No matter how much I love the Pacific Coast, a trip to Venice Beach pales in comparison to the likes of the gorgeous beaches in Puerto Rico. I spent the first weekend in March in paradise. Based on the natural beauty and good vibes that the island has to offer, I am likely to go back. Check out my trip in review, with must-dos and tips.

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Must dos

El Yunque National Forest

You can’t go to Puerto Rico and not hit up the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system. That’s just unheard of! I was in Puerto Rico with two of my best friends for my girl’s birthday, and I’m so happy that this was top of her list. I caught some of the most peaceful vibes, tropical views, and not to mention, a strenuous leg day. Our rainforest adventure entailed hiking the Big Tree Trailhead, which led us down to La Mina Falls, where we took a dip in a waterfall and got some sick shots.

Tips

  • Take so many pictures (Bring waterproof gear for your camera, and a selfie stick if you have one).
  • Say a gratitude prayer by the waterfall.
  • Wear shoes with grip.
  • Wear your bathing suit under your clothes.
  • Pack a water, because if you happen to get started late, concession stands close at 5pm.
If you’re going to hike El Yunque National Forest, pack hiking boots, or sneakers with good grip, because you’re in for a good leg day workout.

 

Me, casually contorting my body to get the perfect shot of my bestie, because good friends = good vacations.

 

Hanging out in the rainforest in moisture-wicking athleisure attire and a denim cap.

Old San Juan

For nights out on the town, we headed to Old San Juan which boasts a variety of restaurants and bars, half of which I cannot remember (my bad!). I tend to find myself in a hookah bar in every city. San Juan was no different. The girls and I frequented Pani Agua. I highly recommend. The service was great, and our server offered us some great nightlife suggestions. Also, I really enjoyed the street art in Old San Juan.

Tips

  • Ask around for the best lounges/bars and their best nights.
  • Pack flats, because you’ll definitely be bar hopping.
Street art vibes in Old San Juan.

Local culture 

My most important ‘must do’ is to immerse yourself in the local culture. Make friends. Talk to other humans, and don’t forget to drink only out of fresh fruits (trust me– margaritas served in pineapples by nice Puerto Rican women on a beach are much better). Being able to understand and speak very basic Spanish helped me out in Puerto Rico. I ordered my friend’s birthday cake from a local bakery and the staff spoke no English. I was, at the very least, able to decipher their update that the cake would be delivered to our hotel room via concierge.

Tips

  • Please, try a Puerto Rican taco. You won’t regret it.
  • Brush up on your Spanish.
  • Drive outside of San Juan and pay a visit to Luquillo Beach.
  • Pack a few swimsuits, because, I’ll be honest, I rarely wore underwear this trip. From 24-hour hotel pools, to beaches, to waterfalls, there are plenty of bodies of water to be explored in Puerto Rico.
Strong, strawberry margarita served in a fresh pineapple at Luquillo Beach.

 

One thought

  1. Great post. It reminded me of my visit there. I enjoyed the rain forest. The tour guide took us to this lil place to get some really good BBQ afterwards. The beaches were amazing. My sister, son and I had an amazing time there. We even took the public transportation to the mall.

    Like

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