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San Juan Puerto Rico

Does anyone have suggestions/comments about Things to do , places to eat

Posted by
1 posts

Depends on what type of activities you're into:

Historical- Visit Old San Juan and visit El Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal. Also, the San Juan Cathedral is the 2nd oldest church in the New World and has the tomb of Ponce De Leon there. Old San Juan is my favorite part of the city. If you want an excellent (expensive) meal, there's a great restaurant in Old San Juan called Marmalade. Barrachina is a cool environment and is supposedly the birthplace of the Pina Colada. El Convento is a great hotel located in Old San Juan. If you want to try Puerto Rican food, Raices is a popular choice with tourists.

Condado & Isla Verde are trendier areas located on the beach.

There is also a Bacardi tour if you have free time.

Adventure- You can head to El Yunque Rainforest and hike the trails, it's really nice there. You can also check out the Bio-luminescent Bay in Fajardo or Vieques. You go out in a boat into a lagoon in which the water glows, it was an interesting experience. There is also a place called Toro Verde for ziplining. It has a zipline called the Beast which is the world's highest zipline and 2nd longest. There are also caves (Cueva Ventana and Camuy Caves) if that interests you.

If you want the best beaches, you would have to head to small islands just off the coast of P.R, Culebra or Vieques. These places are mostly undeveloped with stunning beautiful beaches.

Please note that most of the activities I've suggested require a rental car to get to.

Hope this helps!

Posted by
10344 posts

For Old San Juan you won't need a car. You should have a guidebook to be aware of all the sights there.
There are also some nice beaches at the western/northwestern corner, but you'd need a rental car to get to those.

Posted by
8209 posts

Last time we were there, we stayed in a B&B casita up in the mountains south of Aricebo. Took day trips around the island.

It's a place that desperately needs factories and jobs. Give'em a cooler and 3 cases of water, and Puerto Ricans are selling water at a stop light. Give'em a canopy and a gas grill, and they're a roadside restaurant.

Puerto Ricans don't know what language they speak. Some go Spanish, some speak English. Most speak Spanglish. What I don't understand is why those watching U.S. television all the time don't speak English. All their laws and legal documents are in both Spanish and English, and they use the U.S Uniform Commercial Code.

The western coast of Puerto Rico should be one of the premier resort communities anywhere. It's a shame that 40% of all Puerto Ricans have gone to the mainland to work--3 million or so citizens. But they all want to go back to the island.

I've been to the island many, many times, and really enjoy the place.

Posted by
2193 posts

Rent an apartment in Old San Juan via airbnb or similar website so you can have a home away from home right in the middle of the best part of the city. You won’t need a car, so take a taxi to and from SJU…I recall the cost to be about $20 one-way…go to the queue right outside of the airport terminal and check in with the attendant. Ask your driver for his business card, and call ahead the day before you leave to arrange a pick-up time. Get a good guidebook…I used Lonely Planet. You can walk to all sites. IMHO, some of the top sites are: El Morro, La Fortaleza, Paseo La Princesa, La Casa Blanca, and the Cathedral San Juan Bautista. The forts are the most impressive military fortifications I’ve ever experienced, better even than what I’ve seen in Spain or anywhere else in Europe. The museums are small but very good. We didn’t salsa dance, but I would recommend trying it (or at least watching it at one of the clubs). Lots of shopping…some good art galleries. Some decent coffee places, but they all close early (like 5 or 6 pm). The best coffee place is Café Cola’o down by the cruise terminals (you’ll have to put up with the cruise ship crowd, but it’s worth it). Another great place for coffee and lunch is the Café Don Ruiz Coffee Shop. Make sure you try la Mallorca (ham and cheese sandwich on sweet bread with powdered sugar). For the best authentic Puerto Rican (and kind of rustic) meal, go to La Fonda EI Jibarito and try the fried red snapper and sweet plantains. Super good! The most European-like place is St. Germain Bistro & Café. Awesome and fun! Skip the expensive places, like Marmalade (only so-so and I can do much better at home). Oddly, the best Turkish food I’ve eaten was in Old San Juan…try to hit Istanbul Turkish Restaurant if you have time. There are tons of bad restaurants, serving bad food to tourists, so watch out. In advance online, schedule a tour to visit El Yunque through Acampa (small group of maybe seven people with a driver and a guide in a 15 passenger van…will pick you up and drop you off close to your apartment or hotel). Maybe the best part of Old San Juan is experienced just by strolling at any time of the day or evening. Go to a park or square, get a drink, and chill on a bench for a while. It will feel like you’re in Spain (not just similar to Spain, but really feels like you are in Spain). If you want to explore further afield, use the guidebook for top ideas for beaches, etc. Some of the best beaches in the Caribbean aren't all that far, but you'll need a car (can rent at Hertz at Sheraton Hotel, I believe) . Consider the ferry to the islands. Enjoy!