At a recent meeting for creative entrepreneurs (Tuesday’s Together) we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and said our favorite vacation. Mine was my honeymoon in Puerto Rico. Why? Because it was my honeymoon. It’s hard to top the first vacation you take as husband and wife and a week on a tropical island was the perfect start to our married life.
We tossed around many locations for our honeymoon and considered waiting a few months after our wedding to leave, but I am so happy with our final decision. We left the morning after our wedding and spent a week in beautiful Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a US territory so it was easy to travel to, communicate, get around, and travel around, but it felt like an exotic destination. The island is stunningly gorgeous and I highly recommend visiting several areas because different cities, towns, and parts of the island feel completely different.
We landed in San Juan in the evening, so we spent our first night there. We stayed at the Olive Boutique Hotel, which was charming and beautiful. (I’m a huge fan of boutique hotels, which seem like the perfect marriage between airbnbs and huge chain hotels.) We grabbed drinks at their rooftop bar, which had a beautiful view of the harbor and the city, great drinks, and a friendly and helpful bartender. After drinks we crossed the street and had dinner at what seemed like a dive bar. The drinks were good and the food was mediocre. Overall, I found a lot of the food on the island to be kind of bland. Maybe it’s because they think that’s what tourists prefer or maybe it’s just the Puerto Rican cuisine, but I would recommend eating at the least touristy places as possible. We were also pretty unimpressed with the cocktails. Another recommendation- stick to beer. You can’t go wrong there.
The next morning we drove to Rincon, which is in the North West part of the island. During off season (which it was when we were there in October) it is a small, sleepy town full of people from around the world who work a little so that they can spend most of their time surfing. We stayed at the beautiful Casa Verde Hotel. It is a clean, simple hotel with a tropical feel (but, not in a kitschy, tacky way) that we loved, especially after being upgraded to the penthouse. Several of the restaurants in the area were closed due to it being off season, but we did spend a good amount of time in the Kahuna Bar and Grill (also owned by the Casa Verde Hotel). It was really good and, I might even say, had the best food and cocktails of our trip. (Can’t go wrong with bar food, amiright?) We spent most of our time walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and exploring the area. Our time in Rincon was quiet, relaxing, and exactly what we needed at the beginning of our vacation.
After a few days in Rincon we headed South. We stopped for lunch in Boqueron and walked around the town and on the beach. The beach was mostly empty, except for a few people scattered around with a beer in their hand and only their head bobbing above the water. We ate lunch at Pelican’s after a recommendation from a worker directing traffic and then drove down to the Cabo Rojo lighthouse. It was a quick and easy (other than the heat + humidity) hike up to the lighthouse with a beautiful view at the top.
After our hike in Cabo Rojo we drove back to San Juan. Our route took us through Ponce and most of the Southern part of the island and then straight through the middle. I loved seeing the farmlands and a completely different landscape. The area was beautiful.
Our last few days were spent in San Juan at the San Juan Water and Beach Club where we drank bloody mary’s under a beach umbrella, swam in the warm, blue water, and had time to relax and explore more of the city. The Water and Beach Club was modern and fun, after looking forward to staying here for quite sometime, did not disappoint. The neon lights in each room were super fun.
During our last few days we visited Castillo de San Cristobal, which is an old fort that was built to protect the city and the island. We just happened to be at the fort when an airshow started. It was perfect timing and we had an amazing view. (Dave was REALLY excited!). We aren’t huge rum people, but since we were in Puerto Rico we felt it was necessary to tour the Bacardi Factory. We learned a lot of fun and interesting facts, the grounds were beautiful, and we enjoyed our drinks.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was our hike in the El Yunque Rainforest. Fun fact- El Yunque is the only rainforest in the National Forest System. The views were stunning and we even got caught in a downpour on our hike to a waterfall, which was fitting since we were in the rainforest. I highly recommend visiting El Yunque and doing the fairly easy hike to the waterfall.
Overall, we loved Puerto Rico and would love to visit again someday. There was so much to do and not enough time to do it all. I’m so thankful for my first week in this beautiful country as my handsome husband’s wife.