If you’re looking for somewhere adventurous but also very relaxing, check out San Juan, Puerto Rico. Although a commonly visited place, San Juan has hidden gems for all kinds of travelers. This was my first time going and not only did I enjoy the food, I enjoyed the few places San Juan is known for.
We flew into Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and stayed on Condado Beach, a short 10 minute drive. The great thing about this location is the beach being across the street and our air bnb being located over a vegan market. The night life was also amazing and we would hear music every so often from our balcony. Although we rented a vehicle, this location was perfect for those who would opt out.
As you read, please keep in mind that we did not hire a tour guide. I travel often, with and without guides; it is always better to travel without so you are able to go at your own pace. You'll also save loads of bucks. Anyway, here are a couple things to do and eat when traveling to San Juan.
Mofongo at Casita Miramar
4.5 stars on YELP
classy, intimate & vegan friendly
received a free shot at the end of dining experience
Cueva del Indio
Where the Taino Indians held meetings, this is home to natural limestone caves. A $5 entry, this place is great for travelers who want to see waves, beaches and CAVES. It is a bit of hike to get to the caves and see all of the amazing views but it is absolutely worth it. I'd recommend wearing sneakers and getting their early in the morning as it does get crowded around noon. We spent about 2-3 hours here and it was worth the 50 min drive.
50 min drive from San Juan
Intermediate to Advanced Level (Cave Entry)
outside of entrance
walking towards cave
in order to get into the cave, you have to climb into a small opening in the rocks. if anyone is short, like myself, it is best to have someone very tall climb in first to assist in pulling you up. see above!
carvings found inside of the cave
inside the cave
getting out of the cave.
the opening was very narrow so if you're claustrophobic, i do not recommend entry. despite my nerves, my partner ensured my safety and encouraged me throughout the way :)
El Yunque National Rainforest - Mt. Britton Trail
This is the only rainforest located in the United States. You need a ticket to get in so I recommend booking on their recreation site beforehand, especially because the wifi is weak once you get there. It is $2 per person when booking. It is also recommended that you wear slip proof shoes, carry water and a few snacks. Due to Covid-19, many hikes were closed but we still managed to get a dope view.
30-40 min one way hike
Beginner to Intermediate Level
walking towards the tower
hi, that's me! - top of tower
due to many places being shut down, we did not experience all that we could but it was an amazing trip, nonetheless.
Additional Must See Places/ Food/ Things
Visit Condoda Beach
Visit Old San Juan
Visit Castillo de San Cristobal and other historical landmarks
Try the Pina Coloda
Smoke a Cigar
Eat the Tacos!!