Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Post: Travels in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a place that I would go back to in a heart beat. It's a beautiful island with an incredible mix of people, food, and scenery. I'll take you through a quick tour of Puerto Rico, sharing some tasty noshings, incredible views, exciting creatures, and much more!
To my surprise, Puerto Rico is a gastronomic paradise! Asian/Latin fusion is the main trend, and of course you can find fried plantains and local paella on street corners. But the one place that YOU MUST dine at is Pamela's. Pamela's is literally fine dining in the sand. Local seafood, beautiful vegetables, and an amazing staff. Try the Ceviche, Scallops, Ginger Shrimp, and Lump Crabmeat. Wash it all down with some Rum Punch!

Other FANTASTIC restaurants to seek out include:
OOF Restaurants:
Parrot Club
Toro Salao (in the video below this is where we watched Spain win the World Cup!)
I say where NOT to stay first because it needs to be known... I wish I knew before going. If you want to really experience Puerto Rico, DO NOT stay on the strip of high rise hotels like the Ritz Carlton as we did (although we were there for work so not much of a choice). It's a 30 dollar cab ride EACH WAY into the old city (where everything from the forts to the great meals and music are) and who wants to spend all of that money on hotel when you should be out exploring. Unless you just want to stay on the beach all day and sit in a hotel pool in Puerto Rico instead of doing cool stuff... this is not the place for you! While we were walking along the amazingly European-esque cobblestone streets in Old San Juan, we came across the Hotel Casablanca. It's right out of Morocco, hence the name, with beautiful decor, birds singing in the courtyard, and at 95 dollars a night for the classic room... you can't beat it! The woman handing out fliers outside the hotel even said to us as we looked at the brochure in amazement: Yeah, you should have stayed here. HA! Another tip, go to Puerto Rico in the off season... meaning the summer here in the states. Better prices, and it's not that hot. I suffer the stinky sauna that is NYC in the summer so a little beach breeze is even a break for me. Go in June or early July to beat Hurricane season!
The El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico is an amazingly lush spectacle. On our last day on the island, we found ourselves in the jungle; rock climbing, exploring, and diving into waterfalls. There are no fees to enter or park. However, if you visit the Visitor's Center there is a $3 charge. Pretty darn cheap if you ask me. Bring water, a towel, light snacks like fruit, and prepare for sore limbs after this experience. IT IS WORTH IT! We rented a car for the trip, but check the website for information. Most hotels offer services or will help you find a good cab! Everyone is very nice in Puerto Rico. 

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Puerto Rico. You can find me here at Behold the Metatron for more good food and good times. To check our more from my trip watch the video below. Adios!


Bree said...

I am so keeping Hotel Casablanca in mind because me and my boyfriend are planning on a cruise sometime soon and it leaves from San Juan! My boyfriend wants to stay a night first, and that hotel looks so nice!

leah @ modern day gidget said...

oh my gosh... i love this post!! I have been chatting about traveling to Puerto Rico with my parents lately. My dad was stationed in Puerto Rico for two years and he always is telling us how wonderful it is!! Thanks for taking me on a little Puerto Rican adventure :o)

Fashionista on the Move said...

Must say love this post! I went twice back in the summer of 2008 because my fiance was working there! That is where we got engaged and I'd go back in a heartbeat!

Sarah said...

This makes me want a vacation. :)

Pretty Zesty said...

Hi Tracy!!!

Thanks so much for posting. Did the video not work?

Mrs. H said...

Love this post. I've been to PR a bit, I have friends there but believe it or not never been to El Yunque, will definitely have to make that a priority next time.