We had a great trip to Puerto Rico last week. Search on my name in a few days and you can find individual reviews for a lot of the places/hotels/restaurants mentioned below.
Saturday - arrived via packed direct flight from Boston and picked up rental car. To Acacia Boutique Hotel in Condado, walked around our neighborhood and went over to the Radisson in the evening to watch the NFL game. Loved that we were NOT staying in the big hotel area.
Sunday - took the bus into Old San Juan and found ourselves in the middle of the SanSe festival! Crazy and loud and fun. Explored some of the old city, including Castilo de San Cristobol - with amazing rangers giving a tour. Walked the waterfront promenade and then shared a collectivo home. Dinner at Mango's - nice lively local place.
Monday - drove to El Yunque mid-morning and did a few hikes. scenery was beautiful but we were surprised by the "trails" being paved. easy to get around. Then to Luquillo kiosks for late lunch (YUM) and the beach there - best beach we went to on the mainland. Like every night, we relaxed in the hot tub at the Acacia Hotel when we got back to San Juan. To Casa Dante for Mofongo for dinner. YUM again.
Tuesday - back to Old San Juan - saw the Bodies exhibit which happened to be there, then walked around more, including El Morro fortress, also beautiful. In the evening we drove to Caguas and went to a playoff baseball game which was really fun.
Wednesday - In the morning we went to Kasalta which I should mention we did nearly every day in San Juan - YUM. Drove to Pinones and rented bikes and the co-op- such a fun thing to do , beautiful, we almost skipped it but were so glad we did it. In the afternoon we we went to the little beach next to the Conrad hotel. Dinner we had at Budathai. Pricey (actually typical Boston prices) but great food.
Thursday - walk on the beach in the morning after ordering breakfast to our room (Niche has amazing french toast). then dropped off car at airport and caught flight to Vieques (we paid a little extra to fly out of SJU to make car rental drop-off easier). Picked up Jeep (Coqui Car Rental picked us up) and got settled in at Malecon House.
Friday - packed up the jeep in the AM with chairs and umbrella, stopped at Green Store for supplies, and headed off to beach - Media Luna was our pick for the day, empty, beautiful, great for swimming. Dinner at Bili's was really good.
Saturday - groundhog day? but this time to Secret Beach in the morning - similar to Media Luna, then Orchid Beach in the afternoon - the most beautiful turquoise water with fish (!) and choppy waves. Dinner at The Steakhouse was tasty with notable cheese flan for dessert.
Sunday - we hate the last day of vacation !! Packed up for a quick few hours on Playa Grande - MILES of empty beach with big waves and lots of shells to pick through. Then to the airport (stop at Sol Food en route) then caught NFL game in San Juan airport before flying home with a flight full of crazy happy Boston fans.
Overall we really enjoyed our trip to Puerto Rico. People were nice, and happy to give advice when asked. My Spanish came in handy outside of San Juan. We stayed away from the obvious cruise-ship destinations which kept us away from the annoying tourists. Having been to Belize, Iceland, France, Argentina, we thought we'd find PR ho-hum, but ended up pleasantly surprised by our trip.