This is the Ultimate Puerto Rico Travel Guide! After planning a wedding for a while, we were really looking forward to our Honeymoon. We knew we wanted to go somewhere warm that we could relax, but also have an adventure if we wanted to. For our Honeymoon we decided to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico! This was definitely one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on and Puerto Rico will for sure have a special place in my heart!
I can’t say enough good things about visiting this beautiful island.
Why Puerto Rico?
One really big reason we chose Puerto Rico was how easy it was to get there! Between planning a wedding, preparing for the days before, and the actual honeymoon, we really had to be strategic with our Paid Time Off. We knew we wanted to be gone for at least a solid week of enjoyment and didn’t want to travel somewhere that took a whole day to get to!
Puerto Rico was a fairly quick flight from VA, we flew into JFK and then to San Juan. When we got into Puerto Rico, we still had the whole evening to explore.
I am a huge water and beach person. My summer is not complete without a trip to the beach. I knew I wanted to spend some of our time just soaking up the sun and relaxing. Going to an island was the perfect choice for this!
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico:
We stayed at a newer hotel called the AC Hotel, it was super modern and sleek and we loved it. It wasn’t a really large hotel, but it had an amazing rooftop pool and bar. It was in a great location in walking distance to various restaurants, beach access and more. Whenever we go back to visit we would consider staying at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino because it had direct beach access. Since the AC Hotel we stayed was the sister property we were still able to access their features.
The Condado area was really close to Old San Juan and everything else we wanted to visit. It was only a few minutes to uber to get wherever we needed to, and maybe 20-25 minutes away from the airport.
I would also consider staying in an airbnb in Old San Juan or another area if I was with a group!
Things to do in Puerto Rico:
1. Visit Old San Juan
You have to visit the fortes in Old San Juan, this area is so rich with history. Did you know that Old San Juan is the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere? When you visit these fortes it’s amazing to think about they were built and the purpose they served to protect the island. You can either walk and explore on your own or you can opt to do a guided tour. The San Cristobel Fort and El Morro are something you can’t miss!
Old San Juan is also really well known for the beautifully colorful buildings. I loved how vibrant it was there. The buildings are so beautifully built, I really enjoyed the history of it. There was also a really cute area that had a bunch of upside down brightly colored umbrellas.
Old San Juan has a ton of restaurants, bars, shops, and other cultural stops like exhibits. You can also do a walking tour of this area as a whole as well. Whenever you visit Old San Juan I would highly recommend your good walking shoes especially for the cobble stone.
2. Eat all the delicious food
This might be one of my favorite sections of this Puerto Rico Travel Guide. lol Prior to visiting, I don’t think I had ever had Puerto Rican food. And I’m sad it took me so long in life to have it because it was ALL good. I don’t think there was anything we tried that we did not enjoy. Our two favorites were the Mallorca bread, that we had as part of a breakfast sandwich, and then the Mufango. If you go to Puerto Rico and don’t try the Mufango you didn’t do it right!
A few places that I can remember the name of that we went to that were great were Cafetería Mallorca and Chocobar Cortes in Old San Juan and Bistro Cafe in Isla Verde.
Chocobar is chocolate heaven with all of the chocolately options. The place itself is also super cute, and we explored an art gallery upstairs.
Bistro Cafe had the most amazing brunch. The food there came in such large portions and was so delicious. They also had a variety of mimosa options which is always a win. We went here on our last morning before we flew back home.
Cafetería Mallorca had the most amazing breakfast sandwiches there where we were able to try the Mallorca bread.
3. Tour the Bacardi Rum Factory
We had so much fun doing this tour at Casa Bacardi. I’m honestly not too much of a rum person, but you can’t come to Puerto Rico and not try it! Before we even went on the tour, you got a welcome drink of your choice in this cool outdoor bar area. The drink you get comes in a souvenir cup that you get to keep.
We got to do a tour of the Bacardi Rum factory, learn the history and the process of how rum is made. They showed us the sugar cane, barrels and everything.
After the tour, we did a mixology class where we learned (and drank) three different rum drinks. It was cool going through a step-by-step process in learning how to make these as well as learning a little bit of history behind a few of the drinks. The instructors and tour guides were amazing so I would definitely recommend this experience.
4. Vist Culebra
The picture I’m sharing does this amazing place ZERO justice. I can’t even describe how amazing it is in person. The water was so clear and still it was literally just a dream. Going to Culebra was one of my favorite experiences ever.
So to actually get to Culebra it is a bit of an adventure, but it is totally worth it. It was about an hour to get from the Condado area to take a ferry to get to Culebra. And actually from there we took a smaller boat to get to Culebrita which is an even smaller beach area. This adventure took an entire day for us, but was totally worth it. We used Culebra Bluewater Charters to get to Culebrita and Captain Dave was amazingly accommodating! He also has amazing reviews on Tripadvisor for good reason. He had all the gear we needed, snorkeling gear, beach chairs a big umbrella — Captain Dave had it all!
If you don’t do any other activity listed in this Puerto Rico Travel Guide this is the perfect place to go snorkeling and just explore nature!
Things for Trip #2:
While we were on this trip, we knew we had to come back. There are still a lot of things we wanted to do and restaurants to try! Here is the list of other activities you can consider:
- El Yunque – The rainforest
- Celebrate at a festival (depending on when you go)
- Visit La Placita at night
- Check out some of the older hotels in Old San Juan like El Convento
- Visit the double waterfalls at Gozalandia
- Kayak in the bioluminescent bays
- Visit a museum
- Go on a food tour
I hope this Puerto Rico Travel Guide helped you see how amazing Puerto Rico and that you plan a trip to visit soon. If you do plan on traveling soon, I have a blog post all about what to pack on a carry on linked here.
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