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Porta Atlantico . Puerto Rico

By María J. Torres-López

March 2019  

  

If you read my previous two articles on Puerto Rico – Welcome back! 

If not, I invite you to read them, as well. 


I am excited to share and explore with you part of Porta Atlantico

in this article. This zone encompasses towns on the north part of the island heading towards the Atlantic – They are the towns of Camuy, Hatillo, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Florida, Manatí, Vega Baja, Vega Alta, Dorado, Toa Baja, and Toa Alta, with some of the most breathtaking views and natural reserves Puerto Rico has to offer. This region covers the karstic zone and the coastal plains, offering visitors great diversity of activities, subtropical forests, caves, and beaches that you can easily visit on day-trips from San Juan. 


This area is excellent for surfing, golf and a one-of-a-kind attraction as is the Arecibo Radio Telescope. 


You will also find a variety of accommodations. This means you do not have to go back to San Juan if that’s where you were staying upon arrival, and instead, you can spend a night in Hatillo at the Parador El Buen Café for example and get a good night sleep.


The following day head out to Camuy and its natural mesmerizing caves.

And don’t leave Camuy before stopping by Iglesia de Piedra (Rock Church), located in Carr. 486, Bo. Abra Honda, Camuy. These two attractions will be enough for the day and then go back to relax at your place of stay.  


On a second day, you may want to explore the area of Arecibo and see the world's second largest single-aperture radio telescope, The Arecibo Observatory, located at Carr. 625 Bo. Esperanza, Arecibo, PR-00612 and it is open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday. TripAdvisor has rated this mesmerizing place at a high excellence, as rated by its visitors. When in the area, this is definitely a sight to see! No pun intended.


As you head down from the mountain, go visit one of Arecibo’s coastal attractions, The Arecibo Lighthouse & Historical Park / Parque Histórico del Faro de Arecibo located at Carr. 165 Bo. Islote, Arecibo. This tourist attraction is open Monday-Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm and on weekends 10:00am-7:00pm.


If you are traveling with children, we recommend the  Arecibo Water Park located at Calle Dr. Rivera Aulet, Arecibo, open on weekends from 10:00am-6:00pm. 


You may want to consider a relaxing stay at Manati World Point Inn, a local Parador with ample exterior grounds and pool area, or at the Hyatt Place, both located in Manatí. 


Have you enjoyed imagining each of these places? I’m sure you have!


…After a few days of exploring the Island, you may want to finish your vacation at one of several beautiful resorts in the Dorado area, to name a few, you have Aquarius Vacation Club, Plantation Resort Residences, Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar Beach Resort - there are many others to consider, so do your research because Puerto Rico offers great accommodations, beautiful places to see and wonderful people looking forward to your visit.


If you still have energy left for some more activities, you can enjoy water skiing, golfing, snorkeling, parasailing, surfing/boogie boarding, mountain biking, and many others nearby!



Scroll down for more information on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, or email our Concierge@CouplesBest.com. We will do the research for you to find what you may be looking for.


You may also visit Discover Puerto Rico for more information.



Puerto Rico went through a devastating hurricane on September 2017. However, this beautiful island has worked to be able to bring tourism back and it has done it very successfully. There is still some work being done in some areas of the island to continue to make further improvements. 

To learn more about Puerto Rico's restorations, contact:

Puerto Rico's Tourism Office and the National Park Service.

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A Memorable Get-Away in San Juan and Beyond

By María J. Torres-López  

February 2019

 

If you read my January article, then you know I am committed to highlighting Puerto Rican businesses and service providers with good standing and reputation within the travel and hospitality industry.  


In this month’s article, I will take you on the road from the moment you land to your Air B&B, hotel or resort, from the beach to the mountains, from day-time to night-time and from relaxation to exhilaration, because Puerto Rico has it all, whether for a romantic, exciting, relaxing or entertaining weekend getaway, an entire week, or an even lengthier vacation stay.


When you arrive at Puerto Rico's main airport Luis Muñoz Marín, you are a short drive away from great places to stay in. You may want to stay at the comfortable Air B&B in Bella Mare Condominium at the Laguna Gardens community, at the intimate Hotel Miramar, a boutique hotel within steps from many restaurants and places of interest, or the many hotels in Old San Juan or on the Beach - El Convento in Old San Juan or San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in the Condado area of San Juan, for example.  Options are many and you should explore all your possibilities. 


Once you are at your place of stay and depending on the time of arrival, you may start to enjoy San Juan, Puerto Rico, whether by day or by night. If it’s still day-time hit the beach, which is only a few minutes away from wherever you may be staying. If it’s night time, get out to the Old San Juan area – talk to your hotel’s concierge or visit Discover Puerto Rico’s website to learn about the great places to visit and all the things you can do while on the island.


The day following your arrival make it a point to go to Piñones before lunch time, head out early (particularly if on the weekend) and enjoy the scenery, the people, the music, the food, savor the many different local bites – taste Puerto Rico! Yes, Puerto Rico has a taste. Sorry, I cannot describe it, you must taste it to understand it. Puerto Rico is very much defined by its food. It is a large part of the culture. And don’t forget to try the local beer, Medalla. A really cold one while eating an Alcapurria, Pastel, Bacalaito, Empanadillas, Pastelon, Mofongo, Arroz con Gandules & Pernil. If you still have some space left without having to loosen your belt and unbutton your pants, you might want to try dessert – the typical Tembleque.


On your second day, I would then recommend visiting El Viejo San Juan! Do not worry about your commute, your accommodation is no more than 10 to 15 minutes away at most. There you will be stepping into 500 years of history. During the day you can visit The San Felipe del Morro Castle, a declared World Heritage Site by the United Nations. 


Whether you go to Old San Juan on your first or second night, be ready to dance the night away at the hottest pubs and clubs in the area. 

Here are some of them.

La Factoria - Calle San José & Calle San Sebastian

Nuyorican Café - Calle San Francisco Number 312 (behind Da House Hotel) 

The Mezzanine at St. Germain - 156 Calle Sol


And if you start your night early, you might want to end at La Placita de Santurce, another great party spot on weekends.


Wow… those first two days sound pretty awesome! 


On your next full-day, you are ready to see Puerto Rico's beautiful mountainside. 

What if we told you that you could fly above the mountains and through the forest?! Doesn't that sound appealing, adventurous, and maybe even a one in a lifetime opportunity? Go to ToroVerde Adventure Park in Orocovis. Here is a sneak-peak of what you will be able to enjoy there.

ToroVerde Adventure Park

El Laberinto del Toro

ToroVerde Restaurant


Call in advance and reserve your spot. These places are famous for the great experience they provide, and you do not want to go there without a reservation and not be able to enjoy your desired adventure. Leave the city early enough so you can enjoy the trip and have enough time to do it all. 


Once you are back from flying through the mountains, feeling the cool air, and seeing the beauty that Puerto Rico's mountainside has to offer, you are back in the city, relaxing in your fully equipped Air B&B apartment, enjoying the view on the beautiful rooftop terrace at Hotel Miramar, enjoying dinner and a glass of wine at El Convento, or trying your luck in the casino at the San Juan Marriott Resort. Wherever you stay, be sure to enjoy your accommodations and features of the place you are staying at and its immediate area.  


So have no doubt, even a short get-away to San Juan and the many places within driving proximity will make for a very memorable stay in Puerto Rico.


For more information or resources to learn what to do in San Juan or anywhere on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, you may send your inquiry to 

TheConcierge@CouplesBest.com and subscribe to the monthly newsletter to receive updates on future articles and information. Subscribe to our Newsletter


Photography:  Discover Puerto Rico.

  If links take you out of our website, you may return by clicking on your back arrow.

Book your reservation online. 

Should you need additional information, you may contact our Concierge@CouplesBest.com

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The New Puerto Rico Awaits

 By María J. Torres-López 

January 2019


When you think about Puerto Rico, your first thought might be the disaster that hurricane Maria left as it ripped through the island, but rest assured this archipelago has been open for business and ready to welcome you! 

Local establishments, from restaurants to hotels and from tourist attractions to local tour companies, have all bounced back and are ready to be the patrons of what could possibly be your best vacation ever, with the warm hospitality they have always been known to provide. 


Offering much more than just a smile and good service, Puerto Ricans want their visitors to take their island back with them in their hearts. This is their ethos and it shows, which is why their tourism industry was the first one to bounce back stronger than ever after the storm (see CNN’s article only six months after the storm: https://cnnmon.ie/2KHn4jV).


With only a glance through the pages of Discover Puerto Rico's website you will be able to see the changes that have taken place and how far along they are in giving tourists the experience they have been known for. Whether you're passionate about nature or you want to experience the culture – there is something for you in these islands. Have you been to Vieques, Culebra, Palomino, or Caja de Muertos? If you haven't, that's the first trip you need to take once you’re settled-in at your chosen hotel on the main island. If you can, take the first ferry out to the island of Culebra and snorkel its crystal clear ocean - Flamenco Beach, which is on the list of the world’s most beautiful shorelines. If you love watching marine life while snorkeling, you must go to Caja de Muertos for a complete day. The next day, travel to the island of Vieques and see their wild horses roam around in their beautiful open natural habitat. Although these could be day trips, spending the night in one of these islands is also an option many tourists would opt for.


There are many other diverse activities you can do while in Puerto Rico. If you are a sporty beachgoer, go to Sup-Action and paddle the San Juan Marina and Bahía. Rent canoes or kayaks or just relax on the sandy beach and watch the sunset -- it will be a sunset like no other.


Want to go see the rainforest? Go deep into El Yunque jungle and experience its waterfalls and rivers, while listening to cascades, parrots and our autochthonous Coquí, our very own tiny tree frog, which is said won't sing if you take it out of its Puerto Rican habitat. While at the rainforest, if you are feeling more adventurous you can take-up zip-lining and go from tree to tree while experiencing nature right below your feet and all around you. Are you into hiking? Go to the tallest tower and see Puerto Rico all around. This tower is the tallest of El Yunque and has been opened to tourists and locals since 1963.


If you just want to relax, there are fantastic four and five star resorts that can help you accomplish that with a variety of spa related services, pool-side bars and lounging areas, as well as in-room dining which is always a treat and chefs can make the perfect feast with the right choice of spices to stimulate your palate. But when it comes to food, not only their four and five star hotels offer great dining experiences, but there are a myriad of great eateries all over the island offering both local and international food options.


Puerto Rico awaits open arms and ready to welcome you.


CouplesBest.com will have regular articles and information about our favorite places in Puerto Rico. Follow us on Instagram and Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter to stay informed on what's coming up next. 


Photography: Discover Puerto Rico

Six reasons why you should visit Puerto Rico

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1. You don't need a passport

If you are a U.S. Citizen you do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico. Your valid driver license is sufficient. 

2. People are warm and hospitable

Puerto Ricans are warm people by nature. They will make you feel welcome and will appreciate you wanting to be there.

3. The food is amazing

Puerto Rican food is very flavorful and there are a good number of restaurants where servings are quite generous.

4. Great hotels, resorts and B&B's

There are plenty of options at different price points and you're sure to find the right choice for you if you do your research. 

5. Salt Life

It doesn't matter what this means to you - whether you want to snorkel, scuba-dive, surf, jet ski, kayak, or go sailing, it's all available to you in Puerto Rico.

6. Bioluminescent Bay

It is said there are only five bioluminescent bays in the world and three of them are in Puerto Rico: Laguna Grande, La Parguera and Mosquito Bay, located on the island of Vieques, 

Things to do in Puerto Rico

East Island Excursions

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Puerto Del Rey Marina km. 51.4

Fajardo, Puerto Rico

 787.860.3434 

Eter Rooftop & Lounge

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752 Manuel Fernandez Juncos Ave

San Juan, Puerto Rico

787-998-1176 

Casa Bacardi

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Carretera 165 KM 6.2

Cataño, Puerto Rico 

787.788.8400 

Self Guided Walking Tour

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  500 Calle Tanca

 Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

787-722-1709 

Paseo Caribe

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 #15 Avenida Luis Muñoz Rivera

San Juan, Puerto Rico

787.721.2100

Oof! Restaurants

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Visit their website for information on each of their establishments. Certainly some of 

CouplesBest.com's favorites.

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Visit Discover Puerto Rico for more information on visiting the island.