Happy Wednesday everyone! This week’s travel guide was submitted by Michelle Cuellar. She’s a Colombian graphic designer living in Puerto Rico. In this guide she shares with us her favorite spots in Puerto Rico’s East coast and in the Metro area. If you are a local, or if you are just visiting the island these are great spots to visit while in the island. This travel guide includes a little bit of everything so save this story and take note, because these spots would be great for your next visit to the Caribbean
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions some of these activities are not available. Please do your due diligence so that you have minimal impacts on your travels.
Salty Dog Catamaran (Fajardo)
By far one of my favorite things to do! Beaches on the island are beautiful don’t get me wrong but, experiencing the beaches on the nearby islands is another story! The Salty Dog is the perfect day trip for anyone looking for some fun in the sun (literally). It’s fun for all ages and the crew make sure it’s the highlight of your visit to Puerto Rico.
Enjoy awesome music while sipping on delicious cocktails as you enjoy the breathtaking views. You’ll also get to see and experience the local boating scene as locals tend to head to Icacos to enjoy a Medalla and listen to music in the sun.
This is a 5 Hour Trip (2 stops), unlimited rum cocktails and soft drinks, lunch, and snorkeling equipment included.
First Stop: The island of Icacos (an inhabited island located 3 miles off the eastern coast) Experience soft sand, crystal clear water, and the occasional visits from dolphins.
Second Stop: After your time at the beach you’re brought to a nearby coral reef that’s filled with exotic fish. The crew are awesome with getting guests geared up and ready to go snorkeling and if you need a helping hand they are more than happy to jump in with you.
LA ZANJA (Fajardo - Las Croabas)
If you’re up for a little hike on the beach then you should definitely make La Zanja your destination. Approximately a 40min hike through the beach and cliffs you’ll end up at a natural pool that mostly locals come by to visit. The views along the way make the experience even better.
LAS PAYLAS (Rio Grande)
The beach may not be your thing and hey that’s cool, whatever floats your boat. Get a combo of water and nature by visiting Las Paylas. Las Paylas are part of the national rainforest, El Yunque, but what makes this place a unique experience is the fact that you’ll be exploring the rainforest via a locals backyard. Several of the houses along Las Paylas are owned by families that have lived in the area for centuries and have passed them on from generation to generation. Today, you’ll be able to pay $5 to park your car in their parking areas and hike through El Yunques natural pools and trails. You can pick a huge rock to lounge on all day while sipping on a Medalla or explore the trails along Mountainside that include natural water slides.
EL Malecón De Naguabo (Naguabo)
If you’re a foodie like myself or in the mood for a drink with an ocean view then checkout the El Malecon De Naguabo. You’ll arrive at an oceanfront strip filled with restaurants (seafood being the highlight of a lot of the menus) and bars.
Lluvia (Rio Grande)
If you’re in the area of El Yunque and are in the mood for brunch then you have to stop at LLuvia. A cute modern cafe with delicious eats and that real Puerto Rican coffee.
El Chinchorro De J (Fajardo)
First, what is a Chinchorro lol? A Chinchorro is a local town bar which locals will usually spend their weekends at or even hopping from one to the next.
El Chinchorro De J, is a local’s favorite in Fajardo, where you can enjoy live salsa every weekend and a real locals vibe. A nice touch is that it’s located right on the waterfront.
Drive through Piñones
Drive through the picturesque ocean drive from Carolina to Loiza while enjoying local kiosks of food, souvenirs, and drinks. While in the Loiza area you’ll notice local art and embracing the islands Afro-Carribean culture and traditions.
CALLE CERRA (Santurce)
I love art and this place is awesome for other art lovers and or if you’re just looking for a good IG photo opportunity lol. Simply type in Calle Cerra in Google Maps and you’ll end up right in the center of the Puerto Rican Wynwood. Street murals everywhere and a few little dive bars that you can grab a quick drink at.
EL Nie (Santurce)
Un perreo sucio en La Placita nights are always a good time but take a break from the “touristy” area and get the real perreo experience over at El Nie. Party with the locals in a place where you’ll hear everything from today’s hits to classics that’ll have you singing your heart out lol
La 39 (La Perla)
A Lot of people recognize La Perla as a dangerous neighborhood in the Old San Juan area but it has its gems. Awesome street art, Carmelo Anthony’s basketball court, and a local bar that’ll have you feeling like you’re living in PR. La 39 is a rooftop bar that is always a vibe. Take a shot of pitoro and enjoy dance to reggae and reggaeton.
I’m a jersey bred Colombian freelance graphic and squarespace web designer currently living in Puerto Rico.