Which Beach Destination is Best For You Hawaii or Puerto Rico?

traveller Budget Wayfarers

Hawaii versus Puerto Rico can be a difficult choice to make for travellers looking for the perfect tropical getaway.

While both Hawaii and Puerto Rico share a lot of similarities in terms of the experiences they offer, if you are looking to pick one, you need to analyse their differences.  

Hawaii Versus Puerto Rico

Also Useful:

What to Choose Between Hawaii And Aruba?

Hawaii Versus Puerto Rico: The Better Vacation Getaway

Here is a sneak peek of the comparison between Hawaii and Puerto Rico as travel destinations – 



Puerto Rico



Mar- Oct

Puerto Rico

Apr- Jun


7-14 Days

Puerto Rico

5-7 Days

7-DAY TRIP COST (2 People)

2800-6000 USD

Puerto Rico

2500-3500 USD


Very Good

Puerto Rico

Very Good



Puerto Rico

Very Good


Traditional Hawaiian

Puerto Rico

Traditional Puerto Rican



Puerto Rico



Budget-Friendly to Luxurious

Puerto Rico

Budget-Friendly to Luxurious


Very Good

Puerto Rico

Very Good



Puerto Rico

Very Good


Very Good

Puerto Rico




Puerto Rico

Very Good



Puerto Rico


While Hawaii is well known for its mesmerizing beaches, vibrant culture, heartwarming people,  and exciting places to explore,  Puerto Rico or “The Island of Enchantment” also offers gorgeous beaches, colourful festivals, food, and diverse landscapes.

So, how do you pick between the two, let us help you pick one by analysing every travel-related aspect- 

Hawaii vs Puerto Rico Climate

Hawaii has a diverse landscape, and thus witnesses variations in its weather

Hawaii Vs Puerto Rico Climate & Best Time to Visit

Hawaii experiences a range of weather changes throughout the year with defined seasons. We recommend visiting the islands between Mid March to Mid October. During this time, you will witness the least rain and a pretty bearable temperature.

Travelling between October and December is preferable for people who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy some quiet time in the cool weather. 

Puerto Rico has a relatively even temperature throughout the year. Mid-April to June is the best time to visit the islands. 

Between June and November, all of the Caribbean including Puerto Rico experiences the hurricane season, so you should avoid planning a trip during this time.

VERDICT:  While Hawaii sees some wide weather variations, Puerto Rico’s weather remains fairly the same throughout the year.

How Many Days Are Enough for Hawaii Versus Puerto Rico?

Hawaii is huge in size and therefore to be able to explore the major attraction you will need anywhere between 7-10 days. Ideally, we would suggest at least two weeks.

Puerto Rico is much smaller in size than Hawaii. However, despite the size, there are plenty of things to explore and therefore you must plan at least a week to be able to visit all the major attractions.

VERDICT:  You need more time to explore Hawaii since it is much bigger than Puerto Rico.

What Is More Expensive Hawaii or Puerto Rico?

Hawaii is an expensive travel destination. The average trip cost of couples ranges from 2800 to 6000 USD for a week which includes flight booking, food, travel, sightseeing, and lodging in a 2-3 star hotel. 

 Average cost per day in Hawaii is 100 – 250 USD

Puerto Rico is comparatively cheaper when it comes to Hawaii.  A week-long trip can cost anywhere between 2500-3500 USD.

 Average cost per day in Puerto Rico is 120 – 200 USD

VERDICT:  Puerto Rico is comparatively cheaper than Hawaii for travellers.

Hawaii vs Puerto Rico Beach

The black sand beach Punalu’u Beach Park is the most famous one on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Vs Puerto Rico Beaches: The Better Beaches

Hawaii has a plethora of stunning beaches with white, black, red and green sand. There are around 100 famous and not so famous beaches to explore.

Best beaches in Hawai:

  • Punalu’u
  • Kahaluu
  • Lanikai
  • Kaanapali
  • Waikiki
  • Ko Olina Beach Park
  • Kalapaki
  • Keauhou

 Puerto Rico has some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. You will find white sand, black sand and even pink sand beaches in Puerto Rico.

Best beaches in Puerto Rico:

  • Flamenco
  • Domes
  • La Monserrate
  • Las Salinas
  • La Playuela
  • Playa Isla Verda
  • Punta Borinquen
  • Luquillo

VERDICT:  Puerto Rico & Hawaii both have some excellent beaches.

Hawaii vs Puerto Rico Sightseeing

Built between 16th and 18th century, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is one of the most prominent historical sites of Puerto Rico

How is Hawaii compared to Puerto Rico for Sightseeing?

 Hawaii has a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing spots. From beaches to museums and national parks, you can explore a number of places o your visit.

Major attractions in Hawaii:

  • Na-Pali Coast
  • Pearl Harbour
  • Waimea Canyon
  • Diamond Head
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Honolulu Museum of Art
  • Waikiki Aquarium
  • Nahuku- Thurston Lava Tube
  • Spouting Horn


Puerto Rico also offers many sites to explore. It is mostly known for its historical sites that attract a lot of travellers from far and wide. 

Major attractions in Puerto Rico:

  • Old San Juan
  • EI Yunque National Forest
  • Glowing Bay
  • Parguera wall
  • Castillo San Felipe del Morro
  • Serralles Castle
  • Playa Mar Chiquita
  • Museo de Las Americas
  • Mangrove forest in Pinones

VERDICT:   Hawaii has much more to explore, but Puerto Rico has better historical sites

Hawaii or Puerto Rico: Better for Outdoor & Adventure

Hawaii has a huge variety of exciting things to do. You can enjoy a wide range of activities like going hiking through lush forests, trying water sports activities, enjoying Hula dance, and more.

Best activities in Hawaii:

  • Enjoy Luau Feasts
  • Visiting National Parks
  • Hula dance at Merrie Monarch
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Hiking in Kalalau Trail and Waikiki Island 
  • Waimea Canyon driving tour
  • Horseback Riding Tours
  • Helicopter Tour in Maui

Puerto Rico is a popular holiday destination that will give you a joyous travel experience and awesome things to do like

Best activities in Puerto Rico:

  • Island Hopping
  • Hiking
  •  Horseback riding at Tropical Trail Rides
  • Adventure at EI Yunque National Forest
  • Best activities in Puerto Rico:
  • Old San Juan Food Tour

VERDICT:  Hawaii offers a  wider range of outdoor activities to explore when compared to Puerto Rico

Better for Water Sporting Activities: Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Hawaii will provide you with a fascinating experience if you are someone looking for some adventurous after sporting activities. Some of the most popular activities include Whale watching, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, Swimming with Dolphins, Kayaking, Cage Diving with Sharks, and Surfing.

Some of the famous spots to enjoy water sports in Hawaii are Waikiki, Kaneohe, Oahu, Niihau, Big Island, Molokini Crater,etc.

Puerto Rico gives Hawaii a good competition when it comes to offering water sporting activities. You can enjoy Surfing  Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and more. 

Some of the famous spots to enjoy water sports in Puerto Rico are Icacos Island, Bio Bay, El Yunque Rainforest, Culebra Island, Fajardo, etc.

VERDICT: Both are equally good as they offer an array of water-related activities 

Hawaii vs Aruba Food

The noodle soup dish Saimin is a common contemporary cuisine of Hawaii

Better Option for the Foodies: Hawaii or Puerto Rico?

Hawaii is famous for “Plate Lunch”, seafood tacos, Japanese-inspired Poke Bowl, and farm-grown fresh fruits from local markets.

Famous foods in Hawaii

Poke, Loco Moco, Poi, Haupia, Saimin, The Coconut, Luau Stew, Coco Puffs, Croissada

Average Daily Cost of food in Hawaii

25 USD to 65 USD 

Puerto Rico is a dream come true for foodies.. You can enjoy Puerto Rican food,  international cuisine and seafood at the cafes and restaurants here.

Famous foods in Puerto Rico

Mofongo, tostones, pasteles, arroz con gandules, Lechón asado, Arroz y habichuelas, rice pudding, coconut custard, vanilla custard cake, tembleque, and conquito

Average Daily Cost of food in Puerto Rico

30 USD 

VERDICT: Both Hawaii and Puerto Rico offer local and international cuisines but Puerto Rico does a little better when we talk about food. 

Nightlife in Hawaii Versus Puerto Rico

Hawaii is an excellent place to experience diverse nightlife. Oahu, Waikiki, Honolulu, and Chinatown are known for lively nightclubs and bars. Apart from the party scene, you can also explore other activities such as sunset sailing, fireworks at Waikiki, stargazing, and Luaus performances.

Best Nightlife Spots in Hawaii:

  • Rumtar
  • Zanzabar
  • Mai Tai 
  • Wang Chung
  • Honolulu city lights
  • Trolley tour
  • Fireworks at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Puerto Rico has a vibrant nightlife with live music,  late-night bars and great restaurants. Some of the best sports for experiencing a great night time are Old San Juan, Condado, Rincón, Mayagüez and Ponce.

Best Nightlife Spots in Puetro Rico:

  • La Factoría
  • El Batey
  • Club Kronos
  • La Placita de Santurce
  • La Pulga
  • La Placita de Santurce
  • Oceano

VERDICT: When compared to the Bahamas, Hawaii is a better spot to have the most thrilling nightlife. 

Paradise for Shoppers: Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Hawaii is an ideal destination for shopaholics. Right from handcrafted jewellery to fresh fruits and clothing, syou will find everything here. 

Some great places to shop here are Farmer’s Market, Queen’s Marketplace,  Keauhou Shopping, Kona international market, Hilos Farmer’s market, Ali Gardens marketplace Shops at Mauna Lani.

Souvenirs to buy in Hawaii:

  • Macadamia nuts
  • Hawaiian quilts
  • Special Hawaiian fruits
  • Aloha shirts
  • Kona coffee
  • Tropical fruit jams

Puerto Rico is a wonderful place for shopping. Old San Juan is the best place to shop in Puerto Rico. You can explore the shopping centres and the flea markets for some amazing souvenirs.

The Mall of San Juan, Plaza Las Americas, San Patricio Plaza, Mayaguez Mall, Plaza Las Americas, Feria Agricola De Luquillo, Plaza Rio Hondo, Serenity Point Yoga & Visionary Arts Space,  and  flea markets like De Vuelta Thrift Shop, Finders keepers, Cosas de Ayer y Hoy, Embeleco, Electroshock, Salvation Army and Pulguero de Bayamon are some wonderful places to shop here.

Souvenirs to buy in Puerto Rico:

  • Hand-carved wooden items
  • Spices
  • Guiro- The Musical Instrument
  • Dulces
  • Hammocks
  • Local Jewelry
  • Puerto Rico Coffee


Accommodation Options in Hawaii Versus Bahamas

Hawaii has a plethora of accommodation options like Hostels, Cottages, resorts and hotels. However, Hawaii is slightly more expensive in terms of hotel prices than Puerto Rico and budget hostels will cost you somewhere around 65 USD- 115 USD

Recommended Areas to Stay in Hawaii:

  • Maui – West & South
  • Big Island – West & East
  • Oahu
  • Kauai – South, North or East Shore
  • Molokai and Lanai

Puerto Rico offers something for everyone. From budget accommodations to fancy resorts, you can easily find a place that fits your budget. While a hostel will cost around 30-90 USD, a budget hotel will cost  120-200 USD  per night. 

Recommended Areas to Stay in Puerto Rico:

  • Old San Juan
  • Cabo Rojo
  • Vieques
  • Culebra Island
  • Isla Verde

VERDICT:  Hawaii and Puerto Rico both offer a wide range of accommodation options but Puerto Rico is more pocket-friendly.

Comparing the Ease of Moving Around in Hawaii Versus Puerto Rico

Hawaii is quite well connected which makes it easy for travellers to explore the island. You can hire a rental car to travel or a private limo, bus, or taxi to travel between the islands

Puerto Rico also has a pretty good internal transportation system. While hiring a car is the best way to explore, you can also make use of other options. Taxi services like Uber and Jaime te lleva are quite good. There are also buses, metro ferries and minibuses.

VERDICT:  Hawaii and Puerto Rico have an equally well-connected system of internal transportation. 

Hawaii or Puerto Rico: The Cleaner Islands

Hawaii for most parts is clean and hygienic but some parts do have a serious trash problem. Some of the cleanest areas in Hawaii to visit are Honolulu and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina are the cleanest areas in Hawaii. 

Puerto Rico is also clean when it comes to hygiene in most visitor frequented areas. The only concern in terms of cleanliness is the tap water in Puerto Rico. Make sure to consume bottled water. Cayo Icacos is one of the cleanest beaches in Puerto Rico. 

VERDICT:  Hawaii is comparatively cleaner than Puerto Rico 

Hawaii vs Bahamas Safety

Hawaii is quite safe, but as is with all destinations, we must always be careful

Comparing the Safety of Hawaii With Puerto Rico 

Hawaii is a safe place for travellers. However, we would suggest that you stay safe in certain areas including Waikiki, campgrounds, and country parks. Stay alert and avoid deserted areas at night. 

Puerto Rico is a safe island for travellers and has a low crime rate. However, just like in other travel destinations, you must stay careful with your belongings, and avoid deserted areas at night. The safest areas in Puerto Rico are Old San Juan and Isla Verde. 

VERDICT: Safety-wise, Puerto Rico and Hawaii both are pretty good.

More Welcoming Islands: Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Hawaii has a rich native culture which is a blend of ethnic influences and unique traditions. Locals of Hawaii are extremely courteous and charming. You receive a heartwarming welcome with Lei flowers when you reach there. That’s the most unforgettable gesture you would ever experience on a beautiful Hawaii Island. 

 Puerto Rican culture has strong influences from Taino, Spanish, American,

and African cultures. People in Puerto Rico are cheerful and always greet you with a lovely smile even if they don’t know you. 

VERDICT: Hawaii and  Puerto Rico are both very welcoming toward visitors

Hawaii or Bahamas for the Perfect Family Vacation

Hawaii is the perfect choice for a family vacation. There are plenty of things to experience like hiking, cruises, snorkeling, serene beaches and more. There is never a dull moment in Hawaii.

Puerto Rico is a perfect family vacation spot because it has a plethora of famous attractions, stunning beaches, delicious food, entertainment, shopping, water activities, and whatnot. 

VERDICT: For a memorable family vacation, both are pretty good options

Hawaii vs Aruba Honeymoon

Hawaii and Puerto Rico are both incredible destinations for couples

A Memorable Honeymoon in Hawaii or Puerto Rico?

 Hawaii is incredible as an ideal destination for newlyweds. Enjoy the real scenic beauty of nature with calm stunning beaches, clear fresh waters, Aloha spirit, and one of the beautiful resorts in Maui, Oahu, Lanai in Hawaii.

Don’t forget to experience the romantic sunset cruise, go deep-sea diving, Kayaking in the Wailua River, and Honolulu – one of the most popular cities for honeymoon couples. 

Puerto Rico is the perfect destination for honeymoon couples. There are a lot of things you can do tether as a couple in Puerto RIco

Right from beautiful beaches, resorts, seaside villas, cosy rainforest treehouses, to delicious restaurants, you and your partner will fall in love with these places. 

VERDICT: Hawaii is more favourable if you have a bigger budget and prefer diverse activities. Puerto Rico is better for its cultural appeal and lower overall cost.

Hawaii Vs Puerto Rico: Taking a Final Call

Both Islands will prove to give you an enthralling travel experience. While Hawaii is more expensive, it does offer a wide range of experiences.

Puerto Rico on the other hand is cheaper but less touristy and better for history & culture lovers.

Happy Wayfaring 🙂 



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