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Help with my itinerary please!

Lake Mary, Florida
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Help with my itinerary please!

Hello all!

So my trip is all booked, 4 nights in Rio Grande, 2 in Ponce and 3 in San Juan (technically Bayamon). It's me and hubby, three kids ages 10, 3, and 1 and we got grandma to come along with us too! :-) As you read through this please be sure to point out where would be good places to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner....

Other than checking into the rental - what would be good to do for the first day there (Saturday afternoon) - maybe a good spot for dinner near Rio Grande?

Our first morning there is a Sunday so I'll need to get to church - from the Rio Grande area anyone know a Catholic church? I'm fine with mass in Spanish.

Considering we have to get to church I was thinking we won't do anything big that day because of time (we always end up at a late morning mass and then we're starving afterward so we're not done until after lunch time) so I was thinking of checking out the kiosks and Luquillo beach. They are open on Sundays, right?

Second morning is a Monday - Rainforest? Any tips, considering the kids?

Third morning is a Tuesday - would it be crazy to try to get the ferry to Culebra or Vieques driving from Rio Grande and the kids in tow for a daytrip? Would this idea be better on a Monday? If it's crazy, other than repeat what we did previous days (is Luquillo beach or the rainforest worth repeating?) or just lounging around at the condo (which is technically beachfront so that wouldn't be SO bad) - what else is in this area that we could do this day? I was thinking the Icacos excursion?

Fourth morning is checkout, Wednesday, and we're driving to Ponce. Anything on the drive that we should stop and see/do? We will be visiting family near Ponce once we arrive there.

Fifth morning is a Thursday - we were thinking of going to Caja de Muertos with our family. We could go somewhere else instead though - is Cabo Rojo/Playuela too much of a drive? For that matter, which beach is nicer, Playa Sucia or Pelican Beach?

Sixth morning is a Friday - at this point I will need to get any sightseeing in Ponce done if we haven't done it yet (I'm thinking Parque de Bombas, the Cathedral, etc.) and after saying goodbye - mid-afternoon we'll head up to San Juan (technically Bayamon).

Seventh morning, Saturday, no idea what to do....drive to Arecibo or Cueva del Indio?

Eighth morning we have church again (is there a Catholic church in Bayamon?), I figured we'd go to mass in OSJ and then walk around the place, the fort, etc. I'm worried that going to church will take up a lot of time and we won't get a chance to really enjoy OSJ. (We probably won't be done with church until noon because we never make it to an early mass and then there's lunch - everything with kids takes longer! LOL). We could go to OSJ on Saturday too if it really takes two days to see the place.

Ninth morning, Monday, we depart back home :-(

Thanks for any tips!!!!

NYC
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for Isla de Vieques
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1. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

hi

that's a good amount of time to be in Puerto Rico.

my suggestion, if possible, to change things so you have one day in Ponce, two days(MAX) in San Juan and 2 to 3 days in Rio Grande.

take the rest of the days and do Vieques or Culebra. Vieques has the bio bay.

I think the mainland has a lot of things to do but Vieques is a great place, especially if you want to spend a few days simply relaxing on the beach, without crowds. In that regard, Vieques excels. Beautiful Beaches, no crowds and the bio bay.

San Juan, Puerto...
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2. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

Any reason you are staying in Bayamon? Budget? Monday morning traffic to the airport will be terrible. Plus why do all that driving to OSJ? Never underestimate PR traffic.

Your plan looks fine otherwise. As far as I know there is usually only one morning mass and one evening mass, so you will need to get to church early. There shoud be a catholic church at the town square of both towns.

Lake Mary, Florida
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3. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

Can't stay less than two days in Ponce (remember we're visiting family over there) and the reason we're staying in Bayamon is that we need a room for 6 people or we have to get two rooms. The Hyatt there accommodates 6 and looks very nice - it has great reviews and it's pretty new. I couldn't find anything nice in San Juan that would work for the three nights. If you can recommend something that will work that won't break the bank I'll definitely look into it!

Lake Mary, Florida
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4. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

Also, the hotel in Bayamon to the airport is only 13.5 miles. Even with very bad traffic, that can't be more than 40 minutes, can it? Flight's at noon, so I think we'll be okay....

San Juan, Puerto...
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5. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

The Hyatt in Bayamon is new and nice. Located next to a mall and a very busy road. If your flight is at noon, you need to be there by 10am, so leave a bit before 9am. There will still be rush hour then, plus there is a series of traffic lights right by the hotel that are very slow.

Did you check the Verdanza in Isla Verde or the smaller hotels in OSJ? Or Caletas in OSJ, which are more like apartments?

Edited: 16 July 2014, 12:07
Lake Mary, Florida
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6. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

No, I haven't heard of those. I look at them later today. Thanks for the tip! (You guys are the best)

kle
Boston
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7. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

You might also want to look into the Marbella condos in Isla Verde. Practically next to the airport and a good area for tourists. You could all fit in a one two or even one bedroom apartment and have more room for everyone. Good luck.

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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8. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

I'm echoing the suggestions above: avoid Bayamon. It's a residential area, with not the best reputation (in the past anyway). Plus traffic is just horrible.

Another option for condos is ESJ Towers in Isla Verde. Right on the beach, and within walking distance to everything. Vrbo.com is a great source for this and other condos.

San Juan, Puerto...
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9. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

I wouldn't avoid Bayamon for safety concerns. It is just that there is always traffic and there is nothing to see or do in the area. The money saved will not be worth the inconveniences.

Lake Mary, Florida
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10. Re: Help with my itinerary please!

Ugh, I just remembered - I already bought my travel insurance and I don't know - and don't know exactly how to find out - if I can make any changes and still have the same coverage....