July 05, 2017

Honeymoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Beaches, Rain Forest, & Waterfalls

This month on The Sunshine Bride we're featuring Puerto Rico as our honeymoon destination of the month.

With tropical breezes, beautiful sunsets, swimming in secluded waterfalls, and beautiful beaches - Puerto Rico was made for honeymoons.

The modern part of the city of San Juan has a South Beach feel with lots of nightlife, shopping, and a ton of great restaurants - and Old San Juan is the second oldest city in the Western hemisphere with a ton of history.

Exploring Old San Juan

Old San Juan was settled in 1551 & is the oldest city in the U.S. The western area of the city contains the urban promenade Paseo de la Princesa, La Fortaleza (Governor’s Mansion) known for it's period furniture and manicured grounds, & Fort El Morro - a 16th-century citadel that guards the entrance to San Juan Harbor.

It's the oldest area of the city, where you can find 300 to 450 year old colorful Spanish colonial-style buildings, & the streets are lined with deep-blue cobblestones that were used as ballast on Spanish ships. There are also works of art and fountains throughout the city.

Both forts feature plazas, tunnels, dungeons, batteries, & great vistas of the city and coastline. Part of the San Juan National Historic Site, these U.N. World Heritage site is visited by 2 million people a year. You'll find museums in beautiful buildings like La Fortaleza, and the Juan Ponce de Leon Museum located in the Casa Blanca House.

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Exploring The Islands & Nature

If you're a nature lover hike & go swimming in El Yunque National Rainforest - located in the northeastern mountains of the island. It's the only tropical rain forest in North America, & you can swim right under the waterfalls. It's home to 240 species of tropical trees, 20 types of orchids, & the rare Puerto Rican parrot.

Hike to Mount Britton to the tower, Juan Diego Falls, and don't miss the La Mina Trail that leads to the La Mina Falls. Make sure to head out early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when very few people are around.

Go horseback riding on the beach at sunset. Tropical Trail Rides in Aguadilla offers 4 pm sunset tours where you'll ride from the beaches to the rain forest, last 2 hours, and includes a stop where you can hike or swim.

Head to Fajardo, accessible via tiny sea planes or ferry, where Yokahú Kayak Trips offers kayak eco-tours to the Vieques Biobay. You'll paddle out under the stars, and witness the lagoon take on a growing green light - a breathtaking phenomenon that you'll remember forever.

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Exploring Modern San Juan

You'll love the Puerto Rican Arts & Crafts, on Fortaleza Street. You'll find locally made items including nature-themed watercolors, jewelry, & more.

You can purchase Puerto Rican coffee, a variety of hot sauces, & tropical jams at Spicy Caribbee on Cristo Street hat will ship our purchase right to your home. You can also find Coach, a Ralph Lauren Factory Store, a Dooney & Bourke Factory Store, & more there.

If you're looking for designer items head to Ashord Avenue in the district of Condado to find Guccu, Louis Vuitton, & more.

And make sure to check out Trip Savvy's 2017 Post on the Best Places to Buy Puerto Rican Souvenirs.

Head to Catano, a San Juan suburb, to tour the Bacardi Rum Distillery. It only costs $15 & includes a commemorative Bacardi cup, a welcome cocktail, & a brochure with Bacardi recipes.

Learn how to Salsa! Take a class at one of Puerto Rico's most hallowed institutions: the Nuyorican Café. Check their calendar for salsa lessons throughout the week.

Catch a show at the Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré in Santurce, the cities modern performing arts center. It's the place to go for a night of ballet, opera, a play, or classical music concert.

At the end of the day head to some of San Juans most romantic restaurants including Pamela's Beach Club where you can dine so close to the water your feet are in the sand, Verda Mesa featuring Caribbean farm to table food, or 311 - the strictly french restaurant where you can opt for the vinter's dinner where the chef will pair wine for you with each course.

Explore the Beautiful & Romantic Beaches

The View
Luquillo Beach
Thirty miles easy of San Juan, this crescent shaped beach has shallow, warm, calm waters, & the El Yunque National Rain Forest is located right behind it.

You'll also find lifeguards, showers, bathrooms, and lots of vendors selling cocktails, snacks, & ice-cream. Unfortunately also have to pay $5 to park.

Sandy Beach
This gorgeous stretch of sand in Rincon with beautiful sunset vistas is lined with restaurants, hotels, & beach bars including Tamboo, voted by Travel + Leisure as one of America's best beach bars.

Boquerón Beach
This park is one mile of golden sand, located in the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife refuse, & offers visitors shade from its Flamboyan trees & gazebos is less crowded on weekdays. You can get fresh oysters & other seafood from the many shacks that line the shore.

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Pinones Beach
Pinones is located 2 miles from San Juan, and you can rent kayaks there to paddle around the lagoon and mangrove islands.

You can ride a bike on the boardwalk, which doubles as a nature trail. And you can stop to try delicious local food like pinchos de pollo, bacalitos, and arepas.

Bahia Beach
Bahia Beach is a 2 mile long golden crescent with gentle waves, and plenty of swaying coconut palm trees. The closely located St. Regis Bahia Resort offers services/rentals for water-skiing, snorkeling, & scuba diving.

Dorado Beach
This tiny enclave west o San Juan offers a unique history as the former home of a 1,400 acre sugar plantation. Today you can enjoy lounging with a drink at the luxurious Dorado Beach Resort, a Ritz-Cartleton Reserve or you can hike the 11 mile long Rockefeller trail.

Great Places to Stay

The most romantic hotel you can stay on the island is the Horned Dorset Primavera. Built on the ruins of a century-old coastal railroad, the property features 17 two-story Morocco-inspired suites on 8 lush maintained acres.

The suites featured Spanish Colonial style decor, lots of marble, exotic Moroccan touches, & freestanding soaking tubs. You'll also have a kitchenette, veranda, & private plunge pool. And if you absolutely have to leave your room you'll find two award-winning restaurants, two pools, a spa, a fitness center, a yoga studio, & free kayak rentals.

If you're looking for an all-inclusive resort you'll love the El Conquistador Resort. The beach is beautiful, and the resort offers tennis, horseback-riding, a gym, water park, a swim-up bar, & ferry access to a private island.

View of the Caribbean Sea from the El Conquistador Hotel, Fajardo, Puerto Rico

And if you're looking for even more privacy you can rent yourself a gorgeous vacation home with our own private pool. You can find thousands of great rentals on FlipKey, Expedia, & TripAdvisor.

Make sure to get travel insurance before you go, & take a look at the Most Popular Trip Insurance plans Allianz has to offer.

Make sure to tell us where you plan on going on your honeymoon below, & what else you'd love to see on our site!

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