Puerto Rico Journals

Road Trip in Puerto Rico!!

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A March 2005 trip to Puerto Rico by Jill-O-E

Howard Johnson Plaza de Armas - Old San Juan Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: My husband had to go to the University of Puerto Rico for business. He only had to actually work for 1 day, so we took some vacation days, and I accompanied him there. It was the best "business" trip I've ever been on!

Road Trip in Puerto Rico!!

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Overview

View from Fortress in Old San Juan Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
We only had 5 days to spend in Puerto Rico (and my husband had to work on one of them!). We drove to several different parts of the island during our stay and enjoyed every minute of our trip. However, our payment for seeing so many different places was that we spent quite a bit of the trip in traffic. We definitely wished we could have seen more of the island and had more time in each place! We started out in Old San Juan, wandering in the narrow, colorful streets and along the sea by the wall around the city. We saw some great views of the ocean and crashing waves, many kite-fliers by the fortress on Saturday afternoon, and the impressive cathedral where Ponce de Leon is ...Read More

Howard Johnson Plaza de Armas - Old San Juan

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Hotel | "Plaza de las Armas"

Howard Johnson Plaza de Armas - Old San Juan Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
This was a great, inexpensive hotel in Old San Juan. It was previously known as the Hotel Central. The staff was friendly and polite, but the best part about it was the location. Personally, I would not have wanted to stay in the resorts in Condado or Isla Verde. Old San Juan is so charming, and the rest of San Juan seemed overly developed to me. There is no parking at the hotel, so we parked a few blocks away in the parking lot near Paseo de la Princesa. It was a very nice, gated area costing only $2.50 a day. Continental breakfast is included at the hotel, but we did not get a chance to eat it.We stayed on the third floor, and while there was an elevator, it was not entirely r...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 2, 2005

Howard Johnson Plaza de Armas - Old San Juan
CALLE SAN JOSE 202
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 722-9191

Buen Cafe

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Hotel | "El Buen Cafe"

Quote:
This was the first of two paradores we stayed in while in Puerto Rico. It is about a half-hour from the Arecibo Observatory and the Caves at Camuy, making it one of the closest. We drove there after our outing in the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, which took about 3 hours. We hadn't showered and were very sticky from the salt, not to mention hiking in El Yunque earlier that day. Once we arrived, it was well after midnight, and as soon as we checked in, we made a beeline for the shower. At first, we could not get the shower to be warm. It was freezing, in fact. However, we eventually figured out that the shower was "backwards," meaning that "hot" was cold and vice-versa. It was quite a l...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 2, 2005

Buen Cafe
381 Carr 2. Km 84.0 Bo. Carrizales
Hatillo, Puerto Rico 00659
(787) 898-1000

Parador Perichi's

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Hotel

Parador Perichi's Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
Perichi's is one of the island's paradores that was recommended to us by my husband's coworker. It was a clean, basic hotel that was reasonably priced. We paid $66 a night for a room with a king-size bed, large dresser, and entertainment cabinet for the television. We also had two balconies, one overlooking the ocean and the other overlooking the elementary school next door. At about 10am, we could hear recess. The lighting in the room was on the dim side at night, but with the curtains open during the day, it was very bright. The bathroom was large and had a shower but no tub. There was a pool, including a poolside restaurant where they served breakfast (for an additional cost). We sta...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Parador Perichi's
Highway 102, KM 143
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 00623
787-851-3131

Mallorquina

Restaurant | "La Mallorquina"

Mallorquina Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
La Mallorquina is an intimate open-air restaurant specializing in Puerto Rican cuisine. It is the oldest business on the island and supposedly the oldest restaurant in the Caribbean. The decoration includes palm trees and Victorian vases in the corners. All of these vases are tied to the walls, and the chips in the corners of most of them indicate that this is probably a necessary precaution. There is also a bar, and there seemed to be a good selection of wine (though we did not personally partake). The servers wear suits with bow ties.I had read it is a good place to try asopao, the island's specialty soup dish with rice, vegetables, and seafood, so I decided to give it a whir...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Mallorquina
Calle San Justo 207
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
+787 722 3261

El Buen Cafe

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Restaurant

Quote:
El Buen Cafe doesn't look like much, but don't let that fool you! It's very clean, bright, and filled with local people out for a Sunday-afternoon dinner the time we went. There were tables, as well as the typical bar-style seating, at the front of the kitchen. The service was fast and our server was very friendly. The food was even better! The menu lists Puerto Rican fare, including asopao and mofongo, as well as many foods you would find on mainland USA. We ordered turkey sandwiches, which were huge and came on freshly baked baguette-type bread. Puerto Rican-style rice was included. We also ordered some black-bean soup, which was outstanding. Paired with t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2005

Yokahu Kayak Trips

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Attraction | "Yokahu Kayaking Trip in the Bioluminescent Bay"

Quote:
I was definitely excited when I read about the bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. I love swimming at night, and I simply couldn't pass up such a unique opportunity. Although we wanted to visit the island of Vieques, the best place to see the phenomenon, we went to Fajardo due to our limited schedule. It is located about 2 hours from San Juan. We called the day before our excursion to make reservations and used our rental car to get there. Upon arrival, we paid, left our towels and clothes with the representative, and climbed into our kayaks, two people in each. The new moon was just starting to appear (the less moonlight, the more visible the organisms). As we rowed through mangroves, w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 2, 2005

Yokahu Kayak Trips

Fajardo, Puerto Rico
(787) 604-7375

Arecibo Observatory

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Attraction

Arecibo Observatory Photo, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Quote:
The radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory, located about 2 hours west of San Juan, is the largest telescope of its kind. To get there from Route 22, we had to follow a series of signs leading us through the windy, hilly back roads. Sometimes the signs were few and far between, but sure enough, we were on the right track. We parked in the lower parking lot and had a bit of a hike up to the visitor center itself. (There were, however, a few handicapped spaces at the top of the hill closer to the visitor center.) The seemingly futuristic telescope is set amongst a picturesque backdrop of Puerto Rican jungles and hills, and visitors can view it from the outdoor patio above the satellite di...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 23, 2005

Arecibo Observatory
Route 625
Arecibo, Puerto Rico
(787) 878-2612