Fajardo, Puerto Rico / May 2012
This was our first time to Puerto Rico and now I know why people love it so much. It’s packed with character and you can get there in just a few hours. Flights to San Jaun are always some of the cheapest in the Caribbean. I’ve never lucked out so much in my life on a priceline bid - for $100 a night I got what would be my favorite resort for years to come, the Waldorf’s El Conquistador. The dude working the front desk hooked us up with room 3343 in the Las Brisas wing with the most amazing view. This resort is the only place I can stay in the area now, it ruined me forever. Guests enjoy a complimentary ferry ride that departs every 10 minutes to their private Island, Palomino where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. Here, you feel like you are on paradise and the views from the Island are amazing. You can swim to another tiny island called Palominito. Look for huge lizards and snorkel over the scary drop off in the water.
La Estacion. Just absolutely don't miss this place. The food and vibe is to die for here.
Pasion por el Fogon. Decent....really good mofongo.
Blue Iguana. Serves a good burger.
Luquillo Food Kiosks. Must hit roadside stop along the beach to or from the airport. Like food trucks on crack.
Boardriders in Luquillo. This is a vibey beach dive with views of surfers on the beach. Great weekend brunch spot.
Island hopping to Vieques or Culebra. Take a 10 minute, cheap flight from Cieba airport (don't take the ferry, it's a nightmare), and day trip it for some snorkeling and amazing beaches. If you can stay a night in Vieques you must do the Bio Bay experience (mosquito bay). *Not to be confused with the Fajardo bio bay which is not as good. At night the bay lights up with bioluminescent "dinoflagellates" - glowing little organisms that produce a bright burst of blue light when they come into contact with something. It's really unbelievably cool. You take the tour at night, and if you can go when the moon is the darkest, that's the best time. It's well worth the cash, about $60 pp. *Reserve a tour with Jak Watersports if you can because they have clear bottomed Kayaks. For Vieques details, visit my trip here.
El Yunque Rainforest. There's a little amazing rainforest with hiking and waterfalls right in Fajardo. Both my trips to PR were shorter, and because of my obsession with the beach I did not make it up there, but you should go if this is your thing.