Estoy de vuelta de Puerto Rico. ¿No entiendes español? Translation: I’m back from Puerto Rico! Jealous, much? Well, don’t be! I’m about to give you a whole list of restaurants, things to do, and beautiful beaches to dive into for your future visit. Lately, I’ve been doing quite of bit of traveling this summer and trust me, I love Columbus but all this rain has driven me to warmer weather. My family and I stayed in a beautiful villa in Old San Juan off Calle Del Sol (translation: Street of the Sun) and what an experience. Old San Juan is a beautiful city covered in cobblestone streets, diverse culture and history, and colorful architecture. I would highly recommend a visit or stay in Old San Juan, I promise you it will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Beaches (las playas):
1. Ocean Park Beach
2. Flamenco Beach – rated top ten for most beautiful beach in the world
a. Requires a ferry ride from Farjardos Ferry Terminal to Culebra Island
b. About an hour drive from San Juan
c. A ferry ride is about an hour and a half and costs $4.50 round trip
d. This beach is on my to-do list for my next visit
e. TIP: Coordinate an excursion to Culebra Island so the tour guides can pick you up from your hotel
3. Condado Beach
4. La Playa de Isla Verde
a. This was the first beach we went too and it was beautiful
b. It had white sand and crystal clear water, I loved it!
5. Escambron Beach
a. If you’re looking to do freestyle snorkeling, come here!
b. The water is so warm and you’ll love seeing all the tropical fish swimming around you
Things To-Do (cosas por hacer):
· Eat breakfast at Mallorca and order a Mallorca
· Try Puerto Rican cuisine and taste an Arepa (a fried seafood calzone; recommended by my tour guide)
· Sip on fresh coconut water on the beach
· Taste a plantain, a local delicacy in Puerto Rico
· Grab a cold treat at Senor Paleta in Old San, 153 Calle de Tetuan
· Do not touch the cobblestone cats; just a warning
· Buy local authentic art, souvenirs, and/or jewelry made my Puerto Ricans
· Combine art & chocolate at Chocobar at Casa Cortes, 210 Calle San Francisco
· Sip at the homemaker of rum at Barcardi Rum Tours
· Go salsa dancing at Bar Gitano on Thursday or Sunday & eat Spanish tapas and paella
· Eat at the sister-restaurant of the Bacardi Rum Distillery & order the honey BBQ Bacardi Rum wings
· Looking for sushi, try Dragonfly
· Are you still hungry? Eat out at Jose Enrique
· Try driving down Tranquility Street which is the narrowest street in Old San Juan
· Live the history in Old San Juan at the San Juan National Historic Site
· Swing through the jungle at El Yunque National State Park or bathe in a waterfall
· Visit the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
· Take a moment of silence at the Santa Maria Magdalena Cemetery
· Give directions to your taxi cab driver in Spanish
· Order a flask ($6) and share chichaíto shots with the locals
· Roam the cobblestone streets after dinner and stop and listen to the local bands playing in alley ways
· Go on a walking food tour with Flavors of Old San Juan
· Oh, and don’t forget to take a ton of photos for memories
Drinks & Booze (bebidas):
· Order a piña colada at the birthplace of the piña colada – Barrachina
· Be fancy at La Factoria (age requirement: 23-years old and over)
· Go bar-hopping with your younger sibling whose not 21, because the legal drinking age is 18
· Sip on cocktails and good beer at La Taberna Lupulo
· Chichaíto (American Translation: after-dinner concoction, Spanish Translation: “Little F*%K”)
o This is extremely cheap vodka with a splash of juice that does not come pre-mixed. That is my only warning my friends, so proceed with caution.
· Get cozy at The Mezzanine
Top Adventure Excursions (excursiones):
· Adventuras Tierra Adentro, Inc.
· Acampa Nature Adventures
· Kalichi Adventures Day Tours
· Aqua Adventure
· Across Caribe
· Explora Multiventura Day Tours
I had an amazing time in Old San Juan and I would highly recommend this city as a destination of travel for those looking to get an international feel without having a passport. It’s kid-friendly, but the atmosphere of the city makes it tailored towards adults.
If you have any additional tips, questions, or recommendations to add to my post, please feel free to share. Thanks to everyone who contributed to my experience by adding your personal recommendations on my Instagram post. I hope this blog post can be considered a resource to those who are looking to travel to Puerto Rico.
Disclaimer: I stayed in a villa in Old San Juan so my experience is slightly tailored towards that specific area.
My name is Morgan Pelt and I am a Columbus Lifestyle Blogger. My blog features local businesses and events in the Columbus, OH area including: restaurants, stores, gallery hops, fashion, and people. I want this blog to be fun and resourceful. There's so many new places to discover, new food to try, and good people to meet. Are you ready to join me?