San Juan, Puerto Rico: A Travel Itinerary

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First off I would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! I have been away from the blog for a while, and a lot has happened that I would like to share with y’all! Mike and I decided to take an epic two-week trip as our present to one another so, I would like to share my experiences and itineraries incase you ever find yourselves in one of these countries! We went to Puerto Rico, Panama, and Colombia. First on this awesome three-part series is San Juan, Puerto Rico.

So we literally live a short 40 minute plan ride away and have been in the Caribbean all of six months and finally got to cross Puerto Rico off our list. We stayed here for four days, and spent our Christmas here. Puerto Rico is a freaking blast! We stayed in the Condado area, about 20 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from Old San Juan and in minutes of walking to endless restaurants, and beaches, it was pretty much the perfect location for such a short time we were there.

Things to Do:

La Placita (we went on Friday) is a market by day turned block party by night. There was a stage with live music, bongo drums & salsa dancers. People every where just dancing the night away, tons of different bars to check out and just an awesome time to be had, it is definitely more of a local thing.

Walking around the fort in Old San Juan is also a must do! We took a quick 10-15 minute uber ride into this beautifully quant town and our first stop was the fort. It costs $5 to get in and you get access to Castillo San Cristobal, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, most of the city walls, the San Juan Gate and Fort San Juan de la Cruz, the whole fort is roughly 500 years old.  For more information click here.

Shopping is excellent here, with the exception of the 11% sale tax (yikes!). We did a lot of shopping because our selection on St Croix is a bit limited, and walked away with some pretty amazing deals.

If you’re up for a splurge, you HAVE to indulge yourself in a massage at the luxurious Vanderbilt hotel. We treated ourselves to a spa day for Christmas and it was just fabulous. We got there a couple of hours before our treatment, popped some champagne and just had a very relaxing experience getting to enjoy the spas facilities. They have an amazing steam room, sauna, and rainforest inspired shower with eight shower heads and body sprayers (I spent like an hour in there haha). For more information click here. Price: $$$$

ACAMPA waterfall hike & zip line excursion is also a must do if you love the outdoors and want a little adrenaline rush on your vacation. They have 4 zip lines and a free fall jump at the end. A car picks you up from your hotel, and takes you about 40 minutes away from the city where you start your journey. You hike through the beautiful rainforest and literally walk through some waterfalls and streams, bring some shoes you don’t really care about because I promise you they will get wet and muddy, but hey that’s all a part of the adventure! Our guides Cristina and Reynard were amazing, and well educated in all things nature. So not only did we have an amazing action packed hike, we also got educated on the plants and animals we encountered. At the end of the excursion you get some local cuisine too, it’s the perfect end to a great day! For more information click here. Price: $$

Where to Eat:

If you like sushi I totally recommend Sushi City, just check out some of the reviews here. Mike and I are serious sushi snobs, and this place was excellent.  Price: $$

Sara Fina, in the heart of Condado is also delicious. Mike and I went for brunch on Christmas day and it was just the perfect little brunch spot, they make a pretty delicious Bloody Mary too! Check it out here.  Price: $$

Marmalade in Old San Juan, hands down best food experience I have ever had!  If you consider yourself a foodie and have some room left in the budget to splurge, than this is the place to go!  Mike and I each got the six coarse meal, and I got the wine pairing. Yes, we literally shared twelve courses of exceptionally delicious food and six healthy servings of wine between the both of us, I am sure you can just imagine our experience. I highly recommend this place. (This will be a blog post in itself, so be on the look out for it.) If you want more information, click here. Price: $$$$

 

Accommodations:

We stayed in an AirBNB the first four days of our trip and our host Margarita was so awesome, she gifted us with a bottle of champagne as a present for Christmas.  Here is a link to her cute little studio apartment we stayed in, centrally located in Condado, click here to check it out.

We had a day layover in Puerto Rico to end our two week trip so decided to end it on a luxurious note and stayed at the beautiful boutique hotel O:live. We got a suite, and since we booked it a day in advance and they had rooms available we got it at such a great price! Our sweet was equipped with an amazing steam shower and an outdoor bath tub! We got a beautiful breakfast delivered to our room before our flight home, it was such a great way to end our vacation and we will definitely be staying here again. For more information click here. Price: $$$

We had such an amazing time in Puerto Rico. San Juan is such a vibrant city filled with so much culture and life, we really enjoyed ourselves. Old San Juan is officially one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to, I just fell in love with all the old charming colorful buildings and cobble stone streets. Old San Juan definitely stole a piece of my heart and I will be back for more adventures here.

 

XX

Wanderlust Brunette

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23 Comments

  1. I love finding old forts/ruins on my travels. My favorite is the photo from the top looking down onto the fort – what an awesome view. I would also love to do the rainforest hike if I get a chance to go to San Juan! Thanks for sharing about these gems 🙂

    1. Thank you so much!! If you ever find yourself in the Caribbean you really should go there, its a photographers dream location for sure!

  2. Would LOVE to go to Puerto Rico! Your photos are so bright and colourful- looks like a stunning place for a getaway. The waterfall hike and zip line sounds like a lot of fun too!

  3. I went to Puerto Rico on a cruise and decided to head out about an hour to the rain forest which was amazing! We didn’t explore Old San Juan that much since I thought it would be more touristy (because of the cruise) but we did see a cemetery overlooking the ocean and ate some delicious food! That’s awesome that you spent Christmas here, I bet the whole vibe totally changed! If you ever go back, I heard there is a bio luminescent bay where the water “glows” so that would be cool to check out!! Also, the waterfall thing you did, we did that in Bali, how fun is it?? All the adventurous stuff is what I enjoy! Great post! <3

    1. Oh its just amazing, I am a total adventure/thrill seeker so finding awesome excursion to combine that is a huge plus for me! In Bali? so jealous, that destination is on the top of my bucket list

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