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7 Days in Paradise: An Itinerary for Your Puerto Rico Vacation


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Day 1: Getting Settled in San Juan
7 Days in Paradise: An Itinerary for Your Puerto Rico Vacation

San Juan seen from the air.

Photo © Zain Deane
Day One is about getting to the island and settling in. Because this is a seven-day trip, I'm assuming you're flying rather than sailing into Puerto Rico. In either case, make San Juan your base. The capital has enough going on to keep you busy for the duration of your stay, but it also provides easy access to many of Puerto Rico's other destinations.

You'll fly into Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean. From here, you're only about 15-20 minutes from the heart of the city. Now, your first question will be whether or not to rent a car. For the first three days, I'd advise against it. You'll be spending your time in the city, and taxis, a good pair of shoes, and public transportation will be good enough to get you around. Traffic and parking can be a nightmare in San Juan, and many hotels charge hefty parking fees.

As for where to stay, two of the best, most romantic, and most expensive hotels in the city are El Convento and Chateau Cervantes. If you want to stay in the Old City, these are among your best bets. Here are are a few other options:

Your first day is all about settling in and getting acquainted. If you're staying in Old San Juan, the ancient walled city on the eastern edge of San Juan, you might want to stroll its cobblestone streets and take in its romantic charm. If you're staying in the resort strip of Condado or Isla Verde, I'd suggest hitting the Condado or Isla Verde beaches.

When you're ready for dinner, head to Fortaleza Street in Old San Juan, the dining hotspot in San Juan, and check out one of these excellent restaurants:

After dinner, take a short walk in the old city, and then retire for the night. Your vacation is just getting started.
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