Cutty’s Guide to Puerto Rico

Cutty’s Guide to Puerto Rico

Why do I love Puerto Rico so much? It’s probably a tie between the really good piña coladas and the flavorful food. Oh, and the weather! I can’t forget about the weather.

Uber is not allowed to pick up at the airport but is now available in Puerto Rico.

I’ve been to Puerto Rico five times. I’ve stayed at the Las Casitas in Farjardo which is the villa section of the El Conquistador hotel property (Waldorf.) This is almost 40 minutes away from San Juan. We rented a car from the hotel and drove around ourselves. For the beach, you take a boat to Palomino Island. The service is top notch. The resort grounds are beautiful. I stayed here years ago so partying was a priority for me but that drive to San Juan was a killer.

The second and third time I went to PR, I stayed at the El San Juan hotel (Carolina, PR) and La Concha (Condado, PR). Both are similar hotels (about 4 stars) on the beach. There’s plenty of shops and places to eat within walking distance. I did a lot of relaxing during those trips.

The fourth time I went to PR, I rented an Airbnb apartment in San Juan. I was with a native so she took me around the island to the caves. We went to the Ventana Cave In Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Anytime you go on vacation, you should have water shoes. We trekked thru the cave for about 15 minutes (with the flying BATS) and, at the end,I saw one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen in all my travels. It was literally like the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Here’s a picture….

This view was breathtaking

My last foray to Puerto Rico, I stayed at the award winning St. Regis Bahia Beach resort. Although it is between 30-40 mins away from San Juan, this resort was worth the trip! The staff and service were excellent. The welcome drink with coconut water, rum, sugar and cinnamon was so good and refreshing. I’m still trying to figure out how to concoct it for myself in NYC! If you stay at the St.Regis, the taxi ride is about $70 to the resort. It is about $60-70 each way if you want to go to the city. Use Uber, it is about $30 each way instead. You can also rent a car from the resort.

The beach club restaurant has great coconut mojitos. The fried fish strips appetizer is delicious. I had fried red snapper (my favorite) with white rice and red beans.

A whole red snapper.. my FAVE!

Platos Restaurant in San Juan was open late. Casual Puerto Rican bar and restaurant. Good drinks and food was well seasoned.

Barrachina restaurant in old San Juan was a great Puerto Rican restaurant. It’s famous for being the home of the piña colada.The steak, chicken and shrimp mofongo was AMAZING!

On the way to the rainforest, you will most likely pass a family selling fried food and pina coladas on the side of the road. I love the beef and chicken empanadas but my favorite street food is the fried potato ball with beef inside.

There are no diets on vacation!

Street vendors

El Yunque rainforest was a great workout and adventure. Do not wear sandals!! It’s best to wear water shoes or sneakers with a textured rubber sole for traction. The walking paths are wet, narrow and slippery. Do not run! Bring water. It is about a 30 mins trek to the first waterfall, “La Mina.”

La Placita- late night market. There’s a nightlife there. Bar hop and dance with the friendly locals.

Puerto Rico is the perfect destination for a tropical getaway. Far enough to feel removed from your everyday hustle and bustle… but close enough not to need a passport (it’s a US territory). I will be back again and again.

Have you been to PR? What places do I need to see when I return? Is it on your list of places to travel?

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