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Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

Cleves, Ohio
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Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

I wrote an individual review for Playa Azul Condominios and a few of the restaurants in the appropriate sections.

So here goes:

We picked up our car from Hertz and the manager told us that we had to buy the LDW insurance. Our original quote was 365 and with the insurance it was double. My husband told the guy that we both have full coverage with Nationwide. He looked my husband straight in the eye and said that our insurance was no good in PR. We were tired from flying all day so we went with it. My husband called Hertz and the woman on the phone said that what the guy told us was absolutely not true.So we are going to have to file a dispute with our cc.

We didn't let that dampen our vacation spirit. We got to the condo(Playa Azul I) around 4 and the property manager was waiting with the keys. The condo was just ok and sufficient for the amount of time spent inside. It is on the 19th floor and the view was awesome.

We then went to the Amigo grocery across PR3 from the condo and got some provisions. We were so tired from our long day that we just had some crackers and meat and cheese for dinner.

The next morning we were up early and had coffee and hit the beach. Our beach was pretty but the water was extremely rough. I got tossed like a salad by the waves.Long walk on the beach up to Balnearios from our beach. After a good first day at the beach we decided we were going to have a look at los kioskos for dinner. I went to my purse to look for our spending money and couldn't find it. I started freaking out. I even called my next door neighbor at home to go look for our money. It wasn't there.... All of the sudden I remembered that I had put it in the top pocket of my suitcase because I didn't want to carry it around with us.... Crisis averted. We went to La Parilla kiosko#1 and had dinner. It was very good. We walked around and started to finally relax and get a feel of the area. On Sunday we got up and headed to Balneario Monserrate(Luquillo Beach). It was a great beach with a concession stand and umbrellas and nice calm water.

Sunday night we went to Guava's for dinner. The food was very good. Monday we went back to our beach for the day... then to El Brindis at the kiosks for dinner. It became our favorite. We made friends with the owner (Alma)and her son(Nelson) who works there. They were a wealth of information and a lot of fun. We ended up back there our last night. The food is amazing. I had the skirt steak that is wrapped around shrimp in a criollo sauce.... with Mofongo side. My husband had the mofongo stuffed with shrimp. I also bought 2 bottles of Sabrina Sangria, which is bottled in Luquillo.Brought it home with us.Tuesday we decided to venture down to Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo. Despite the bad reviews I've seen, the beach was very clean. We met some nice people down there and all in all had a great day... Weird little brown fish kept bumping us in the water. I am a big snorkeler and have never had this happen before. Tuesday night we ended up back down at the kiosks... big surprise.. we at at The Ceviche Hut. The food was awesome... The ceviche was amazing.... Did a little souvenir shopping at a few of the booths. Wednesday we headed to El Yunque. Got there around 11:30 and hiked 2 of the trails. Coming down from the Mt. Britton tower I wiped out about 20 feet from the end of the trail. My feet went right out from under me.. It had been raining pretty hard and it got slick... We got back and went to Congas for dinner. It was ok. Thursday we were scheduled to go on East Island Excursions for a snorkel trip. We did the sailboat(catamaran) to Icacos and a reef right off of Los Lobos island. It was a really nice snorkel. We met a couple on their honeymoon that live about 15 minutes from us.. He works for the sheriffs department where my husband and I used to work. Got back to the condo, showered and headed into Luquillo proper and had dinner at El Rincon del Sabor. The food was excellent. The atmosphere even better. The owner Luis made us feel at home. His friend Roberto drank shots of Piturro with us.. strong stuff....WOW! We met a young couple from Minnesota and moved to their table to b.s with them. They had just arrived the day before and they were a lot of fun...

Friday was our last full day so we went back to Balneario Monserrate for the day. About an hour after we got there it started pouring. Sat under the umbrella and read my kindle. I had it in a ziploc bag to keep the sand off and it worked perfectly. We went to the concession stand and got some pinchos for lunch... It was good traditional PR street food... Like I said, we went back to El Brindis for our last night.. I highly recommend it. When we went to take the car back we got kind of turned around and couldn't find a gas station. We pulled into Hertz and the guy said that if they filled it up it would be 9.29 a gallon!!!!!!!!!!! So he gave us directions and we went into Isla Verde and filled up.. A whole lot cheaper! All and all an awesome vacation. This was our first trip to PR and it absolutely won't be our last.....

Sorry this was so long........I get a little verbose!

El Yunque National...
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1. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

Great! Thanks for the trip report! I will have to try El Brindis.

San Juan
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2. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

I'll have to try El Brindis too... and you were right, Nationwide' s insurance should cover you while in PR , as so does when you use your AMEX. Visitors should bring a letter from the insurance company stating coverage. (not a requisite, just to be on the safe side and avoid inconvenients)

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3. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

Thanks for sharing!

Cleves, Ohio
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4. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

SunMoonStars- We actually had our physical insurance cards in our wallets. My husband called Hertz yesterday and they said they would have a supervisor call him back they also had transferred him to international on the phone... that makes no sense.

A few other interesting things I saw were the political candidate caravans with the big loudspeakers. Our candidates stateside just bash each other on TV. I actually thought it was cool that they campaign like that...

Also saw two different horses in the back of pick up trucks and was like, where is my camera when I need it.

fatcat07
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5. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

These rental companies are really getting very shiesty lately .....

I was just in PR in February and I actually canceled my 1st car rental reservation because they would not rent me the car if I didn't get their insurance or have a copy on my insurance card which I did not. Like the poster said this would have almost doubled the cost on my rental, so I said no.

Everytime I have traveled either my CC or personel car insurance has been enough and I have never had to show anything. Im not sure why this has changed but before I would just refuse there insurance and that was it.

The second rental company tried the same thing ??? so I had to find a computer get my insurance company to e-mail me a copy of my insurance card find a "Office Max', print out a copy.

The funny thing ...... the third rental company didn't even ask for the insurance card ??? lol ... spent the next 3 hours with my DW laughing about it on the beach in Isla Verde ....

El Yunque National...
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6. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

Actually, the last time I rented a car in PR, they told me ahead of time (when I called for the reservation) that they required the declarations page of my insurance (or a letter from my insurance agent on letterhead) that states that my insurance covers car rentals. They told me proof of insurance is required for car rentals now in PR - not just a verbal "I am covered by my credit card or insurance company". I don't know if it required or not, but having that info with you would avoid this type of problem.

Cleves, Ohio
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7. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

I tried to offer my insurance card to the agent at Hertz. He looked us square in the eye and said that our insurance didn't work in PR..... If we hadn't been so tired from being up since 3 a.m. we probably would have found another rental. Hopefully we can get this resolved.

fatcat07
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8. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

LOL .... yes believe me I will make having a copy of my insurance card a part of my travel checklist ......

But I have been to PR about 15 times and not being able to refuse there insurance was just an issue on my last trip ....

Chantilly, Virginia
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9. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

Thanks for your great trip report. We just booked a short 5 day trip for January. We have never been to PR but after doing some research here on TA, we decided to stay in Luquillo. Our boys 11 & 13 love to boogie board and loved the big waves in Hawaii. We want to see the rainforest, forts, and bio bay, but since the kids love boogie boarding so much, we decided to stay in Luquillo since it sounded more like a beach town and like you could find beaches with waves or calm beaches in the area. I just reserved a 3 BR/3BA top floor, bldg 1 condo in Playa Azul that looks very nice and seems to be a great value for the views, space, and price we are paying. We looked at the El Conquistador and the resort looks gorgeous but was just way more than what we wanted to spend to get lesser space, views, etc.

You mentioned that the water in front of Playa Azul was "really rough." Do you mean dangerous rough? or just not calm like many Caribbean beaches? I prefer calm water as well but that is not nearly as much fun for the boys! I'm sure the surf can change at different times of the year too. I just want to make sure we have chosen somewhere that is safe.

I look forward to trying some of the restaurants you mentioned and thanks for the input on the insurance and car rentals, we will be sure to have our insurance info or letter with us.

Cleves, Ohio
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10. Re: Trip report- Luquillo Puerto Rico 21 Sept- 29 Sept.

LUVSML-

The water can be pretty rough right at Playa Azul If the boys have been surfing or boogie boarding in Hawaii they may be ok. I think its a nice beach.

I also would recommend one day at the El Yunque rainforest or part of a day, Even with a short 5 day trip, it will be educational for the kids.

The kiosks at Luquillo have a lot of choices for food. El Brindis was our absolute favorite and we can't wait to get back down there.

We filed a dispute with Nationwide Visa and it should take up to 60 days to reconcile our account but they are going to credit the account. We did offer our insurance cards upon rental and the guy just told us our insurance was nno good in PR. Not true! Have a great time and let me know if you have other questions.

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