With summer just a few short months away, the pressure of organizing your summer vacation plans is probably starting to set in. With so many amazing destinations to choose from around the world, picking the perfect family vacation spot can be extremely difficult. Lucky for you, I have the perfect place for your summer travels! Come read the 8 reasons Puerto Rico is the best summer vacation destination.
Over Spring Break, my family and I took an amazing 4 -day vacation to Puerto Rico to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. We explored, ate our way through the island, and even found time to do nothing but vegetate by the pool. It was a great time!
Before and after heading to Puerto Rico, I found myself being asked the same two questions over and over.
- “Is Puerto Rico ready for tourists after Hurricane Maria?”
- “Is Puerto Rico safe to travel to right now?”
In all honesty, I had the same concerns prior to booking our own trip to PR. We had heard some stories about people getting mugged while walking around the island and the thought was definitely scary. We’ve been to Puerto Rico in the past, and to this day say it was one of our best vacations ever, but this was prior to the devastating storm that left the island in shambles.
Fortunately for us, we have a TON of Puerto Rican friends and acquaintances who are native to the island. Most of them have either traveled back home since Hurricane Maria or have family currently living on the island. They all assured us things were up and running which ultimately convinced us to book our own trip to Puerto Rico.
After our visit over Spring Break, I must say I am so grateful we took their advice and headed back to Puerto Rico. I can easily answer the questions being asked of me without any hesitation now.
“Is Puerto Rico ready for tourists after Hurricane Maria?” YES
“Is Puerto Rico safe to travel to right now?” Absolutely
There’s electricity and running water pretty much everywhere throughout the island. The only time we ran into an issue was while visiting El Yunque National Rainforest. Part of the park was closed due to damage and there was no running water in the park. Just know ahead of time that you’ll be using a Port-A-Potty if “nature calls”. My advice: Bring baby wipes!
My purpose with this post is to help alleviate any worries or concerns you might have about taking a trip to the island of Puerto Rico. It’s not only okay to travel there right now, but it’s actually the perfect time to visit. So let’s get started!
8 Reasons Puerto Rico is the Best Summer Vacation Destination
For starters, the island needs your help!
Hurricane Maria did a number on the island and the damage it caused was heartbreaking. Although the touristy areas of the island have been up and running for some time now, there are still areas in the country that are still rebuilding.
Taking a trip to Puerto Rico brings money to a country that relies heavily on tourism to survive. With having to repair so much of the island, the amount of debt accumulated by the country is in the billions. Spending money by booking a hotel, eating at local restaurants, and buying souvenirs all help rebuild the country’s economy.
So not only bring your own family to Puerto Rico this summer but invite all your friends too. Puerto Rico will thank you!
Puerto Rico is a United States territory
Why is this relevant to you?
First and foremost, you don’t need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico.
Second, the currency used is the US dollar. This means there’s no need to worry about exchanging money while on vacation or figuring out how many dollars make a Euro.
Third, although Spanish is the country’s primary language, almost everyone you encounter in the main areas of Puerto Rico will speak English. If they aren’t fluent in it, they know enough to help you find a bathroom, order food on a menu, and get somewhere on the island.
All these reasons make traveling to Puerto Rico a breeze!
No matter what your time frame, Puerto Rico can meet your needs
Whether you can only sneak away for a long weekend or are lucky enough to have two weeks vacations, Puerto Rico can accommodate you.
You can easily fit in the main attractions of Puerto Rico over a nice long weekend or a short 4-day trip like our family did over Spring Break. In just four days, we were able to enjoy time at the pool, walk through Old San Juan, visit the Bacardi Rum Factory, shop, eat a ton of food, gamble at the casino, visit El Yunque National Rainforest and kayak in the bioluminescent bay.
If we were able to stay longer, I’d love to explore more of the island and take a couple of day trips to less touristy beaches throughout Puerto Rico.
Whether you have 3 days or 7, the time you spend in Puerto Rico will be full of fun and a vacation you’ll never forget.
The resorts, pools, and beaches are spectacular
Once checked-in, you really could just hang out at your hotel for the remainder of your vacation in Puerto Rico and not get bored.
The pools are amazing! Ours had a swim up bar with a full menu and cocktail list to choose from. If we got a little cold, we switched over to the hot tub to warm up.
The beach area had hammocks to lounge on and an endless amount of beach chairs. There were restaurants overlooking the ocean too!
And if that wasn’t enough, our resort had a casino equipped with all the slot machines and gambling tables you could ask for. Plus, you get to drink and EAT yummy sandwiches for free while gambling.
Most resorts in Old San Juan, the Condado or Isla Verde will be like this. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in Isla Verde in case you were wondering. It was okay, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d go back to the Marriott in the Condado instead.
Maybe you’re more of the adventurous type
If you are, no problem! You’d be amazed at all the activities you can do. Everything from hiking the El Yunque National Rainforest to zip lining through the forest is at your fingertips. You can even enjoy jet skiing, parasailing, and ATV excursions! There really are so many choices to get your adrenaline flowing.
Check out my post featuring 3 Travel Apps I swear by that help me book these kinds of excursions!
Great shopping is everywhere
I could spend days walking through the adorable shops in Old San Juan. There’s so much fun stuff to look at!
One of our first stops in Old San Juan was a hat shop called Ole. Here we were able to create our very own hat. The workers help you find a style of hat that works best for your head and then size it to fit just right. To finish it off, you get to choose the color ribbon to place around the hat. It was a really neat experience for us.
This was another fun shop we went to with beautiful pottery. Aren’t the bowls just beautiful?
Getting around the island is easy
We did a ton of walking while in Puerto Rico. We were able to easily walk to numerous restaurants right from our hotel which was beyond convenient. If you stay in Isla Verde, the Condado, or Old San Juan, restaurants and shops are everywhere within walking distance.
If we needed to go somewhere a little further out, we found it easiest to just snag an Uber. We saw some taxis around but their prices were higher than using Uber service. The only time we went with a taxi over an Uber was when we first got to Puerto Rico and needed to get to our hotel. Unfortunately, Uber cannot pick you up at the airport. You’ll either need to take a taxi or purchase transportation with your hotel.
To explore El Yunque National Rainforest, we opted to rent a car. This allowed us the freedom to take whatever route we wanted, stop when we wanted to, and have the convenience of being able to store our things in our own vehicle. We just turned on our GPS and away we went. It was super easy to get from point A to point B. My only caution here is that the drivers are crazy so pay very close attention to the road!
And last, but surely not least, the food in Puerto Rico is amazing!
The one thing I was looking forward to the most when heading to Puerto Rico was the food. My dad is Puerto Rican so I am pretty familiar with all the dishes and flavors of the cuisine. I even made my own sofrito with my Titi last time she came to visit.
You’ll find American food chains like McDonald’s, Olive Garden and Chili’s in Puerto Rico but I plead with you not to go to them and try an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant instead.
If you only try one thing, make sure it’s mofongo! Mofongo is made with fried green plantains that are mashed together with garlic and oil. They can be topped with anything from vegetables (for a full vegetarian option) to garlic shrimp to fried pork. Oh my goodness, please try this! I am literally wiping the drool off my computer as we speak.
Another favorite of mine are arroz con habichuelas which is simply rice with red or pink beans. The flavor is out of this world due to the sofrito used as the base of the dish. You can find these at pretty much any restaurant in PR.
Also, you can’t go wrong with pork chunks, pork chops, or pernil (roasted pork).
Seriously, the food is what makes Puerto Rico so don’t miss out!
There you have it! My hope is that these 8 Reasons Puerto Rico is the Best Summer Vacation Destination have given you something to think about. I promise you, Puerto Rico is waiting for you with plenty of food and beaches as far as the eyes can see. You won’t be disappointed!
Also, check out: 10 Recommended Activities to do When in Puerto Rico
If the Bahamas are on your summer vacation list, check out this awesome travel review I did of the new Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. No matter where you’re traveling, this article on the best 3 Travel Apps to use is sure to help. Happy Travels!