10 Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Traveling To Puerto Rico

Monday, February 10, 2020

It may not feel like it yet, but spring and summer are coming!

With that being said, it's time to book some trips and for anyone that asks I always suggest San Juan. It's one of my favorite places to escape to for a quick getaway because it's close, but gives you the exotic vibe and a bonus is you don't even need a passport.

However, trying to prepare for a trip to San Juan can be an overwhelming task. Although it's a small island there is so much to do and a lot to consider! 

Do you stay on the east side or the west side of the island? Do you hit all the activities or just lay on the beach your whole stay? Should you rent a car or should you "save" a few bucks and just catch cabs? 

Is Mofungo really that good?

No need to rack your brain any longer i'm going to let you in on 10 Travel Tips to keep in mind while traveling in San Juan Puerto Rico. Once you have the San Juan travel tips jotted down, don't forget to hop over to my other blog post San Juan Bucket List: Off The Beaten Path. Where I outline some cool not so touristy things that you must do during your stay on the Island (coming soon).

1) Cafe Del Angel Is The King Of Dessert 

Two words- Fried Cheesecake. 

A friend and I went into Cafe Del Angel for Mofongo and stumbled upon the blessing that is Fried Cheesecake, served with the best vanilla ice cream I've ever tasted.  Add a little drizzle of chocolate you have heaven on earth.

2) Rent The Damn Car

Not because you think you'll need it, but because you'll regret it if you don't. One, car rentals are super cheap...im talking as low as $7.00 a day if you're not partial to specific companies and when cab rides to the surrounding tourist areas can cost up to $20.00 one way. This is the clear choice when wanting to save money.

But the real plus is having the freedom to move about the island which means you get to see so much more. Puerto Rico has mountains and caves to explore and the west coast has a completely different vibe but more about that in my next San Juan blog post. 

So, get the car don't see yourself short.

3)  Shop Local

Im sure you're thinking "what are you talking about Deanna, everything is local". While this is pretty much true,  what I mean is don't shop in the touristy stores in for souvenirs and gifts. 

Street vendors are the way to go. The prices are reasonable and the items are unique, you can find everything from hand made pottery to hand roll cigars that are made right in front of you.

4) Breakfast is SERIOUS Business

Picture from @franquillo on twitter

Brunch so hard! 

I thought that only the DMV was brunch and breakfast crazy but I guess that love spans hundreds and hundreds of miles. While in Condado I saw a number of restaurants that specialize in breakfast but without a doubt one thing everyone can agree on is Pinky's is the best.

The Mallorca Sandwich pictured above is a must try and the restaurant is always packed, which is clearly a good sign. 

5) See The City Differently

Walking is for chumps and honestly takes too long. But biking, now thats an adventure and if you don't mind the exercise it's a great way to see San Juan differently. I stayed at the La Concha Resort in San Juan which offers their guest a bike borrowing service.

After hopping on my chariot for the day I was off exploring San Juan seeing the shore line, murals, food truck festivals and more. 

6) Puerto Rican Minute 

Listen Linda, if you're in a rush all the time...Puerto Rico may not be the place for you. 

Everything is SLOW...traffic, restaurant service etc but there is something about the slowness that is beautiful. The people of San Juan are truly living in paradise and have no reason to be in a hurry.

The take everything in and in the time that it takes food to cook or to be waited on people actually TALK TO EACH OTHER, engage and enjoy their time with the people they are with. They take in the scenery...they live. 

So when you're in a hurry when you're there, relax just live.

Bonus, everyone in San Juan is super nice. Like everyone...even the cops, people were super willing to spark convo.  

7) Parking in Old San Juan

Nonexistent, next question.

Just kidding, well kind of. Parking in Old San Juan is hectic, little streets with even less space and it seems that people park in whatever direction they want so it can make it a little confusing on which way you should be driving.

They do have two parking garages that I noticed (one that we parked in) but other than that I didn't see much. My advice, maybe take a cab there if you plan to stay all day. 

8) What Rules of The Road?

Ok so heres the thing...I couldn't explain San Juan road rules if I tried. No matter if its how people react to road signs, how police decide to direct traffic flow or how the lines in the road seem to mean absolutely nothing.

I don't know whats going on there and that is literally the end of the story.

I cant help you, lol.

9) Stay in Condado 

Its perfect.

 The views cant be beat, its close to night life, culture and food, food, food! 9 times out of 10 when you arrive for your stay you will be in a hotel that has direct beach or lagoon access so it definitely gets my vote for accommodations. 

However don't let that limit you, even if you stay there travel outside of the town often.

10) Skip the Bacardi and go for the Don

While San Juan is the home of the Bacardi Rum Factory that is frequented by tourist and is adored for is different tours and tastings. Bacardi is NOT the island favorite, Bacardi is far out shined by Don Q.

Ask anyone on the Island they will tell you whats what. Oh and you better get it while you're there because Don Q is NOT sold in the states. 


Write these tips down, save them to your phone, print them out...whatever you have to do just make sure when you create your San Juan travel guide that these are added as quick tips.

 I hope this helps you prepare for your trip to Puerto Rico! If you have any tips or things you should know before you travel to San Juan please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna 


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