Last weekend I had the chance to spend my birthday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When I first told a few people that was where I was going, they all had the same questions: “ Is it back to Normal?”, “Are you sure you want to go there after everything that happened?”. I am someone who does a lot of research before committing to going somewhere; so these questions weren’t a concern to me. Cruise ships started returning to San Juan since March, and me being someone who follows a bunch of travelers and travel pages I was able to see videos and pictures of the current state of San Juan (well at least the tourist areas).
Where we stayed:
We stayed in an Airbnb in Isla de Verde (Carolina). We were only two blocks away from the beach (next door to el San Juan Hotel) and directly on the strip of many bars, restaurants and nightlife activities. This Airbnb is the perfect size for no more than two people. It was smaller than what we thought but it worked. The host was super chill and provided us with beach chairs, a beach umbrella and a cooler. We didn’t use the chairs to the umbrella but that cooler came in handy for when we went to the beach. We also had balcony which was pretty dope for us to play uno , drink wine and vibe out.
Places to eat and drink:
Playa Papaya We went here for breakfast, the place is cool more laid back and reserved but the food is good.
Hotties We had dinner here, is very lounge like; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat so i played it safe and got pasta; and it was probably one of the best pasta I had in a very long time from a restaurant.
El Alambique I loved everything about this spot. The food was great at the vibe was everything I needed. We went here for brunch; there is nothing like enjoying your mimosas beachside.
Mist Rooftop (Bar + Grill) It’s located on the rooftop of the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel in Isla Verde. We had a dope waitress named Mercedes. The food was good, the view was amazing (Tip: go there to watch the sunset).
Princesca Gastro Bar – Located in Old San Juan, its an outdoor restaurant. I’ll let the pictures speak for itself.
For the most part we walked everything since things were so close. We took an Uber one day to Old San Juan at it was about $11 each way; and on our last day an Uber to the Airport which was $5. As you can see Uber prices out there are very reasonable. There is also the option of taking the bus, which runs at .75 to $1.
Old San Juan:
Going to Old San Juan was probably the only time I saw some of the effect from the Hurricane. For starters if you are familiar with the pier in Old San Juan you know that it’s always busy, people would be out dancing, selling merchandise and lots of food vendors. However this time around it was more peaceful and less of all of that. There wasn’t any dancing in the streets very small amount of food trucks and locals. When walking through the streets you see some roads being redone, some of those brightly painted building are in the process of being repainted or have been already. You can see the roots of some trees that were uprooted from the storm.
It was a dope and well needed trip; not just for my birthday but just a break from this confusing New York City weather. Some might question why we chose to go to Puerto Rico at this time when the residential areas aren’t doing well, and honestly I see that point but I look at it differently. This is the time when they need tourism and visitors the most. Our tourism helps the economy and allows them to continue the rebuilding process.
Airbnb: $394 (4 nights)
Flight: $230 RT (Delta/Jetblue)
Thank you for a great birthday babe!