So you've decided to take your loved one to Puerto Rico for a romantic holiday; first of all, let me congratulate you on your wisdom; this island inspires love, manufactures butterflies in the stomach, and provides virtually unlimited opportunities for unforgettable moments.
Of course, you don't need my advice to enjoy a romantic vacation here. But I've got a few suggestions to help you and your loved one enjoy all the island has to offer. And I've got something for every budget ... even no budget.
1. Pick the Right Hotel
Perhaps the most important decision you'll make in planning the perfect romantic holiday is finding the perfect romantic hotel. My preference is a boutique property, and I've got my favorites around the island. Topping the list is the incomparable Horned Dorset Primavera, a special place for a special holiday.
If you prefer luxury resorts, I recommend these for their style, service, and that extra je ne sais quois:
You'd be surprised at how affordable these hotels can be, but if they're out of your budget, consider these B&Bs. Finally, for a completely private getaway, consider Villa Sevilla or Coqui's Hideaway in the rainforest.
2. Plan at Least One Memorable Dinner
In Puerto Rico, eating well shouldn't be a problem. The sheer number and variety of good restaurants around the island virtually guarantees it. But if you're here on a romantic vacation, I'm guessing you want at least one dinner to remember at a restaurant designed to impress your stomach, and your date. I've found a few special ones in San Juan, but for an exceptional dining experience, I'd have to point you toward Pikayo. Other restaurants around the island that I can recommend for a romantic night out include:
3. Buy Something Memorable
Puerto Rico has a well-deserved reputation as a shopper's paradise. Considering its size, the island offers a near-ridiculous number and variety of shops. That's great news for your loved one, and hopefully good news for you too.
San Juan is the island's primary shopping destination. Here you'll find a large number of excellent jewelry stores, if you're in the market to really impress your loved one. But you don't have to break the bank to find a memorable keepsake from the island. A unique souvenir should do the job nicely.
4. Try Something New
This, of course, is a broad category. "Something new" can range from hang gliding in the rainforest to horseback riding on the beach. Here are just a few experiences that I can recommend for a wonderful couple's activity around the island:
5. Find Your Beach
Here's an idea for a day trip: hop in car, pick a direction, and explore the coast until you discover the perfect beach for you and your loved one. Over the years, I've found my share of idyllic beachfronts in Puerto Rico, and I've compiled a list of my favorites for your viewing pleasure. Depending on what you like (calm blue waters, rolling surf, crowds or isolation), I'm sure Puerto Rico has a beach for you.
6. Picnic in the Rainforest
Here's another idea. Hop in a car, head to a nearby panadería and pick up sandwiches, pastries, and other goodies for a picnic lunch. Then drive on to El Yunque National Rainforest for an unforgettable day of hiking, getting back to the land, swimming under a natural waterfall, and enjoying a lunch with your loved one at a picnic bench or on a flat rock face overlooking the dense green interior of the island.
7. Take a Walk
With all of the above taken into consideration, I have to say that, for me, the most romantic thing you can do with your loved one in Puerto Rico is take a walk in Old San Juan. The sculptures, cobblestone streets, historic monuments and colorful architecture of the old city transports you to another era. My walking tour of the old city covers the main points, but I'm equally in favor of canvassing the old city's narrow streets and beautiful plazas until you find the perfect corner to steal a private moment or two. Just as long as you end up in time for sunset along the Paseo de la Princesa.