From its landscapes of green mountains accented by gorgeous waterfalls to the crystal clear water you’ll find at the surrounding small islands, Puerto Rico is a tiny country with a lot to brag about. One of our favorite destinations is Fajardo, a small beach town on the east coast of the island. The quiet city is perfect for a weekend getaway — you can spend it with your significant other or a group of friends. Ready to plan your trip? We’ve got some of our top tips one what to do and where to stay:
How to get there
The closest airport is in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan (SJU). Fajardo is a 45-minute drive east of San Juan. Fajardo is a walkable city — so you can take a taxi to get there and spend the rest of your time on foot if you prefer.
What to do
Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island, as well as a number of smaller islands. Culebra, located just off the coast of Fajardo, is one of our favorites. The island is a perfect excuse to spend the day on the beach with a drink (or two, or three…). Get your ferry ticket from Fajardo Port early, as they sell out quickly.
Spend one of your evenings exploring one of the most beautiful natural phenomena of the world — a bioluminescent lagoon. In the waters of Laguna Grande, there are Pyrodinium Bahamense, a microscopic plankton capable of producing a glowing blue, natural light when touched. There are only six bodies of bioluminescent water in the world, so Laguna Grande is a must-see. You’ll feel like you’re in a scene from Avatar.
El Yunque Rainforest
Plan a day-trip to the El Yunque Rainforest, the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system. Home to approximately 240 tree species as well as the rare Puerto Rican parrot, the rainforest is perfect for spending a day hiking and cooling off in waterfall pools.
We love this view of the Caribbean from El Yunque Rainforest. Image by Trish Hartmann.
Where to stay
For the adventurer, we recommend staying at this Airbnb space. The owners, Gama and Leslaw, have several rooms for rent in the same house. The pair can organize trips to the smaller islands, the bioluminescent lagoon, and the rainforest.
For the foodie, check out this space owned by Gladys — the mastermind cook behind Las Vistas Cafe. Take Gladys up on her offer for fresh fruit (she grows it herself) and banana coconut pancakes. You can thank us later.
For the first-class traveler, we love Las Casitas, a Waldorf Astoria resort. It’s hard to argue with postcard-perfect rooms and views. Elite accommodations are offered in the form of one, two and three-bedroom style villas at this resort.