25 May 24 Hours in Puerto Rico
Spending 24 hours in Puerto Rico is just enough to get your feet wet. Literally! While I only took a day trip to Puerto Rico, I would encourage travelers to spend at least 3-4 days in this beautiful paradise. Even after the hurricane and the devastation, I found Puerto Rico to be a gorgeous island. The people of Puerto Rico are so pleasant. From what I was able to experience on my trip, the culture reminded me a lot of New Orleans – super laid back and hospitable.
The great thing about places like Puerto Rico and New Orleans is that it forces you to live in the moment and be flexible – not everything will be open when it should be and not everything will be closed when it could be either. You’ll just have to go with the flow. It can be hard from some people that are from places like New York or Chicago where the expectation is that if it says “you should be open, you should be open”. But hey, if you’re traveling, you’re on vacation so live a little.
If you happen to be taking a short trip to Puerto Rico any time soon, here’s a little itinerary for you:
Start your day in Isla Verde, Carolina PR. Grab a refreshing juice and a bite to eat at Playa Papaya Bistro and Juice Bar, then make your way over to the beach for some morning meditation and sun salutations. Connect with nature, relax, and unwind, because you’re going to have a long day ahead of you.
Call an Uber or grab a taxi and head over to Old San Juan. There’s so much to do and see here.
Check out Castillo De San Cristobal, the largest fortification built by Spain in the New World.
Hungry yet? Grab a bite at one the many great restaurants in Old San Juan. Try Palmas, or try some of the other local favorites like The Jibarito, Verde Mesa, Cafe Puerto Rico, Cafe El Punto, & Punto De Vista Rooftop.
Visit Castillo El Morro on the northeast side of Old San Juan. The fortification, named after King Philip II, that was designed to defend the San Juan Bay against seaborne enemies.
Check out Galería Éxodo. Buying local art is one of the beautiful ways to create volotourism. Check out the many art galleries near Galeria Exodo, they’ll be sure to get your creative juices flowing.
Take a break and have drinks at La Factoria, one of the World’s Best Bars according to Drinks International.
Grab a bite and drink at Barrachina, the place where the Pina Colada was created.
Take a stroll over to Paseo de la Princesa were you will find an artisan market filled with handmade art, crafts, and jewelry. As you stroll, take in the views of the city. Be sure to check out Princess Park as you make your way back toward the ports.
Things I would I have done if I had more time:
Zipline with Toroverde.
Volunteer at a local food pantry.
Take The Distillery Tour at Barcardi.
Visit Rio Camuy Cave Park.**
** These places sustained a lot of damage during the hurricane. They are still awaiting reopening.