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First Time visiting Puerto Rico

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First Time visiting Puerto Rico

This will be the first time visiting Puerto Rico. Will be traveling with 3 couples, young 50s. The end of March, first of April. Will be flying in from the states.

Looking for good accommodations--wondering about renting a house for a week for all of us. Will need to rent a car. Wanting to relax, visit beautiful beaches, and see some sights. We are on a budget--so we need to be frugal with our accommodations, but want comfortable, clean, safe and as close to beach as possible.

We are thinking about possibly making a "base camp" and taking day trips. Want to be on the beach or very close for our main stay. Is this possible--anyone have recommendations or suggestions where would be best for us?

Then day trips to the rain forest, island, bioluminescent bays, historical sights, and....other suggestions?

We like hiking--moderate not strenuous, one couple would like to take a zip line in the Rain Forest? Is there such a thing?

What about fishing? Snorkeling, and …. Sure appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!! any and all help would be wonderful!

El Yunque Rain Forest
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Forests
La Marquesa Forest Park
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks, Forests
Guanica Dry Forest
Forests, Nature & Wildlife Areas
Rio Grande, PR
Destination Expert
for San Juan
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1. Re: First Time visiting Puerto Rico

To address the "activities" part of your question ...

For hiking, definitely plan to spend time in El Yunque. You can do everything from a quick 15-minute walk to see a waterfall, a 3-4 hour round trip hike to El Yunque Peak, a 4.5 mile (roundtrip) hike to the highest peak in the forest (El Toro) or a 8+ mile (roundtrip) hike on Tradewinds Trail (which also leads to El Toro Peak). And lots in-between.

There are a number of zipline operators in Puerto Rico. None of them are located inside the El Yunque National Forest. The closest one is Yunke Zipline Adventures, which is located in the foothills of El Yunque in Luquillo. This one combines moderate forest hiking with ziplines. And the have one of the longest ziplines on the island.

Other activities ...

Definitely plan for some time (and a dinner or 2) in Old San Juan - forts, museums, shopping, etc.

Bad news for you about the biobay ... the end of March will not be good for viewing the biobay. Take a look at our calendar and see for yourself -- www.puertoricodaytrips.com/biobay-and-moon/

Maybe a snorkel trip aboard a catamaran or in the Luis Pena Marine Reserve over on Culebra. That trip combines kayaking and some of the best snorkeling I've seen on the island.

Some "budget-minded" activities include ...

If you're here over a weekend, plan for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon trip to Guavate for lechon. Then head on the Carite Forest and Charco Azul for some easy hiking and a swim in a natural forest pool.

Also, consider hiking in Guajataca Forest to the cave. Nice hike. Bring a flashlight.

There are lots more ideas with all kinds of details (directions, GPS coordinates, contact info) in my PR travel guide ... http://www.PRDayTrips.com . That should give you lots of info to jumpstart your planning. Have fun.

King of Prussia...
Destination Expert
for San Juan, Ponce
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2. Re: First Time visiting Puerto Rico

If this is your first visit, I would suggest that you stay in San Juan. It's a very convenient area as most attractions are nearby.

Please visit the vacation rental website below. If you choose to stay in San Juan, I would recommend the ESJ Towers. It gets great reviews here on TA. The building has its private parking garage, which is great if you plan on renting a car. It also has a private pool and easy access to the nicest beach in San Juan.

The ESJ Towers is located in a very convenient location: 5 minutes from both the airport and Condado, 15 minutes from the Old San Juan, and about 45 minutes from El Yunque.

As far as day trips, and other useful information, please visit the websites below.



Lake Placid, Florida
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3. Re: First Time visiting Puerto Rico

Keep in mind when renting a car, that most of them now have a front console, and only 5 seat belts for passengers. You will need either a bench front seat , or a mini-van if you are all going at once. PR is pretty aggressive in enforcing the seat belt law.

New York
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4. Re: First Time visiting Puerto Rico

I just got back from my first visit and LOVED it. MY BF & I are also 50ish and live a very FRUGAL lifestyle.

We visited alot of the island (North, NorthEast, NorthWest, SouthWest, SouthEast).

We (pre) rented a car from Budget got on Hotwire (great price), took our GPS from home and traveled around stopping at the most wonderful beaches and roamining local places never mentioned much - it was fabulous!

As for places to stay well, as we are from NY and didn't want anything like home so we stayed center North and absoultly loved the area - it was a bit longer to get places but we got to see a whole lot on the way that others sometimes miss. I can't wait to return!

You are going to have a blast!

5. Re: First Time visiting Puerto Rico

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