offers guests exclusive privileges to spend full days on this dreamy island.  At Palomino Island you can enjoy swimming on calm crystal clear waters, snorkeling, horseback riding, kayaking and other fun water sports.   This may be a secluded island, but friendly El Conquistador Resort staff will serve you Piña Coladas and delicious healthy lunch options without having to get up from your lounge chair.  Ohh…you can set up massages right on the beach too…  More about Palomino Island, Puerto Rico.

Isla Caja de Muertos

Isla Caja de Muertos - Puerto Rico

With an hour drive from San Juan, and a scenic ferry ride, you could be at one of the most under rated places in Puerto Rico.  Here you can spend the day suntanning and swimming at Pelican Beach, hike a trail leading to a lighthouse with heavenly views, go snorkeling and explore more unique beaches.  More about Caja de Muertos.

Isla de Mona / Mona Island

Isla de Mona / Mona Island - Puerto Rico Islands

If you dreamed of visiting the Galapagos Islands, you may want to consider making the trip to Isla de Mona.  Mona Island is often referred as”The Galapagos of the Caribbean”.  If you’re one of the lucky ones to set foot on this secret treasure, you can enjoy secluded beaches, explore impressive caves, and get lost in the beauty of the colorful world beneath the surface of the waters surrounding Mona.  If you love camping, Mona on your bucket list.  Stargazing is spectacular. More about Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

Isla Desecheo / Desecheo Island

Isla Desecheo / Desecheo Island - Puerto Rico Islands

You can’t step on Desecheo Island, but you may book a charter to take you scuba diving deep around it’s walls.   Desecheo is right off the coast of the town of Rincon.  More about Isla Desecheo / Desecheo Island.

Map of Puerto Rico Islands, Islets & Cays

Explore beyond the beauty of the main island..

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Puerto Rico Islands, Cays, Islets

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Isla de Cabras, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico: 18.471400, -66.136294
Isla Caja de Muertos - Ponce, Puerto Rico: 17.900995, -66.517410
Isla de la Mona - Puerto Rico: 18.096510, -67.873535
Gilligan\'s Island, Guanica, Puerto Rico: 17.942930, -66.873157
Isla Desecheo, National Wildlife Refuge - Puerto Rico: 18.390040, -67.480087
Palomino Island - El Conquistador Resort Private Island - Fajardo, PR: 18.352733, -65.569153
Isla de Culebra - Puerto Rico: 18.316833, -65.279810
The Islet of Old San Juan - San Juan, Puerto Rico: 18.467886, -66.104908
Palominitos Island - Fajardo, PR: 18.339698, -65.567522
Isla de Ratones - Cabo Rojo, PR: 18.117038, -67.188199
Cayo Icacos - Fajardo, PR: 18.389806, -65.588926
Isla de Vieques - Puerto Rico: 18.158901, -65.456543
Monito Island - Puerto Rico: 18.164121, -67.949066
Culebrita, Puerto Rico: 18.323403, -65.227375
Cays in the La Parguera Nature Reserve - Lajas, Puerto Rico: 17.961098, -67.038703
Cayo Luis Peña - Culebra, Puerto Rico: 18.313463, -65.331573
Cayo de Tierra - Vieques, Puerto Rico: 18.089646, -65.466971
Puerto Rico - the Major Island of Puerto Rico: 18.201957, -66.441879