Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Take Me Back: San Juan, Puerto Rico

In honor of Southwest's new service to San Juan, Puerto Rico, I thought I would blog about the two times we have been there.

Our first trip was over Thanksgiving break in November 2010 with my parents. We stayed at a Mariott in the Isla Verde area. While the beach was very nice, it wasn't our favorite location. It was definitely the more touristy area; laden with Burger Kings and KFCs.

The second time we went was in September of 2011 for our Southern Caribbean cruise. We stayed at the La Concha Renaissance in Condado and we absolutely loved it. I would definitely recommend renting a car when you go to San Juan - it's relatively cheap, but completely necessary if you want to get to some of the further away attractions (and you definitely do!).

Our favorite parts:

Wandering around Old San Juan

Kayaking in the Bioluminescent Bay - Fajardo

You can't take decent pictures of the Bio Bay, but suffice to say, it was one of the coolest things I've ever done! The organisms in the water react to motion, so as you are kayaking through, you leave a blue trail in your wake. You kayak through mangrove trees to arrive at your final destination. When we went, it was sprinkling outside, so every time water fell through the trees, it sparkled when it hit the water. It was magical.

El Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal

Kioskos de Luquillo - There are about 60 different food vendors which serve anything from down-home Puerto Rican basics to gourmet burgers to ceviche. We also tried some delicious mojitos here, so it's really a foodie's paradise. It looks kind of shady, but it's local staple!

El Yunque Rainforest - ATVing and Hiking/ Swimming in Waterfalls

Our first time, we took an ATV tour and it was a BLAST! About 1/2 way through, you stop at a river to swim. You can also do a similar tour on horseback.

The Beaches

I really loved Puerto Rico and I'm so excited that we can now fly there for free with Southwest. I would definitely recommend putting Puerto Rico at the top of your travel wishlist. It's only a 4 hour plane ride from Houston and you don't even need a passport!

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