My Trip To San Juan Puerto Rico

 

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I had the opportunity to visit San Juan Puerto Rico before the horrific hurricane Maria. I pray for Puerto Rico’s recovery and strength. San Juan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. This was my 29th birthday vacation. I researched Puerto Rico tons before I picked my destination. My passport was not going to arrive in time for me to travel international (poor planning on my end). I knew I wanted a carefree vacation with blue ocean and soft sand.  I narrowed it down to a few locations and started looking for travel and accommodations. I finally set my eyes on San Juan Puerto Rico. I spent days looking at Pinterest for where to stay, what to do, and where to go.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Where to stay!

I was so eager to see San Juan Puerto Rico and knew that I only had 5 days for my vacation. My main goal was to relax as much as possible and enjoy the hotel pool and beaches. I searched around first and found that Expedia had the best bundle deal for my vacation. I started looking at the different hotel options and noted their locations. I decided to stay in the main Isla Verde beach area. it is close to Old San Juan which is the historical part of San Juan.

I searched for the best hotels around Isla Verde and then found a great deal within my price range (see travel search tips below). I choose to stay at The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. It was in a great location just a couple minute walk to the beach, restaurants, and shopping. The room was excellent with a great view of the pool, ocean, and cruise ships. The room was clean and modern. The hotel was beautiful with a casino, spa, and restaurants.

Travel Search Tips!

Whenever I’m looking for a short trip or vacation I always do the following things :

  • I first check flights from common sights like Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak.
  • I then check the same sites for bundle deals (you would be amazed at how cheap you can travel with bundle deals).
  • I then look at maps of the place I am thinking about traveling to. Look to see how big the state/country is. This is important when choosing where to stay in relation to places like the airport and activities.
  • I search for flights and hotels in bundles as well as separately to see which is cheaper.
  • Make sure you think about your budget when you are looking at dates. Sometimes tweaking the dates of travel by a day and two can help you save money.
  • Set your browser to private when searching because sites will increase prices for recent past searches. (I have heard and witnessed this many times)
  • Search for flights and accommodations on different days of the week. Some sites have discounted prices on certain days of the week.
  • Check   Airbnb to see if they have any options that might meet your needs. Choosing this option can save you tons of money.
  • Depending on what kind of trip you are planning look at the activities and sites in the area. Make sure these are within your budget. There is nothing worse then planning a trip and arriving at your destination just to find out you cannot afford to enjoy yourself.
  • Make sure to pick a location where there are restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. This cuts down on your “getting around costs”.

How To Get Around!

I arrived in Puerto Rico around 2pm local time. 3 hours later then my local time (pst). We took a taxi bus from the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to our hotel. It was just us in the taxi and our driver was pleasant. He asked us where we were from and what we had planned. he gave us a tip to make sure we see Old San Juan which was already on our to do list. The ride to the hotel was about 15 minutes. We rode on the freeway and went past a lot of apartments and houses. We past by a view of Condado beach. It was the most beautiful water I’d ever seen. I have never seen bluer water in my life. I am from Portland Oregon and we have the Pacific Coast which is beautiful but the water is dark, cold, and cloudy. I instantly got very excited to be there and to spend time on the beach. We took a taxi when we went to visit Old San Juan but besides that we walked most places because they were close. The taxi rides seemed to be $20 usd no matter where you were going in San Juan.

The Pool @ The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino

 

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The view from the infinity pool at the hotel was amazing! 

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Evening sunset from the pool. The hotel has a great view of the cruise ships harbor and skyscrapers. 

The pool was beyond beautiful and accommodating. We had barely checked in before we hit the pool. LITERALLY! Our room wasn’t ready yet so the hotel held our bags for us and we changed into our swim clothes. The weather was in the mid 80’s and the sun was beaming. The pool area was big with lots of seating and lounging chairs. The infinity pool is amazing and had great views. We grabbed a drink from the pool bar and headed for pool chairs. The pool was not crowded and very relaxing. We spent a lot of time on our vacation at the pool. It was one of the most important things on my to do list. Working on my tan duhhh!

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This is a clip taken from a Snapchat video kind of blurry but great view of the pool. My phone deleted a few of my pictures at first so I did not have many of the pool. 

 

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My first Margarita in Puerto Rico at the hotel pool! It was very tasty!! 

La Placita De Santurce!

I was very interested in the nightlife in San Juan so we asked a few people our age where to go at night. We heard from almost everyone go to La Placita De Santurce meaning marketplace. Especially that night because it was the Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela world baseball classics 2017 game. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was like a little downtown to me where the bars and restaurants are open to the outside. There were so many people outside and all around the streets. Eating, drinking, and dancing the night away. There were huge outside TV screens like you see in New York or Los Angeles. Every screen was tuned into the game. Huge crowds of people locals and tourists were cheering and watching the game. I could tell that during the day it turns into a goods market.

 

 

Condado (Santurce) Beach!

These local kids were jumping off of the Dos Hermanos Bridge. They were having fun and I could tell this is something they do daily. 

Named the trendiest beach in Puerto Rico Condado beach was a must visit for me. It was absolutely beautiful and the water was so clear and blue. This is where the celebrities stay and visit. We visited this on our second day in San Juan after we spent the morning/afternoon in Old San Juan. It was around 2pm local time. We walked about 5 minutes from our hotel to the beach. There was a man selling homemade ice cream and I grabbed a cone of Pineapple. So refreshing! The beach had two sides to it split between a bridge called Dos Hermanos Bridge. The bridge is long and narrow. We walked across this bridge to the ocean front side of Condado. This is where the expensive ocean front properties and hotels are. The beach had beach chairs to use with umbrellas and towels. It was a very fun and exciting atmosphere with food carts and drink vendors. We stayed until sun down and walked back to our hotel.

 

 

 

The weather was warm and sunny with a slight overcast. Watching the sun go down was amazing.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico! 

Old San Juan is the historic part of San Juan. It is full of beautiful cobblestone roads with colorful houses and restaurants. The streets were full of tourists but not overly crowded. There was a lot of souvenir stores and food options. I saw a cool looking oyster bar that looked amazing but did not open until 5pm. I wanted to wait but we were starving! We decided to eat at a little local bar and restaurant. I did not get the name of it and I cannot find it now :(. I chose fish tacos off of the happy hour menu and a special drink from the menu. The food was amazing and the bar was hip and fun.

 

Pictures in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The fish tacos and blended margarita that was so delicious. 

Isla Verde Beach, Puerto Rico!

Isla Verde was the last beach we visited in Puerto Rico. On our last day we had a late flight so we woke up early and took a taxi to the beach. It is east of Santurce so we did not want to walk there. When we arrived they had beach lounge chairs to use. The sand was tanner then at Condado but just as soft. The water had waves that were great for surfing and wave running. This reminded me of the Oregon Coast that we have at home. The difference was the water was warm and salty. Which is a huge difference! I have not been in the Oregon Coast since I was a child and this brought back many memories. We had fun playing in the waves and enjoying each other. Knowing this was the last time we would be in the water made it bitter sweet. We finish with a fresh coconut from a vendor on the beach. We also discovered that this is where all the fast food restaurants are. Wish we knew that for those late night munchies!

Video from Isla Verde Beach, Puerto Rico. 

Delicious fresh coconut on Isla Verde Beach.

We then took a taxi back to our room to check out. We quickly showered and checked out for the airport. We packed our bags the night before and set our clothes out. Our flight back was pleasant with no complaints. We actually slept most of the time.

Additional pictures and videos from our trip!

We spent my birthday dinner at Texas De Brazil Puerto Rico . It was reservation only and was delicious. Plus it was next to our hotel so that was a plus!

The view from our room. 

 

The view from between Condado and Isla Verde Beach. 

The Liquor store in the airport. 

This was our favorite trip so far hands down. We loved learning about a new culture and to see how Puerto Ricans live. If we had more time we would of done more of the activities there. My main focus was relaxing and experiencing the beaches. Which we accomplished our goal. Next time I would like to experience the other side of the island and do some of the cruises and water activities. I will defiantly be back again.

Any questions or comments please leave them below, thanks!

 

 

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56 Comments

  • Reply Cassie

    I love Puerto Rico! It’s been a long time since I’ve visited. I would love to go back and explore. Looks like you had an awesome time! These are great photos

    January 20, 2018 at 8:06 am
  • Reply Andrea

    I love PR it is so beautiful and full of live, and culture and the food is AMAZING. I have a lot of friends from there and I would go often when I was younger it has been years def made me crave the food and everything looking at your post on your recent trip.

    January 20, 2018 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Sheleen

    wow your pics look amazing! I might add Puerto Rico to my bucket list now i have seen these 🙂

    January 20, 2018 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness

    I have never been to puerto rico, but it looks gorgeous!! Also, I have never been in an infinity pool before. Super jealous, what a view!

    January 20, 2018 at 7:33 pm
  • Reply Maayan

    This trip looks amazing! OMG that infinity pool..

    January 20, 2018 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Laurence

    Thanks for the great tips. The pool reminds me of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, though I haven’t tried that too. I’m sure the view is amazing up there.

    January 20, 2018 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply Tony Wilson

    Thanks for sharing. Some great captures. Old San Juan is a great place to spend a few days en route to the Caribbean. The history is fascinating. The Fort is a wonderful place to go with kids, or adults! The charming cobble stone streets offer hours of exploration and the coffee is wonderful!

    January 20, 2018 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply serena hale

    Looks like you both had a ball there. Great photos and I really appreciate that you shared the thing about setting the browser to private. I have not heard of that before.

    January 21, 2018 at 3:20 am
  • Reply Tina grant

    What a beautiful place to visit. I’ve never been but your post and video certainly has me intrigued. Thank you

    January 21, 2018 at 4:07 am
  • Reply Tatjana

    Old San Juan looks wonderful. Great photos! So sad that Puerto Rico was hit so hard this past hurricane season. I wish the peolpe of PR well!

    January 21, 2018 at 5:50 am
  • Reply Emma white

    I’ve always wanted to go there, It looks beautiful! sounds like you had a great time. Thankyou for the review

    January 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply emmanuel damian

    I haven’t been in Puerto Rico yet. The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino looks like a nice accommodation. Great videos!

    January 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply Holly B

    Oh man! One of my best friends is from Puerto Rico but I’ve never been. Now I’m going to beg to tag along next time she goes!

    January 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply Rose

    I would like to visit Puerto Rico but didn’t really know where I wanted to visit. You guys looked like you picked a great time to visit. All sun and pool days are the best.

    January 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm
  • Reply Joan Cajic

    Great photos and seems like you had lots of fun who wouldn’t anyway, that infinity pool is making me think of where to travel this year.

    January 21, 2018 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Laura Dove

    Wow what a gorgeous place!! San Juan looks like somewhere I would love to visit, your photos are beautiful!

    January 21, 2018 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Dee Jackson

    This looks mad awesome. I grew up in Jamaica close to Puerto Rico but never got the chance to visit. I think I will. 🙂
    -Dee | | https://mydeedeesdiary.com

    January 22, 2018 at 1:41 am
  • Reply Dana Peller

    It looks like you were able to enjoy those four days to the fullest! Glad you were able to experience Puerto Rico. It is a beauty!

    January 22, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Erika Ramona

    Ooooh!! I have always loved exploring old, historic places, like that one in Old San Juan. I wish I could also visit Puerto Rico soon!

    January 22, 2018 at 3:58 am
  • Reply Amila

    Wow!These photos make me excited.It seems Puerto Rico is an amazing place to spend a day full of fun…

    January 22, 2018 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Katrina Jean Carter

    Glad you had an awesome time, girl. The pictures look amazing – felt like you took me on a trip with you 😜 thanks!

    January 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    Wow, it does look like you had a really great time. The view from the pool, it’s just amazing!

    January 22, 2018 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply LaToyia Dennis

    Wow! I need a vacation and San Juan looks like the perfect place. Sounds like you had an amazing time.

    January 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm
  • Reply Cynthia Nicoletti

    Love your photos, looks like you had a fabulous time. I have not traveled there yet but plan to in the future.

    January 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Sarah Bailey

    Oh wow how amazing does Puerto Rico look, it seems like there is so much to do there and wow the sun!

    January 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm
  • Reply Valerie

    I love Puerto rico! San Juan is beautiful, so colorful, and the people are so warm and welcoming! I saw the island has 100% light now, thank god! They suffered a lot ! These pictures arr great and OmG im so jelaous of that breathtaking infinity pool!

    January 22, 2018 at 7:26 pm
  • Reply Suzanne Spiegoski

    OMG looks like you had a great time in PR! I need some fun in the sun too!

    January 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Patricia-Ann Que

    what a great fun place! now i want to go for holiday!

    January 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm
  • Reply Real Women Talk 2

    You did an amazing job of documenting your trip! I went to Puerto Rico in 2008 and have such fond memories of my trip there. I loved the food, Old San Juan was really awesome, and of course the beaches. Your pictures are reminding me of the beauty this island holds and it is my goal to go back one day.

    January 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm
  • Reply Toyin Adekola

    You sure had a nice time at Puerto Rico. This is such a detailed adventure, thanks for sharing.

    January 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm
  • Reply Ada

    I’ve always wanted to go to Puerto Rico. It looks absolutely beautiful

    January 22, 2018 at 11:02 pm
  • Reply Jani

    Beautiful pictures and words from your vacation in my home!! Things are a little different now but everything looks a lot more beautiful now, in a unique way! Glad you were able to enjoy before everything!

    January 23, 2018 at 12:22 am
  • Reply maria

    Puerto Rico is on my list of places i’d like to visit. Your photos look amazing!! I love how vibrant and lively Puerto Rico is. I am glad your trip was relaxing and you had a great time!

    January 23, 2018 at 12:56 am
  • Reply Rachael b

    ah it’s so colorful and seems so relaxed there! I dream to go to a place like that sometime soon. I loved all your photos!

    January 23, 2018 at 1:43 am
  • Reply Alissa Ackerman

    I’ve been longing to visit Puerto Rico! My boyfriend’s Grandparents immigrated from there…So i’ve been thinking for a while that it would be really neat to check it out and ask about their favorite places.
    San Juan is now on my checklist for someday!
    The marketplace nightlife sounds amazing, the views look beautiful, Old San Juan’s colorful architecture looks stunning!

    January 23, 2018 at 3:34 am
  • Reply Blair villanueva

    Your photos make me feel so relaxing, so colorful! It proves that you had an awesome vacation in San Juan. Will add this place to my list. Thanks for your recommendation.

    January 23, 2018 at 7:08 am
  • Reply Yocana talaia

    I love your pictures they are so beautiful looking at them just makes me want to go on holiday right now. I actually need a holiday ASAP

    January 23, 2018 at 8:14 am
  • Reply LavandaMichelle

    These are very pretty pictures. I love so Puerto Rico! It is beautiful and rich of culture.

    January 23, 2018 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Miljana

    I’ve heard so much about Puerto Rico. I love your pictures, and would love to visit the place someday!

    January 23, 2018 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Akamatra

    I would never leave that pool! I would love to visit such a colorful and joyfull place!

    January 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply Kelly Hutchinson

    I have to say, San Juan Puerto Rico has always been on my travel bucket list. It is such a gorgeous city with so much to do!

    January 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Kitty

    Beautiful!! I have been yearning for a vacation. I need to keep this location in mind! Thank you for sharing 🙂 xo

    January 24, 2018 at 2:07 am
  • Reply Acupofassamtea

    Your post reminds me of my high visit to San Juan. Awesome pics. It sounds like you had a great time too.

    January 24, 2018 at 3:01 am
  • Reply Danielle Faith

    I went there as a child. I remember it because we went on this big hike where it took us 8hrs to climb. I was about 8 at the time. I need to go back!

    January 24, 2018 at 10:01 am
  • Reply fashionmommy

    San Juan looks so beautiful and full of colour and passion. I hope it recovers from the Hurricane quickly.x

    January 24, 2018 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Nisha

    The pictures speak out that the place is amazing ! Thanks for sharing your travel experience 🙂

    January 24, 2018 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Hey Sharonoox

    I’ve never been to Puerto Rico but this place looks like a nice place to spend on a vacation. Sounds like you have tons of fun. I hope to visit this place someday!

    January 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Rachael b

    So much fun! I really want to go here one day! Looks awesome!

    January 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm
  • Reply ohmummymia

    Looks like you had a great time! Puerto Rico is one of my dreams!

    January 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm
  • Reply Yocana talaia

    Beautiful pictures. Looks like you definitely had a blust. I love the beach. Puerto Rico is so beautiful

    January 28, 2018 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply Gingey Bites

    It looks lovely, all those coloured buildings, blue skies and gorgeous pool views!

    February 5, 2018 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Mary Jingjing Mortos Lopez

    a lovely experience to keep, beautiful Puerto Rico. This place has a lot of things to offer, its worth a visit!

    February 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm
  • Reply Nicole Anderson

    I like the photos of old San Juan. I have never been there but hope to get to that part of the world next year.

    February 17, 2018 at 11:58 pm
  • Reply Marxie

    Looks wonderful! I’ve only seen Puerto Rico from photobooks. I would really love to visit there someday!

    February 18, 2018 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Angela Milnes

    I have always wanted to go to Puerto Rico. San Juan looks like a a very chill town.

    February 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm
  • Reply LavandaMichelle

    San Juan seems so inviting. I would LOVE to visit. These pictures are outstanding, thanks for sharing.

    February 19, 2018 at 10:55 pm
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