If you know me on a personal level, you know that I love to travel to new places and I like to research a lot and a lot before I actually end up going, it’s sort of like a chore for me to plan my vacations because I am always anxious of missing something I would have really enjoyed. Why I say it’s a chore because it’s really hard to “get down to business” and research, if you know what I mean. Some of these reviews are some sort of biased, I feel, or are based on very very touristy things. And I usually like to do my own thing like a local. And there aren’t a lot of websites out there to tell you exactly what to do. So, I decided to share my trips with you guys with pretty much all the very important stuff I research for, and my actual experiences about the trips so you can pretty much pick up the same agenda if you like, or pick and choose some of the things to make your own little fun agenda for an awesome awesome trip! I promise you, I never brag about knowing something to the T, but planning fun trips I take pride in. LOL.
So here we go, my first look back of a trip – An All Girls, 21st Birthday Trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico!
Instead of a conventional resort with a traditional ocean view room and an infinity pool, for my 21st Birthday trip I wanted us girls to live in one place together, so we could enjoy getting dressed together and laugh till we all fall asleep together, so I went on airbnb.com and rented out one of these beautiful apartments with pink walls and a balcony that had plants and a beautiful hammock which all of us girls fought over to swing on. The experience of living in an apartment is so cozy and so mellow, that just sipping a cup of tea on the dining table together made us feel like we were on a very relaxing vacation.
This is a MUST EAT at restaurant. The vibe and atmosphere this place creates is unmatchable! I am not really into partying but a party at Senor Frogs? Yes, Please! I have been to 3 different Senor Frogs at 3 different locations and my experience has positively surpassed the last one. There are no words to describe this place. The Mexican food is worth going back for over and over again, even if you’re not going to Puerto Rico, look for this joint at any other Caribbean Island! The waiters and waitresses are full of life and they make you climb up on your chairs and dance with the crowd, make you balloon hats, call you up on the stage to dance on songs like the cha cha slide or the Sid shuffle, and more so give you free shots every now and then. It’s a restaurant that keeps the customers interactive and cheery and you really don’t need to get out and go to a club after.
The best sight that Puerto Rico is known for is the El Yunque National Rainforest. As the name suggests, it is an hour car ride from the Old Town but there are plenty of agencies specializing in taking tourists to this park included in the tickets. We pre-booked our travel to this park along with our stay and flights and got picked up from one of the resorts in the Old Town early in the morning. We hiked all the way up to this beautiful waterfall while our host for the entire trip/day told us all about different plants and showed us artistic caves along the way. When you commit to an entire day like this, they give you lunch, snack, and dinner before they drop you back to the location so we were packed and very busy for the entire day! They also take you to this beautiful Yokahu Tower from where you can see the entire rainforest in one look and it’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s a MUST MUST do!
Alright, so the one food item that Puerto Ricans are famous for is a dish called MOFONGO! I am not sure how they actually make it but it’s a mixture of meat, veggies, rice, and banana chips called Tostones. I have to be honest here, I did not like my veggie mofongo at all, I literally filled my birthday night dinner on Tostones and just Tostones. But my friends who eat meat, loved their chicken mofongo. They said it was a different way of eating chicken that they frankly enjoyed. This restaurant was the one that popped up in our google search for the best mofongo restaurants and it really was because we had to wait an hour even after reserving a table the previous day. If you are really looking for an authentic Puerto Rican experience, Go Here!
I wouldn’t recommend going to San Juan for a great beach experience, if you missed it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world because this is one Caribbean Island which isn’t necessarily known for it. We went regardless because we had enough days and a beach day any day is a good idea!
I am not much of a party person, I like bars and clubs that are laid back, not too loud, not too buzzed, if you know what I mean. I love to see people actually having a good time rather than seeing them high and not aware of if what they’re doing is making them happy or upset. This Salsa Club was just the right combination. The drinks were mellow, they had really good live music, and everyone salsa danced with their partners perfectly. Now obviously we didn’t know what we were doing, but everyone around us were very supportive and cheered us even when we were performing horribly. Also, they had a really good cake, OR I was a little buzzed to know the right difference between good and bad. HAHA.
Also, I had the best tequila shots in Puerto Rico and I have been trying to find them here in the US ever since and I have had no luck. The special touch that these shots had was that instead of lime and salt, we had the shot and sucked on an orange sprinkled with cinnamon! They were the best shots, and they really got you good, in a good way!
I am not generally the foodporn type, but this waffle place was the BEST PLACE EVER! They had all kinds of waffles that we just can’t about imagine in our daily lives. I don’t have to say anything, just look at that deliciousness below! You can miss everything else I did in this trip, but trust me you don’t want to miss this. It’s a tiny little cafe in the Old Town with a view of the great big ocean outside of it, very cute, very instagram-worthy and very popular, so prepare yourself to wait atleast 2 hours during rush hour which is what we did! We didn’t mind at all though because we walked around the beautiful town, saw different and really old churches, literally danced on the streets, NO KIDDING, and went to a flea market in the middle of the town to go check out vintage and hand-made crafts. We had a blast!
This is another MUST VISIT sight of Puerto Rico! Don’t miss this castle! It is magnificent! This castle was literally only 2 blocks from where we lived so we just walked to it, and the walk itself to the door of the Castle was very dreamy. The blue waters around it made the entire property cool breezy and the sun shining made the green grass shine even brighter. The photos came out to die for and once we stepped inside, we experienced a different time altogether. I wouldn’t say we understood how the soldiers must have felt while residing here, but we definitely got the chills of it while we stood next to the very old Grenades! We didn’t take the tour because we weren’t that much into knowing the bits and pieces of the history, but if you are interested in knowing the entire history, make sure you go during a weekday and research the tour hours because they do close on the earlier side of the day.
Go to this one only if you have enough time in your trip and you are great enthusiasts of RUM, which I totally am! Not so much Bacardi, more of Malibu haha, but I still had to go. They talk all about how they make the rum, where they store it, give you free pretty drinks like in the photo and its pretty much a very good time. They’ve build the factory in a mesmerizing way! It’s a great location to spend the day with friends but if you miss it, don’t feel too bad about it. The tickets aren’t too expensive and it’s only a 1$ ferry ride from Old San Juan, which is an experience in itself.
Hope I could help you guys in making your trip plans a little more easier, and if you have more questions, feel free to contact me, and I will try to answer your questions based on my experiences! 😀 Happy Tripping! *Pun Intended* HAHA.