Puerto Rico was never really on my radar. In fact I didn’t know much about the island other than that is where Rum Diaries was filmed. However when Amanda and I were looking to go on vacation Puerto Rico shoot to the top due to cheap flights. And so we picked a weekend and two weeks later we had touched down Puerto Rico. Our four day Puerto Rico guide is filled with Puerto Rico travel tips and recommendations so you are sure to have a blast.
Girls Getaway to Puerto Rico
After landing and check in in the Gran Melia Resort we got into our bikinis and headed for the pool. Now I am not a resort girl but I can appreciate any hotel that has swim up bar. After finishing up exams and my senior year at university this is exactly what I needed. Once we were all pooled out we headed to our rooms to get ready for dinner.
Seeing as we didn’t want to have to drive into town we ate at Tempo. This was the first meal I have ever eaten at a resort and I was impressed. To our credit we left our wine and food selection up to the staff. We both had the steak, which was delicious, with a side order of pasta in a butter sauce. For desert my favorite ofcourse, we had crepes and a fried pineapple cake that was scrumptious.
For my first meal at a resort, it was superb.
After being well feed and rested we woke on day two wanting some adventure. We found a tour that took us to the El Yunque National Forest as well as Luquillo beach. When heading to the Yunque your first stop will always be the visitor center if you are with a tour. We then went the Yokahu Observation Tower were we climbed to the top and got amazing views of the forest.
Our guide dropped a bunch of us off at a trail that lead to a waterfall you could take a dip in. The trail was amazing and very easy to do which was great because I was in flip flops. When we finally reached the waterfall we jumped right in. Okay it was more of a gradual dip I wont lie. Afterwards we headed to the beach for lunch.
In luquillo there are little shacks on the beach selling pina coladas in pineapples. You must get one, besides being a cute photo-op they are hella good, strong and cheap!! We hung around the beach area for the rest of the day. The beach was beautiful and very calm and we meet some friends there and chilled. Then for some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine we headed to Frontage road and walked along this street and had dinner.
Puerto Rico Travel Tips: If you are on a budget the little shops and shacks along Frontage street offer great Puerto Rican tapas and meals for a couple of dollars.
After soaking in nature the day before, we decided to head into San Juan to explore. We started with Brunch at Mist, which was amazing. More on brunch and how amazing it is HERE. We then walked around eating and drinking all day. We stopped by El Convento and had cocktails at this convent turned luxury hotel.
We hit up Old San Juan to see the pretty pastel buildings and headed to El Morro for great views. We stopped by Dragonfly for some snacks and my first Moscow mule, which is now my favorite drink of course. After wandering around we made it to Budatai for dinner. A fusion of Puerto Rican and Asian flavors this place was amazing and highly recommended. After dinner we stopped by the Vanderbilt and chilled poolside to have some cocktails.
Puerto Rico Travel Tips: I would highly recommend Budatai and Dragonfly the food was delish! There are a ton of appetizers so if you are on a budget you can share the smaller dishes.
Our very last day in Puerto Rico we chilled by the beach and soaked in all the sunshine before we had to leave. I didn’t expect much from Puerto Rico but I was pleasantly surprised. We can’t wait to head back there and explore more of the island.
Puerto Rico Travel Tips
We decided to stay at the Gran Melia resort which is about a 40 minute drive from San Juan city center. The main reasons we choose to stay here was because it was located on a beach and it was one the few places left to book. For the price you pay this resort was a pretty good bargain. The beach was small but nice and the pool was never too crowded. For those on a budget you may consider staying in San Juan as cabs are pricey.
Cabs in Puerto Rico are expensive!! From the Gran Melia to the city center it was 80 American dollars one way. I would recommend renting a car if you plan on venturing out. Hertz will drop off and pick up your car from your hotel, something I wish we had known when we were there.
We were pleasantly surprised by all of the amazing food options in Puerto Rico. From Asian to typical dishes to vegetarian there is plenty of food places to try. Our top picks are Mist, Dragonfly and Budatai. But we equally loved all the family owned food trucks and stands that were great for those on a budget. There are a ton of places to grab a drink. The Vanderbilt and Il Convento were two of our favorites. The restaurants above all have great bars too.
We found most things to be comparatively priced in Puerto Rico to America. Drinks are slightly more but if you are used to NYC pricing its about the same. Although staying at our resort was cheaper than staying in San Juan, the cabs were so expensive. We would have splurged on a room instead or rented a car. Although it may seem counter intuitive to spend money on a car to save in taxi’s alone we would have saved 100’s of dollars. Our cab one way from the resort in Old San Juan was $80.