Puerto Rico- Paula
I decided to celebrate my 24th birthday in Puerto Rico. I picked PR because I made a goal to travel more within the U.S. this year. With beautiful beaches, warm weather, and delicious food – what better place to celebrate your birthday than on the island of enchantment? Below I’m sharing my four day itinerary in Puerto Rico.
what TO DO/see
Spend the first day relaxing and recuperating: Whether that be an Airbnb, resort, or bed & breakfast – the first day will probably consist of recuperating. Relax at the nearest beach, or at your accommodations pool. Grab groceries, if not provided, and take in the beautiful weather! My Airbnb, in Rio Grande, had a beautiful pool that was great for relaxing poolside and barbecuing.
El Yunque National Forest: There’s so much to do at El Yunque National Forest. From: hiking, horseback riding, ATV’s and more.
Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park: This ranch provides numerous activities including ATV, horseback riding, Mountain Biking and more. I’d suggest booking your activity ahead of time to ensure you get the time slot and duration you want.
Hiking: Hiking the rainforest is in a different location from the Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park. If you decide to hike, you’d be able to swim in beautiful waterfalls (like La Mina). Be prepared when hiking as the path could be slippery, narrow, and steep. The 30 minute hike to La Mina waterfall, in particular, is easier going down than up.
Beach Day: Puerto Rico has many beautiful beaches to choose from. Depending on which part of the island you’re staying, you could take a ferry from Fajardo to Culebra or Vieques island. If you rented a car, drive to the west side for a day trip to Crash Boat beach. Or, stay in the area and relax at a beach close by. My Airbnb was close to Luquillo beach, which had a beautiful backdrop of El Yunque National Forest.
Old San Juan/San Juan: Since my Airbnb was a 30 minute drive from the San Juan area, we decided to spend a day exploring.
Bacardí Distillery Tour: Start your day taking this tour to learn how Bacardí came to existence and how they make their rum. You get a free drink and Bacardí cup, as well as the opportunity to try five different Bacardí rums. After tasting, you’ll receive a certificate validating you as a knowledgeable Bacardi taster.
Old San Juan/San Juan: Take an infinite amount of photos with a variety of colorful buildings. Or, take photos around the many graffiti covered walls in San Juan. Walk to El Morro to relax at the park or take a tour around the fort.
Where to Eat/drink
La Placita de Santurce: This is a plaza full of bars and restaurants. This is the place to be during the weekends as it has a lively nightlife atmosphere. We went on a Friday and it was crowded with a variety of music blasting from clubs/bars on the street. The atmosphere reminded me of Bourbon street in New Orleans.
La Parrila: Great place that offers traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, seafood and steak. I got mofongo with jumbo shrimp and holland cheese fondue, which was amazing (the mofongo was made with mashed sweet plantains). We also got appetizers like stuffed tostones (which filled with seafood) and pastelitos. La Parrilla is a bit pricey, but the food makes it totally worth it!
I’d suggest renting a car if you want to see more of what the island has to offer.
Don’t come to Puerto Rico without having some of their signature food and drinks, like Mofongo and Pina Colada’s.
If you decide to hike to La Mina falls, try to go early to avoid the crowd. I’d also suggest bringing water shoes since walking around the waterfall will be very rocky. Note: Cell service will be spotty when hiking.