2 Days in Puerto Rico

Once upon a time I found myself with no passport and a huge urge to visit the Caribbean. In comes Puerto Rico to save the day. There are beautiful beaches, picturesque pastel houses, delicious food, no currency exchange, and did I mention NOT NEEDING A PASSPORT; what else could you ask for?

The tickets for this trip were purchased on a Wednesday with intents to fly that same Saturday (YOLO moment, amiright?) so I can’t say that airfare was cheap. Although if you book ahead of time, I’ve read many stories of people who refer to P.R. flights as “budget travel.”

While searching for things to do in Puerto Rico one thing that I quickly realized is that there are so many things to do. Our trip was only two days. See the problem?

Trip Goals: See as much as I possibly could in only 2 days.

Our plane landed around 8:30am on a Saturday morning, we quickly went to the car rental center and picked up our car. We had plans to venture out of San Juan so a car would be essential.

Side Story: The days leading up to our arrival, we decided to try Airbnb for the first time and were lucky enough to find a host that was willing to work with our hectic travel plans. His name was Moises and he was nice enough to let us check in (extremely) early, around 9:30am.

We arrived at our Airbnb, dropped off our bags, and hit the road.

Day 1:

Las Cuevas del Indio (translation: Indian Caves)
This gem is located in a town called Arencibo. It’s about an hour drive from the airport but the views along the way make the trip a breeze.
Once you arrive you will be charged $5 per person to visit the rock formations and it is absolutely worth the price! Truth is, this was my favorite part of the trip and I would definitely go again.

Tips: -Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good grip because there is lots of rugged terrain.
-Don’t be scared! Some of the reviews online say the “hike is not for the faint of heart” but as someone with 0 hiking experience, I’m here to tell you it was doable
-Bring water because you WILL get thirsty
-You are directly under the scorching sun- put on sunscreen.
-Bring a bathing suit!

Camuy River Cave Park
If you’ve never visited an underground cave, this is the place to do so. The drive alone makes it a memorable experience. Once you arrive, you will be transported to the caves via a cute little trolley. In the caves a tour guide will walk you around where you will see erosions, calcified deposits that look like witches (see below), and an area where you can see (and smell) a bunch of bats. The tour is only about an hour long so the entrance price of $20ish per adult seems really steep to me.

Tips: -Wear shoes with grip because the floors are slippery
-If you plan on taking pictures keep in mind that the lighting is very dim.

By this time we decided to head back to San Juan to explore the streets and prepare for dinner.

Los Yeyos Restaurant

Almost directly across our AirBnB we walked into this restaurant which definitely felt like an adventure all in its own. Basically every square inch is covered in permanent marker with people leaving their mark in the world. The marker was given to us along with refreshments and the owner himself urged us to have fun with it and write wherever we pleased; nowhere was off limits.

 

“Yury and Hobie Coming to a city near you

As for service I will give it 5 stars because we were immediately seated and the attention given to us was superb.

For food we decided to try Mofongo, which is a typical Puerto Rican dish. Mofongo is mashed plantain with an unlimited amount of fillings that include: seafood, steak, pork…whatever your heart desires, chances are you can get a mofongo. Puerto Ricans pride themselves in cooking this dish to specialty so it is a main entrée in virtually every restaurant. This one did not disappoint.

After a pretty heavy-duty dinner, we spent the rest of the night wandering the streets of Old San Juan. There was some sort of block party that night and there were many food trucks parked, artisanal vendors, music & dancing, and plain old people watching.

Day 2:

El Yunque Rainforest

This destination would spike any traveller’s interest once they hear the phrase “only rainforest in the U.S territory.” We woke up at 5am to beat the crowds. It is a beautiful forest with miles and miles of lush scenery and an abundance of hiking trails.

Due to our lack of time, we explored most of the forest by car, stopping at the lookouts and so on.

Click here if you’re interested in exploring El Yunque by car. Truthfully, I don’t feel like I missed out on much. I saw all the “must-see” spots minus the sweat and exhaustion. Win win 🙂

Tips: -Listen out for the unique sounds of the famous Coqui Frog. It is known for its famous bird-like calls “co-keey, co-keeey”
-Tour buses tend to arrive at the same time and crowds get rather large. Avoid this and get here EARLY.
-Bring a bathing suit.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro
This UNESCO Heritage site is a must-see when visiting Puerto Rico. The fort is huge, there is lots of space to walk around, and the views are beautiful.

Old San Juan
After the fort, opt to walk back to San Juan instead of taking a car. You will be rewarded with cobblestone streets and cute pastel colored buildings that are begging to be photographed.

Beaches
Our trip was so hectic that we almost didn’t have time to visit the beach, but after lunch we made a quick stop at Isla Verde Beach. We took the time to relax and unwind after all the hiking and walking so I completely forgot to take pictures. Settle for a shot provided by google images?

Barrachina’s
You cant go to San Juan without making a pit stop in this joint that advertises themselves as “the drink where the Pina Colada was created.” We made a quick stop, grabbed our drinks to go, and headed for the airport.

Remember my trip goals to see as much as I could in only two days– how do you think we did? Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? Comment below!

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24 thoughts on “2 Days in Puerto Rico

  • Katrina

    Hi Yury! I’ve been looking at making a quick trip to Puerto Rico for awhile now! I love your pics and spontaneity so this was awesome to read about. My travel mantra is all about planning and organizing things to an exact science for the best prices, etc. so booking a flight just a few days before I fly sounds insane!!! hahaha

    • Yurys1993

      Omg I’m totally with you on that! I love to plan down to the very last detail, especially since my trips are usually short. But I had an extra stressful week that week so I was like you know what, yolo! Lol!

      Definitely make a trip to PR! It’s beautiful, the food is yummy, and it’s so small that with proper planning you can probably see the entire island in a week.

  • Katie Featherstone

    Wow, you must have been exhausted by the end of the two days- you’ll need another holiday to make up for it, but it certainly looks like it was worth it! Beautiful photos!

    • Yurys1993

      You are so right on that lol we were nonstop the entire time but so worth it!

  • Tanj from A Travelogue

    Puerto Rico is so colorful! Hope to visit one day… your pictures are amazing! Thanks for the tip!

    • Yurys1993

      Beautiful island for sure! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Myperfectrip

    Nice article and nice photos too…really need to visit PR! Thanks for sharing 😉

    • Yurys1993

      Thanks for reading!

  • Nomadic Foot

    Hi Yury, I have not heard and read enough about Puerto Rico but after this post it seems a great place for me. loved the beaches and park.

    • Yurys1993

      Puerto Rico isn’t a very popular destination and I don’t know why, its definitely a beautiful island

  • Danielle

    Wow, you certainly jammed a lot into the two days.. good on you! I prefer to spend more time in a place, but when your time is limited I’m all about the cramming. You got to see so much. Your itinerary looks great as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yurys1993

      When you work full time and only have limited amount of vacation days, you have to get creative. It actually wasn’t as exhausting as you might think! We got to fully enjoy everything without feeling overwhelmed. Thanks for reading!

  • Sara Granados @ SARA SEES

    This looks amazing! I went to Puerto Rico on a school trip when I was like 15 but we basically stuck to San Juan and did a day trip to El Yunque. But I really want to go back now as an adult and see more of Puerto Rico. Like you said, it’s easy to travel to so why not?! I need to check out those caves, they look amazing!

    • Yurys1993

      Yes! So true! And if you only take one thing from this article, let it be the caves! I cannot explain how beautiful the sight was!

  • Xinen

    I’ve never been to Puerto Rico but your pics look amazing! And the pina coladas!!! yumzzz

    • Yurys1993

      They were so delicious! Visit soon and think of me when you have one haha

  • Joy Generoso

    Your photos of Las Cuevas del Indio are very captivating, made me want to visit it soon. Those rock formations are stunning.

    • Yurys1993

      I was in awe the entire time! It was so beautiful, I totally recommend visiting.

  • Albert

    Seems like you hit all the top sites in Puerto Rico! I love El Yunque. Any plans to visit any of the islands off the eastern coast?

    • Yurys1993

      I always try to make the most of my short trips! And yes! I’ve seen pictures and they look amazing, hoping to visit this summer.

  • Pia

    love it. stunning pictures. Thanks for the description and for your short side-tips. I think you made really the most out of the two days.

    • Yurys1993

      Thank you! Thats always the goal lol

  • Rhiannon

    I had no idea Puerto Rico is geographically considered part of the Caribbean! Also, where you say no passport needed I can only assume that rule only applies for Americans right? 😛

    • Yurys1993

      You totally had me doubting myself but a little bit of googling proved that yes it is part of the Caribbean lol! And yes, I guess I should’ve specified that part? oops lol

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