Going to Puerto Rico wasn't really on my radar. Some late night in December, a photographer friend of mine put the idea out there. January came around and I needed to plan my trip. By plan I mean, I did a bunch of research and ranked all the things I wanted to do the most, then planned my trip around those activities. Shout out to my friend Ivey for giving me all the best advice for this trip.
If you're looking for a quick tropical vacation that's close by and in a timezone that won't take days to get used to, GO TO PUERTO RICO.
I've listed out all my tips on what to do, see, and eat below. Check out all my favorite photos from the trip below; they are a mix iphone and Canon 5d Mkiii. Get ready for way too many photos of cats, wild horses, and pastelitos.
Where to eat:
- Kasalta - On our last day in Puerto Rico, we made our way to Kasalta. Truth be told, I will go into any mexican bakery anywhere, even if it's part of a weird gas station that sells expired oreos, in search of a guava pastry. Kasalta is the Puerto Rican bakery you've all be dreaming of. They have coffee, smoothies, chocolate, meats, cheeses, cubanos, medianoches, pastries, cakes, and flan. Their website makes it look kinda fancy but it's pretty casual and Barack Obama has been there!
- Las Vistas Cafe - The owner of this rooftop restaurant is the kindest woman you will ever meet. We took a detour just to have the amazing coconut pancakes(photo below). Make sure to get the fruit salad as well. The place was a detour for us, but it was so worth the extra 30 minutes drive.
- Sol Food - Stop here before your head to the beach in Vieques. Don't forget to get a brownie!
Where to stay:
- Airbnb! I highly recommend staying at Airbnbs with good ratings. I don't mind paying a little extra if it means I'm getting a better experience and I'm staying somewhere unique. Usually, I get better recommendations from the hosts for things to do as well. Next time, I would look into renting a small RV or camping. Puerto Rico has a lot to offer and there's no sense in staying in Old San Juan for 5 days, so make sure to get out there and explore!
What to definitely see:
- Bioluminescent Bay - Find a tour group and go! Make sure to wear clothes and shoes, you're okay getting wet.
- Natural Beaches in Vieques - Beyond gorgeous
- Yunque Forest - Bring a poncho. As it turns out, in the rainforest, it rains pretty frequently.
- Farmer's markets - Bring cash. Buy everything.
What I want to see/do next time:
- Cueva del Indio
- All the scuba diving
- More mofongo
My best advice for going to Puerto Rico:
- Puerto Rico isn't that big, so plan on traveling around the island.
- Pack efficiently
- Pay about $60 and fly to Vieques and stay there for at least 2 days.
- Be prepared to eat lots of fried pork.
- Rent a car.
- Eat a coconut you found in the forest like Mark did.
- Eat a mango you found on the ground like Mark did.
- Find some cheap tickets and book them immediately. Also bring me back some guava treats. :)