Most times when I travel, it’s done internationally. A domestic flight is far and few in between, but I took the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico. I managed to scoop the flight for 21K Delta miles as well as a fee of $11.20. I then went on to book the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan.
In a casual conversation about my weekend plans I got asked isn’t there a hurricane this weekend? I had no idea this was a thing. I knew it was hurricane season but for no memos of a pending hurricane. I quickly called Delta and was notified all flights remain the same and that safety is their number one priority. I then called the hotel who despite the possibility of a hurricane wasn’t keen on giving returns.
I had a lot to think about. The miles would be refunded to my account as well as the fee and I wouldn’t mind losing out on the $800 for the hotel but would I miss out on the experience? I made a judgement call and off I went to spend the weekend in Puerto Rico.
I was supposed to be filming some promos for the Lounges at JFK blog but things proved to be difficult. I showed up at the airport at 624 for a flight that closed at 6:44, needless to say, it wasn’t cute. I boarded Delta flight 1859 slightly after 8:00 pm which was late but I made it nonetheless.
I landed at about midnight and made my way to an Uber. I checked in the hotel and went out to get food. At 1:00 am options are slim so I chose Eden across the street. They made fresh empanadas. After a twenty-minute wait for the price of perfection and went back to the hotel to have my meal. I stayed at El Convento since it was one of the oldest operating hotels in the Caribbean.
The next day I got up just in time for the tour. We embarked on a 50-minute ride before we got to El Yunque. El Yunque is the only tropical forest in the United States. There are three main routes. You get to see green vegetation, wildlife in terms of the coqui and various types of birds and it is a great place to swim. After having too much fun at El Yunque, I drove about 20 minutes to Luquillo.
Luquillo is one of the more famous beaches in Puerto Rico. The beach stretches a few miles and has activities such as Jet Ski and horseback riding. The best part of the beach is the almost 40 stalls and restaurants at the entrance that sell anything from food to souvenirs. It’s a great place to get all the local cuisines. I tried a pina colada from Tradiciones and the presentation was a 10 on the wow factor. After spending a few hours at the beach, we drove down to this food stall in the middle of the highway in Luquillo and had a feast. Pork and yellow rice, salt fish pancakes (bacalaitos), and empanadas. Everything was so good. After landing in fry food heaven I needed a nap.
I went back to the hotel for a few hours and took one. I then got up to head to El Moro Fort and Fort San Cristobal. The entrance fee is $10.00 for both and with them being within walking distance, it’s a great way to learn some of the history of Puerto Rico.
One of the best things about San Juan is its nightlife. I started with food at La Verguenza on Calle de Tan’ja before making my way down to the many clubs and bars of Calle de San Sebastián. My favorite was La Factoria. It is a connection of six bars all different themes and am all around place to have fun.
The next day I went on one of the island's best walking tours led by William. He is energetic, passionate, and brilliant in displaying his love for the country. We toured historic sites, famous streets, and a few national treasures. If you are ever on the island, please check him out via Guruwalk, you won't regret it.
After the tour, a few of us went out to grab a bite. Unfortunately for me, I had to rush to the airport right after. Puerto Rico was amazing. I can't wait to visit again and see more of the countryside.
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