There is a tiny little store on the corner of the market in Santurce that sells the best piña colada – just the right amount of rum mixed with pineapple and coconut milk. Salsa music is blasting and almost everyone is dancing. I kid you not. It’s something out of the movies. Every Thursday till Sunday the roads surrounding La Plaza del Mercado in Santurce is closed to all except foot traffic and people flock here to eat, drink, dance and be merry. On every corner of la Placita there is salsa music, sometimes there is even a live performance right there on the streets.
San Juan is just a small slice of what Puerto Rico offers. This tiny Caribbean island is, in my opinion, a perfect holiday destination – it’s got a little something for everyone. Boasting some of the best beaches in the world, it doesn’t end there… Puerto Rico also has a gorgeous rainforest, thriving nightlife, delicious food and much, much more. Here are four reasons why Puerto Rico should be your next holiday destination:
While there is a big US influence in the amount of fast food joints found around the country, the local fare still hasn’t lost it’s yummy taste. If you’re in San Juan you definitely need to try Restaurante Jose Enrique in Santurce. This is a nondescript restaurant cooking local food but done just so well. I’m serious; eating here is a damn pleasure. Don’t forget to get some lechon (spit roasted pork) down in Guavate – in fact, go on a weekend for the full experience of a live band, and hundreds of people eating, drinking and partying. Download a local app called Sal, which will tell you all the cool events, bars and restaurants as rated by locals.
There is something for everyone
There is something for the nature lover, the beach lover, the surfer, the wine lover (Puerto Rico actually has a few local wineries), the coffee lover (oh so many Haciendas to visit where you can learn about local coffee), the party animal, the artist and many more. It really is an island that has something for everyone. Visit El Yunque rainforest and spend some time hiking through it’s many different trails – don’t forget to dress the part, it is after all a rainforest and it will rain! Or perhaps go west to Rincon for some surfing. Or rent a car and drive around the island because there is always something to discover.
The beaches on Culebra Island will spoil you. Flamenco Beach is in the top three beaches in the world, but it doesn’t stop there. If you are more adventurous, drive around the island and you are bound to find a small, undisturbed patch of beach where you can privately sun yourself. This island alone is well worth the trip to Puerto Rico. If you have time, take a boat over to Vieques Island next to Culebra and visit the Bioluminescent Bay. Or just go snorkeling around Tamarindo Beach.
Only in Puerto Rico have I found people who genuinely smile at you on the street if they catch your eye. Doesn’t matter if they’re young, old, male or female, Puerto Ricans are friendly and nice. You’ll make friends easily and they’ll treat you like you’re long lost pals.
If your idea of a holiday is to have fun, de-stress, explore and make connections then Puerto Rico is definitely the place for you!