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  • Suggestions please? I'll be happy to compensate you for your time

    If you've been to Puerto Rico before and have suggestions of where to stay, I'd really appreciate it and would be happy to compensate you for your time (see below). I, and three buddies, all 29 and 30 years old, will be going on a Southern Caribbean cruise on Dec 2 through the 9th. Prior to the cruise, we will be staying in Puerto Rico...probably in San Juan since that's where the ship docks. We're looking to make the very most of our 3-day stay prior to the cruise....

    First, let me tell you about us so you have an idea of what we're looking for. All 4 of us are very active (love to explore, snorkel, play on the beach, exercise and outdoor activities, etc.) and want to experience as much fun stuff while visiting as possible (as opposed to sitting around a pool or shopping). We love the night life and will definitely want to be near the best bars...ideally, we'd like to be walking distance form all the action.

    Considering we only have 3 days in Puerto Rico and that the ship sails from San Juan, would you recommend staying there opposed to other areas on the island?

    Second, from the research that I've done so far, it sounds like the two best areas in San Juan for us would be either Condado or Isle Verde. Is this correct? If so, which of the two would you recommend? What's most important to us is:
    a.) location near all the action and night life (bars and casino's)
    b.) near the very best beaches

    And do you have any recommendations for hotels in these two areas? After spending the last few hours looking at hotels on the Net, it looks like the San Juan Marriott may be the best bet for the Coronado area or Embassy Suites for the Isle Verde area - both of which received excellent reviews. We're really not looking for luxury or to be pampered, but would like decent accommodations and it seems that the nicer hotels, such as these, are in the very best locations.

    Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. And if you could reply to chad@global-fitness.com with your suggestions, that would be great. To compensate you for your time, I'd be happy to give you free membership to our award-winning online fitness program at http://www.global-fitness.com, which would include unlimited fitness consulting from myself and all 26 of our experts, fitness software, exercise and diet programs, fitness books, etc. I hope to hear from you soon!

    Chad




  • #2
    To Chad on his Interests in what to do in PR for 3 days

    There are a plethora of activities to do in PR...it is a shame you only have 3 days. December is a BIG TOURIST MONTH IN PR. The December activities are numerous and fun!! But expect huge crowds and constant street activity in San Juan at this time.

    Isla Verde and el Condado (Condado by the way means county as in San Juan County in Spanish) Coronado means to possess or be the wearer of a crown (as in Royalty), do not confuse the two HaHa! Back to the serious subjects. If you want serious snorkeling and gorgeous beaches there are other parts of the island that are very attractive. Isla Verde and el Condado are the premier tourist trap areas, where most Puerto Ricans speak English and Spanish and serve the tourists. Don't think if you are there for 3 days and everyone speaks some English that everyone does. Most Puerto Ricans don't speak English all that fluently.

    In the Old San Juan area there are many interesting bars and in December there are bound to be many outdoor music and bands playing (especially on weekends). Specifically, El Patio de Sam, also, El Convento has a bar that is very popular with the locals I would recommend staying in El Convento in Old San Juan or el San Juan Hotel y Casino or Hotel Normandie (it is more modest).

    In Isla Verde if you do the tourist trip, all you will see is Miami Beach style life. You won't get a good historical feel for San Juan unless you get to go to Old San Juan. Old San Juan is great for walking down its blue ballast cobblestone narrow streets, and has excellent examples of 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture.

    I highly recommend trying to see at least the Tropical Rainforest in El Yunque National Forest Reserve. Try hiking with your buddies up to Toro Negro. Try renting a catamaran or sailboat and sailing around la bahia de San Juan. I also recommend if its feasible and you like surfing going to Rincon near the town of Aguada. The island is very small and accessible so don't be afraid of getting in a car and leaving San Juan for some prettier beaches along the southern or southwestern parts of the island.

    Just don't try to get on a beach in Vieques, you might get arrested by the good old US government for squatting on Navy owned land, and then you'll spend your 3 day vacation with your buddies in jail. Good Luck! and have funn!!!

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    • #3
      Thanks!

      Thanks so much Suki. A couple more quick qestions:

      First, we were kind of leaning towards staying in Condado, but you mostly referred to Isle Verde and Old SJ. Would you suggest Isle Verde over Condado? You mentioned that Isle Verde was similar to the Miami Beach lifestyle, which is really what we're after. But how does Condado compare?

      And in my "research," it seems that a lot of people recommend the Marriott in Condado? What do you think of this hotel with respect to location, beaches and value? Any other suggestions on hotels in Condado....or Isle Verde if you think that's a better location for us. I don't think we'll stay in Old SJ, just because I've already spent a day there (from a cruise).

      Also, as silly as this sounds, there is a football game that we can't miss that is televised nationally on ABC at 1:30pm PST. Could we expect to be able to watch this game in a sports bar or our hotel (i.e. Marriott) while we're there? That is, do you get US stations, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc? Thanks so much for your help!

      CHad

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      • #4
        Great Ideas

        Suki,

        You are absolutely great. I've read several of the messages that you have written to people and every time your advice is wonderful. I want to thank you for responding to Chad because you have also given me some great advise. I plan to visit Puerto Rico in June to learn about my Culture. I've also had the opportunity to read your advice on learning Spanish in another posting of yours so thank you for that advise also. You said learning Spanish is a way of life if you don't use it you will lose it and since I was not able to learn while growing up I have taken advantage of the opportunity now and was following all of your advise so thanks. I hope that by going to Puerto Rico I can learn about my history and Culture but still have a great time. Maybe by then I'll be able to do so en espanol.

        Muchos Gracias.

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        • #5
          3 days in Puerto Rico

          Chad, COndado is a very residential area less congested than Isla Verde and frankly, we like it that way!! Isla Verde and Old San Juan are the HOT spots> go to the Parriot CLub in Old town, but if you really want to see the beauty of Puerto Rico you must go south and west - Rincon, La Parguerra. Don't worry about the football game. PUERTO RICO IS PART OF THE UNITED STATES (although many on both sides would like to refute that) we get all the affiliates - ABC-CBS-NBC-FOX and local feeds from Chicago, atlanta, New York and others. you;ll see your football game.. If you are looking for a moderate priced hotel off the main drag - on the water check out the Princess in Isla Verde - ex New Yorker's - modest but in the hub - great food - lounge with music - waterside ribs are great... Oh - and be prepared to DRESS. Puerto Ricans are not like mainlanders in that respect - they love to dress - no shorts or tee's at night especially around Christmas time.....

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          • #6
            OPPS, i called it the Princess - it's the EMPRESS and ask for ANthony, he is the owner ....

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