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thank god for my diligent airfare watching, in October 2014, we booked a great flight deal to puerto rico for 4 days. we explored old san juan on the first day, hiked in El Yunque rain forest and saw la mina falls on the second day, took a boat to flamenco beach, culebra puerto rico, snorkeled with sea turtles, and went on a tour to bio bay when we returned to fajardo. Before our flight back to Boston we visited the barcardi factory on the 4th day.
we flew into san juan airport (SJU) and rented a car. car rental is really cheap in PR. if you had credit cards such as chase sapphire, it even covers the insurance. roads in PR are generally good; our small car was even able to drive into the rainforests. i reserved my car online prior arriving; its always cheaper than renting on the spot. the car rental service at SJU was surprisingly organized; we got our car in no time. we drove to old san juan for lunch and some sightseeing. streets are very narrow in old san juan; it is nearly impossible to find street parking. we parked our car in a garage and headed to restaurant El Jibarito which i discovered from lonely planet.
El Jibarito was pretty packed with both locals and tourists. they serve traditional puerto rican cooking. we ordered some tropical fruit juices (they had no fresh coconut juice what?!), fried whole fish, and a chicken stew dish with plantains. the fried whole fish was dry and the chicken stew wasn’t that special either. lunch was mediocre.
after lunch, we took a walk on the streets of old san juan and grabbed some local coffee at cafe colao. i saw they could do some intense latte art from pictures online, so i was hoping i could get a panda on my cappuccino. unfortunately, the guy that does the advanced latte art wasn’t working that day, so i couldnt get my panda. they suggested visiting them again on a weekend when the guy usually works. the coffee was quite tasty tho.
loaded with caffeine, we took another walk to Castillo de San Cristobal. old san juan is pretty walkable. there’s also a free trolley service that goes between sightseeing sites. the trolley stops are numbered and marked by pink signs. we checked out Castillo de San Cristobal first. the ticket is valid for both Castillo de San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro. we enjoyed the view of old san juan from Castillo de San Cristobal.
after Castillo de San Cristobal, we decided to take the trolley to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, but unfortunately the trolley was completely full. we took a nice long walk along the beach to Castillo San Felipe del Morro where our car is parked as well. after taking some pictures at Castillo San Felipe del Morro, we picked up our car and headed to Gran Meliá Puerto Rico Golf Resort in Río Grande.
we had dinner at La Estacion in fajardo. the restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating. we sat outside and ordered two mofongo dishes (one with shrimps and another one with steaks) along with a few drinks and desserts. mofongo is a fried plantain-based dish originated from puerto rico. usually made with fried plantains mashed together in a pilon and served with veggies, meats, or seafood. it was my first time eating mofongo; i found it overly oily and salty but still pretty tasty.
My favorite part of Puerto Rico so far is the fluffy clouds that float in the sky, I want to curl up and take a nap in them.
Calle Sol 280
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
Phone number (787) 725-8375
PR’s Café Cola’o
Old San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
Phone number (787) 725-4139
Carretera 987 Kilometro 4
Fajardo, Puerto Rico 00738
Phone number (787) 863-4481