What to do in our fifty-somethingth state?
April 23, 2008 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The missus and I are planning on spending a week in Puerto Rico for our first anniversary. What must-see-or-do things should we consider?

The list already includes seeing Arecibo, poking around Old San Juan, checking out the rainforest and the caverns, and perhaps splurging on a fishing charter, but that's quite a lot of money. (<snark>Spending your "stimulus package" money in PR "counts", right?</snark>)

Anything else we should add to the list? FWIW, we're not staying in a resort. We're paving our own way, spending 2 nights at a little guest house in San Juan then going to a B&B in Rincon for the remainder, so we'll be all across the island.

Any great spots to grab a bite would also be appreciated.
posted by jammer to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
North east corner, from Fajardo, take the ferry to Vieques for a night. Go kayak or swim in Mosquito Bay at after dark (some guides will take you), where the dinoflagellates glow when you disturb them. It's amazing.

If you know what SETI is, take a gander at the Arecibo Observatory. It takes some imagination and sense of history to appreciate it, though.

Drive a car through the mountainous center, if you like *ahem* adventure. Be sure your horn works, and keep your window down to listen for others. Echolocation is the way to survive.

Eat at the hole-in-the wall diners. Always.

Have fun!
posted by cmiller at 7:01 AM on April 23, 2008

Go to Fajardo and take the ferry over to Culebra for the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. It is where the locals go to get away for the weekend. Spend one night there at Casa Jardin or Casa Ensenada. Both are cheap, but nice.
posted by Beaufort at 7:10 AM on April 23, 2008

My wife and I love Rincon, we've been there twice.

I have more notes at home, but there's a seaside hotel with a bar that serves pirates - tons of rum in a coconut. Go there for sunset (and make sure you can walk home).

We had a good trip out to Desecheo on TaĆ­no divers. We'd never scuba'd before, and had an amazing time. Call in advance, our first time there were no slots left.

Near the caverns there's a petroglyph park - high recommended.

Kaplash, on the road into town, is another great local place for turnovers and beer. There's a fancier restaurant next to it where you can get mofungos, although I forget the name.

If your B&B includes a kitchen of your own, stop by the grocery (also on the main drag, forget its name) for supplies. If you're not committed to your B&B yet, we really enjoyed staying at Amirage guesthouse.

The Lonely Planet guidebook for PR is a pretty good resource.

All spellings approximate, sorry. I'll try to flip through my photos or guidebook to come up with more suggestions.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:24 AM on April 23, 2008

Seconding Culebra. Flamenco Bay is gorgeous.

My favorite touristy activities in Puerto Rico, so far:
  • flying a kite on El Morro in Old San Juan (wonderfully romantic!)
  • sunbathing and snorkeling at Culebra (day trip)
  • kayaking to the bioluminescent bay, Laguna Grande, at Fajardo (evening trip)
Anthony Bourdain did an episode of "No Reservations" in Puerto Rico, if you trust his judgment on food. : )

Enjoy your trip. The island is my favorite place in the world, and I can't wait to go back in June.
posted by kwaller at 7:44 AM on April 23, 2008

Seconding Vieques. Some of those Navy beaches are the most beautiful places I've ever seen, bar none. They weren't technically open to the public at the time so they were totally virgin and deserted. Hopefully development hasn't caught up since the Navy left. Check out Green Beach in particular.
posted by aliasless at 9:21 AM on April 23, 2008

Vieques is a MUST SEE, the bio-bay was incredible and then we sat out on our hotel's rooftop looking at stars and sipping on a few beers.

Take a look at this question of mine from 2006, if you haven't already
posted by ZackTM at 9:58 AM on April 23, 2008

We stayed at Casa Alta Vista in Vieques, as was recommended and it was perfect.
posted by ZackTM at 9:59 AM on April 23, 2008

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