I have done a lot of research on flying and I have come to the conclusion that “you win some, you lose some” in my experience. Haha! For $350 roundtrip, I was able to fly JetBlue from Raleigh Durham, NC to San Juan, Puerto Rico. As much as I would like to talk badly about JetBlue and all the delays I experienced, I can’t. They completely made up for the delays by giving everyone a $150 voucher to use for another flight without even having to complain or speak to a manager.

Check out the picture below from the flight: one of the sunsetting and one of the lightning during the flight. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

Day 1:

Landing in San Juan and tired of airport food? Never fear! There is an amazing restaurant within 15 minutes of the airport called Pa ‘Pical. Trust me, you will not leave hungry. Do yourself a favor and order a couple empanadas and some tsunami fries! Pictured below you will see ground beef empanadas, crab empanadas, and the infamous tsunami fries! Insert big smile on your face because that’s how good it is! Note: don’t be put off by all the graffiti and décor, it adds to the authenticity. If you can, grab a table outside to feel the breeze, it can get a little warm inside. Check out Old San Juan while you are there! Just please be cautious! As with anywhere, there are places for tourists and then there are places you don’t need to find yourself… think of it like Nocturne Alley from Harry Potter (any HP fans out there? High five!). My friend who is from San Juan mentioned that late at night (the witching hours of midnight to 5am) you should not stop at red lights. Yielding and looking both ways, if there is no traffic, you can keep going. I was told this it is completely legal at those hours due to carjacking. But never fear, you will be so tired that you won’t event want to be driving around at that time! Lol.

Note: if you are planning on going on a tour to Culebra (like we did), you will want to stay somewhere in San Juan. I suggest getting a cheap hotel on the beach. You will be so exhausted from traveling that just having a pillow and a hot shower is all you need! Check out this hotel on the beach, Luquilla Sunrise Beach Inn. Mind you, it’s not luxury but when you wake up and see that sunrise on the beach, you won’t have a care in the world. Also, there is live music within walking distance from the inn. Need a drink to decompress? Literally just a two-minute walk (if that), you can find Boardriders. Check out that view!

Day 2:

Rise and shine, you have an early morning ahead! Hopefully you planned a tour to the island of Culebra (fun fact: culebra translates to mean snake). You will want to show up early because the lines get long and it sure is hot if you don’t make it to stand under the tent. I would highly recommend booking your tour to Culebra ahead of time. They sell out quickly. The amazing kayaking and snorkeling with sea turtles we did was just that… AMAZING! The company we used can be found on Tripadvisor: Culebra Kayak and Snorkel Adventure from Ceiba. Our tour guide, Yamil (forgive me if I spell his name wrong) was very patient and informative with a lot of fun facts throughout the tour. You’ve never been snorkeling or kayaking? No problem! Yamil gave us the rundown of the basics that made us all feel very comfortable and ready to hit the water! There is nothing like seeing the turquoise water from your kayak and then jumping in (don’t worry, you have life vests on so even those who can’t swim can enjoy) and seeing the fish and coral was so awesome! Insert Under the Sea music from The Little Mermaid. We managed to see a total of 6 sea turtles! They are so beautiful and graceful… truly something you can’t explain. You have to see it for yourself! We also got to hold a sea cucumber (gross!) and see some scuba divers who were cleaning a (sorry for the lack of better wording) coral hanger. I made that term up but it’s built under the water in order to encourage more coral to grow since so much of the underwater life was destroyed due to Hurricane Maria. Once you are done snorkeling and have kayaked back to the shore, you hop on the bus with your guide and get dropped off at Flamenco Beach. Here you will have some amazing food (can anyone say empanadas?!) and some fresh coconut water straight from the coconut. The coconuts were 2 for $5! Talk about a steal! You will also get to see the infamous tanks that were left behind prior to World War II. According out Yamil, and pretty much anyone who has been to Culebra, “You haven’t been to Culebra if you don’t take a picture with the tank.” I can officially say that I have been to Culebra!

Day 3:

Now let’s get a little more local! Because I was with friends from the area, I got the hookup on an amazing beach! There was hardly anyone there and I need a new word for amazing to describe this. The beach is called Poza del Obispo, En Playa adaptada en Puerto Rico. Don’t let the pictures online fool you, I went around 9am and it was empty except for one family and hey, we can share the beach! There is a lighthouse at the top of the… I don’t know what to call it, hill? (I feel like I am singing in The Little Mermaid again haha). If you want to walk up there, be very careful. It is very sharp, and you can easily fall and cut yourself badly. Make sure to have shoes on. There is an area of the water that is cut off by the rocks and it makes for a calm watering hole. You can stay there all day! The water is see-through and the views and pictures you can take will be mesmerizing. Pictures do not do this place justice. If you get tired of the water (I don’t know how that is possible), you can go to La Puntilla which is just a quick 10-15 minute drive from the beach. Here you will find a street full of beautiful art murals, the cathedral, a Statue of Liberty (yes, you read that right), and few bars (not open in the morning when I was there). Go ahead and buckle your seatbelts and prepare for picture overload! #sorrynotsorry

About now you should super hungry… past hungry, you should be HANGRY. But never fear, I have a great restaurant for you to try! Carbon Y Leña is the place for you! If you sit on the deck, you are completely shaded from the sun but still have a beautiful view of the ocean. I suggest ordering the sampler platter… because why would you not? You get a taste of everything! Great prices and even better food! Heck, throw in a mimosa while you’re at it!
Now this is where I will leave you folks. This can all be done in a 3-4 day weekend if you only have enough time for a quick getaway. If you have an extra day, definitely try to go out to the rainforest to see the waterfalls and/or to see the pink water at Las Salinas – the Salt Flats. I am already planning the next trip so be on the lookout for part two coming in 2020!

Feel free to leave a review, any tips you may have about traveling in PR, or just show some love!