Puerto Rico. Where do I begin? I’ve been to this gorgeous island multiple times, and all my trips have been memorable. My favorite part about PR is that you can cover a lot of ground within a short period of time. The island is pretty small. It’s also the perfect blend of chill vibes, beach, sun, and piña coladas. My most recent trip was this past December 2015. I went to celebrate my girl’s big 3-0, and we stayed at her grandmother’s house in Vega Alta. We drove all over the island, explored, met awesome people, and most importantly, ate really great food. Just a heads up that if you want to really go out and explore places outside of San Juan, I recommend renting a car. Public transportation is terrible within the island, as most people drive. With that being said, here are some of my favorite places. If you’ve been to Puerto Rico, definitely share your go-to spots with us!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Viejo San Juan. The cobblestone streets, colorful houses, colonial architecture, chic restaurants and bars…it’s just too damn much. I can literally walk for hours just staring at all of it (and taking cute pics).
Castillo San Felipe del Morro y San Cristobal:
Amazing view of the coast and the most beautiful architecture. Both fortifications can be explored alone or with a park service ranger. Historical information is posted throughout the fort for those of you who wanna get your read on.
We ducked bats and hiked through dark caves to reach La Cueva de La Ventana, a cave that offers a stunning view of Arecibo.
El Yunque National Rainforest:
Rainforest. Hiking. Waterfalls. If you’re into getting a nature workout in, this is the spot for you.
I love this place! They make delicious wraps and smoothies, and also have homemade empanadas (veggie options included!) I’ll also mention that they made me a pina colada to die for.
A low-key bar/lounge with specialty cocktails. Expect good music and super sexy vibes (put on that freakum dress).
Open mic nights, local music, art, & film. My friend Carolina from Miss Rizos had an event here and the service was great. Check out their calendar for a complete list of all their events.
Located in Santurce, this place is a must for vegan/vegetarian lovers. All of their food is locally sourced, and they work closely with a family farm to bring you the freshest meals imaginable. Definitely going down as a favorite.
Located just 15 minutes outside of Viejo San Juan, this place seriously has the best calamari ever. Oh-em-gee. Just so good! This restaurant is on the pricier side of things, but if you’re in the mood to splurge a bit (as you should be), then check it out.
This beach is one of those “off the beaten path” situations. You’ll find mostly locals laying back and enjoying the sun. You can hike to the far end of the beach, for stunning views of the ocean. You’ll also find really cool rock formations.
This Afro-Puerto Rican town made my heart smile. Not only because I was so excited to see an entire community of brown faces, but also because Loiza is home to many Dominicans (woop!) We stopped by Los Piñones, which has a strip of food kiosks and restaurants. We ate at La Casita (so good!) and went to the local beaches that line the coast, before heading into town to visit Las Cuevas de Loiza:
We drove to Cabo Rojo, a cute beach town with tons of cute bars and restaurants. It’s super chill, and great for getting in that much needed rest and relaxation.
And then there was Vieques and Culebra. I’ve been fortunate enough to explore both these islands, and they are truly a treat. I’ve done day trips to Culebra, and did an extended vacation in Vieques. If you’re interested in visiting, you have to catch a ferry from Fajardo (if going to Culebra, arrive 1-2 hours early or you will be left). Here’s a quick summary of both:
I stayed in the Vieques Good Vibes house, which is run by my good friend Pacifica. She drove us all over the island. I wish I kept track of the names of the beaches we went to, but I’ll just say that it’s a pretty small island. You probably won’t get lost, and will be able to explore most of the beaches within one weekend. Vieques has really cute cafés and restaurants, and the southern side of the island is considered to be the liveliest if you’re looking to turn up.
Culebra is smaller and more tourist-driven. It also has a ton of beaches that are great for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and all that good stuff. I visited Flamenco beach while there, and it was everything.
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