If you are looking for a quick, fun, relaxing and warm location to get away for the weekend definitely consider San Juan Puerto Rico. There are many conveniences to this destination. It is a US territory so no passport is needed, English is spoken everywhere, you can use US currency and there are several NS flights from many US cities.
I spent 2 1/2 days in the colorful and quaint city of San Juan and I was able to tour historic areas, eat great food, relax on the beach and climb through a rainforest. Here is my recommended itinerary for the perfect weekend getaway to San Juan.
Friday: After your NS flight and 15 minute drive from the airport to check into La Concha Hotel & Resort located on Condado Beach. This hotel has a contemporary design and offers regular rooms as well as suites. There are several restaurants, bars and lounge areas on the property with stunning oceans views from many locations.
Friday evening: Take a walking food tour through Old San Juan given by Flavors of San Juan Food & Culture tours. You will visit areas such as the El Morro fort and the former home of Ponce De Leon. Along the way you stop at a variety of restaurants serving local Puerto Rican cuisine. Read my blog post about this fun, informative and delicious tour!
Saturday morning. After sleeping in and having breakfast in the hotel, head straight to the beach to relax. The hotel has attendants that will set up beach chairs and umbrellas for you and also provide food and drink service directly on the beach! This was so lovely.
Saturday afternoon. Take an optional factory tour of the Bacardi Distillery and sample their wide variety of drinks and rum! 2 drinks are complimentary and the tour offers history into the Bacardi business.
Saturday evening: Make reservations in advance for one the top restaurants in the Caribbean Marmalade restaurant located in Old San Juan. I recommended the tasting menu to get the full gustatory experience. You will not be disappointed. The décor, the service and the food is worth the price.
Saturday night: Head over to the El San Juan Resort & Casino located on Isla Verde beach. This hotel has so much to offer including a casino, high-end shopping and one of the hottest clubs on the island-Club Brava. If you are not in the mood for a hot, crowded club atmosphere the lounge area offers live music or a DJ in a more relaxed environment. The main circular lobby bar with its rich furnishings and chandeliers allows you to play out your inner Bond girl. 🙂
Sunday morning. Stroll down from your hotel for a live Jazz brunch at Oceano also located on Condado beach. Expect a buffet filled with traditional Puerto Rican dishes. Make sure to grab a table out on the patio so you can take in the ocean views and breezes while listening to live Jazz and enjoying your incredible eats!
Sunday afternoon. Rent a car or book a tour to El Yunque National Rainforest. This is the only rainforest under the US flag and it is only a 1 hour drive from San Juan. Here you will find numerous waterfalls where you can go for a dip or a swim. Be sure to dress comfortable with walking shoes in case you decide to hike through the trails to explore all the beautiful foliage.
Sunday night: Pack your bags and bid adieu to San Juan . On the way to the airport you are thinking happy thoughts of your fabulous weekend and vowing to return for more.
Nadeen S. White.