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Thread: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Boston
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    Default Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    Hello all.
    I'm looking to travel to Puerto Rico and I was looking for some destination ideas. I haven't picked up a book yet (will do so soon) so I thought I'd start here. Anyone have any favorite hot spots? I'd like to hit the beach but I also want to see things (i don't want to spend the entire time on the beach). Any ideas would be awesome. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    Great! Thanks for the tip.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    Hi Melissa:

    You are really better off staying at a resort if you are not too familiar with Puerto Rico, i.e., you're new to the island and not traveling with or visiting friends/family in Puerto Rico. I have several friends who have visited the island - there's an amazing phospherescent beach in the south of the island, many waterfalls etc - but it is generally not recommended that anyone visit these areas unless they are with an island native. So far, the only time I have heard of those places (the beach etc) was from Puerto Rican friends who return with family or are visiting family. Otherwise, folks tend to just kick back at a nice resort where guests are generally advised to stay within the confines of the hotel grounds. Most of the hotel resorts offer a lot of amenities to keep folks happy, relaxed and having fun. They may possibly offer day trips to the "glowing beach" but it'd be quite a drive etc. If you are looking for an island or caribbean destination on which you can explore, well, maybe choose a smaller island or head to someplace like Costa Rica where you can base yourself in a hotel and take a lot of great excursions, organized and safe etc.

    Pretty much everyone I know - friends and family - only go to PR to chill out at a resort and my Puerto Rican friends are the only ones who DO venture elsewhere because they are going to visit islanders and know their way around. It's not well recommended that visitors go off meandering...........but that doesn't mean you won't have a wonderful time at a lovely resort in PR!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    I would have to disagree with the person who suggested that PR is a place where people should stay put in a resort. Many thousands of visitors, many of them who have no friends or family on the island, rent a car and explore Puerto Rico thoroughly and safely. The road network is by far the best I've seen of any Caribbean island and many places can only be reached by private car (although hiring a driver is fine too).

    There are three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. Two are on the main island( in La Parguera SW) another in Fajardo NE and the other in Vieques island off of PR's east coast. Tours can be arranged from San Juan for the one in Fajardo but the other two are best seen if staying on Vieques island or on the south coast.
    All in all I consider PR one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for exploring on your own with a car. In my opinion staying put at a resort is not the best way to experience this amazing island.

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Georgia
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    Question Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    My 17 year old son & I are planning a week long trip to Puerto Rico next month. We are not staying in a resort hotel, so are looking for other types of activities. As mentioned in a previous thread, a visit to the rain forest would be nice. Was wondering what a guide for the rain forest tour would cost on a daily basis.

    For those who have toured the island, any sugesstions on must see activities during our stay would be very much appreciated. My email is available if reply can not be thru this thread.

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    In response to question #8. I would recommend also taking in the Camuy Cave Park and nearby Arecibo Radiotelescope. They're only about 30 mins apart and an easy daytrip from San Juan. It's about 1.5-2 hr drive each way. That is assuming you're staying in the San Juan area.

    El Yunque rainforest usually has 'rent-a-rangers' who are very well versed on this natural treasure. You may want to check in advance to make sure that service is still available.
    Visiting one of the outer islands of Vieques or Culebra asre both great for their pristine beaches and snorkeling sites. Let me know if you need further help, etc..

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Georgia
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    Question Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    Tainoguy.

    Thanks for the ideas of places to visit in PR. I have done research on the ones of interest and have obtained additional information to plan our trip.

    You mentioned that tours can be arranged from San Juan for the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. Do you have contact in San Juan or can we just drive to Fajardo one evening and participate in a tour there without prior reservations?

    Also was wondering for sites of interest on the north portion of the Island, are traffic and road conditions a factor in using a hotel in San Juan as a base rather than finding a different hotel elsewhere. With the Island being only 100 miles from east coast to west coast, it looks like from San Juan that most all sites would be a 1 1/2 to 2 hrs drive at the most.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    Swampyrabbit,

    Keep in mind that although the island's not very large- Puerto Rico is quite mountainous and it looks and feels as though much larger due to this and other factors such as heavy traffic in and around the San Juan area particularly.
    If visiting the western half of the island I would strongly recommend using Dorado. The Embassy Suites there is a great choice as that would put you outside San Juan area traffic. The Dorado area itself is beautiful and quaint.

    Another choice would be to stay in the Isabela area on the NW coast of the island. Villa Montaña Resort would be my first choice.

    As for tours of the bioluminescent lagoon in Fajardo I'd recommend you visit www.Puertoricoplanner.com and check out their section on nature/adventure tour operators. You'll have a nice list to choose from. I have personally used (several years ago) Hillbilly Tours and was quite pleased with their service. Let me know if you have further questions.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2000
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    Exclamation Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    CALRIFICATION TO tainoguy:

    If you please re-read my post you will see that I DID NOT SAY ONE SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THE RESORT. I simply stated that if ONE WAS NOT TOO FAMILIAR WITH PR, i.e. not aware of the lesser known attractions in PR (so many people go to the hotels for major beach, relaxation and perhaps some casino time. I know of all the other great features of the island but recommended that unless the visitor had relatives or knew of reputable tour guides etc., it was not generally advisable to just simple go off meandering the island willy-nilly but instead, have a plan to see whatever it is one wishes to see more than just the resort zone.

    By all means, go explore Puerto Rico - just be sure to do research, as with any location, as to your side trips......do you need a car or want a driver or maybe join a small tour group on a van....etc. There's plenty of wonder to enjoy in PR; I just think folks should think it out and plan well - that's all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Juan
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    Default Re: Travel ideas for Puerto Rico

    I recommend to go out there and explore, here is a schedule:
    Day 1: go east to the rain forest with Luquillo Beach
    Day 2: go west to the caverns with the observatory
    Day3: go east again to do some snorkeling www.eastwindcats.com
    Day 4: go south to the city of Ponce
    Day 5: go east again to the bio-bay www.islandkayakingpr.com
    Day 6: go south again for horsebackriding
    Day 7: stay in San Juan and visit the old city and distillery
    Last edited by Host Bonjour; 07-21-2006 at 04:22 PM.

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