Puerto Rico vs Guatemala: Which One to Choose for Vacation?

Puerto Rico vs Guatemala

If you are considering vacationing, the Caribbean beaches are the most paradisiacal and beautiful options. Not to mention the fun activities that tourism has to offer.

The most crystalline beaches in the world and their warm temperature have impressed those lucky enough to visit them. For these and many more reasons, the Caribbean is one of the top destinations when choosing a vacation.

Although sometimes, the decision can be difficult since the Caribbean comprises more than 23 countries, and all of them have very interesting proposals. In this article, you will be able to compare two countries chosen by tourism: Puerto Rico vs Guatemala.

Tourist Attractions 

Although Caribbean countries are usually known for their beaches, people who visit them discover that it is only a fraction of all the paradisiacal places there are to visit. Below you will see a comparison of different tourist areas of both countries and maybe destinations you haven’t considered yet:

Puerto Rico vs Guatemala: Beaches 

There are approximately 40 beaches in Guatemala. Some of them have white sand, and others have black sand. The black sand is a consequence of the volcanic belt, and although it may seem interesting, it does not do much to the aesthetics of the beaches.

Tourists who visit Guatemala highlight some for their tranquility, transparency, and warmth. For example, Playa Blanca. But if the main objective of your trip is beach tourism, Guatemala does not stand out in this aspect because it needs the transparency and care of many other Caribbean countries.

If what you want is to have your own opinion of the place, some of the best beaches for you to visit are:

  • Playa Sipacate, especially if you are looking to surf.
  • Puerto Quetzal Beach promotes the release of turtles, making the experience really exciting. 
  • Puerto San José Beach is well known for its historical importance.

On the other hand, Puerto Rico, an island, has much more coastline and is its main tourist spot. Therefore, you will have many options, with more than 300 beaches and 270 miles of coastline. The truth is difficult to choose a few because when you get to know them all, you will be dazzled. Likewise, the distances are possible. If you want to visit several beaches, it is only a matter of getting organized. Here are some ideas:

  • Flamenco Beach: named by its visitors as one of the best in the Caribbean.
  • Crashboat: located in Aguadilla and characterized by the number of activities there. 
  • Playuela: a crescent-shaped beach located in the southwest, and although you have to walk to get there, the scenery will dazzle you.

Puerto Rico vs Guatemala: National Reserves 

Natural reserves are areas with special care. Some can be visited, and others cannot because of their strict care.

In addition to its 300 beaches, Puerto Rico has 36 natural reserves and 19 state forests. Among the most visited are:

  • El Yunque: is a reserve with natural pools, trails with lush vegetation, natural slide, incredible landscapes, canoeing adventures, and ziplining. The tour will leave you amazed with all it has to show you. When you leave this tropical experience, you can buy something meaningful that reminds you of El Yunque at one of The Caribbean Trading Company stores’ branches.
  • Tres Palmas: characterized by the amount of fish you can meet diving on this quiet beach, this reserve became part of the heart of those who visited it. It also has a beautiful sunset.
  • Humacao: this natural wildlife protection reserve offers visitors unique and dynamic experiences. The place offers bicycles and kayaks for rent. There are different sizes, singles, two people, and children. The tour will be extremely adventurous, and the landscapes will delight you.

On the other hand, Guatemala also has natural reserves, although fewer are still incredible and to be noticed. Among the best-known choices are:

  • Ram Tzul: Through a bamboo forest tour, you can reach a viewpoint that will show you the beautiful waterfall of Ram Tzul. It will be a unique encounter with nature.
  • Cerro Tzankujil: if you like a little adrenaline, this beautiful lagoon has a platform to jump up to 20 meters high. The views will leave you in awe.
  • Cultural Triangle Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo: this trip can be done by 4×4 truck, bicycle, or walking. The contact with nature will be complete, monkeys, bird sounds, and starry skies. Visitors recommend camping there. You can hire a guide to learn and understand the history of the archaeological site that is part of this park.

These 6 reserves are just some of the many options you will find in each country, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and all with unique care and many exotic animals that are part of the landscapes.

Puerto Rico vs Guatemala: Tourist Cities 

Visiting stores, and restaurants, shopping for souvenirs, and walking through streets full of culture and history are also part of vacationing. That’s why you should know each country’s largest city’s pros and cons.

Puerto Rico and its beautiful capital, Old San Juan, offer tourists various rewarding experiences. Its colonial architecture, added to the museums and castles, will give you a Puerto Rican experience from the moment you arrive. 

In addition, the restaurants in this and other cities will offer unique flavors that will delight your palate. If you want to shop for your loved ones and bring them a souvenir of this wonderful country, you will find craft stores and artisan festivals in the streets of San Juan and different tourist spots.

Guatemala City, the capital of the country, is the most populated city in Central America. If you are interested in big cities, this is a good option. Its fairs and the central market are very visited places by tourists, as well as the cathedrals and Mayan ruins that are part of this great city.


Puerto Rico is a free state associated with the United States. That is why its official language is English and Spanish. Therefore it will be easy when communicating in business and different tourist spots.

On the other hand, Guatemala has a certain peculiarity in this aspect. Although the official language is Spanish, the conservation of native languages such as Mayan, Garifuna, and Xinka is promoted. Therefore, if you enjoy multiculturalism, you will find Guatemala very interesting.


Vacations are for relaxing and not worrying. However, it is important that as a tourist you know the insecurities of the place. Guatemala is not exactly the safest destination, despite the friendliness and hospitality of the people there are situations of crime due to gangs and drug trafficking.

Puerto Rico is considered a safe country, although in the larger cities, as in all cities of the world, one must be cautious. However, tourists usually enjoy this country in peace.


The official currency of Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar. Guatemala’s currency is the quetzal. The equivalent of one dollar is 7.81 quetzals. However, you may get more bang in Guatemala, as shopping in the country is 41% cheaper.


If you prefer to travel less, you may be interested in knowing the distances. For example, from the United States to Guatemala, there is a distance of 4849.1 km. The flight time from the U.S. to the Guatemalan capital is approximately 4 hours. Similar to the duration of the trip from Washington DC to Puerto Rico, with a distance of 5817 km. So in both cases, it will be a short trip.


Both countries have beautiful tropical climates for vacationing. However, the rains tend to be heavier and longer lasting in Guatemala. 

Both countries also have rainy seasons; take them into account when choosing the date for your passage: 

  • Rainy season in Guatemala: starts in May and continues until October.
  • Rainy season in Puerto Rico: Raines are more distributed, but the wettest month is August.

Puerto Rico has more sunshine per day than Guatemala, so that you can enjoy more daytime activities.


These countries have similar activities due to their similar climate and variety of beaches. Some of the things you can do in both countries are:

  • Bars and discos
  • Night and day tours in nature
  • Snorkeling and diving 
  • Buffets and restaurants 
  • Visits to cathedrals
  • Hiking 
  • Surfing 
  • Castles and museums

You must know the similarities because if you think these activities can not be missed on your vacation, you will know that you can do them in both countries.


While choosing where to vacation is left to the tastes and preferences of each person and family, Puerto Rico vs Guatemala can be difficult. However, both Central American countries share certain similarities, and among them, is their beauty.

Now you know the most relevant data to put in the balance when making a choice and see which points weigh more. Safety, prices, beaches, or climate.

Guatemala will captivate you with its Mayan ruins, lakes, and volcanoes. On the other hand, Puerto Rico will dazzle you with its paradisiacal beaches and diverse ecosystems: dry and humid forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes.

Surely both countries will provide beautiful experiences with your partner, friends, family, or whoever you want to travel to, but check the points mentioned above to make your vacation everything you dreamed of.

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