How To Spend Five Days Puerto Rico

June 24, 2019

How To Spend Five Days Puerto Rico

When I decided to celebrate my birthday in Puerto Rico,  I set out to find things to do in Puerto Rico for five days. This is my guide on how to spend five days in Paradise.  We took Jet Blue Airlines out of Fort Lauderdale. It is a two-hour flight. All major car rental is right on the airport. You will need to rent a car to enjoy the area but be careful of all the tolls on the highways.

Gran Malia Resort

We stayed at the Club Melia at Gran Melia  Resort in the Rio Grande section of Puerto Rico. This resort reminded me of Liberia, therefore, I brought out my head wrap and dashiki from Zabba Designs. It is approximately 45 minutes from the airport so renting a car was necessary because we wanted to explore the area.

Zabba Designs Headwrap

The hotel is beautiful and nestled on the northeastern coast right on the beach. The hotel has six restaurants on site including a traditional Puerto Rican restaurant  Pasion by chef  Myrta. We ate in town because I like trying new restaurants. They have a little store on site for anything you may have forgotten and snacks if you have the munchies. I love the ice cream bar and had one daily.

There is a full-service spa on premises with a golf course if golf is your thing.  There are two pools on the property. A lagoon style swimming pool with a swim up bar, Numerous water activities including a wave runner and banana boat. The beach is not the best but it is clean.


Day One

Head out to the El Yunque National Rain Forest. This is the only tropical rain forest in the national forest system in the United States. You will discover nature trails, waterfalls and subtropical habitat of the forest. The rainforest is home to more than 240 species of plants and wildlife, waterfalls, streams and hiking trails leading to enticing locations. You'll see tree orchids, giant ferns, wild flowers, tropical hardwoods, and spectacular waterfalls.


Wear comfortable shoes because it requires a lot of walking and climbing uphill, therefore, you want to be comfortable. The hike up the rain forest is about 2 hours. There is a souvenir shop midway. The trail follows the course of the La Mina River downward through lush tropical trees, shrubs, and flowers to the La Mina waterfall (Cascada La Mina). Along the way, it crosses and re-crosses the rushing river on many small bridges, passing tiny cascades and still pools filled with chilled mountain water, on its way to the falls where you can go swimming. The view is breathtaking.

 Day Two

On your second day, visit Luquillo a small, seaside town in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. It is nestled between the incredible greens of the El Yunque National Forest to the west and the amazing blues, silvers, and greens of the Atlantic Ocean waters to the east. Only 7 miles to the Southeast, you will find Fajardo with its ferries to other, off-shore islands of Puerto Rico (like Vieques) and the famous Bio-luminescent bays. The is a state own beach called Monserrate that has the distinction of a Blue Flag beach. This is where the locals hang out. The sand is shimmering. They offer food and public restroom including showers at this beach.

After the beach, check out the Luquillo kiosk. This is a long row of humble looking building right along Route 3. Don't let the look fool you. They have some of the best food in Puerto Rico. We ate at Kiosk number two La  Parilla Restaurant. They have the best Puerto Rican cuisine I have tasted. I had the seafood mofongo. It's the traditional Puerto Rican dish which is usually made with plantain but we tried it with cassava at this restaurant. It can be served with shrimp, fish or steak.

Each kiosk has different hours — some are open 7 days/week, others are not. Some are closed on Monday and Tuesday. Some are open for lunch during the week, but not nearly all of them. Generally, the kiosks are open Monday to Thursday from about 11 am or noon until about 9 pm or 10 pm. Most are open later on weekends, which is also when you can expect more places to be open.


Day Three

On your third day visit old San Juan. Old San Juan is the second oldest city established in the New World, one of the most historically significant destinations in the Caribbean & the Western Hemisphere.  Walk through 500-year-old forts with breathtaking views of the Atlantic, various UNESCO sites, historic churches, tour the second oldest cathedral in the Americas, visit museums, step foot into Ponce de Leon’s mansion, tour La Fortaleza palace, and so much more.

Stop at one of the five historic forts and take some pictures after that stop at and have lunch. There are plenty of dining options from luxurious to outdoor relaxed cafes, to fit every budget and satisfy every palette.   Eat a delicious dinner, then relax or join the dance floor to move to the sounds of salsa, a few restaurants offer free dance lessons.

 Day Four

Take a short ferry ride over to Catano via the Catano ferry and then it's a $5.00 cab ride to the Bacardi distillery. They have several different kinds of tours which include the historical tour, the mixology tour, and the rum tasting tour. The tours finally end with a drink at the Bacardi bar.

Barcardi factory

You can pay $45 and do the mixology tour and make your own drink. The tours last about one hour and 30 minutes. Finally when the tour ends stop in the gift shop where you get to sample different kinds of rum and purchase a few bottles of rum.  The guides are very knowledgable and tell you the story of the Bacardi family.

Finally, when you return, stop at Señor Frogs. They have the best Happy Hour in San Juan. It is across the street from the ferry.


Day 5

End your visit with a trip to the Island of Vieques. Drive to Fajardo and take the ferry over to Vieques. Most importantly get there early around 6 to 7 am because the scene gets chaotic and besides that, the guides that sell tickets are very disorganized. When the tickets are sold out, the ferry just leaves. No one tells you it is sold out nor that it is leaving. You stand around looking for answers where there are none.

Island of Vieques

Vieques is the island in Puerto Rico that the US Government had a run in with the locals and they had to stop using it for military testing. Vieques is one of the few islands in the Caribbean with dozens of undeveloped beach coves where one can experience the true meaning of tropical bliss. This small Puerto Rican treasure is home to the largest natural wildlife refuge in the Caribbean, covering 3,100 acres of precious land embraced by lush green flora.

In Vieques there are no traffic lights, driving in Vieques is a pleasurable experience, narrow roads lead to breathtaking scenic spots, charming colorful towns, and beaches naturally landscaped free of development.  Be warned, once you step foot on the beaches of Vieques, you’ll be spoiled for life because it has the most beautiful beaches in the united stated. the beaches are gorgeous.

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