The sea breeze brings with it a hint of mofongo (a fried plantain based dish). I had no idea then that I would indulge in this delightful dish at least once everyday of my stay in San Juan.
As we leave the airport and enter the taxi, my friends and I, all longtime friends from school can’t stop grinning with delight. Each year we take a trip together. Somewhere sunny and warm and with a beach where I can sip my favorite cocktail and not be disturbed.
I believe we’ve made the right choice coming here.
Narrow cobblestone streets beckon in every direction. The buildings in old San Juan are all painted in delightful pastel colors. The window is down in the taxi and I can hear salsa music playing nearby. I can’t wait to get out and explore.
When we get to the Condado Plaza Hilton (formerly the Conrad), we are upgraded to a waterfront room on a high floor. *I have been a Hilton Honors member and Starwood Preferred Guest member for the better part of my life. I would always advise you to apply for these membership programs. They’re free and you get a lot of perks
Once we’ve dropped our things, we head out to explore.
The city of San Juan is made up of three distinct areas: Old San Juan, the beach and resort area, and outlying communities. Old San Juan, founded in 1508, is the second-oldest city in the Americas.
We head for Old San Juan. The buildings reflect the city’s colonial past.
Colorful, quiet, and serene. It’s very plesant here. Most of the tourists are on the beach I assume. We wonder around until we reach the waterside and come accross part of the wall known as El Morro.
The wall was built to serve as protection for the city during the 16th century.
For lunch we stopped by a small local cafe because we wanted to try some local food. The mofongo was highly recommended and I chose the steak and I wasn’t disapointed. The steak was cooked to order and well seasoned. The mofongo, which to me tasted like garlic flavored mashed plantains, were so good I wanted to order some to go.
After lunch we took a private boat to the island of Culebrita. A small, uninhabited island that is also a nature preserve.
We relaxed on the boat until the sun went down before finally heading back to our hotel.
We spent three more amazing days on the island.. swimming, snorkeling, shopping and exploring the island.
If you live Stateside (especially on the eastcoast), Puerto Rico is a pretty easy and affordable to get to. My friends and I booked in advance and went during the week to get the best rates.
And if you do decide to go. Stay at the Condado Plaza Hilton. It’s in a great location and you can get unobstructed views from the rooms there.