Puerto Rico Journals

Warm in Puerto Rico

A March 2005 trip to Puerto Rico by Aya

Isla Verde Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: First we stayed in Isla Verde to laze around on the beach. Then we took a ferry to Culebra, and then a water taxi to Culebrita. For the last couple of nights, we stayed in Old San Juan.

Warm in Puerto Rico

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

On the ferry Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
Parts of Puerto Rico were really beautiful, and most of the people we met were really friendly. I really wished I could speak Spanish, because even though quite a lot of people spoke English, I'm sure it would have been a better experience if I could speak their language. The highlight of the trip would have to be Culebrita. It was nice chilling on an island with less than 15 other people around.Quick Tips: If you want to relax and stay away from Spring Breakers and cruise passengers from the U.S., you should probably avoid San Juan in general. It's nice to stay there for a few days but during peak seasons, the place is packed with people getting off the cruises (thousands of people!)...Read More
Borinquen Beach Inn Photo, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Quote:
The website makes it look a lot nicer than it actually is (www.borinquenbeachinn.com). But it's really cheap, so you get what you pay for. The location is really good--only 5 minutes from the international airport but also just a minute away from a really nice strip of beach. Our flight was delayed, and we got in two hours late. The guy at the front desk said that the manager told him to give the room to other people, since we didn't call to say our flight was delayed. But the guy at the desk was nice enough, and he waited for us. The room was small and plain, but clean. They had towels, but they were really small. The shower didn't work too well. The best thing about t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Borinquen Beach Inn
5451 Isla Verde Avenue
Carolina, Puerto Rico 00979
(787) 728-8400

Culebra Ocean View Photo, Culebra Island, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Don't be fooled by the name--the view of the ocean was not really what we expected. We could see the ocean, but behind all the electric wires and posts. This place was really cheap, and we got what we paid for. Or maybe less? The water stops at certain times during the day, and even when the water was working, the shower was pathetic (only small trickles of water). The room was nice enough. If you're on a tight budget, this will do. But if I go back to Culebra, I will definitely stay somewhere else. The lady who works there only speaks Spanish, so it was hard to communicate. The good thing about this place is that the guy who works there is the guy who operates the water...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Culebra Ocean View
Ensenada Honda Bay
Culebra Island, Puerto Rico
(787) 742-2601

Hotel Milano

Hotel

Quote:
This was the most expensive place out of all the places we stayed at in Puerto Rico. The location was great (right in Old San Juan, walking distance from all the places in Old San Juan--the shops, restaurants, bars, Del Morro), and it was more than I had expected. I had read some bad reviews about the place, but it was probably worth more than what we paid. The people at the front desk were really friendly and helpful. Not like we were worried about the security, but if you are, you will feel safe here, because on every floor, to get to the rooms, there's a glass door, and you have to have a key to open it. There are lots of cabs along this street, so hailing one is no problem. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Hotel Milano
307 Fortaleza Street
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
(787) 729-9050

Picoteo

Restaurant | "El Picoteo"

Picoteo Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
I had reserved a table, but when we got there, the waiter told us that he did not have it down. The place was packed, so we waited for a few minutes and got a table right by the entrance. I wasn't too happy about that but we settled for it. The hotel looked really nice at night, and the atmosphere was mature yet lively. The service was somewhat slow at first but got better towards the end. The sangria here is the best sangria I've ever had. I started off with a beer from the Dominican Republic (Presidente), which was all right, and had sangria for the rest of the meal. There were 5 of us and we ordered two-three tapas each to share among us, and we also ordered the El P...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Picoteo
Hotel El Convento
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
(800) 468-2779

Mallorquina

Restaurant | "La Mallorquina"

Mallorquina Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
I wanted to eat here because it serves Puerto Rican cuisine and is the oldest restaurant around. It opened in 1848 and has been in the same location since that time. The atmosphere is really nice, and it's not too loud. The service was good, and the interior was classy (colonial ambience). I ordered the octopus with garlic for an appetizer and a prawn dish for my main course. To be honest, the food wasn't THAT great--it was nothing to fuss about--but it was good. I had flan a la mode for dessert, which was really good. My friends both had a rice soup dish. The portions there were fairly small--so it ended up being quite pricey. I would probably want to go there again to try other ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

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

DragonFly

Restaurant

DragonFly Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
We walked into this restaurant because we had just arrived in Old San Juan from Fajardo late at night and there were no other places that were still serving dinner. We walked in 5 minutes before the last order. It said that you have to be 25 to enter, but they didn't seem to care. I tried their signiature drink, the Dragon Punch. It was good but nothing special. This restaurant serves fusion food--Asian crossed with Latino (not quite sure what that is...). I ordered the stir-fried lobster udon. It was actually really good (but it was quite pricey because it's lobster--and yet, there wasn't that much lobster meat in it). My friend ordered a beef dish, and it was really ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

DragonFly
364 Calle Fortaleza
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
+1 787 977 3886

Metropol

Restaurant

Metropol Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
We ate lunch here because I had read about it in a guidebook (and I wanted to try Cuban food). We walked up and down Isla Verde Avenue a few times and had to ask a passerby where it was. We walked from Borinquen Beach Inn, past the Intercontinental and right to the end of Isla Verde Avenue--it was right next to the cock-fighting stadium. The waiter who was serving our table was very friendly. We seemed to be the only non local people eating there. He recommended some dishes for us. I ordered a Cuban food platter--there were many things that I had never tried before (and I still don't know what half of them were), and there seemed to be a lot of rooty vegetables and potato-like stuff. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Metropol
Av. Isla Verde
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 791-4046

Playa Isla Verde

Story/Tip

Isla Verde Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
The inn that we were staying at wasn't situated in the area with all the big hotels - we were near all the housing. So when we walked to the beach, we saw more local people than tourists. The beach wasn't crowded at all, but it was really pretty. You can rent beach chairs for $1 until about 4pm. There are venders (ice cream!) who come around. On our first day, we pretty much stayed on the beach the whole day. When we got hungry, we walked to the street (which is 1 minute away) and along to find food. You can also buy stuff at the convenience stores (I saw about two to three), and if you forget to bring sun block or whatever, there's a Walgreen’s too. There are promoters ...Read More

Culebrita

Story/Tip

Water taxi Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
Culebrita is a little island about 30 minutes away from Culebra. Turtles come here to lay eggs during the summer, so visitors aren't allowed there during that time. There are absolutely no residents on this island because it is a reserve. You can walk from one end to the other (it's that small). On our way there, we saw a dolphin and two turtles. We took Luis' water taxi (he works at the Culebra Ocean View), and he dropped us and two couples off at the island at 10am and said he'd be back by 4pm. We had no idea where to go, so we just walked along the trail. We got to a beach with really rough waves, and since we expected much more, we decided to walk on and find the pretty beach. After w...Read More

Culebra

Story/Tip

Fajardo Photo, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Quote:
We decided to catch a ferry in the morning, so we left Isla Verde really early and took a cab to Fajardo. When we got to the port, there was a LONG line. We looked for the ticket booth and realized that this long line was for the ferry to Culebra. I had no idea that there would be this many people wanting to go to Culebra. On the ferry back, I found out from a guy who I was talking to that that whole week was a religious holiday in PR (kind of like spring break in the U.S.). The tickets were sold out, and we had to wait for the next ferry (2pm)- we had to wait in line for 5 hours because people kept coming. After the long, tedious wait (and taking turns to get food, go to the toilet, etc.),...Read More