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12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Nashville, Tennessee
11 posts
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12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Hello everyone,

We are going to Puerto Rico for 12 days next month. When we land we are staying at the Gallery Inn in Old San Juan for a couple of days.. I have a feeling the hustle and bustle of San Juan will be enough for just 2 days in the beginning. However, after that we are free to roam. I had thought about renting a car then heading to an outlying island for a couple days but read that getting a rental car on the island may be impossible. Also would like some suggestions on where you pros would suggest. We love off the beaten path sort of places. However, since he travels often (for work) he can sometimes be a snob on his accommodations so I want to throw in a luxury hotel in our stay at some leg of the trip. He is a musician and loves all types of music so any places/areas of PR that we could experience live music would be a nice touch. We aren't sun worshipers so we won't be laying on the beach all day however the sound and sight of the beach is what we seek so we need to be close to the water when we do stay in some of these beach towns. I also would like to know if the rain forest is worth staying at or just a one day visit? We don't like tourist traps but want to make sure we see Puerto Rico like a local. :)

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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1. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

The Horned Dorset Primavera in Rincon, or the St Regis in Rio Grande are fantastic, luxurious hotels/resorts. If you don't mind the drive to the ferry and the ferry ride to Vieques, the W there might also be what you your looking for.

As far as music, I would say go to El San Juan hotel's lobby one night. It has live music (salsa, merengue, etc).

The rainforest is certainly worth a trip. A day's trip is enough, however, if you add the bio bay tour, it might be easier on you to spend the night in the area.

Have fun!

Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Thank you so much!! You just made the planning process easier on me! :)

Caguas, Puerto Rico
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3. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Another vote for Horned Dorset Primavera! or Villa Monta@na in aguadilla. Although the Villa Monta@na is not that luxury (the villas are luxurious, but the rooms are average), the location is serene, great restaurants and relax atmosphere.

Also Copamarina is pretty good. Next month July is a pretty busy season for beach goers. So stay in the Rincon area for a more relax local vibe.

You could also stay at Vieques the W Retreat Resort.. Great luxury hotel in a small secluded island.

Rincon,PR
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4. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

If you choose Rincon, have a look at:

www.rincon.org

www.rinconpr.com

www.rinconvacations.com

pa
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31 posts
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5. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Nashygirl, 3 years ago we paid a surprise visit to some friends in Quebradillas after a 20 year absence and had a great experience. If you stay in Rincon or Aguadillas, Quebradillas is about 1/2 hour east of Aguadillas.

For live music in an authentic (and I mean off the beaten path authentic) place, this may interest you. Our friends asked us to join them on Sunday evening at a place in the village where from around 5 to 10PM on Sundays, the owner sets up with his guitar on the front terrace area. Any number of his friends show up with guitars, drums, guidas, etc and they play. They set out the mic, and it is also open mic night and quite a few locals sang. It was a very enjoyable, and again authentic night. If we were not the first Americanos to go there, we were sure close to the first. The owner came over and introduced himself, then made an announcement to all there that they should welcome his new American friends. Believe me, we were made to feel welcome!

No food is served, but beer and drinks are plentiful. The name of the place (phonetically) is "Chewkose". It is located across from the town cemetary which is about a block or two from the police station.

Quebradillas is a beautiful little town, but there are no tourist attractions. The beach is very scenic, but unsafe for swimming due to currents. Restaurants are few and far between, but the people are extremely polite and friendly.

I recommend you consider spending a Sunday in Quebradillas. We plan to return to vist our old friends as well as new ones we met on our last trip.

Nashville, Tennessee
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6. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

dosequis4me, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This sounds exactly what he would love to experience musically. He is an accomplished musician, and eats..sleeps...breathes it. Neither of us have to go into the ocean to swim so that's not a big issue at all.... I am going to check into now!

And if anyone else knows of some "off the beaten path" places to experience some live music in PR...Fill me in! :)

pa
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7. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Nashygirl, you are very welcome. I had gone to Quebradillas annually in the late 1960's and early 70's to visit friends and always enjoyed it there because of the people. They are wonderful.

Please let me again stress there are no tourist attractions and also the 2 hotels in town are poor quality. We will not stay at them and recommend you look elsewhere for accommodations. Isabela, Aguadillas, and Rincon are supposed to have some good places to stay.

As far as "Chewkoze" (probably more like Chukos), it is rustic at best and most likely you'll find no one who speaks english so be prepared for that.

To get there, if I remember correctly, from Isabela, Aguadillas and Rincon, take route 2 east to Quebradillas. Watch for route 113 and make a right onto 113. After a few blocks, route 113 makes a left at an intersection. At that intersection, you make a right. If I remember correctly (too many cervezas), the police station and cemetary are just a few blocks from there. It is no more than 1/2 mile from route 2.

I may have a few photos of the owner and friends and maybe of someone singing. If I can locate, I will send to you.

Again, here is nothing touristy here, but I have always felt like Quebradillas was my second home.

Hopefully you will enjoy it as we did. Any questions, please feel free to ask.

NYC
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for Isla de Vieques
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8. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

i havent read the other replies so sorry if i repeat something.

I say go to Vieques. at least for several days. fly there from isla Grande airport to make life easy. There will be no problem getting a rental car in July on Vieques. Avis has a site there as well so you can even check availability online.

The W is a luxury spa/resort on Vieques. You would definitely enjoy it. It is a starwood property.

If you can be on Vieques from July 10-14 you will enjoy the annual Patronales Festival. There will be nightly concerts including El Gran Combo, the world best Salsa band and Andy Montañez, the best Puerto Rican Sonero. Plus lots more. It is worth is. plus if the moon phase is right you can do a bio bay excursion.

with that many days in P.R., you should definitely go to Vieques.

check out www.vieques-events.net for more info

Edited: 13 June 2013, 00:30
Gainesville, VA
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9. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Ditto to Frankiepoo's Vieques recommendation. Went there this Spring and it was the trip of a lifetime! Spent a couple of days prior at Casa Picaflores in the rainforest (fabulous) and then flew over from Fajardo. Still thinking about it.....

Nashville, Tennessee
11 posts
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10. Re: 12 days in Puerto Rico, where would you go?

Does anyone know the website for the isla Grande airport ?

Food recommendations in Old San Juan and also Vieques?

Can we rent a car close to where the Fajardo ferry is and return it at the airport or better yet, have it picked up at the Hotel we are staying at our last night in or around San Juan?

Speaking of our last night...Any hotel recommendations for tired tourist who are pretending not to be tourist for our last night before flying out?

Thank you guys so much. It has been very helpful to gather information! I am sure I will have more questions ;)

Edited: 14 June 2013, 03:35