Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Puerto Rico 2014 (Part. 1): Old San Juan, Arecibo, & Ponce


As some of you know, all last week we were soaking up the sun in Puerto Rico. Honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation! We always have the most amazing time when we go to PR, and this time was no different. We saw and did a lot of things we hadn’t done before which is always fun. In fact, I’m thinking of putting together a ‘what to do in PR’ post so be on the lookout for that!

But for now, I want to share some vacation photos with you. These are from the first few days we were on the island and walked around Old San Juan, went to see a light house in Arecibo, and drove down to Ponce. There is so much to see and do in PR I would highly recommend you rent a car during your stay. Yes, they are all inclusive resorts on the island were technically you don’t have to go anywhere – but do you really want to spend your entire stay stuck in a hotel? Me neither.
 
Speaking of hotels, I want to give a shout-out to the Hyatt Place in Manati where we stayed. We changed our reservations last minute because we found out that the resort we were going to stay at was under renovation and a lot of guests were complaining about the noise and construction so we decided not to risk it and switch. And I’m so happy we did! Not only is the hotel brand spanking new, but the service was great, the rooms were spacious and modern, and even though I felt like they were short staffed at times, everyone was extremely friendly and helpful.


The day after we arrived we decided take a stroll down to Old San Juan, we’ve pretty much walked every corner of the town before but we wanted to go back because of its sentimental charm. I love walking down the cobblestone streets and admiring the pastel colored buildings. Here went to see El Castillo de San Cristobel, did some kite flying on El Morro grounds, escaped the 90 degree heat at Ben & Jerry’s, and of course did a little souvenir shopping.


Once we got Old San Juan out of the way, we made our way to Arecibo. My husband and I have a thing about lighthouses. Whenever we get a chance we go check them out. Arecibo’s lighthouse was absolutely gorgeous and greeted us with the most spectacular views! (It’s also attached to a children’s park which I’ll talk about later). But it’s definitely worth checking out just for the views alone.


Then came Ponce. The last time we visited Ponce it was at night and there was a music festival going on so a lot of the streets were blocked off and businesses were closed. This time we wanted to make sure to check it out in the daytime. We didn’t find too much to do here other than check out the towns plaza, peek inside the Parque de Bombas (a firehouse museum), and visit La Guancha - which is a cute boardwalk. (Although I wouldn’t recommend going on a Monday or Tuesday, because everything is closed.) I will say that across the Parque de Bombas is a fantastic souvenir store! We got a ton of stuff and spent around $20!!! We also took advantage of the piraguas (snow cones) that were being sold outside because by this time I was practically melting onto the floor!



Next time, I’ll show pics from our beach day and trip to the rainforest! Stay tuned. XO 

 (Read the second and third of our Puerto Rico trip here and here
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