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Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

San Francisco
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Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

Hello,

My wife and I are considering taking a trip to Puerto Rico this summer. We live in California and our last island vacation was to Kauai which we loved. What we loved about Kauai was that it was great combination of relaxing on the beach and then getting in your car to enjoy many activities besides just laying on the beach for a week. We also felt pretty safe exploring around Kauai. Although I wouldn't mind going back to Kauai again this year, my wife wants to try a different destination and we thought Puerto Rico may be good destination although further away for us.

I know Puerto Rico is a large Island and we are not the type that have to "see everything". My initial thought is to have about 8 or 9 full days in Puerto Rico.

I know that we would like to explore the San Juan / Old San Juan area, visit the rain forest, do some hiking and also have a few days of relaxing beach time.

We are not opposed to switching hotels to make seeing different parts of the island more convenient.

So here are my questions.

For exploring San Juan and Old San Juan, would it be better to stay in Old San Juan or perhaps in one of the beach hotels in San Juan?

Could we stay in the same hotel in San Juan and still be close enough to drive to the rainforest for the day?

Are there other areas on the main island where we could relocate to that would provide us with more laid back, beach atmosphere for a few days or for that would be better to go over to Vieques?

Any help that you could provide would be appreciated.

usa
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1. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

There is no beach in Old San Juan proper. It is the old historic quarter surrounded by colonial walls. It is full of historical sites and it's the soul of Puerto Rico.

Isla Verde has the best beach in the Metro San Juan area which is large, having more people than the population of the entire Hawaiian Islands. Many people stay there since it's close to the international airport and close to OSJ and a launching point for many day trips via a rental car like the El Yunque rain forest, the bioluminescent bay and snorkeling trips via the Marina del Rey marina in Fajardo.

Some will stay in the Metro Area and then break up their vacation by staying in Rincon on the west coast (very low key) which is the surfing capital of the Caribbean with tranquil waters on the south side of Rincon.. Others stay east in Luquillo, Rio Grande or Fajardo. Still others stay in Vieques.

Culebra Island and Vieques have the best white sand beaches in Puerto Rico. Flamenco Beach in Culebra is the best beach in PR and Vieques has undeveloped white sand beaches in the nature preserve administed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There is a plethora of interesting things to do and see in Puerto Rico. Just let us know what your hotel budget is, as there are accommodations in every price range from hostels to 5 star resorts.

Edited: 14 February 2014, 18:39
San Francisco
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2. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

Thanks for the reply. For hotel budget I would say that we would like to so stay in the $200-$250 per night range. Although the Vieques and Cuelbra seem nice, don't know if we would want to make the "extra effort" to get over there especially if we can find someplace similar on the main island. We have stayed on many beautiful beaches in the past (Punta Cana and Negril, Jamaica), so don't necessarily have to stay at the "best beach"

Altamonte Springs...
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3. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is about 100 miles long, 35 miles wide and you can drive around it in a day. That said, you can stay wherever you want within the metro area and go outside and still be back for supper. Old San Juan has several hotels, some in front of the pier, others within the old city itself, there is transportation in and out, but traffic can be hectic, especially if there are any special events. Outside the old city there is the hotel area named El Condado (which means The County), which is a long stretch of hotels, bistros, restaurants and great night life bordering the north part of the Island on the Atlantic Ocean. Some weekends they have jazz outdoors, farmers markets and the main road links directly to another tourist area called Isla Verde, which is right next to the airport. From there its about one hour to the El Yunque, which is our rainforest on the eastern part of the island. On the northwestern and western part there are other great places to explore and wonderful beaches on the Caribbean Sea, which borders the south, southwestern part of Puerto Rico. Hope you enjoy your trip if you decide to come.

usa
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4. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

Anywhere you stay in the Metro San Juan area is highly urbanized whether that be Old San Juan, Condado or Isla Verde, i.e, high rise buildings, traffic congestion and big city issues. Think Honolulu tourist zone (Honolulu is more pristine and cleaner).

If the urban experience is not something you want, then think outside the Metro city area like Luquillo, Rio Grande, Fajardo (east coast) or Rincon (low-key area) on the west coast. At either side of the island there are a lot of attractions.

A good option is to rent a condo which would be less expensive.

Edited: 14 February 2014, 21:28
San Francisco
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5. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

I think I like the idea of splitting our time between staying in the metro San Juan area and then moving to a different location. Will look at some of the suggested areas and decide which one. Thanks everyone for your assistance.

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

PR Summer has more vacation crowds and is more hot, humid, rainy, stormy/hurricanes if you will be focusing on outside activities. Possible climate shock for those coming from cool SF. Jan/Feb is much better except for holidays, if you can manage it... Just my humble experience.

Out

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

My fiance and I are going for our honeymoon Thanksgiving week and I have also been thinking of splitting our time between San Juan and another part of the island. I was thinking of starting off in Fajardo and then moving to San Juan for the last few days to see Old San Juan, etc.

8. Re: Questions Regarding A Possible Trip To Puerto Rico

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