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Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Atlanta
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Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

I am planning a trip with my boyfriend and trying to figure out where is the best place to stay. I see so many hotels in San Juan, then Isla Verde I'm overwhelmed help!!!!!! We want a nice beach, with ocean views from the hotel, water activities nearby, shopping and site seeing with and a good price. Any suggestions.

Cleveland, Ohio
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for Puerto Rico, Carolina
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1. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the size of Conneticut. North, South, East and West are all different. It even has to mountain ranges with a central valley with fresh water lakes. Metro San Juan is over a million people. No small by any means. The tourist areas of San Juan are all along the Atlantic ocean. From Old San Juan on the West side to Isla Verde on the East. For a 1st time visitor you will get a lot out of San Juan. The best beach area is Isla Verde and would have what you are looking for. You will want a rental car. San Juan has a decent puplic transportation system, but shen you get out of the city it's tough. There are several hotels in that area as well as condo and apartment rentals. One of the best deal is the ESJ towers (Condo Hotel) free parking and you can cook some of your own meals.

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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2. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

For a first timer, I strongly recommend San Juan. Particularly, Isla Verde. This is where the nicest beach in San Juan is, and there are several hotels right on the beach: Intercontinental, El San Juan hotel, and Marriott Courtyard. Howard Johnson and Embassy Suites are across the street from the other hotels. The Ritz is also in Isla Verde but in a secluded area away from the main street.

Condado is located between Old San Juan and Isla Verde, and it's closest to the Pan Am pier, which is where Royal Caribbean and Celebrity dock. The hotels in Condado include Conrad, La Concha, Marriott Stellaris, among others. Caribe Hilton is also there but in secluded area away from the main street. It has its own private beach, more like a man-made lagoon.

If you prefer the historic district, then the Old San Juan has several choices such as Hotel El Convento, Howard Johnson - Plaza de Armas, Sheraton, among others. None of the hotels in the Old San Juan are on the beach.

I hope that this helps!

Edited: 30 April 2010, 17:45
Boston, Ma
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3. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Check out Gran Melia. They have their own beach, not the best on the island but you will be within 10 minutes to Luquillo Beach, you will be very close to the rainforest and in case the weather does not cooperate you will be very close the the factory stores.

Rincon,PR
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4. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

This all depends on what type of vacation you would like. As Bob said, Puerto Rico is Very different from North-South-East-West. San Juan is a Must “See” for a first timer. San Juan is a Big City: Night life, History, Shopping, Restaurants. Have a look at the official Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s website: www.gotopuertorico.com

As far as a “Caribbean Beach Vacation” I would suggest a few days in Old San Juan then try the West for the quite Beaches. Hopes this helps.

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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5. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Just thought of pointing out that although Gran Melia is a beautiful resort, it is located in an isolated area (no shopping nearby). Also, the beach at the resort is not swimable.

Brooklyn
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6. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Is the Doubletree good for first timers? What part of PR is it in? I might be booking a 3 day getway to PR, I like to be in touristy areas with lots of shopping, restaurants, water activities, site seeing, nice beachs etc. The doubletree looks like an awesome hotel, but I just need to find out about the area it's situated in. Any advice and recommendations? Thanks!

Berea, OH
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7. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

We went to Puerto Rico 4 years ago and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. We are a young couple (there were 6 of us at the time), so we were all about being close to the action. If you want to be close enough to be able to walk to historical sites, nightlife, food, etc., then stay here. It overlooks the bay but does not have a beach. There are tons of shops, food, etc., nearby. The pool is on the roof with awesome views! There is a Hertz office right in the lobby, so we rented a car for 2 days to do our sightseeing and exploring outside of Old San Juan. Isla Verde had nice beaches, although a trip to Vieques or moreso Culebra is well worth it. The hotel is pretty basic amenity wise but does have room service, a casino in the lobby (not huge but ample for killing time and curing your itch), a few food choices, and best of all, Sr. Frogs is just out the back door.

York Harbor, Maine
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8. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Just want to let you know that Puerto Rico isn't the size of Connecticut at all. It only measures 110 miles in length and about 40 miles wide, and has an area of 3508 sq. miles. Connecticut has an area of over 5,530 sq. miles and is 70 by 110 miles. It is more like 3x the size of Rhode Island, very small. You can travel from one end of PR to the other in several hours (maybe 5-6), which I did!

San Juan
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9. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is about the size of Cyprus, Jamaica and almost the size of Lebannon. it is 3,510 sq miles (counting Culebra, Vieques, Mona which are islands of Puerto Rico).

Since 3/4 of Puerto Rico is a mountain range it seems bigger than those 3,510 sq miles.

if you go to the Factbook country comparison by area which includes maritime borders Puerto Rico is 162nd in the world out of 249, of the smallest is one of the biggest..

Puerto RIco is a lot bigger in area than Singapore, Malta, Barbados, Luxembourg, Monaco, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago

Edited: 10 May 2010, 00:08
Puerto Rico
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10. Re: Best area to stay in Puerto Rico

Actually, PR's total area (including land and water) is 5,324 square miles (CIA World Factbook, or US Census Bureau).

It is very small compared to Cuba or Hispaniola, but it does not feel small, has lots of different environments, desert-like areas, rain forests, plains, mountains, hills, "lakes", rivers, etc... everything you see on the 2 biggest islands, plus what you see on the smaller ones. On secondary roads, it could take 5-6 hours to cross its entire length, about 3 to 3.5 if you drive through the highways.