A few weeks ago, I was feenin to be on an island drinking rum out of a coconut. I mean I even posted a throwback to last summer when I was in the Bahamas drinking Bahama Mamas lol. Well three days after that photo I get a phone call at work that we need to go to Puerto Rico for a volleyball recruitment trip. Needless to say, I was shocked, but I said YES, very quickly lol because when the Lord answers prayers you just say thank you 🙏🏾!
I went to San Juan on a 4-day trip to recruit for our women's volleyball team. It was a great tournament that showcased athletes from all over the world. Our amazing head volleyball coach had her eye on a few players, and we got a couple to commit to Talladega. The beauty of this showcase was the well-thought-out schedule. It was created so we could work and enjoy San Juan without having to miss anything. The age group that we went to watch ended by 11:30 am each day which gave us time to enjoy San Juan. Oh, and the food at the showcase was bomb!
From the convention center to the beach to the waterfall hikes and walks thru Old San Juan I enjoyed my work getaway. I would highly recommend it to anyone with the opportunity to go. & because we don’t gatekeep over here, I’m dropping all of the details from my trip with links and pictures below!
1. Let's start with lodging. Since this was a work trip, I stayed near the convention center at the Aloft Hotel. The Aloft is a beautiful Marriott property that is conveniently located near DISTRITO T-Mobile. Now this property wasn't all-inclusive, but the price was great, and they offered great packages. Oh, and if no one tells you this let me be the first the food at the hotels is Americanized. If you want authentic food leave the hotel!
The first link is for the hotel and second link is for the T-Mobile District!
This area offered different food, bar, and entertainment options. If you have kiddos there were plenty of options for them as well.
2. The beach! San Juan has a few different beaches. But we settled on Condado Beach. We booked a resort pass for $150 this included, a private day bed, a bottle of rose' and access to the Renaissance Resort.
Click the link below to book the resort day pass!
3. El Yunque Rainforest with transportation and authentic food. This trip was $49 and worth every penny! Bryan and his crew took us on a hike an hour outside of San Juan and it ended at the waterfall. The trip included transportation to the rainforest, a guided hike/ waterfall jump, and a stop at the beach for lunch after the hike. I don't swim so I did not do the waterfall jump.....but everyone else seemed to enjoy it lol. Now for everyone interested in this, there are a lot of tours out there and many of them are overpriced. Bryan's crew was nice, well informed, made you feel safe, and the price was great!
Click the link below to book through Airbnb!
4. Old San Juan! It was beautiful and showed you the real Puerto Rico. I would recommend doing the guided tour during the day to get the most out of the area. We walked ourselves in the area at night. I felt safe but because the area is so big, I feel like we missed a lot.
I didn't make it to every place listed below but this list was provided by Bryan our Rainforest tour guide, and it is a great one!
MUST Do local things to eat:
· -Rice and beans with pork chops
· -Quesito (dessert)
· -Medalla (local beer)
· -Piña Colada (official drink of PR)
· -Coffee fresh from the island
· -Alcapurrias de jueyes(crab fritters)
· -Empanadas de camarón (shrimp)
· -Mojito de parcha (passion fruit mojito)
· -Chichaito shot (rum-based shot)
· MUST visit places:
· Old San Juan (Book the guided tour)
· El Yunque rainforest (Click the link above to do the tour with Bryan)
· Playa Mar Chiquita
· Playa Flamenco
· Toro verde ziplines
· Biobay Fajardo
· Dance all night in La Placita
· Drinks in La Factoria
· Wynwood style art murals in Yaucromatic
· Cueva ventana (stunning cave)
· Cueva del indio (picture perfect cave)
· Guavate pork highway
· Playa Buye
· Playa Crash Boat
· Ron Barilito Rum tour
MUST eat at restaurants in San Juan area:
· -Casita Miramar (make a reservation or you will not get in)
· -Casita Blanca
· -La Placita de SanTurce
· -Lote 23 food truck park
· -Cueva del mar
· -Bebo’s Café
· -El Boricua
· Monday- La Terrraza de Bonanza
· Wednesday- Drift at Loíza
· Friday- La Factoria
· Sunday- Piso Viejo
Overall San Juan was amazing! 10/10 highly recommend. Please let me know if you try any of the places on the list!