Great Getaways: Puerto Rico

If you're looking for a fun, affordable beach getaway, visit Puerto Rico, home to plenty of beaches and nightlife, and enough options to satisfy every foodie, nature lover, and history buff. And the best part? U.S. citizens can visit this island paradise without a passport.
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The Caribe Hilton is offering a special hotel package Aug. 15th thru Oct. 15th in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Piña Colada, a drink known the world over—the official recipe is 2 oz. of white rum, 1 oz. of coconut cream, 1 oz. of heavy cream, 6 oz. of pineapple juice, and 1/2 cup of crushed ice, served in a 12 oz. glass and topped with a freshly cut pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry, in case you were wondering.

Caribe Hilton - San Juan

Closer to Old San Juan, pay a visit to the Casa Bacardi, the Bacardi Rum Factory, where you can learn more about the history of this drink, see how it's made, and taste samples of the finished product. Cheers!

Casa Bacardi - Cataño, Cataño Municipio

The San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has great recently updated rooms right on the beach in San Juan's bustling Condado Beach area, home to some of the island's best nightlife. The hotel itself has several lovely restaurants, an onsite casino, gorgeous beachfront pool with a slide, and nightly entertainment in the lobby—don't miss the chance to show off your best salsa dance moves on Saturday night to the music of a live salsa band (Note: this is also open to the public even if yo...

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

While the waters of the touristy Condado Beach area are rougher than others, it's the perfect spot to plotz in the sand and watch the local boogie boarders and body surfers do their thing. Strong swimmers can even rent a boogie board for $10 for the whole day from friendly beach vendors, but we strongly advise sticking to the smaller surf if you're not used to hitting the waves.

Condado Beach - San Juan

You can't come to Puerto Rico and not see Bioluminescent Bay, one of the coolest spots on the island, if not on Earth. Sign up for their Glowing Bay Adventure, which leaves every night at 6:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. for $45 per person. You'll embark on a two-hour paddle through a natural mangrove tunnel, following each other through almost-total darkness (kayaks have a glowstick attached to the back so you can stay in a single-file line) to Bioluminescent Bay. Near the end of the mangove tunnel a...

Bioluminescent Bay @ Fajardo

Start with a trip to El Morro National Monument, an impressive 16th century Spanish fort that's less than $5 per person to enter and offers gorgeous views of the Caribbean.

Castillo San Felipe Del Morro

For a unique blend of Asian and and Latin American influences, try swanky Budatai in the Condado Beach area for delicious dishes like El Churrasco con Ho Fun and Lo Mein de Chicharron de Pollo.

Budatai - San Juan

In Old San Juan, head to Raices, a local favorite where the waitstaff dresses in tradtional Puerto Rican outfits. Everyone says to try the house specialty, mofongo, served in a wooden goblet and made of your choice of meat and mashed plantains, making for a delicious and very filling meal.

Raices Restaurant

Located just outside El Yunque a few more minutes down the road, you'll find Kioskos de Luquillo, a great place to sample traditional Puerto Rican favorites like arepas (coconut cakes!) and plantains, and treat yourself to a freshly made piña coladas (or fresh coconut water) straight from a coconut.

Kioskos De Luquillo

Even novice hikers will enjoy a quick 30-minute hike to La Mina Falls, where you can take a dip, if you can stand the freezing cold water!

Rio de la Mina Falls

El Yunque National Forest in Río Grande, Río Grande Municipio

El Yunque National Forest