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I would always check the main website for any changes as they have real-time updates: but below is some information that I gathered from this trip

Coronavirus Travel Updates

  • Everyone has to fill out the travel declaration which you can find here:

  • If fully vaccinated- you have to upload your card to the link

  • If not vaccinated- you must get a PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of ARRIVAL (a rapid test is not approved)

    • Once you get the results back, you will upload them to the link​

    • If you do not get your results before you land, you will have to take a test when you land on the island or you are subject to a $300 fine

  • When checking in with the airline agent before TSA, they will ask for you to show a screenshot of your test results, or card, as well as the bar code that shows you completed the travel declaration

Once you land, there was a small line right after you picked up your baggage, where you just had to provide the screenshot of your test results, or card, again, as well as the bar code. Once they scanned it, you are good to go.

Nothing was required for us to get back home, if you live within the states. If you are outside of the US, I would check with your guidelines, as that could be different

There were some hotels and restaurants that now require you to show your ID and either a negative test (taken within 72 hours) or your vaccination card in order to get inside. So our friends had to get a PCR test done while they were there because the 72 hour window they followed for arrival onto the island after the flight expired and no longer was valid for hotels/restaurants. They went to CVS to have them done and were $55/person. I will say that there were a few spots that didn't require us to show anything, but if you can call ahead- I would just to confirm.

Rental Car

I have rented a car through Priceless Car Rental and Routes Car Rental, which I reserved ahead of time online both times. You just need to make sure you have your ID and proof of car insurance with you​ and the pick up and drop off process is extremely simple.

There is a small section of cheaper rentals that are not walking distance from the airport. The two above mentioned car rental locations were ones we had to take a 7 minute uber to get to. Although, we did see that there was a shuttle the next day but our flight got in at midnight so it might have stopped running at that point. The airport does have a few car rental companies that are right there when you walk out of the airport after getting your baggage: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo & National were a few that we saw right onsite at the airport.

PRO TIP: I ALWAYS take my own pictures of the car, even if their staff is taking their own pictures. Make sure to include all angles, inside and outside, and to capture any flaws that you see. We have paid special attention to the outside of the body of the car and the tires. Too many times, car rentals in areas we are traveling have tried to mess with us and blame things on us that were there previously, so we always take our own pictures that we can zoom in on!

Places I've Stayed

The Airbnb below was super cute and about 15 minutes from Old San Juan. It fit a larger group of people and was perfect for what we needed at the time.

Overall the top one wasn't a bad location, but after going again, I highly recommend finding something in Old San Juan. This makes things much easier as you have a lot more things around you that are close by and in walking distance. These common touristy things are places that we had to drive and find parking with the previous location, so we were able to fit more into our schedule by staying local.

If you stay in Old San Juan, just be mindful that the streets are very narrow and most places won't have parking. There are tons of parking garages/lots around, but they will charge a daily fee or flat rate.

One more plus side of staying in this area is the pretty balcony views of the colorful streets.

Casablanca Hotel was a fun experience with a beautiful rooftop with Jacuzzis, and a view. They also had Café Mimosa right down stairs for an easy bite to eat in the mornings and lunch time, which offered coffees and mimosas as well.

Our only complaint, was that the room we stayed in with the queen was VERY small for the price we were paying. We had no room to open our luggage on the ground in the room without having to crawl on the bed to walk around it. We definitely could have gotten more bang for our buck in another AirBnb, but it was nice to experience the hotel overall.

There is no parking on site so if you have a rental car, you will need to pay for a nearby parking garage, which was very close and walkable. There are two near this location, but we parked at the one right across from the Raices restaurant called Doña Fela Parking Garage. Parking rates might change so I would look into those ahead of time to justify if it's all worth it. They did say we could park on the street, but the roads are VERY tight and I wouldn't risk getting your car hit and having to worry about an accident.

We stayed at Caribe Hilton for a wedding and if you are looking for a resort style stay- this is it. It's more expensive, but it's right on the beach, has a beautiful pool and pool bar, as well as nice restaurants and an inside bar downstairs.

They also have a sign downstairs that claims this is the home of the Piña Colada, but the Barrachina bar claims this as well, but either way, they are both tasty.

Ubering to Old San Juan is less than 10 minutes from here, so you still have the option to walk around the city and explore, but then come back to hang out by the pool.

Iconic Spots in Old San Juan

  • Colorful Streets of Old San Juan

    • Although you can pretty much see these buildings no matter what road you turn on, my favorite view is from the corner of Calle de San Justo and Calle de San Sebastián

      • From here you get a beautiful view of the colorful streets, all the way down to the water​

  • Barrachina Restaurant

    • ​This is one of the spots that claims to have the original Piña Colada.

    • Even if it's not, its worth it to stop by and check out to have a drink in your hand when you walk around

  • Puerto Rican Flag Door

    • Address: 51 Calle San José, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

  • Fortaleza Street

    • There are usually colorful umbrellas here but it was replaced with the Puerto Rican flag recently (I’m not sure how long this will be the case)

Day Trips From Old San Juan

  • El Yunque National Forest

    • I haven't had the opportunity to go here just yet, but this is on my list to visit one day​

    • I do know with Covid-19 you now need a ticket in advanced on their site for certain days when we looked

      • These become available 30 days from the date you are interested in and I would snag them quick because they were sold out twice when I tried to go​

      • This could change with Covid-19 updates, so I would always look into their website prior to making the trip there

  • Gozalandia Waterfall

    • Hours: 9a-12p, but always double check this in case there are changes

    • $10 parking fee and that was it

    • Getting there:

      • This was a 2 hour drive from the airport​

      • We put in 'Gozalandia Waterfall Parking' into Google Maps and this will take you right where you need to be. Just keep an eye out for the parking sign and follow it back.

      • The drive there is pretty windy and narrow closer to the waterfall, but I have experienced much worse. As long as you take the turns slow, you will be okay

    • Once you park:​

      • You can always ask, but just so you know ahead of time, you will walk towards the pond, so that it's on your right, and go down the stairs​

      • There are two paths- The Upper Falls are to the right and only about a 10 minute walk. This is a smaller waterfall with a rope swing

      • If you keep left, you will find yourself going down stairs and see The Lower Falls which is much bigger (Pictured Below)

      • The overall hiking is extremely easy and quick

  • La Planta Waterfall:

    • Getting Here:

      • put “Primera Cascada de La Planta” in Google Maps which will take you right to a dead end

      • you will pass through a small neighborhood and the streets will be narrow, so just be careful as they are not one ways so you will need to move slowly if someone is coming from the other way

    • Parking:

      • once you get to the dead end you will park and walk back to the right

      • sometimes there is someone there charging $3-5 but there wasn’t anyone there when we parked

    • Walking Down:

      • there will be an old abandoned electrical plant building on the left and someone’s house just passed that which is private property 

      • you will look for a small pathway down to the right and this will lead you straight to this first waterfall

      • if you wade in the water just a little bit down passed this waterfall you will run into an even larger waterfall

  • Manantial de Vega Baja:

    • Getting Here:

      • this is about 50 minutes from Old San Juan

      • we put in "Manantial Tortuguero Spring" into our Google Maps and it took us to the initial parking lot by the road 

    • Parking:

      • you can either park your car in the lot by the road, which I would suggest if you have a car, or you can keep driving back until you reach the spring and there is a lot right there. This was mostly trucks though.

    • Walking Down:

      • if you park at the lot by the road it’s just a 10 minute walk or so to the springs

      • we didn’t see any signs except one that was asking to not litter and pick up your trash so I just used Google Maps as a guide and made sure we were walking in the right direction, but there’s only one road that leads you back here

  • Catamaran Excursion to Cayo Icacos

    • There are two companies that I have done this tour with and both were a really good time, so you can't go wrong either way

    • Both are a 1 hour drive from our Airbnb to Marina Puerto del Rey

      • The Salty Dog Catamaran (linked below)

        • ​​They have an option to pick you up from your hotel in Old San Juan, but since we were staying in an Airbnb they sent us the closest spot and we walked there in the morning
          • Prices on this vary and depends on how many people they pick up, but they will pick you up in a charter bus

        • This was a 4 hour day tour from the Marina to the islands to explore the beaches and then snorkel

          • This came with pre-packaged lunch and an open bar for the entire day (water, rum cocktails and sodas/juices included)

          • $92/person + pick up fee (not mandatory if you can find your own way there)

  • ​​​​East Island Excursions (linked below)

    • This was a 6 hour day tour from the Marina to the islands to explore the beaches and then snorkel

    • This came with lunch and snacks and an open bar for the entire day (water, beer and Liquor included)

    • $75/person

  • Cave Tubing and Zip lining​

    • 1 hour and a half from our Airbnb to Arecibo Observatory

    • This was another long day, about 6 hours total, that included a 40 minute hike, one large zip line by the cave, cave tubing/swimming, white water tubing & 40 minute hike back

    • Tour price: $75/person

Bar Hopping in Old San Juan

  • From this area you can almost walk to any location as long as you plan them out so you are walking in order and stopping at places along the way. There were a few that we had to uber to, but they were short rides

    • Barrachina Restaurant

    • The Mezzanine

    • The Cannon Club- Piano Bar

    • La Factoria​

    • La Sombrilla Rosa

    • Eter Rooftop & Lounge

    • Drinks on the water @ Tijuana Bar and Grill

    • La Placita for Street Food and Bar Hopping

Some Food Spots

One thing to note regarding restaurants- things are just starting to open back up, so even basic places had a huge wait or line. If you can make reservations, I would for every spot. If you don't want to restrict your day by a timeline, you can always ask a worker of the busy spots where they would recommend

  • Breakfast/Brunch:

    • Kasalta

      • We heard that this was one of the best bakeries in town and I can tell you that I would 100% make it a point to put this on your list to try

    • Comedor

      • If you can go here on Sunday, I would highly recommend this, as this is what they are most known for. Because this has blown up on social media, you will definitely want to make reservations well in advanced if possible​

    • Alambique Beach Lounge

  • Lunch:

    • Restaurant Genesis

  • Dinner:

    • La Verguenza rooftop for sunset

    • Santísimo

    • Ajo del Pais

    • Eter Rooftop & Lounge

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