Just Got Back: Puerto Rico

Colors of San Juan
Bright, pastel colors of houses in a neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Jill Young, Europe and the Caribbean travel consultant at The Travel Authority

Where did you Just Get Back from? Puerto Rico

When were you in Puerto Rico? April 2016

Words to describe what you felt when you first arrived:  Fascinated—I was interested in exploring how the U.S. territory is similar and dissimilar to my corner of mainland USA.

Where did you stay?  The Caribe Hilton, a 3-star hotel in the heart of San Juan. Built in 1949, this was the first Hilton in the Caribbean, and it’s widely believed the lobby bar at this property was the birthplace of the Piña Colada. The hotel has undergone major renovations since, giving it a modern feel.

With whom would you recommend staying at this hotel / resort? This is a good property for singles, couples, and families who aren’t looking for the finest accommodations, but would like a nice, clean, comfortable, and safe base from which to explore San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico. There is a small protected beach here that is ideal for children and weak swimmers, as well as a great pool area. From this hotel, excursions to El Yunque rainforest, Old San Juan, and Bioluminescent Bay are easily-arranged.

Tempt us- Name the most special place you discovered on this trip:  Castillo San Felipe del Morro—a 16th century Spanish fort that must be included in any visit to Old San Juan. A guided tour will give you insight to Puerto Rico’s rich colonial history, as well as some of the best views of San Juan at the top of the fort.  Also, you can’t go to Puerto Rico without taking an excursion to the bio-luminescent bay. Tiny micro-organisms in the water glow when touched, causing the surrounding water to glow blue. Nighttime kayak excursions into the bay are the best way to see this phenomenon.

What’s the best time of year to go in your opinion?  December through April has the best weather, but it’s also high season. I recommend early May—still good weather, but fewer crowds. Fall is the least expensive time to go, but be sure to buy ‘cancel for any reason’ travel insurance, as it is also hurricane season.

If you’re interested in traveling to Puerto Rico, contact Jill at jill.young@thetravelauthority.com



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