Since my pal is at present ready on her visa and might’t go away the U.S, we needed to go someplace a bit totally different with out leaving the nation. That left Puerto Rico – a Caribbean island that additionally occurs to be an unincorporated U.S territory.
At 3.5 hours flight time, the journey from New York to San Juan is pretty quick and also you don’t must take your passport because it’s a home flight – a U.S driver’s license will do. We stayed 3 nights in San Juan and rented a automotive for twenty-four hours so we might discover a bit extra of the island.
For the reason that island is pretty massive it’s unattainable to cowl every little thing in 3 days, so we caught to the north and east coast and we intend to return one other time to discover different elements of the island.
For those who plan to spend 3 days in Puerto Rico, right here’s my advised itinerary.
The place to Keep
First a bit notice on the place to remain. We stayed in an Airbnb, particularly this one. It has a pool and an unbelievable ocean view. It’s additionally centrally positioned in Condado so that you’re just some steps from all of the eating places and bars, in addition to the seashore.
For those who don’t keep at an Airbnb, there are a few motels I’d advocate.
O:LV Resort – That is indisputably one of many nicest boutique Design Lodges I’ve ever seen. Located in Condado, the OL:V has a classy rooftop with unbelievable views of the lagoon, which you’ll be able to go to whether or not you’re staying at there or not. This isn’t simply your typical resort – the interiors are to die for, with brass, marble and velvet accents a-plenty.
La Concha Renaissance – For those who’re searching for a bigger resort, La Concha Renaissance boats an infinity pool overlooking Condado Seashore, a number of eating places, a health heart and a 24 hour on line casino. Rooms even have floor-to-ceiling home windows and balconies with ocean views.
Villa Herencia Resort – I you’d choose to remain in San Juan Previous City, this boutique resort has previous world allure, funky interiors, native artwork work and a calming roof terrace. It’s additionally positioned only a quick stroll from Museum of the Americas and Santa Catalina Palace.
Day 1 – Chill out in Condado
Flying may be exhausting so I at all times prefer to have a calming day the primary day of my journey. When you’ve Ubered to your resort from the airport, head on over to San Juan’s most important seashore space, Condado, which is lined with motels such because the Marriott and La Concha Renaissance. I didn’t discover the seashore to be as lovely as some others we visited on the island but it surely has a vigorous environment and it’s nice as metropolis seashores go. Spend the afternoon absorbing the solar and sip on a Pina colada or two.
For those who’re feeling a bit peckish you may stroll alongside Ashford Ave, which has loads of eating places providing every little thing from Puerto Rican meals to sushi. One nice restaurant I’d advocate is Jose Enrique, which serves actually good Puerto Rican meals with a contemporary twist.
For sundown you may head on over to ARYA rooftop on the O:LV resort, which arms down is without doubt one of the most luxurious, hippest motels I’ve ever seen. When you’ve got the money to remain there, then do it!
The rooftop has a fantastic pool/fountain and views of the Condado lagoon, so as soon as sundown comes it’s an ideal spot for images. Deal with your self to some cocktails and appetizers when you take heed to their DJ play.
For those who nonetheless have some power left in you, head over to La Placita de Santurce which is a bustling market space that comes alive after 6pm. Locals flock there to have meals, cocktails and dance salsa – it’s tremendous enjoyable!
Day 2 – El Yunque Rainforest and Bio Bay
For an Instagram-worthy (and wholesome) breakfast, go to Cafe Regina in Condado. You need to, should, should get their avocado toast with black garlic, it’s so good!
For those who haven’t already, decide up a rental automotive and drive to El Yunque rainforest, which is a tropical rainforest within the northeastern a part of Puerto Rico. To enter the rainforest we wanted to e book on-line from a selection of morning or afternoon slots. We selected the morning slot so we might beat the crowds and luxuriate in the remainder of our day doing different issues.
You enter El Yunque Rainforest on the customer’s heart after which drive up steep, windy roads stopping at numerous lookout factors alongside the way in which. For those who get automotive sick in any respect (I positively do) don’t go on an empty abdomen and be sure to get out of the automotive for contemporary air. The parking areas are tremendous small so I can’t think about how busy it will get if we had gone later within the day.
For those who’re up for some train you may hike one of many trails, or if you happen to’d somewhat do one thing extra leisurely, you may take some images and cease at one of many waterfalls for a swim.
After visiting El Yunque it’s time to loosen up, so drive over to Luquillo Seashore, which is roughly 20 minutes away. This tranquil bay is nice for swimming and there’s a small kiosk there that serves the most effective Pina Coladas.
From there, end your day in Fajardo with a bioluminescent bay tour. We had been feeling peckish earlier than the tour, so we stopped for some fried fish and arepas at Pescaderia Don Candi, which is a tiny native spot on the water with a bar subsequent door.
The Bio Bay kayaking tour with Kayaking Puerto Rico was critically one of many highlights of our journey. We kayaked in nearly full darkness and it was so stress-free beneath the celebs that I might have stayed longer. If you wish to see bioluminescence then it’s finest to go near a brand new moon when the sky is as darkish as potential, but when the moon is out then they provide you a tarp to place over your head so you may create shade and see the flicker. It truly is magical, and appears such as you’re holding glitter in your hand.
Day 3 – Pinones and San Juan’s Previous City
In your closing day in Puerto Rico, head to Pinones, which is an space near San Juan airport that has lovely, palm tree-lined seashores. Begin at Ocean Lab Brewing Firm, a brewery that serves beers brewed on the seashore in Puerto Rico! Personally I really like a very good IPA within the solar and their yellowfin tuna poke bowl is actually contemporary.
After Ocean Lab, seize some cocktails on the seashore at Drift Seashore Bar, which is barely additional alongside the coast. Their restaurant/bar Hook’d is correct on the seashore with oceanfront seating and a calming chill space. They’ve some nice drinks specials, resembling Mojito Wendesdays, 2 for 1 Thursdays and Wine Fridays – you get the thought!
Within the night, head again to San Juan to discover the town’s Previous City, which boasts cobbled streets and colourful buildings, plus a citadel known as Castillo San Felipe del Morro, which was constructed between 1539 and 1790.
Puerto Rico is house of the Pina Colada though from what I learn on-line, individuals can’t resolve on the place it was invented. Some individuals say the Caribe Hilton Resort and a few say it was invented by a bartender at Barrachina. We visited Barrachina to strive their Pina Colada and I’m unhappy to say, it was not good. It tasted to me prefer it had come out of a machine and I used to be a tad disillusioned. I’m guessing that since they get so many vacationers coming by way of they maybe rush and even have them pre-prepared.
To me a Pina Colada must be creamy and made with love (me and my pal love making them at house!), and this was simply not like that, however yow will discover loads of nice Pina Coladas on the island!
San Juan has plenty of cocktail bars and eating places – our favourite bar being La Factoria, which was tremendous busy. It seems fairly small whenever you first stroll in however there’s really a a lot bigger space for dancing by way of the again.
I actually loved my time on the island and it’s positively value renting a automotive so you will get out of San Juan and see the much less touristy areas. There are all kinds of locations to go to in Puerto Rico, resembling Rincon, Vieques and the island of Culebra, so I’ll positively be making a visit again in some unspecified time in the future to see extra. A protracted weekend in Puerto Rico is simply sufficient to get a bit taster however there are such a lot of issues to do.
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