Our 3 days in Puerto Rico were really fun. Almost a year after Hurricane Irma and Maria devastated thousands, Puerto Rico is up and thriving and more than ready for tourism. This island is filled with rich culture and vibrant colors, topped off with unlimited adventure!
I highly recommend a quick trip to San Juan! Here are some tips for your travels on where to stay, things to do, and where to eat! 🙂
Olive Boutique Hotel
All the photos in the world couldn’t show how beautiful the design of this hotel is. Olive is part of the small luxury hotels of the world, and has received countless awards for their style, comfort, and hospitality.
The moment you enter the hotel you feel like you stepped into another world. From the welcome drink, to the guest services, Olive was truly unique! Everything from the flooring, to the doors, to the bath designs, you’ll want to hire their interior designer when you get home! You have many options for your suite preferences at Olive, and they’ll even deliver made to order breakfast in bed! Guests can enjoy the most romantic patio with a bathtub/outdoor shower at the end of a long day of exploring. I enjoyed putting on my robe and laying out on my balcony each morning.
The rooftop bar area was a favorite for me and one of my favorite parts of any hotel I’ve stayed at. With the kindest bartenders, endless views of the city and the lagoon, and the infinity pool, Olive really gives their guests an oasis up there.
I know there are many options for hotels when visiting a big city, but choose Olive boutique! It’s an experience you won’t forget and it will feel like home the moment you enter. Go and book your boutique stay here!
Things To Do
Old San Juan-
This was one of my favorite parts about Puerto Rico. The endless colors, markets, art, and food had me dying to come back to explore more of it!
My travel tip for this area is to come in the morning for the first time. The streets are quiet and peaceful and there were very few people out and about. We had the streets to ourselves to take in and get some photos!
In the evenings, Old San Juan is one big party, and it’s really fun! You’ll want to head to San Sebastian Street where it is one fun bar/restaurant after the other! Cruise ships dock in San Juan on Tuesdays and weekends, so be strategic when you’re hanging out in Old San Juan!
If you’re renting a car, which I highly recommend that you do if you want to visit other parts of the island, then find a parking garage when you’re in Old San Juan. There are many! Parking is not expensive either, so don’t worry.
El Yunque Rainforest-
When in San Juan, El Yunque is a must see. This forest is much more dense and lush than I imagined! Many trails and parts of the forest are still closed off due to the affects of the hurricane. We hope it will open soon so we can go back and explore more!
Even though some of it is closed, it didn’t take away from the beauty of it all. La Coca Falls is a stunner, the tower is one to take your breath away when you walk to the top for a panoramic view, and our favorite part just outside of El Yunque, was Las Paylas. Picture a waterpark made out of rocks in the middle of the rainforest- yupp, that’s this place!
To respond to the most FAQ I got on this part of the trip, the slides don’t hurt. It’s very smooth! Just be careful because it is slippery and you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful. The water is deep enough in parts that you can swing off ropes and jump off rocks, we had a blast acting like little kids!
Bacardi Mixology Tour-
I’ve done winery tours and other rum tours in the past. But our tour at Bacardi was the most fun out of all of them!
There are a few options you can choose from, but I highly recommend the mixology tour! After a quick intro on Bacardi and the property, we went into a big cocktail classroom, fully equipped with shakers, limes, glasses, and everything you need to make cocktails! We made a Cube Libre, the Daquiri, and my personal favorite- the mojito. We had a blast learning new things and were happy to keep our “Bacardi Puerto Rico” glasses to take home with us and try it ourselves!
I recommend booking your tickets online first, there are many tours a day that you can select from! You can book them here. Make sure to eat something before hand 🙂
Fun Places To Eat
La Factoria- This is one of the best bars in Old San Juan. It is located on San Sebastian Street and has 4 other bars inside the building. From a wine bar to a tropical bar to the old charm, the drinks and food are to die for! I recommend the lavender mule and their bbq sliders!
Senor Paleta- This popsicle place deserves all the hype! When we arrived, the line was out the door but it went very quickly. I got strawberry cheesecake popsicle and it was amazing! You can choose from many different flavors and it is the perfect cool down snack when you’re walking around Old San Juan.
Cafe Monelin– A local spot, and a place recommneded to us- this place had GREAT breakfast that was fast, quick, and cheap. It is located in Old Town and you can either sit at a big breakfast bar or a private table.
Luquillo Strip– On Luquillo beach, which is located close to El Yunque, there is a lengthy row of restaurant options right along the sand. You can choose anything from pizza to tacos to seafood and beyond. There are even bars that will give you a pina colada to go! Check this area out for a fun variety of food.
Puerto Rico definitely took me by surprise. From the people to the vibrancy of the city, we highly recommend you see it for yourselves!