Things to Do and Eat in Puerto Rico – I’m located in Atlanta, where it’s nice and warm the majority of the year, however, not so much in December. I thought about a bunch of locations near by, but I just couldn’t get excited about any of them because it would all be chilly! That’s when I had an awesome idea – how about Puerto Rico?
Does Puerto Rico need a Passport?
No! You do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico! That’s actually why I ended up there, it was so easy. Oh – and also… because my boyfriend’s passport was long expired and this was a last minute trip.
So to Puerto Rico, I went! Now, there are definitely different types of vacations. There’s the kind where you plan out every single detail of every day, and then there’s the kind you just go with the flow. The latter is more my cup of tea. So planning out my trip was pretty easy.
Two things about me:
- I love sunshine.
- I love food.
So my basic ‘plan’ was:
- Go to the beach and do nothing.
- Find delicious restaurants.
- Visit Old San Juan
- Check out El Yunque National Rain Forest!
Things to do in Puerto Rico near San Juan
Isla Verde Beach is a beach in Carolina, Puerto Rico – it is only 20 minutes from San Juan and very close to the airport. It was recommended to me by friends who are very familiar with Puerto Rico. The nice thing about Isla Verde is that 1) it’s beautiful, and 2) it is not as crowded and touristy as some of the other areas.
This area is also awesome because there are so many delicious restaurants walking distance, so you can grab food and drinks super easily.
I’m amazed by how delicious the food was in Puerto Rico! Some highlights:
Mofongo – This was so exciting for me, a new dish I discovered. Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish made with fried plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are fried and then mashed with salt, garlic, and oil and served with some sort of protein. The yummiest one I got to try was this Steak Mofongo from Mi Casita.
Calamari – Fried squid. This dish wasn’t new to me, but man, the Calamari is just so fresh in Puerto Rico, and I swear it is tastier than the ones I have in Atlanta! I highly recommend. I feel like I ended up ordering it as an appetizer almost everywhere I went.
Other amazing dishes I had in Puerto Rico:
- Pera Maraya
- Empanada de Caballo – Fried hanger steak with fried egg on top, coconut rice and sweet plantains.
- Mero Mero – Grouper fillet with Brussels sprouts, baby portobello mushrooms, grilled peach and lemongrass, honey, coconut sour cream
- Mahi Mahi
- Duck Breast
- Mist Rooftop Bar + Kitchen
Old San Juan
Old San Juan is a historic district in Puerto Rico I wanted to visit as I heard it was beautiful, and beautiful it was! At Old San Juan, I got to eat delicious food, and visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel. The views are amazing – so I’m just going to show you pictures:
El Yunque National Forest
The last day I was in Puerto Rico, I went hiking in the El Yunque National Forest. I was a little worried that the rain forest might not be in good condition due to Hurricane Maria in 2017 – however, it was really nothing to worry about. Other than a couple of more difficult trials that weren’t open, we were still able to enjoy a beautiful hike and see some waterfalls!
If you’re in to hiking, I definitely highly recommend visiting El Yunque. There’s several trails too, so you can do a little research and plan out your trip. If you’re visiting with family, you can make it fun with some hiking planner printable bundle!
Overall, the Puerto Rico trip was a huge success and I highly recommend it as a vacay spot! The only thing I wish I did differently was actually plan ahead a little more for this trip, so that I had more options on flights and hotels.
So, if you’re planning on going to Puerto Rico, take a look at your options! You can fly there or you can also take a cruise! I’m a big fan of cruises, because when you go on a cruise, you can basically let the cruise line do the hard work of setting everything up. All you have to do is pick what you want to do and they will handle the rest. For example, Celebrity Cruises, has cruises to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where you can pick different excursions, including hiking in El Yunque, Bioluminescent Bays, Ziplining, Dining (mofongos – yum), Old San Juan and Fort San Cristobal, and more!
Note: This post is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises, however, all opinions are my own!
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