Rum Tours picture
(Courtesy of Ron del Barrilito)

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Tours, Wineries/Breweries Type
3.1

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  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A visit to Puerto Rico wouldn't be complete without tasting one of its best-known beverages: rum. It's one of Puerto Rico's top exports and the island is often referred to as the "rum capital of the world." There are many kinds of rum from traditional white rum to dark rum as well as several producers including Bacardí, Don Q and PitoRico, a smaller brand.

One way to learn more about Puerto Rico's rum production (and to taste some of the libations) are to go on a tour. Bacardí and Ron del Barrilito offer a variety of tours and cocktail experiences at their facilities. (Don Q, however, does not have a distillery that accepts visitors.)

Travelers offer mixed reviews of Bacardí's tours. While all tour-takers enjoyed the cocktails and tastings offered, some felt the tour itself was lacking in substance. Reviews of the Ron del Barrilito are more favorable. Visitors called both the tour and the location a wonderful outing, praising the guides for their knowledge.

Casa Bacardí is located across the bay from Old San Juan in Cataño. You can drive to the distillery, take a taxi or Uber or hop on a ferry from Old San Juan. The facility opens daily at 9 a.m. and tours run at various times throughout the day; the last tours run around 4 p.m. Tickets cost $15 to $60, depending on which tour you book. Visit its website for more information.

Ron del Barrilito operates its tours out of the historic Hacienda Santa Ana. It's located in Bayamón, approximately 10 miles southwest of San Juan. You can drive, Uber or taxi to the distillery. Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tickets cost $25 or $80 per person, depending on which tour you take. Visit Ron del Barrilito's website to learn more.

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#1 Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)

This south Vieques beach might not sound like much, but it's one of travelers' favorite experiences in Puerto Rico. During the day, Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is your stereotypical Caribbean hideout but at night, the waters emit a blue glow from the organisms, called dinoflagellates, that live there. More than 600,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates live in each gallon of bay water, and recent travelers have been amazed by just how much visibility these tiny creatures provide.

Avoid visiting the bay during a full moon; the microorganisms aren't as visible then. Also aim for a quiet approach. Recent travelers recommended going out in a kayak to get the full effect of the glow and to prevent disturbing the dinoflagellates.

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Todd Van Hoosear/Flickr
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