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Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar (Credit: Handout)

Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the southern part of the island. (undated)

Hot spots outside Puerto Rico's capital

Puerto Rico, one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean, is usually associated with the bustling energy of San Juan. But outside the illustrious capital, along 300 miles of sun-drenched coast, there's a rich cultural history and unadulterated paradise awaiting the more adventurous. In these places, you're guaranteed not only the best in sand and sea, but off-the-beaten path experiences, awesome natural beauty, friendly local flavor and great eats. On your next trip to Puerto Rico, check out of San Juan and head west to Porta del Sol, down to the Southern Coast or east to Rio Grande.

The Rincon Lighthouse looks over the shores in
(Credit: Handout)

The Rincon Lighthouse looks over the shores in Rincon, on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Rincon is world-known as a surfing destination. (undated)

Clouds cover the mountains in the distance while
(Credit: Wyndham Grand Resort Photo)

Clouds cover the mountains in the distance while the sun shines on the seventh hole at the Rio Mar Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about thirty minutes from San Juan. (undated)

A wave crashes through the rock formations in
(Credit: Handout)

A wave crashes through the rock formations in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the southern part of the island. (undated)

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Tamboo is a beachfront bar in Rincon, a
(Credit: Handout)

Tamboo is a beachfront bar in Rincon, a beach town in the south of Puerto Rico, famous for its surfing and nightlife. (undated)

The first World Surfing Championship in Puerto Rico
(Credit: Handout)

The first World Surfing Championship in Puerto Rico (1968) were held at Playa Domes, shown here, in Rincon, on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Rincon is world-known as a surfing destination. (undated)

Cabanas and chaise longues line the pool at
(Credit: Wyndham Grand Resort Photo)

Cabanas and chaise longues line the pool at the Rio Mar Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan. (undated)

Cabanas line the pool at the St. Regis
(Credit: St. Regis Photo)

Cabanas line the pool at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan. (undated)

Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar
(Credit: Handout)

Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the southern part of the island. (undated)

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A wave rolls in to the beach at
(Credit: Handout)

A wave rolls in to the beach at Rincon is southern Puerto Rico. Rincon is famous for its surfing waves. (undated)

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio
(Credit: The St. Regis)

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan, fronts a beach.

A coconut plantation is the setting for the
(Credit: St. Regis Photo)

A coconut plantation is the setting for the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan. (undated)

A coconut plantation is the setting for the
(Credit: St. Regis Photo)

A coconut plantation is the setting for the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan. (undated)

A coconut plantation is the setting for the
(Credit: St. Regis Photo)

A coconut plantation is the setting for the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes from San Juan. (undated)

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Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar
(Credit: Handout)

Bicyclists head out from the Villas del Mar in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the southern part of the island. (undated)

A wave rolls in to the beach at
(Credit: Handout)

A wave rolls in to the beach at Rincon is southern Puerto Rico. Rincon is famous for its surfing waves. (undated)

A wave crashes through the rock formations in
(Credit: Handout)

A wave crashes through the rock formations in Isabela, Puerto Rico, in the southern part of the island. (undated)

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