Puerto Rico is wonderful, and we had an amazing vacation. Here are the highlights.
La Concha. We stayed in San Juan, in the Condado neighborhood, at La Concha. It’s a Renaissance hotel, which is a Marriott brand. There were so many good things about this place. First of all, it is very cool looking, sort of art deco meets modern minimalist meets beach resort. We were upgraded to a junior suite in the original tower, which was very spacious. The bed was comfy, there was a big TV, and a couple of small couches. We had a fantastic ocean view, and I really enjoyed that. However, the “kitchenette” was actually just a mini-fridge and coffee maker. And the “balcony” was approximately one foot deep, so there was only room for standing. But we opened the balcony door and sat in the chaise lounge right next to it, and that was very pleasant. Although, honestly, I would have liked a real balcony. Oh well.
The beach outside was fantastic. Gorgeous water, sandy, no rocks to step on. The hotel provided umbrellas and chairs free of charge to guests, which was also very nice. The waves are very strong on this part of the beach, with an equally strong undertow. I actually got knocked down by a wave, and then lost my sunglasses to the ocean. I was also constantly worried about losing my top. So the next day, I put on a more secure bathing suit, left my sunglasses on the beach chair, and had a great time playing the waves with Home Warrior. It wasn’t necessarily relaxing, but it was tons of fun.
We ate at two of the restaurants, and the food at both was very good. The service in general at the hotel was also very good. I would definitely recommend this hotel.
Oh and the pina coladas were super at La Concha. Not too sweet, with lots of rum. Another bonus–their toiletries are from Aveda.
Old San Juan. One of the reasons we wanted to come to Puerto Rico was for the history. It was first colonized by the Spanish in the early 1500s, so the history stretches way back. We stayed at the El Morro fort for like two hours–it was so cool. One of the towers is original from the 1500s, and it’s pretty impressive to stand somewhere with that kind of longevity. The streets of Old San Juan are paved with blue-toned cobblestones, are super narrow, and have gorgeous buildings. I could have stayed there, just wandering around looking at things, for days.
Flavors of San Juan. These guys offer a walking food tour, and it was amazing. We went to four restaurants, had a variety of traditional dishes, and I loved every single one. Some of the places we went were normal sized, and some were so tiny I would never have found them on my own. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and shared a lot of history that we would not have gotten otherwise. If you go to San Juan, I highly highly recommend taking this tour.
The Bio Bay. Oh man, the bio bay. It was just as cool as I hoped it would be, and more amazing to experience than I could have imagined. We did the kayak tour. Now, Home Warrior and I had never actually kayaked before, so this was definitely a learning experience in working together. (BTW kayaking is way harder than I thought it would be.) Let’s just say that we ran into a lot of trees. Anyway. The bio bay is SO COOL. There are tiny little bio luminescent creatures, and when you put your hand or paddle into the water they glow. I wish we could have gotten out and gone swimming with them. Honestly, I want to go back to PR just to experience the Bio Bay again. Highly recommend!
We were sad to come home, but had a great time while we were there. We will definitely be returning, since there are way too many things to cover in one trip. Plus it’s only a five hour flight from Dallas. If you are looking for a place to go for vacation, Puerto Rico has a great combination of beautiful beaches, fascinating natural wonders, cultural history, and fantastic food. A great place to go!