Needing a refuge from the bitter cold of January? Let a Caribbean island be your remedy.
My friends and I chose to take a 5 day trip to San Juan to celebrate their birthdays. We found an awesome deal on hotwire.com where the flight and the 4 nights in a hotel was only $550 a person. Originally when we were looking the flights alone were that price, especially during the holiday season. It was definitely a deal I couldn’t pass up!
Luckily, the weekend we chose to go was a popular one since there was a large festival in San Juan, Las Fiestas de La Calle De San Sebastian or El SanSe for short. They close down the streets of the historic Old San Juan to hold the festival that runs all day and night from Thursday through Sunday. There is music, food and people everywhere you go!
We arrived in San Juan on Thursday afternoon and after dinner we spent the evening at the festival. We knew that we would want to come back to the festival during the day to see the beautiful streets of Old San Juan so we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.
On Friday morning we woke up early and planned our day. We had the hotel call a taxi that would take us to El Yunque, the rainforest in Puerto Rico. We had an awesome tour guide who showed us around and we ended up going zip lining! After an exciting day in El Yunque we came back and hung out at the beach until the evening. (You can read more about our adventures in El Yunque on this page.)
Saturday was spent at the beach since we were all determined to get a tan before we headed back to the frozen tundra, that being Wisconsin. Then at night we walked around Isla Verde trying to find a fun bar or club to go to. We had heard about Club Brava that is in the El San Juan hotel so we went to check that out. There was a long wait to get in, cover and they were only playing club music. I don’t know about you but we weren’t looking to go to a Vegas-like club in Puerto Rico; we wanted some salsa, bachata or reggaeton. So we decided to hang out in the hotel, which is a very nice and an expensive one, to see what else it offered. In the El San Juan hotel they have casinos and many bars. We walked into one area where lo and behold we found a live salsa band playing…for a bachelor/bachelorette party. So we basically crashed that so we could dance to the “authentic” music of Puerto Rico. Mission complete.
Sunday we spent the morning and afternoon at the beach of Condado. They have water sports and activities you can choose to do, like snorkeling, kayaking, etc. but we decided to just float around in the water instead. Oh, you can also jump off the bridge into the water too if you are an adrenaline junkie. We then headed to Old San Juan to see the festival during the day. We took a self guided tour of the Castillo de San Cristobal where we met an iguana! Then saw the rest of the festival but left before the crowd wanted to head out. You can read more about Old San Juan and the festival here.
Monday was our last attempt to soak up some rays before we caught our flight back. Overall, it was a great trip that I wish could have been longer. I know that I will have to go back to la Isla some day!