Whoever said there wasn’t a piece of heaven on earth, hasn’t been to Puerto Rico yet. While the hurricane had devastated this beautiful island not long ago, Puerto Rico is stronger and better than ever. I love going off the beaten path when it comes to traveling. Sure you can hit up all the places they advertise, but where do the locals go? Where’s the authentic food? I want to find a place they haven’t pinned on Instagram yet 😂. Lucky for me I was able to explore with friends and family so I got all the insight 👍🏼. Pack your dancing shoes and leave your worries behind my friends! I’m about to highlight some of my favorite places in Puerto Rico.
P.R is one of those all in one destinations. Want mountains? Done! Crystal clear water and exotic beaches? You got it! Want to take a drive on the countryside? They have that too! History? Good food? It’s like the buffet version of vacation locations, there’s so many choices 😂. If you’re check-in is later than when you arrive, or like us, are waiting for the rest of the squad to arrive, grab a bite at El Alambique, it’s minutes from the airport. You’re sitting right off the water with views of Isla Verde Beach and the Mofongo with alijillo sauce is legendary! Once you fill your stomach it’s time to get the party started. Ask for their famous Mango Sangria or my personal fav, a medalla light in a plastic cup and take a stroll on the beach. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well relax. You’re in paradise and it just gets better from here.
We explored Old San Juan that night. The architecture is absolutely breathtaking. Puerto Rico has the whole colorblock aesthetic down to a science. I loved it! We popped into La Factoria which was a cute two story bar that gave us views of the city, live music, salsa of course, and handcrafted mojitos made with real sugar cane (proceed with caution).
Next day we were off to the beach. Combate beach has the clearest water I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The entire time i was there I couldn’t get over it! Fun fact: the ocean terrifies me, so being able to physically see my little limbs was a huge plus for me and made my experience much more enjoyable. Not to mention the waves are nonexistent so you’re able to float away or gather around and soak up the sun-rays with your friends without being swept away 😂. You can pack your own beverages (glass or bottle), hang your clothes on the trees nearby, and make a day of it. Grab a snack at Annie’s Place. It’s a restaurant that sits right on the water and has some of the most amazing seafood. Don’t worry about being in your beach attire either, Annie’s is a casual restaurant and full of beach goers.
Mid day and want to keep the party going? Boquerón is a quick drive away and it’s an all day/all night fiesta! When you think of P.R you think music and dancing in the middle of cobblestone streets, right? Boquerón gives you that authentic feel you were yearning for. This little town is filled with amazing people and bars sitting right on the water. If you’re looking for somewhere favored by the locals Hollywood Cafe in Ponce has some of their best specials on Tuesdays. I’m talking a round of drinks for everyone and two dozen wings for $11. Not to mention the music is great and you’ll dance all night long.
Want something a little more chill? La Guancha has the cutest pier full of bars and restaurants right off the water. Day or night it’s so beautiful. We stumbled upon a bar called El Patio and it was perfect! Great music, open rooftop, lights all around and just enough room for dancing. You can sit and watch the boats pass under the moonlight, it’s so beautiful.
Welp! That was a lot longer than anticipated and I didn’t get to cover all the bases but hopefully this helps when planning your trip. 5 days in Puerto Rico wasn’t enough and I can’t wait to go back 😩. For such a small island it packed a lot of excitement! Thanks again for reading!