Tell me about Puerto Rico

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by heycal, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    Girlfriend and I are planning to go away for 4-5 days, and leaning towards Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta, because it meets our requirements of having beach hotels within walking distance of culture and restaurants, and we love Mexican food. (Did the other side of Mexico two years ago and liked it.)

    But we're also intrigued by Puerto Rico, which is closer, cheaper, and easier to fly to from New York. Can one have both beach and culture there, specifically San Juan, or is it kind of either/or type of choice when going to PR?

    Ideal place is a beachfront hotel, but can easily walk to interesting stuff. Mexico has that in places. Does PR?
     
    #1
  2. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Court No. 1 (or No. 5, when not available)
    #2
  3. norbac

    norbac Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    8,490
    Old San Juan is fun. It's the old colonial Spanish capital so there's a lot of history and culture there. A lot of beaches pretty close by and the nightlife there is probably the best in all of the island. I especially like Old Harbour, a nice little microbrewery close to the docks in Old San Juan.
     
    #3
  4. rommil

    rommil Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    7,735
    Location:
    CT
    It's full of Puerto Ricans
     
    #4
  5. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,716
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    Save your money and go instead to Cincy for the slam.
     
    #5
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,025
    LeeD was in Puerto Rico recently
     
    #6
  7. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    12,935
    Location:
    In a sureshsian vortex
    Block off a couple of days for travel to the island's interior, mountainous areas...breath-taking panoramas and very relaxing!
     
    #7
  8. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    6,009
    Stayed at a hotel in San Juan proper once, thought "wow, Detroit with a beach." Stayed next time at El Conquistador at the east end of the island, more pleasant, wouldn't say there's alot of cultural attractions though.
     
    #8
  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    30,237
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Do they VAMOS a lot ?
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Condado. W suburb of SanJuan, totally like S. of Market is SanFrancisco, yuppie, young rich, on the water, between San Juan and old San Juan.
    Expensive, tons of nice restaurants, former business center of PR, young up and becoming rich, big business, clean, but a few blocks from the ghetto....as is every location of the young, and becoming rich. Full of high rises, expensive rents, beachfront properties (have high rise apartments on all the beachs).
     
    #10
  11. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    Detroit in what sense? Ugly and dreary, or just poor? Funky poor and interesting is ok. Dreary McDonalds and ugly architecture is not.

    And how was that beach?




    "Honey, change of plans. Forget the Carribbean in May, I just scored us two tickets to a tennis tournament in the middle of summer in Cincinnati! It's part of the US Open series!!!"

    I haven't been in San Francisco in 20 years. Any comparisons you can draw?

    Perhaps like South Beach, Miami?'

    Is it pretty and expensive and rich, or just rich and expensive?

    Is the ghetto interesting and accessible, or avoid at all costs?

    How is the beach?

    Our goal is to visit somewhere where we can be directly on a nice beach, but also wander to nearby (hopefully interesting and funky) eateries and things to look at.

    On the whole, would you recommend going here, or elsewhere?
     
    #11
  12. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    6,009
    ^^ beach is perfectly fine. I stayed at a hotel towards the east side of San Juan, plenty of trash-littered lots and decrepit buildings there, not very pleasant. West part of that strip, towards the El Caribe Hilton and the old city, are a little more pleasant.
     
    #12
  13. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Remember Robocop? Exciting especially at night.
     
    #13
  14. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    Thanks, folks.

    For those of you who've been both to San Juan area and Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta, which would you recommend and why for two people who want to chill on the beach, but walk to food and something to see.

    Pros and cons of each place?

    Also, anyone know much about Playa Del Carmen? Something said that was a cute place and walkable, but are there beachfront hotels within walking distance of the town?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    S.Beach is supposed to be cheezy like LasVegas. My g/f's cousin lives in S.Beach, which fits him perfectly, and finds Condado too tame. He likes Broadway, the Tenderloin, over yuppie up and coming districts.
    PR is America friendly. Something you appreciate after Mex.
    Typical night scene in Condado.... couples walking around dressed up in heels, skirts, and casual suits...single guys mellow in dress wear, single girls dressed nice not sleazy in skirts and heels...some old folks in evening wear...upscale NEW restuarants everywhere, NEW cars everywhere, beach scene is mellow but not watersports oriented, like beaches to the W.
    If you like a taste of NewOrleans, old town SanJuan, about a mile W, provides that experience, but there's much less sleaze. Clean, old, narrow streets with tall apartment's reaching almost over, giving it a old European look. Coffee houses and restuarants everywhere.
    We stay at g/f's apartment about 3/4 mile from the ElConquistador on the E side, and windsurf on the beaches about 2 miles E of Condado.
     
    #15
  16. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    484
    Tell me about Russia ( Ural Mts region)

    I have a chance to see a small town 90 mins away from Cheylabinsk this summer. Whats its like in that region of Russia? I've only been to Saint Petersburg and stayed in the tourist ( trap) Nesky Prospect. Well its not really a trap just the most expensive place my wallet has ever seen.
    Is that area gritty like Ohio Industraial gritty?
    I read online some people call it tankograd.
    I dont mind as long as its completely different from what I see and feel everyday.
     
    #16
  17. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,504
    Location:
    The Peak of Good Living
    Google Street View actually covers Chelyabinsk and some nearby towns it appears (drag the little yellow man to the map). That might be a way to get a sense of the area.
     
    #17
  18. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    I find almost everywhere in the world America-friendly, if you mean how they treat Americans. Or do you means it's like being in America?

    The idea of someplace that's just like America is a bit off-putting, vacation wise. But I guess one should visit Puerto Rico at least once in their life, right?
     
    #18
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    It's not like America.
    You do get stinkeye when you travel to remote places, or the ghetto, but once they hear you talk, the smiles come out and you're as good as IN.
    PuertoRicans generally love their cars, their electronics, their clothes, their life styles, their weekends at the beach.... That sums up Condado, between SanJuan and old SanJuan.
    Other parts of the island, there's the real world, people living middle class, lots of poor, some crime, ......just like any metropolis.
    There's suburb towns on the South coast, mostly working middle class, but about 30 miles away.
    Condado is similar to the old UnionSt. in SanFranicisco, or ChestnutSt., but with new buildings, modern architecture, and a little cleaner. Well, no fog and constant dampness in the mornings anyways. Not quite as pretentious as Sausalito, much bigger than Tiburon, maybe akin to MillValley in the '70's, but with new landscape everywhere.
    Most speak English, but a growing trend is to leave that in the backburner and speak only Spanish, among the upward bound yuppies.
     
    #19
  20. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,985
    I went to the old San Juan fort, it was pretty good.
    Went to the beach and a few bars.
    Rented a boat and just went around like that, so it's OK.

    The sun can get very intense depending when you go, be careful.
     
    #20
  21. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Strongest sun I've experienced other than St. Lucia. Even at 8 am
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Well, it IS the tropics, one side on the Carribean and the N on the Atlantic.
    Spring temps in the high 70's, low 80's, while it's the windy season for some breeze. Nights still a comfy 74, so air conditioning is optional, until June, when it cooks.
    Take a day trip to the E side, maybe the ElConquistador Hotel, look across at all the islands, hike 7 seas beach to the secluded beaches to the W.
    We stay at the new white apartments above it.
    Do the phosphorescent kayak tours after dark.
    Daytrip out W to Aquadilla, and the surfing and surfsailing beaches there, kinda a surfer culture.
    Rent a surfboard or paddleboard at IslaVerde, near the airport, for some easy water play.
    It's a long 3-4 hour drive to the S side of the island, so maybe not worth the effort to look at desert fishing towns. I loved it for windsurfing and kiteboarding possibilities.
    It's not cheap by any means, but it's fun to stretch the credit cards and live the high life.
     
    #22
  23. norbac

    norbac Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    8,490
    Rincon/Aguadilla/Isabela are great for beaches/surfing.

    Mayaguez is the closes thing to a college town and you can sometimes get the local beer for as cheap as 25 cents pero 12 ouncer on a night.

    Ponce is large but not all that fun.

    San Juan is the place to go for me. Isla Verde, Old San Juan, and Condado are all very fun as far as nightlife goes but a tad expensive.
     
    #23
  24. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,985
    I got burned pretty bad, I never knew how strong the sun could be. :cry:
     
    #24
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    "strong the sun"....
    We usually go to PR during Christmas, from SanFrancisco area, after 3 months of little sun, no windsurfing, little surfing, some tennis, temps mostly mid 50's (my favorite tennis weather).
    Thank god for palm trees and high rise apartment's on the beach.
     
    #25
  26. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Stuck in the tropics every Aug.
     
    #26
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    OMG, I'd DIE in high '80s, nites mid 70's, no wind, sun burning bright and nasty, but if there was uncrowded good surf.......
    Growing up in SanFrancisco's Sunset District, colder than "the coldest winter I've ever spent was a summer in SanFran, I can't handle Hawaii, either Oahu, Maui, or Kaui, nor can I handle summers in PR.
    But spring in Baja, PuntaSanCarlos, with it's 48 degree nights and '70 days, is paradisio on a S swell around 6' and NW winds.
     
    #27
  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Standing next to Lake Mead at 119 was memorable. No Sweat, literally
     
    #28
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I"m pouring sweat when it's mid 70's.
     
    #29
  30. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Probably pouring sweat too just evaporated.
     
    #30

Share This Page