This year we decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Puerto Rico. We only had a few days to explore, so I researched as MANY places that I could so we could get the most out of our short trip. Since I haven’t seen many blogs offering tips for what to do in PR, I’ll share my schedule for our three days.

Just to start off, Puerto Rico had a hard time in September 2017 with Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane that devastated most of the island. We went there 10 months after the hurricane and about 80% of the island was reconstructed. We didn’t experience any trouble with electricity, internet, etc. and most of the shops and restaurants were open for business, but a few streets were still under construction, and farther from the touristy areas of San Juan, we saw a few buildings that were in shambles.

 

Old San Juan

Old San Juan is the colonial area of San Juan and the capital of Puerto Rico. It’s also a National Historic Landmark District.  The vintage, colorful houses are absolutely mesmerizing. Everything there is so cute that you’ll want to take a picture on every corner. Old San Juan is also filled with famous restaurants, cafes, gift shops, as well as two famous forts, Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal (more details on these later in this post).

During our trip, we went to Old San Juan every day. We stayed in Condado Beach, so it was about a 5 minute Uber ride from our hotel. Also, most of the restaurants we went to were in Old San Juan, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other good spots on the island, which I’ll share in my next post.

 

Castillo San Cristobal

The forts in Old San Juan were constructed by the Spanish over a 250-year period to protect the only strategic location between Europe and the Americas, and also an excellent harbor.

The fort is still in good condition, and the view from the top is definitely rewarding. Be prepared to walk a lot in the heat though. It’s a historic part of the city that is definitely worth the visit.

Tickets cost $7.00 (+16 and older) and for children 15 and under its FREE.

Important information: Keep your receipt, this entrance is valid for both forts.

 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

This fort was constructed for the same reasons as San Cristobal, but on the other side of the island. It’s possible to walk from one to the other, but it’s quite a long distance.

The outside is a big grassy area where a lot of locals hang out. You can also catch amazing sunset views here!

Tickets cost $7.00 (+16 and older) and for children 15 and under its FREE.

Important information: Keep your receipt, this entrance is valid for both forts.

 

Bacardi Factory

By now you should know that Puerto Rico is renowned for its rum drinks, such as the Pina Colada which was invented there. The Bacardi House is an experience where you can visit the distillery, the facility and even get a tasting tour that includes rare rum only available at the factory. I already have a detailed post about my experience there , so I don’t want to give too much spoilers, just click HERE.

CASA BACARDI TOUR

 

Cayo Icacos Island

There are so many small, paradisiac islands around Puerto Rico. While I wanted to visit a bunch of them, I just had time to visit one since most of the boat tours last almost the entire day. We chose the Cayo Icacos, an uninhabited island off the coast of Fajardo.

We bought a boat tour that included the transportation to the island, snorkeling equipment and food/beverages. I’ll also make a separate post about this experience and the company we chose to tour with.

 

La Placita

La Placita is the nightlife of Puerto Rico for locals. It’s a plaza with a lot of bars with live music and tons of people drinking on the streets. It’s such a fun place to go to have a drink during the weekends.

Address: 154 Calle dos Hermanos, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

 

Condado Beach

This was the most calm beach I saw in Puerto Rico. Even though it’s in front of many hotels and resorts in the area, there were not many people around, so it was very relaxing. The only negative part was the extremely rough water.

 

Isla Verde Beach

Isla Verde is located close to the airport. The beach there has a lot more people and is very lively, with many bars along the boardwalk.

 

Escambron Beach

Escambron Beach supposed to be one of the nicest beaches in Puerto Rico. We went there on Sunday, definitely not the best time for tourists. Sunday’s in Puerto Rico is considered family day, so most of the beaches will be super packed. We went to Escambron around 9am and it was already full of tents, loud music, and grills being fired up for lunch time. It’s a beautiful place, but next time we’ll try to go during a calmer time.

 

There’s a lot of very nice and MUST see places that we didn’t have the time to visit. The El Yunque Rainforest for example is supposed to be amazing, but it is quite far from San Juan. I can’t wait to go back to Puerto Rico. The island is amazing and we had such a great time. Everyone you speak to is so polite to you, I was really impressed by that.

If you have a chance to go to Puerto Rico, do it! You won’t regret it. Everything on the island is very reasonable; you can eat excellent local food for a great price. The airplane tickets from NY are also not so expensive either, depending on when you book it.

This is my first post about Puerto Rico, but I have many more coming. Stay tuned for the next one and also remember to follow me on Instagram @eat_travel_andlove - we have daily posts with many tips and stories.