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

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Day Three: Touring San Juan
7 Days in Paradise: An Itinerary for Your Puerto Rico Vacation

The Puerto Rican Museum of Art is a stunning facility and one of the premier arts centers in the Caribbean.

Photo © Zain Deane
On Day Three, it's time to go beyond the old city and into the rest of San Juan. Since the beach is a big reason to come to Puerto Rico, it makes sense that you devote the morning to lying on one of San Juan's glittering stretches of sand. Where you lay down your blanket will depend on what you want:
  • Isla Verde and Condado Beaches are the ritzy resort strips where people go to see and be seen.
  • El Escambrón, in the Puerta de Tierra neighborhood, is popular with the locals, and is a "Blue Flag" beach (a designation given to clean, well-maintained beaches).
  • Ocean Park Beach has a more laid-back vibe.

Where you spend the morning will also dictate where you eat lunch. Here is one suggestion for each beach:

  • Isla Verde and Condadao - check out Ceviche House for a fresh, light departure from local cuisine.
  • El Escambrón - that's an easy one. There's an excellent Puerto Rican restaurant by the same name right on the premises.
  • Ocean Park - head to Pinky's on Maria Moczo Street for healthy burritos, wraps and excellent smoothies.

The afternoon can be spent in several ways, depending on your tastes. Here are five suggestions:

  1. Museum lovers must visit the inspiring Puerto Rican Museum of Art in Santurce. (A worthy second stop is the Museum of Contemporary Art.)
  2. Nature lovers should check out the sprawling Botanical Garden in Hato Rey
  3. Shopaholics will want to hit the fashionable boutiques on Ashford Avenue in Condado.
  4. Gamblers should head to one of these hotels to try their luck.
  5. Bacardi fans should visit the Bacardi Distillery, one of the best free activities on the island.

What about the night, you ask? I've got that covered next.

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