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Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Denver, Colorado
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Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Hi everyone. I am looking at a possible trip to Puerto Rico for some personal decompression time. Not sure what I am looking for... secluded off the beaten path or in the heart of a city. In a rain forest or on the beach are work too... lol.

What I am looking for is some suggestions for a 4 day trip where I can meet people, have fun, get away from everything, rent a scooter, hike, lay on the beach... phew.

I have never been but it looks fun - all suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance for the help!!!!

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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1. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

My best suggestion is to do some research first. PR is a big island. It's next to impossible to make suggestions when you yourself don't know what you want. If you do some research, then you ask about specifics, we can at least have a starting point.

Here are some questions for you:

How old is your son?

How far do you want to stay from San Juan and/or the airport?

Are you planning to rent a car?

What landmarks/attractions are you interested in visiting in PR?

What are your interests?

Do you care for nightlife?

Edited: 04 June 2014, 18:41
Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Hi Paris7002, the trip is solo - "without" my son. :-)

Flying into San Juan but distance from airport does not matter and I will probably rent a car.

I love to hike, go to the beach, see landmarks - I did some research but i am just not familiar enough to know the specifics of certain landmarks.

My son is a special needs child so I will need cell and internet coverage to check on him daily. Nightlife of sitting with locals at a bar with music and enjoy the evening is all I am looking for. I do not care for dance clubs.

Interests would include hiking, sightseeing, walking, bike riding, going to the beach. Maybe a fishing excursion (although I am not much of a fisherman).

Hotel - something unique, small, budget conscious, quaint, locally owned, meals are not important.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you again Paris!!!

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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3. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Sorry, I missed the solo part.

For hiking, El Yunque rainforest is the way to go. It's located about 45 minutes east of San Juan.

For sight seeing, definitely go to Old San Juan. The bio bay, the rainforest, and the Camuy Caves are also popular.

Old San Juan also has plenty of bars visited by locals. Douglas Pub is my personal favorite. Ask for the layered and lit shot, and the chichaíto drink.

As far as beaches, this depends on what your preferences are. San Juan has a nice beach in Isla Verde, but there are nicer beaches outside of San Juan such as Seven Seas in Fajardo (45 minutes east of San Juan), Boqueron (3 hours west of San Juan), and the nice beaches of Vieques and Culebra (the adjacent islands on the east side of the main island).

Now, when it comes to hotels, you might want to check out the boutique hotels in the Old San Juan: Hotel Milano, Da House, Casablanca. Or the adults-only The Water and Beach Clun in Isla Verde, which is right across the street from the beach.

For decent prices on hotels, I would bid on Priceline.com. Just make sure to bid on 3.5 and 4 stars (only) in the San Juan area. You can also consider renting a condo, which will save you parking and food money. Both Marbella and ESJ Towers are right on the Isla Verde beach. You can find these and other condos on vrbo.com.

I hope this helps!

Edited: 04 June 2014, 19:44
Denver, Colorado
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4. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Paris!!!! Hope it helps??? I should hire you!! Thank you so much.

What great information.

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

one more question - can you hire a car to get to the rainforest or public transportation if I don't want to rent a car?

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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6. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

You can take a taxi or tour, however they'll be expensive. Below are their websites with their prices.

http://www.cabspr.com/

http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/

This other tour is also fun: http://www.segwaytourspr.com/

Tips:

You can visit El Yunque, Luquillo Beach, the kiosks at the beach (great authentic food and migling with the locals), and the bio bay all in one day.

Another local mingling option is visiting the kiosks in Piñones.

usa
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7. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

The Metro San Area is huge and would not really fit the bill for quaint or small and most hotels are high rise properties. Old San Juan is a definite must see as the history of the old quarter is 500 years old. There are some small lodging choices there although there is no beach in the old city.

I would recommend a snorkeling tour from Fajardo with a group since you will be alone. We've done it with the tour operator below. You can select where you would like to go on the website. A trip to Culebra Island which has the best and most beautiful beach in PR is ideal or any of the surrounding cays:

http://www.eastislandpr.com/

I recommend going to El Yunque, but I do not recommend an extended hike alone in the forest as some have gotten lost.

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

Hi kg, To start with you have a fairly lengthy trip, so attempting to cram a lot of activities into your stay will negate your desire to decompress. The good news is that a short trip to San Juan will give you plenty of interesting experiences at a relaxed and restorative pace. The last 2 first timers I know personally both intended to check out the island and pursue adventue activities. Both spent their days by the beach or pool, made a visit to Old San Juan and indulged in nightlife and are dying to go back. You will find plenty of people to socialize with both local and visitors. I suggest that you get a hotel in the Condado, its beachfront, centrally located and has a number of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops all in walking distance. . One spot that first timers usually don't get to is La Placita Merccado del Santurce. Its a well aged neighborhood arranged in a square surrounding the Mercado itself. Its close to the Condado, but I'd take a taxi at night. ( I did walk there during the day) On Thursday and Friday nights it is filled with local people partying in the numeous open faced bars and shops, many of which have live bands that inspire "dancing in the streets" . I guess I'm saying that "a heart of the city" trip might suit you best.

Edited: 05 June 2014, 16:08
kle
Boston
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9. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

How about Vieques? It would certainly fit all of your criteria and you could hop on a puddle jumper right off the plane in San Juan. Vieques is off the beaten path, has gorgeous beaches, good food, relaxed vibe, and plenty of places to have a drink at night along the Malecon in Esperanza. We've only stayed in a rental property there so I am not familiar with hotel lodging, but I did take a look at the Malecon House and it was lovely.

Armonk, New York
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10. Re: Single Dad - Puerto Rico trip without my son for some R&R

As Paris says, this is a big island. Where you sbase 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. The beach at Isle Verde is more swimable. Condado has more / better restaurants within walking distance.

(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. You'll find your white sand here.

Puerto Rico is a large very diverse island. The best things to see are spread out. Unless you are staying in San Juan, it is a must to rent a car. Even then, it is a significant advantage.

You should decide what style and region you prefer and then us TA or other sites to narrow down the hotels in that area. Given the preferences you site, it sounds like you would prefer the San Juan area or Old San Juan where there is more night life and places to socialize.