- Exploring the historic Old San Juan district
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro – 16th century citadel
- Condado Beach
- Day trip to Vieques or Culebra Island
- Hiking to secluded waterfalls in El Yunque rainforest
- Pina Coladas on the beach
- Go kayaking in the bioluminescent bay
- The best way to get around the island is by renting a car. The highways are in excellent condition, many signs are in English, and parking is relatively easy to find.
- In El Yunque rainforest- hike La Mina Trail to La Mina Falls – don’t forget your swimsuit!
- Though it’s cheaper to take the local ferry from Fajardo out to the islands of Culebra or Vieques, the schedule is unreliable and they sell out quickly. A better bet, especially if you don’t have much time, is to take a guided day trip. I recommend East Island Excursions
- Splurge on a stay at Hotel El Convento in old San Juan. Wow. It’s a beautiful hotel converted from a 17th century convent with Spanish colonial decor. So worth it!
- For more of a resort feel, I really liked the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar resort. The location was great, near the rainforest, Bio bay, and ferry to the islands. The resort was clean, and had nice pools and beach area.
- Fajaro Inn (budget option) – 5 min walk to Island ferries and 10 min walk to the beach
- Eat with the locals at the kioscos in Luquillo, whether it’s a snack, sit-down restaurant, seafood, or local flavors. There are over 50 to choose from! My favorite: La Parrilla
- Cafeteria Mallorca in old San Juan. Try the mallorca sandwich. It’s delicious!
- El Jibarito (280 Calle Sol, San Juan) – comida crillolo – typical Puerto Rican cuisine. Try mofongo, pasteles, or tostones! It’s a small dining area, and you might end up sharing a table, but hey–rubbing shoulders with the locals & eating delicious home cooked food – what a great way to immerse yourself in the culture!
Puerto Rrrrico! It’s great! Great music, comfort food, beaches, colonial architecture, rain forests…it has it all. Plus, it’s part of the U.S., so you don’t need a passport to visit and you’ll see many familiar things from home–Costco, even! It feels like paradise.
I traveled to PR twice (November and April) and both times for long weekends. I have to say it rained a lot more in April, but the temps were still high. The first trip was spend at the Wyndham resort, so pretty much all we did was hang out at the resort’s beach and loved it. We did go hiking one day in El Yunque to a secluded waterfall, where we jumped in for a swim. And another day, we took the local ferry out to Vieques because the ferry to Culebra was sold out. We were not disappointed, however, because Vieques ended up being much less crowded than I’m sure than the famous Flamenco beach on Culebra. And it was incredibly beautiful! The sand was white, the water turquoise and clear, and we had plenty of sunshine. After a nap and a quick dip in the ocean, a couple families joined our spot on the beach with a big tent, some tables, a grill, and a boombox. The salsa music, the smell of churrasco, and the sound of laughter…it turned out to be an amazing day.
The second trip was after a cruise that had left from San Juan, and my sister and a friend joined us at the end for a few days of exploring. This trip was a little different. We spent more time in the old historic part of San Juan and stayed at the incredible Hotel El Convento. We discovered some great restaurants and explored the historical sights of the city. I’d love to go again, of course, and visit the western part of the island.