Will you marry me, Puerto Rico?

Ahhhhh Puerto Rico, I’ve missed you so! It seems like both 2 and 20 years ago I first landed on your enchanted island, when in fact it was merely 6. Yet this time around, I only thought I was fully prepared for the journey. Same cities, same lodging, similar travel plans, but with a different travel partner and a few more years under my belt. Lucky me, I also came home with more than a suntan and great memories…

Yes- it’s true. Not only did Broc finally propose, he proposed with THIS!

But I’m getting ahead of myself…The vacation was pretty amazing as well. I documented the trip with my iPhone as best I could and put together a little video of our week. You’re welcome for skipping the 60 page book of details like last time. ;)

Puerto Rico Vacation from megan knight on Vimeo.

I also want to give credit to some of our favorite places & spaces that I continue to feel are a “must do”when visiting Puerto Rico. And a few warnings as well.

Day 1: Old San Juan

Old San Juan is still one of my favorite cities ever. We stayed (again) at Da House, this super eclectic hotel in the heart of the city. It’s very affordable ($112 total/night) and super fun in that you get to pick your room based on how close it is “to the party”. That would be the street, which is literally a party outside the window all hours of the night, every night. Since Broc and I aren’t really partiers anymore (besides the occasional holiday, wedding or snow day), we’ll probably stay somewhere different on our next trip to the city. However, I still highly recommend it for the location and experience.

Note: you do not want to rent a car if you’re staying in Old San Juan. We landed in San Juan late and had already reserved one for the week, but I didn’t think about the parking situation, or lack there of. We tried to get directions to one of the parking garages but it’s not easy navigating the tiny streets by foot in the day, much less at night in a car. We thought we found a safe place near a serious looking building but, as it turned out the next morning, that seriousness was a post office and the parking spot came with a $75 ticket. Best bet is to take a cab to and from the city, then use the car to travel the rest of the island.

Day 2/3: Palmas Del Mar

It’s hard to describe this little jewel on the southeast corner of the island, except for what it is: a gated resort community on steroids. I also wouldn’t call it a vacation destination of the island, but Broc had a good friend who’d recently moved there with his family and thus, a free place to stay. It’s absolutely beau.ti.ful and very un-Puerto Rican, compared to other parts of the island, but if you’re looking for 360 degree views of ocean, golf courses, palm trees, yachts and ultra-luxiousious homes & condos- Palmas is your dream come true. The people are all American too, and as rich in ideas & innovation as wealth, so it’s a pretty nice place to visit- or live…

Day 4/5: Vieques

I have not been to Europe yet, but I have been to Hawaii & every other beach-front city in the US, and nothing compares to the beauty of Vieques. It’s simply gorgeous, raw, and as close to heaven as I can imagine. There’s absolutely nothing fancy about this tiny speck of undeveloped land in the middle of the Atlantic (except maybe The W, we wouldn’t know), but that’s what I love about it the most. And the horses! Did I mention I’m in love with wild horses???

Note: the first time I came we had not problem catching the ferry to Vieques, but I’d read online that times had changed, and that was no lie. We arrived 2 hours before departature and stood in the sweltering heat for tickets for a good 90 mins before we realized they’d sold out. Thankful for iPhones and our friends from Palmas’s advice, we raced to a tiny airport in Ceiba
(about 30 mins from the Fajarado ferry) and paid $32/person/way for a 10 min plane ride across the ocean to Viequs. And it was SO. WORTH. IT. I will never do the ferry again.

We stayed at a very plainly stated home from AirBnB and rented the owner’s, Paul – a Kansan- beater blazer to get around. And it was perfect. This island is a back-roaders paradise- all you need is a pair of wheels, some Medalla (local beer), a bathing suit and a beach towell. Snorkeling gear optional (and not really needed, at least we didn’t see much this time of year). Paul’s place provided all of that, a comfortable king bed & bathroom and was centrally located between the only two towns in town; you go left to get to the beach bars & hidden beaches or right to the city-center and mile-long pier. I think the bio-bay was literally across the road and through a few patches of palm trees. (You can’t go to Vieques without kayaking in the biobay, and I again recommend Abe’s!)

All the food is great (although some, better than others) and all the beaches are gorgeous. The weather is perfect (even if it says it’s going to rain- it suppodisly does every day but we only saw 1 shower and that was in the rain forrest) and the people so warm & friendly. I couldn’t recommend this place more than anywhere else on earth. And it’s a US territory- so no passport and basic Spanish optional.

Please, just go.