San Juan Journals

Caribbean Getaway in Puerto Rico

A November 2005 trip to San Juan by Pony Boy

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Our trip to Puerto Rico was fun-filled and adventurous. Rather than spending all of our time in the tourist town of San Juan, we also rented a car and explored the entire northern half of the island, planning various activities and experiencing new things along the way.

Caribbean Getaway in Puerto Rico

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Overview

Quote:
If you are in Puerto Rico, you should definitely try to get outside of the city of San Juan. Even though the tourist areas are nice, it does become somewhat mundane. There are many nice restaurants in San Juan and most people there speak English well. If you don't know Spanish, it should be an issue IF you stay around the tourist areas. The farther out you stray from the tourist area, the more broken English you will hear. If you decide to rent a car and travel out, I would highly suggest the East Islands Excursions, Tropical Trail Rides and the Bacardi Rum Factory Tour. The sailing is located on the eastern part of the island and is only per person. Activities include snorkeling at couple ...Read More
Quote:
The hotel itself was nice. It is about 100 yards from the beach and right on Ashford Avenue, which is a major tourist area. It's about a $20 cab ride from the hotel to the airport and is located in a nicer area than some other hotels. There are many shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants all the way down Ashford Street, and all within walking distance of the hotel. It also has a casino in the lower level that had slot machines, black jack, Caribbean Stud poker, and roulette, but unfortunately, no craps table. If you don't like this casino, there are many more in other hotels down Ashford Avenue. It also has a rooftop swimming pool (and a pool bar), high-speed Internet access, and a fitness room. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2005

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel and Casino
1369 ASHFORD AVE
San Juan, Puerto Rico
787-721-7300

Hacienda Don José

Restaurant

Quote:
This place is located in the city of San Juan and is about 20 feet away from the ocean, and if you get a seat next to the open-air windows, it is a relaxing break away from the sun and heat of the day. They serve both Puerto Rican and Mexican food. I highly suggest the pork and onions with rice and beans, a Puerto Rican dish that is very good. The food was pretty good and the portions were decent. The hotel is about a 10-minute cab ride (20-minute walk) from the tourist area of Ashford Avenue. If you decide to walk, the neighborhood is nice. There didn't seem to be much crime or poverty, so you should be pretty safe. We also didn't run into any beggars along the way. There are quite a few re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2005

Hacienda Don José
1025 Ashford Ave.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
(787) 722-5880

Ajili Mojili

Restaurant

Quote:
This place is more of a dress-up restaurant with a nice atmosphere. It is located on the tourist street of Ashford Avenue. Depending on what time you decide to eat dinner, you may want to make reservations. We arrived around 8pm and didn't have any problems getting a table. The dress attire here is a little dressier than most places we visited. Nice slacks and a dress shirt should be fine. Our waiter (I believe his name was Carlos) had our wine order to us literally 20 seconds after we ordered. He was on the ball with everything we ordered, and the service there was great. The menu was in both English and Spanish, and the staff was is very willing to accommodate you in any way they can. The ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 6, 2005

Ajili Mojili
1052 Ashford Avenue
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907
+1 787 725 9195

East Wind II - Sailing

Attraction | "East Wind Excursions"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The sailing place we went through was called East Islands Excursions (http://www.eastwindcats.com/.) I’m going to plug them because that was the highlight of the trip. For $60 per person you go out on a 4-hour sail; have all the free rum drinks you want (yes, I said free), along with lunch; visit two snorkeling spots, where you can view some coral reefs; and stop at a desert island to explore the beach or go swimming. The staff was very friendly and funny, and it was a great time. On the sail you can also see the Virgin Islands and St. Martin off in the distance. I highly suggest this place as a top to-do on your list. The sailing place is located in the city of Fajardo, which is about an ho...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 6, 2005

East Wind II - Sailing
Puerto Del Rey
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Rain Forest Hiking

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Attraction

Rain Forest Hiking Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
It takes about an hour or so to get to the national forest, and the roads up the mountain are like something straight out of a movie. The forest is located in Rio Grande and is east of San Juan. You'll need to rent a car to get there. Some hotels, like the Holiday Inn Express, do offer shuttles. You get beautiful views of the rain forest and countryside. There were a total of 10 trails you could venture through. Out of time, we choose only one trail, and it was about a 40-minute walk away from a cascading waterfall you could swim in. Try to get there somewhat early or you'll run into numerous other people exploring the trails. Some of the trails are paved and others are dirt, and there is on...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 6, 2005

Rain Forest Hiking
Hc-01 Box 13490
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Trip

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
My girlfriend and I planned a 5-day trip down to explore the island of Puerto Rico. The trip was both relaxing and adventurous. It was a first time for both of us down in the Caribbean, and being from the Twin Cities, it was a great getaway from the early December snow and cold. The first day we flew into San Juan and arrived late evening. In total, the plane ride from Chicago was a little over 4 hours. They are 2 hours ahead. We were staying at the Radisson for the first two nights, so the first night we were going to take things easy for the long day ahead. The taxi from the airport to the hotel ran us about $20 (it seemed to vary by a few dollars each time we went to the airport depending upon t...Read More

About the Writer

Pony Boy

Pony Boy
MInneapolis, Minnesota

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