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Old 01-26-2015, 05:17 PM
 
138 posts, read 150,464 times
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We're planning a trip to Puerto Rico this summer. Most of the time we'll be staying at a relative's house. However, we will also be staying several nights elsewhere and with friends visiting from the states at the same time.

I wanted to get some advice about renting a house on the Western side of the island (around Boquerón, preferably on the beach or very close to it) and also another around San Juan and the rainforest on the Northeast side of the island. For San Juan/El Yunque, we were thinking of somewhere between the two areas, not necessarily near the beach.

We haven't been to Puerto Rico in 12 years and I'm concerned about violent crime. Most of our group doesn't speak Spanish fluently and we will have several kids with us. We will look like tourists. Any areas we should avoid renting a house? Any other advice?

Currently the things we want to do with them are:
- visit Old San Juan/fort
- visit El Yunque
- snorkel (maybe on Gilligan's Island)
- swim at kid friendly areas/collect sea shells
- maybe visit the coffee plantation near Ponce (if time)
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
21 posts, read 23,128 times
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Hello!

Wow 12 years is a long time! Are you ready for some mofongo and alcapurrias?

Anyways, Puerto Rico it's not the paradise it used to be anymore but there is absolutely good areas still. There is a website where you can check vacation rentals here in Puerto Rico which is ClasificadosOnline, it can be a very good source with real places and not scams like in CL. When it comes to the Ponce area, it has change a lot and I would prefer Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez or Rincón to stay in. There's some good and not expensive Paradores in the area. If you still want to go for Ponce, stay in the Tourist areas and don't adventure on the non-popular areas. I will recommend La Guancha in Ponce but during the day and early evening. When it comes to the San Juan/Yunque area, San Juan is way overpriced when it comes to Hotels, I would suggest checking Rio Grande or Luquillo, Luquillo's kiosks on the beach are amazing! Don't stop in Canovanas unless you're going to the Premium Outlets during the DAY. Anyways I hope this help and that you enjoy your vacations to the fullest. You will be totally fine, just be careful and be very "Atento".
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:04 PM
 
138 posts, read 150,464 times
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We're definitely looking forward to the food! Especially helado de chino (de maiz) from Mayaguez!

Thank you for the ClasificadosOnline suggestion. We'll definitely check that out. And we were thinking about Rio Grande or Luquillo, so I feel better hearing you recommending it also.

We've never rented a house from anywhere before, but we have 10 people and it just seems to make sense to go that route if possible. But, to me, it's a little nerve-wracking, not knowing what to expect. Hotels might be boring, but at least you know what you're walking into (usually).

Do you happen to know if the cabanas or villas in Boquerón have air conditioning? My husband and I can't agree on what we remember, LOL.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
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MMM Yummy! Don't forget to go to Piñones DURING THE DAY for Bacalaitos, Piononos, etc!

Well some of them do and some don't, you have to tell them that you want the one with a/c to see if they're available. Believe me, it will come in handy if you don't want to sweat as soon as you're out of the shower LOL. Check "Paradores in PR" they're 100% and are like hotels but better
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Philly
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The sangria at the ponce Ramada (right on the plaza) is among the best on the island. Actually the Ramada is a great hotel even if ponce has been on hard times (for most of the last 12 years). We've found the people of southwest puerto rico to be extremely friendly (not that people are rude elsewhere). Definitely visit one of the coffee plantations (buy as much pr coffee as you can fit in your suitcase). Hotel options on that side of the island are lacking so the Ramada might work. Copa marina is nice as is the nearby Mary Lee's by the sea if you like it rustic.highly recommend ocean park in San juan
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:31 AM
 
138 posts, read 150,464 times
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Thanks for the input.

We did find a place to stay in the Joyuda area within a gated community for the Western part of our stay. It will be a good home base for the various places we want to go on that side of the island.

And we're currently planning to stay in Fajardo at a resort (Fajardo Inn Resort). We were looking for something between San Juan and El Yunque, but couldn't seem to find a place that met all/most of our needs. But Fajardo should be close enough.

We will be staying in Ponce, at a relative's house. For our friends, we recommended the Hilton or the Holiday Inn. For them, the Ponce part is all dependent on their flight arrangements. They may only stay one night. If there's time, we're thinking about taking them to the Hacienda Buena Vista.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's experience with the Laguna de Joyuda. Do you have to take a kayak to see the bioluminescent effect in the water? Or is the whole lagoon bioluminescent? It's a bit confusing on websites, like the bioluminescence is only in a certain part of the lagoon. Can people swim there?
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Philly
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Hilton is fine if resorts are your thing but it's kind of isolated, jot on a great beach, overpriced drinks with lower quality. Of course some people like it that way.
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Old 01-31-2015, 04:03 PM
 
355 posts, read 655,441 times
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We found a condo in Rio Mar (part of the Westin complex) that we rented through VRBO/Homeaway that worked out really well. Very nice place with beach and pool access, golf cart, gated w/security, close to El Yunque, Farjardo and only an hour out of San Juan. The link is one example, there are a lot of other listing on VRBO and Homeaway.

PH Villa @ Wyndham Rio Mar - Amazing Views... - HomeAway Rio Mar #169224
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
21 posts, read 23,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHAIN5 View Post
Thanks for the input.

We did find a place to stay in the Joyuda area within a gated community for the Western part of our stay. It will be a good home base for the various places we want to go on that side of the island.

And we're currently planning to stay in Fajardo at a resort (Fajardo Inn Resort). We were looking for something between San Juan and El Yunque, but couldn't seem to find a place that met all/most of our needs. But Fajardo should be close enough.

We will be staying in Ponce, at a relative's house. For our friends, we recommended the Hilton or the Holiday Inn. For them, the Ponce part is all dependent on their flight arrangements. They may only stay one night. If there's time, we're thinking about taking them to the Hacienda Buena Vista.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's experience with the Laguna de Joyuda. Do you have to take a kayak to see the bioluminescent effect in the water? Or is the whole lagoon bioluminescent? It's a bit confusing on websites, like the bioluminescence is only in a certain part of the lagoon. Can people swim there?
Good! Sound like you have everything planned! JOYUDA??? I love it but I find it so faaaaar away Joyuda is nice and the restaurants are very good as well it's preferable a Kayak but last thing I heard you can swim in there. There's a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo too which you can check out as well This is how it works, theres microorganism in the water so, when the water touch something for example: your hand, kayak, the sand, etc. it will glow I hope I helped.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:02 PM
 
138 posts, read 150,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
Hilton is fine if resorts are your thing but it's kind of isolated, jot on a great beach, overpriced drinks with lower quality. Of course some people like it that way.
The one in Ponce? It's mostly just a place to spend one night, so the type of place won't matter, but the beach might .

None of us drink much, as long as water is available, we should be okay.

Though I am looking forward to having jugo de cana (squiggly line over the n) . There was a guy who would make it fresh out of the back of his van near San Germain (?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by unPescador View Post
We found a condo in Rio Mar (part of the Westin complex) that we rented through VRBO/Homeaway that worked out really well. Very nice place with beach and pool access, golf cart, gated w/security, close to El Yunque, Farjardo and only an hour out of San Juan. The link is one example, there are a lot of other listing on VRBO and Homeaway.

PH Villa @ Wyndham Rio Mar - Amazing Views... - HomeAway Rio Mar #169224
Good to know for any future trips. My sister-in-law says the Fajardo Inn is nice, and they can accommodate all of us (that's been the hardest part with planning).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicanGrl View Post
Good! Sound like you have everything planned! JOYUDA??? I love it but I find it so faaaaar away Joyuda is nice and the restaurants are very good as well it's preferable a Kayak but last thing I heard you can swim in there. There's a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo too which you can check out as well This is how it works, theres microorganism in the water so, when the water touch something for example: your hand, kayak, the sand, etc. it will glow I hope I helped.
I've been to the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, many years ago, before kids. I've been reading that it isn't glowing as much within the past year or so - but don't know if that's accurate or not.
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