Puerto Rico vs Hawaii: Which One is Better?

puerto rico vs hawaii

For those looking for an amazing and relaxing destination in paradise islands, Puerto Rico and Hawaii are some of the most picked places. These beautiful landscapes offer sunny days, nice beaches, and exotic attractions. They share many similarities, but also some great differences.

Discovering Puerto Rico vs Hawaii

Being one of the most picked destinations of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is the heart of the zone. It is the perfect point to start a tour of Central America because it offers all the things you can find. Beautiful beaches, tasty food, amazing locals, rich culture, and many historical places to visit.

On the other hand, Hawaii is also an excellent destination for those looking for relaxation. Handsome beaches, imposing volcanoes, and very rich and marked culture are some of the most important aspects of these pacific islands.

The Best Things of Hawaii

This is the list of the best things that can be discovered in Hawaii that every tourist cannot miss when going to the island:

Lots of Beaches

With more than a hundred beaches, choosing the right one to visit can seem very hard. All of them have their unique essence, size, and things to see or do, but overall, they are excellent places to relax and enjoy.

There’s one for every taste: secluded passages from few to no visitors during the day to big crowded beaches with golden sand and crystal waters. Most also share big volcanoes in the background, providing a unique spectacle.

Amazing Volcanoes

What gives Hawaii a truly unique and amazing experience is its unstoppable forces of nature that surround the entire place. Sensing an active volcano near can give a feeling of adrenaline and dynamism that not many places allow.

Not visiting these ancient places of the earth means that the whole experience of Hawaii hasn’t been done. There are at least six volcanoes active around the island to explore and watch its fire, rocks, and lava merging.

One of the most famous ones is the Kilauea, which gives an amazing spectacle to those lucky tourists who can watch it during its warmed-up days.

Rich and Unique Culture

Hawaii is highly influenced by its Polynesian culture and traditions, which differs from mainland United States. This displays a very important focus on their hospitality to visitors and fealty and flattery like their historical roots.

Among these traditions and historical roots, Hula is one of the island’s most renowned displays of art. This dance combines many aspects, such as chants, songs, and instruments that show skilled local talents.

Water Sports

In addition, water sports (especially surfing) are the most popular sport in Polynesia. So enjoying this experience in Hawaii can be an amazing moment for every tourist that wants to try it out and learn from the expert natives.

There are a lot of professionals to teach lessons about surfing quickly to those who have no idea how to mount a surf table. However, those who just want to watch can enjoy seeing different surfing competitions, especially during November-December when the king of surfing is crowned.

The Best Things about Puerto Rico

Compared to Hawaii, most of the activities Puerto Rico offers are very similar, but some are unique and cannot be found in the pacific. These are the best things PR has to offer:

Best Beaches of the Caribbean

If there’s something that every tourist that arrives in Puerto Rico cannot miss, it is its beaches. Counting with better positioning than other Caribbean locations like Cancun or Nicaragua, their crystal water and perfectly golden sands make it a unique surrounding for relaxing holidays.

Isla del Encanto is one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, and its name (Island of Enchantment) makes sense. Its abundance of wildlife, clear waters and bright sand gives it a top-class vibe, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Blue Flag is another renowned beach in Puerto Rico known for its tidiness and safety measures, making it perfect for a family visit. In addition, it includes many services and amenities which transport its visitors to a more urban and social experience.

Opposite Blue Flag, Vieques is away from mainland Puerto Rico and crowded areas. It may be a small island, but there are many resorts, restaurants, and hotels for visitors to stay there.

Plenty of Historical Places and Culture

This Caribbean island also has gained a famous name for its rich culture, historical places, and vibrant colors from the many artists that gave life to the streets. Its mix of influences from Taino, Spanish, American, and Afro-American origins offers something that cannot be found in many places.

Going back to the colonization era, many old historical Spanish buildings, forts, and destroyed houses that didn’t survive the years can be found. Historical tours, museums, and artifacts are also being shown almost everywhere for tourists to learn about Puerto Rican roots and origins.

Old San Juan is one of these historical places that nobody can’t forget to visit. More than 500 years old, this part of the capital city was built during the Spanish era and had amazing buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. 

Puerto Rican language is what makes it also unique. Most locals speak not only English but also native Spanish, which attracts even more visitors from more countries. Moreover, such a bilingüal island’s advantages drive a strong tourism economy.

Unmissable Gastronomy

Puerto Rican gastronomy has evolved through the centuries, becoming one of the most requested from the Caribbean. With Arroz con Gandules being their national dish, visitors can also try other delicatessens such as Sofrito and Cuchifrito.

Mofongo is another famous dish with a lot of garlic, salt, and oil, alongside some fried pork rinds. This usually comes with Cuchifrito, making a perfect combination.

With rice being an important part of Puerto Rican national dish, many other variations appear, too, such as Arroz con Habichuelas. Some ingredients are swapped, but their essence is the same. Pink beans and Calabaza give it a unique look and extremely tasty flavor.

Comparing Puerto Rico vs Hawaii

After noting the best things every place has to offer, it is time to compare Puerto Rico vs Hawaii to see which one can offer the best destination for someone undecided.

Hawaii takes the first place when it comes to culture, wildlife, and thrilling scenarios. But for those looking for a more relaxing, historical spot with amazing gastronomy, Puerto Rico leads the top. Also, Puerto Rican beaches offer much more diversity and better scenarios.

Another thing to consider is Puerto Rico being way cheaper than Hawaii. The pacific island is far away from the mainland United States, and it’s often ranked as the most expensive place to visit.


Puerto Rico vs Hawaii can be a famous comparison since both places share many similarities, making it harder for people to pick one to visit. While it solely depends on what each person would like to visit, for those looking for a wildlife adventure surrounded by volcanoes, Hawaii is the clear option.

However, gastronomy comes off strong in Puerto Rico, with abundant offers due to its mixed cultural influences. Moreover, it has many valuable historical places and water/hiking activities. Overall, Puerto Rico is slightly better for families, offering the same as Hawaii but cheaper.

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