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3 days in Puerto Rico is probably not a whole lot of time, however in the event you don’t get a lot break day work and also you’re solely capable of journey on weekends, then typically you simply must work with it!
Since my buddy was ready on her visa and couldn’t go away the U.S., we wished to go someplace a bit completely different for our lengthy weekend with out leaving the nation. An apparent alternative was Puerto Rico – a Caribbean island that additionally occurs to be an unincorporated U.S territory.
At 3.5 hours flight time, the journey from New York to San Juan is pretty brief and also you don’t must take your passport because it’s a home flight. A U.S driver’s license will do. We stayed 3 nights in San Juan and rented a automotive for twenty-four hours so we may discover a bit extra of the island.
For the reason that island is pretty massive it’s unattainable to cowl all the things there’s to do in Puerto Rico in 3 days, so we caught to the north and east coast. I actually loved my time in PR and absolutely intend to return one other time to discover different elements of the island.
Should you plan to spend 3 days in Puerto Rico, right here’s my instructed itinerary.
The place to Keep On Your 3 Days in Puerto Rico
First a bit word on the place to remain. We stayed in an Airbnb, particularly this one. It has a pool and an unbelievable ocean view. It’s additionally centrally situated in Condado so that you’re only a few steps from all of the eating places and bars, in addition to the seashore.
Should you don’t keep at an Airbnb, there are a number of lodges in San Juan space I’d suggest.
O:LV Hotel – That is indubitably one of many nicest boutique Design Motels I’ve ever seen. Located in Condado, the OL:V has a classy rooftop with unbelievable views of the lagoon, which you’ll go to whether or not you’re staying at there or not. This isn’t simply your typical resort – the interiors are to die for, with brass, marble and velvet accents a-plenty.
La Concha Renaissance – Should you’re in search of a bigger resort, La Concha Renaissance boats an infinity pool overlooking Condado Seashore, a number of eating places, a health middle and a 24 hour on line casino. Rooms even have floor-to-ceiling home windows and balconies with ocean views.
Villa Herencia Hotel – I you’d choose to remain in San Juan Outdated City, this boutique resort has outdated world allure, funky interiors, native artwork work and a soothing roof terrace. It’s additionally situated only a brief stroll from Museum of the Americas and Santa Catalina Palace.
Get Round on Your 3 Days in Puerto Rico
In your 3 days in Puerto Rico I’d recommend getting a automotive so you’ll be able to discover the island. Yow will discover rental automotive offers utilizing Kayak or Rentalcars.com. Don’t overlook to carry your U.S driver’s license with you with the intention to hire the automotive. Should you plan to stay round San Juan and Condado, then you’ll be able to simply get round by Uber, which is pretty cheap.
Day 1 – Chill out in Condado
Flying might be exhausting so plan to have a soothing day the primary day of your Puerto Rico itinerary. When you land at San Juan Airport (SJU), both order an Uber or choose up your rental automotive and make your method to your lodging.
San Juan is principally cut up into two elements. There’s the outdated city, which is filled with colourful buildings and bars, then there’s the newer half, Condado, which is by the seashore. I’d recommend staying in Condado so you’ll be able to simply stroll to the seashore. You may then Uber to Outdated San Juan within the evenings.
Chill out on Condado Seashore
When you’ve checked in an unpacked your stuff, head on over to San Juan’s essential seashore space, Condado, which is lined with lodges such because the Marriott and La Concha Renaissance.
Condado Seashore is a windswept metropolis seashore lined with palm bushes, lodges and high-rises. The water can get fairly wavy and the present is powerful so it’s probably not advisable to swim there. The seashore will get energetic within the afternoons, significantly on weekends, so it’s nice for individuals watching. Spend the afternoon absorbing the solar and sip on a piña colada or two.
Lunch at Jose Enrique
Should you’re feeling a bit peckish you’ll be able to stroll alongside Ashford Ave, which has loads of eating places providing all the things from Puerto Rican meals to sushi.
One nice restaurant I’d suggest is Jose Enrique, which serves actually good Puerto Rican meals with a contemporary twist. The restaurant’s inside is shiny and ethereal, with easy wood tables and mirrors adorning the partitions.
Dishes are designed for sharing and are made with substances from native producers. The menu adjustments day by day however you’ll be able to count on all the things to be tremendous contemporary and scrumptious. I significantly loved the tuna crudo and pork stomach with shishito peppers.
Sundown Drinks at ARYA Rooftop
For sundown you’ll be able to head on over to ARYA rooftop on the O:LV hotel, which palms down is among the most trendy lodges I’ve ever seen. Artsy, daring and splendid, the resort is so lovely that it was awarded Greatest Design Resort of the World and Greatest New Boutique Resort by London’s Boutique Resort Awards. When you have the money to remain there, then do it!
The rooftop has an exquisite pool/fountain and views of the Condado lagoon, so head on over at sundown to snap some pictures and luxuriate in a cocktail or two. A spotlight of the rooftop is the ’77 Rolls Royce that’s been transformed right into a DJ Sales space.
La Placita de Santurce
Should you nonetheless have some power left in you, head over to La Placita de Santurce which is a bustling market space that comes alive after 6pm. Locals flock there to have meals, cocktails and dance salsa – it’s tremendous enjoyable!
La Placita has been round for 100 years and began as a two-tiered market the place individuals may purchase contemporary produces reminiscent of fruit, greens and meat. Right now it nonetheless capabilities as a market through the day nevertheless it transforms right into a vibrant native hangout at night time. It’s significantly energetic Thursday by way of Sunday, so be sure to go to on one in all lately.
Day 2 – El Yunque Rainforest and Bio Bay
For the second day of your Puerto Rico itinerary you’re going to drive out to El Yunque Rainforest and go to the city of Fajardo, which is on the east coast of the island. You’ll want a automotive for this half, because it’s too far to Uber from San Juan.
Breakfast at Cafe Regina
For an Instagram-worthy (and wholesome) breakfast, go to Cafe Regina in Condado/Ocean Park, which is situated one block from the seashore. This neighborhood cafe serves high quality espresso and wholesome menu gadgets made with substances from native producers. It’s essential to, should, should get their avocado toast with black garlic, it’s so good!
One other must-try from the menu is the Cashew Milk Iced Latte, which is made with cashew milk, two pictures of espresso, natural maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Cafe Regina is open day by day from 8am to 4pm.
Deal with: 58 Calle Taft, San Juan, PR 00911.
El Yunque Nationwide Forest
Should you haven’t already, choose up a rental automotive and drive to El Yunque rainforest, which is a tropical rainforest within the northeastern a part of Puerto Rico. This numerous rainforest covers an space of almost 29,000 acres and boasts breathtaking views, lovely waterfalls, and loads of mountain climbing trails.
Entry to the rainforest is managed and to enter you’ll must guide on-line from a alternative of morning or afternoon slots. We selected the morning slot so we may beat the crowds and luxuriate in the remainder of our day doing different issues.
For the reason that entrance is timed, I’d advise reserving prematurely at a few days beforehand so that you just aren’t disillusioned. Tickets to El Yunque might be bought on the Recreation.gov web site.
You’ll enter El Yunque Rainforest on the customer’s middle after which drive up steep, windy roads stopping at numerous lookout factors alongside the best way.
Should you get automotive sick in any respect (I undoubtedly do) don’t go on an empty abdomen and be sure to get out of the automotive for contemporary air. The parking areas are tremendous small so I can’t think about how busy it could get if we had gone later within the day.
Should you’re up for some train you may hike one of many trails, or in the event you’d relatively do one thing extra leisurely, you’ll be able to take some pictures and cease at one of many waterfalls for a swim.
After visiting El Yunque it’s time to chill out, so drive over to Luquillo Seashore, which is roughly 20 minutes away, simply off Route 3.
This tranquil bay is nice for swimming and snorkeling and is lined with palm bushes that present some shade. There are restrooms, showers and picnic spots, so you’ve all the things you want proper there. Should you get hungry or thirsty, there are a variety of kiosks subsequent to the seashore serving issues like empanadas, ice cream and piña coladas. I beloved the piña coladas right here and thought they had been a lot better than those I attempted in Outdated San Juan.
Luquillo Seashore has its personal car parking zone and parking in all fairness priced at $4 for your complete day.
Fajardo and Bio Bay
End your day by driving to Fajardo, which is on the east coast of the island. It’s a couple of 15 minute drive from Luquillo Seashore. Fajardo is a well-liked place to do a bioluminescent bay tour. We had been feeling peckish earlier than the tour, so we stopped for some fried snapper and arepas at Pescaderia Don Candi, which is a tiny native spot on the water with a bar subsequent door. Don’t count on something fancy; this can be a no-frills restaurant serving contemporary seafood straight from the ocean. You order on the counter after which sit on bar stools overlooking the water. Be certain that to carry money!
Our Bio Bay kayaking tour with Kayaking Puerto Rico was critically one of many highlights of our journey. We kayaked in nearly full darkness and it was so enjoyable beneath the celebrities that I needed I may keep longer.
If you wish to see bioluminescence then it’s finest to go near a brand new moon when the sky is as darkish as potential. Nevertheless, in the event you go to when the moon is out don’t fret! They offer you a tarp to place over your head so you’ll be able to create shade and see the flicker. It truly is magical, and appears such as you’re holding glitter in your hand.
Day 3 – Pinones and San Juan’s Outdated City
On the ultimate day of your Puerto Rico itinerary, head to Piñones, which is an space near San Juan airport that has lovely, palm tree-lined seashores. It’s a couple of 15-20 minute drive from San Juan, relying on the place you’re staying.
You may both take an Uber there or drive when you’ve got a rental automotive. Two well-liked seashores are La Pocita and Vacía Talega, each of that are nice for snorkeling.
Ocean Lab Brewing Firm
Begin by visiting Ocean Lab Brewing Company, an award-winning brewery that serves craft beers brewed on the seashore in Puerto Rico! Fashionable beers brewed by Ocean Lab embrace Mambo – a hazy wheat beer with a scrumptious passionfruit aroma, and Blood Orange Blonde – a light-weight, crisp beer infused with blood orange from California.
Personally I like an excellent IPA within the solar and their yellowfin tuna poke bowl is absolutely contemporary.
Drift Seashore Bar
After Ocean Lab, seize some cocktails on the seashore at Drift Beach Bar, which is barely additional alongside the coast. Their restaurant/bar Hook’d is correct on the seashore with oceanfront seating and a soothing chill space.
Drift has some nice completely happy hours and drinks specials, plus there are particular occasions all through the week. There’s salsa on Wednesdays, reggae on Fridays and a ‘Sundaze brunch’ on Sundays…you get the concept!
Outdated San Juan
Within the night, head again to San Juan to discover town’s Outdated City, which is understood for its cobbled streets, and colourful buildings and historic sights that date again to the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Outdated San Juan is dwelling to the San Juan Nationwide Historic Web site, which incorporates the outdated metropolis partitions, San Cristóbal fortress and a citadel referred to as Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Sip Piña Coladas
Puerto Rico is known for being the birthplace of the piña colada though from what I learn on-line, individuals can’t determine on the place it was invented. Some individuals say it was invented in 1954 by a bartender on the Caribe Hilton Resort. Some say it was invented by a bartender at Barrachina – a cocktail bar situated within the middle of the Outdated City.
We visited Barrachina to strive their piña colada and I’m unhappy to say, it was not good. It tasted to me prefer it had come out of a machine and I used to be a tad disillusioned. I’m guessing that since they get so many vacationers coming by way of they maybe rush and even have them pre-prepared.
To me a piña colada needs to be creamy and made with love (me and my buddy love making them at dwelling!), and this was simply not like that, however you’ll find loads of nice pina coladas on the island! I haven’t tried the piña colada on the Caribe Hilton however it’s possible you’ll need to give that one a strive as an alternative.
San Juan has a lot of cocktail bars and eating places – our favourite bar being La Factoria, which was tremendous busy. It seems to be fairly small whenever you first stroll in however there’s truly a a lot bigger space for dancing by way of the again.
A Remaining Phrase…
3 days in Puerto Rico will help you have a bit style of the island and see well-liked sights reminiscent of Outdated San Juan, El Yunque Nationwide Forest and a few of Puerto Rico’s unbelievable seashores.
I actually loved my time on the island and it’s undoubtedly value renting a automotive so you may get out of San Juan and see the much less touristy areas. There are all types of locations to go to in Puerto Rico, reminiscent of Rincon, Vieques and the island of Culebra, so I’ll undoubtedly be making a visit again sooner or later to see extra. A protracted weekend in Puerto Rico is simply sufficient to get a bit taster however there are such a lot of issues to do.