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Old 03-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
RadioFanatic
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Puerto Rico help

DH and I want to go to the caribbean for our 15th anniversary which is thanksgiving this year. We are going to spend thanksgiving with my DS and parents, then leave the next day, returning tuesday while my parents are kind enough to watch DS for us. Our first vacation just the two of us since DS was born.

We were thinking Puerto Rico bc flights from NYC are less than $300 pp. We were looking at priceline and hotwire sites and it seems you can get good deals on resorts there for less than $100 per night.

I would love any help I could get on whether PR is a good idea, what to do, if anyone has resort/hotel recommendations or has used hotwire/priceline for there, restaurants, etc. any help would be appreciated!

thanks!
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:32 PM   #2
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We loved Puerto Rico. We stayed in a condo at Playa Azul in Luquillo. That's about 45 min east of San Juan. We liked it because it felt more like the real deal, not touristy. We weren't so much interested in a San Juan resort (and there are no all-inclusives in PR, by the way).

Luquillo was central to the things we wanted to see - the bio-bay in Fajardo (DO NOT MISS THIS - check your moon calendar, you want it dark) and El Yunque rainforest (our only national park that is a rainforest). We also enjoyed the beaches there. There is a good variety within walking distance - some busy, some quiet, some calm surf, some rough surf. We also LOVED LOVED eating at the Luquillo kiosks - a down-and-dirty, authentic experience - dogs and cats begging, the beach out the back and loud music out the front. Good times.

I really want to go back because, to be honest, we got really lazy and didn't do half the things we had planned. Slipped right into Caribbean mode! Our son made a friend, too, and all they wanted to do was hang out.

If you're interested in reading all about what PR has to offer, read up at www.puertoricodaytrips.com. This is by far the best collection of travel articles I've ever seen.

I hope you go, it's a neat place. Tons and tons of character. And you're right, an easy, cheap trip. Literally half as expensive as the Jersey shore!

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Old 03-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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And just one thing I learned from my experience, re: flights. We left from Newark. When I started planning for the June trip, in February, I also saw those inexpensive flights. They quickly went up at least $100 or more. I was very sorry I didn't book as soon as I saw them. We still only paid about $350 rt, but that took some doing. So if you do decide to go, for sure, don't drag your feet on the flight.

Edited to add....this wasn't our condo, but in our building. Good example
http://www.vrbo.com/347618
Yes, that is 800 for a full week, on the beach. Seriously.

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Old 03-12-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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I went to Puerto Rico for work and loooooved it! I as with a coworker and I've been begging to take my husband with me next time.

We got a small amount of time in San Juan and then spent the majority if our trip in Rincon. I don't have and recs since the majority of the time was spent working... But even the few hours we had free on the beach were lovely.

I was a little worried about feeling unsafe, but honestly I never felt threatened or worried once we got there. We did stick close to the major tourist areas (daytime) in San Juan and Rincon just felt like a small-ish town.

Flying in/out was easy and we didn't have many problems navigating our way around. The traffic is a little hectic and crazy, so plan extra time to drive. Food was cheap and good. Same with alcohol. There was a mixture of Spanish and English spoken everywhere although the more you got off the beaten path, the more Spanish was predominant. It was hot and humid (end of June!) and we found most places didn't have ac.

It was a lovely island and I can't wait to go back and explore a little more in depth.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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I love PR! I vacationed there with my family growing up and now my in-laws live there, so I have been many times.

If you fly into San Juan, check out these resorts:

http://www.elconresort.com/

http://www.wyndhamriomar.com/

And there is a new resort in Dorado (which used to boast the Hyatt Dorado and Cerromar). My cousin-in-law works for tourism of PR and she said this is just fabulous:

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Proper...ch/Default.htm

If you are looking for something a little more off the beaten path, consider flying in to Aguadilla (check JetBlue, they have two flights a day here - it's where we fly to when visiting family). This is the surfer side of the island.

http://www.rinconbeach.com/resort/

The southern side of the island is beautiful with the caribbean. Look into Ponce - it's more of a town than resort area as far as I know, but I'm sure there are many beach resorts down there. You can fly into Ponce. There are also a lot of beach towns along the southern coast.

Have fun planning!
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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When we visited Puerto Rico we stayed at Hotel Casablanca in San Juan. If you want to spend time in San Juan, this is a great hotel since it is centrally located and very affordable. The rooms were nice and had little balconies that looked out onto the city. We were able to walk to fort san Cristobal from here and did some shopping and dining in the city as well. It is also nearby the free bus that goes around that we took to see the other fort. We did not stay too long so we stayed in the city and enjoyed it.

Take note that the hotel does not have elevators so we stayed on a lower floor and so it was fine. They will bring your bags up for you or help you take them down. They also have a locked storage area in case you have a late flight on your last day for luggage. It also had free breakfast.
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