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1st timer

Houston, Tx
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91 posts
10 reviews
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1st timer

Looking to go to Puerto Rico for the 1st time next month.....with my wife and 1 yr old girl.....

Hope we don't have a demanding wish list.....

*would like to stay on the beach in decent or calm water (snorkeling)

*be in area to walk or drive to shops/restaurant

*safe area

What would be the best place to sty or best part of the island

Jason

usa
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5,008 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: 1st timer

Most people gravitate to the Metro San Juan area which is a large. It's very urbanized around the tourist areas and beaches. Do you mind this kind of vacation? Otherwise you will have to go out on the island and you will have to rent a car.

Armonk, New York
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2. Re: 1st timer

Puerto Rico is a large very diverse island. Where you base depends on the style of vacation you prefer.

In general, most visitors to the island gravitate to one of several areas:

(1) San Juan (Condado / Isle Verde) which have Miami like urban beach front resorts. Lots of night life, restaurants, activity.

(2) Old San Juan - great historic district, best restaurants, museums, shops - no beach

(3) El Yunque Rain Forest region - Island atmosphere, several major beach resorts, island type activities - remote beaches, bio bay, rain forest, horseback, zip lines etc.

(4) Rincon on the West Coast - Surfer world, laid back, chill.

(5) Vieques and Culebra: Beautiful and isolated tropical islands for those who want to avoid civilization, bit of a hassle to get to.

The tourist areas in all of these regions are safe, and have beach or near beach resorts and vacations. Except for San Juan, you would need a car, and even there one is a plus as things you want to see are not short walks away. PR is a large island with several significant cities and things are spread out, unlike some of the small Caribbean islands that are more compact. Beaches vary re snorkeling. Many snorkeling trips leave out of Fajardo near El Yunque to go to the reefs and small islands just off the coast.

King of Prussia...
Destination Expert
for San Juan, Ponce
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3. Re: 1st timer

I think that first timers should stay in the San Juan area. It's just very convenient location-wise.

In this case, I strongly believe that what you're looking for is the Isla Verde area. It has everything you request:

-the kind of beach you are looking for: calm, swimmable, although there's not much snokerling

-most hotels are within walking to shops/restaurants

-very safe area

Intercontinental, El San Juan (right next to each other), Ritz, Marriott Courtyard - Isla Verde (both further down), are all on the Isla Verde beach. Embassy Suites and Verdanza are also there, almost in front of one another, and about a block from the beach.

You won't need a car in San Juan, but you will need one if you choose to visit the rainforest or the bio bay, which are highly recommended.

How long are you staying?

Edited: 06 September 2013, 13:00
Houston, Tx
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91 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: 1st timer

staying for four nights....I think I have it narrowed down to the Intercontinental and the Marriott Stellar. Which hotel has more 'things' (shopping, restuarants) within walking distance. I think that is what our decision will be based on. We plan on renting a car at least one day to check out the rainforest.

King of Prussia...
Destination Expert
for San Juan, Ponce
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5. Re: 1st timer

Stellaris has more shopping and restuarants within walking distance.

FYI: the beach is not the kind of beach you are looking for. It's rough most of the time, which often makes it unswimmable.

Edited: 06 September 2013, 18:18
King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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6. Re: 1st timer

Sorry I hit "post" without finishing...

Intercon has plenty restaurants and shops within walking distance. Some restaurants are located in a food court just across the street from the hotel. Metropol is only a 10 minutes walk.

Plus it has the kind of beach that you want.

7. Re: 1st timer

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