Is Hawaii Bigger Than Puerto Rico? Here’s What You Should Know!

Here’s a question we are asked a lot – Is Hawaii bigger than Puerto Rico?

They both seem pretty big and there is no doubt they are some of the most popular travel destinations – and for a good reason!

So, if you’re ready to learn more about these countries and discover which one is bigger than the other, this post is for you! 

Get ready to witness the size showdown as we unravel the mysteries of land area, population, and geographical wonders. Let’s dive deep into this comparison and discover the fascinating facts behind Hawaii and Puerto Rico’s magnificent landscapes!

Is Hawaii Bigger Than Puerto Rico?

In the realm of captivating tropical destinations, Hawaii and Puerto Rico stand out as paradises in their own right. These enchanting islands boast breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a magnetism that attracts travelers from around the world. 

However, when it comes to size, a curious debate arises: Is Hawaii bigger than Puerto Rico? In this section, we will look into the geographical dimensions, land area, population, and fascinating insights of both these incredible destinations to determine once and for all which claims the crown of size supremacy.

First, let’s talk about the geographical overview of these two US-territory islands.


Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is an archipelago consisting of eight main islands: Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. This tropical paradise is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, active volcanoes, stunning beaches, and diverse ecosystems.

1. The Big Island (Hawaii)

As the largest and youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, the Big Island lives up to its name. It spans approximately 4,028 square miles (10,432 square kilometers) and is home to dramatic contrasts in terrain. Here, you can witness the power of nature at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world’s most active volcanoes, continue to shape the island’s landscape.

2. Maui

Known for its lush beauty and diverse geography, Maui offers a mix of pristine beaches, verdant rainforests, and awe-inspiring volcanic peaks. The iconic Road to Hana takes visitors on a scenic journey through waterfalls, bamboo forests, and stunning coastal vistas. Haleakala National Park is a must-visit, featuring the massive dormant volcano Haleakala and its stunning sunrise views.

3. Oahu

The most populous island in Hawaii, Oahu, combines urban allure with natural wonders. Honolulu, the state capital, is located here and offers a vibrant cityscape, historic landmarks like Pearl Harbor, and the famous Waikiki Beach. The island’s North Shore attracts surfers from around the world with its massive waves, while the scenic Diamond Head Crater provides panoramic views of the island.

4. Kauai

Known as the “Garden Isle,” Kauai boasts lush tropical rainforests, dramatic cliffs, and stunning waterfalls. The Na Pali Coast, a rugged coastline inaccessible by road, is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Waimea Canyon, often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” offers breathtaking vistas and vibrant geological formations.

5. Molokai

Molokai is a peaceful and unspoiled island known for its preserved natural beauty and rich Hawaiian culture. It offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life with its small communities and untouched landscapes. Kalaupapa National Historical Park, a former leprosy colony, offers a moving historical and cultural experience.

6. Lanai

Lanai is a secluded island known for its tranquility and luxury resorts. It features stunning beaches, rugged cliffs, and otherworldly landscapes such as the unique rock formations of the Garden of the Gods. The island’s Manele Bay is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.

7. Niihau

Niihau is a privately owned island and has limited access to the public. It is known for its untouched beauty, pristine beaches, and the preservation of Hawaiian culture.

8. Kahoolawe

Kahoolawe is a small uninhabited island that holds great cultural and historical significance for the Native Hawaiian people. It is currently being restored and protected as a cultural and natural reserve.

Overall, Hawaii’s geographical diversity is unparalleled. From the majestic volcanoes of the Big Island to the lush rainforests of Kauai and the vibrant cityscape of Oahu, each island offers a unique slice of paradise. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Hawaii’s natural wonders are sure to captivate and inspire.

Puerto Rico

Nestled in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is a vibrant and diverse island territory of the United States. With its stunning landscapes, lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and rugged mountains, Puerto Rico offers a geographical tapestry that is both awe-inspiring and inviting.

1. Main Island

The main island of Puerto Rico, also known as the “Island of Enchantment,” is the largest and most populous island in the territory. It spans approximately 3,515 square miles (9,104 square kilometers). The central mountain range, Cordillera Central, runs through the heart of the island, with peaks reaching over 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) in elevation. This mountainous region is known for its dramatic landscapes, lush vegetation, and stunning panoramic views.

2. Coastal Beauty

Surrounded by the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico boasts over 270 miles (434 kilometers) of coastline. From picturesque sandy beaches to dramatic cliffs, the island offers a diverse range of coastal landscapes. The northwest coast is renowned for its world-class surfing spots, including Rincon, which attracts surfers from around the globe. On the east coast, you’ll find pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

3. El Yunque National Forest

Located on the eastern side of the island, El Yunque National Forest is a tropical rainforest and a true natural gem. El Yunque is considered as the US National Forest System’s only tropical rainforest. It is famous for its dense vegetation, vibrant wildlife, and cascading waterfalls. Hiking trails lead visitors through the lush forest, offering opportunities to discover hidden pools, breathtaking vistas, and the mesmerizing sounds of nature.

4. Karst Region

The northwest region of Puerto Rico features a unique karst landscape characterized by limestone formations, sinkholes, and caves. The Rio Camuy Cave Park, one of the world’s largest cave systems, allows visitors to explore the underground wonders of this captivating region. The impressive Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys and the Río Grande de Arecibo.

5. Vieques and Culebra Islands

Off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico lie the islands of Vieques and Culebra. These smaller islands boast pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back island atmosphere. Flamenco Beach in Culebra is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world, with its soft white sand and vibrant marine life. Vieques is also famous for its bioluminescent bay, Mosquito Bay, where the waters come alive with glowing organisms.

6. Mona Island

Located between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Mona Island is a nature reserve and a haven for biodiversity. The island is home to unique plant and animal species, making it an important ecological and scientific site. Mona Island’s secluded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich marine life offer an unparalleled experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

From its majestic mountains and tropical rainforests to its stunning beaches and unique offshore islands, Puerto Rico’s geographical diversity is truly remarkable. The island’s natural beauty, combined with its vibrant culture and warm hospitality, makes it an enticing destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable Caribbean experience.

Hawaii Vs Puerto Rico: Land Area Comparison

The land area of Hawaii, specifically the Big Island, is approximately 4,028 square miles (10,432 square kilometers). It is the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, offering a diverse terrain that includes volcanoes, lush rainforests, stunning coastlines, and captivating valleys.

In terms of land area, Puerto Rico covers about 3,515 square miles (9,104 square kilometers), making it smaller than the Big Island of Hawaii. However, despite its compact size, Puerto Rico boasts an impressive array of landscapes, including mountains, rainforests, caves, and pristine beaches.

Population Comparison: Hawaii Vs. Puerto Rico

As of the latest estimates, the population of Hawaii is approximately 1.4 million people. However, it is important to note that this population is spread across multiple islands.

In Hawaii, the majority of the population resides on the island of Oahu, specifically in the Honolulu metropolitan area. Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is located on the southeastern coast of Oahu and is the most populous city in the state. Oahu is the most densely populated island and is home to a significant portion of Hawaii’s population, including the majority of its urban infrastructure, businesses, and tourist attractions.

With a population of around 3.2 million people, Puerto Rico has a higher population compared to Hawaii. 

In Puerto Rico, the largest concentration of population is found in the San Juan metropolitan area, which includes the capital city of San Juan and its surrounding municipalities. San Juan is located on the northern coast of Puerto Rico and is the economic, cultural, and political center of the island. The San Juan metropolitan area is the most populous region in Puerto Rico and houses a significant portion of the island’s population.

Read More: Fly And Swap Vacations Tips And Tricks You Need To Know

Wrap Up

While Puerto Rico may have a larger population, Hawaii, particularly the Big Island, takes the crown in terms of land area. Both destinations offer unparalleled beauty, cultural experiences, and a warm welcome to visitors. 

Whether you choose to explore the volcanic wonders of Hawaii or dive into the captivating history of Puerto Rico, these islands are sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and let the magic of these incredible destinations unfold before you.

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