This year, I had the opportunity to enjoy a 4-day trip to Puerto Rico. Although it was a quick trip, I was able to visit during the Saborea Food Festival, which made the trip extra special.
It was our first time visiting Puerto Rico and I have to say, I was impressed with the place. You have the Caribbean vibe and island culture, but with all the conveniences of what you would expect from an American city. We were also a bit concerned with the possible hurricane damage, but I am happy to report that the island is open and ready to welcome visitors. The hotels and beaches were beautiful.
We spent most of our time in the western part of the island where there are cute beaches and boutique hotels. It was a much needed break from the craziness of NYC.
Tip for Instagram photos: The best views, in my opinion, are at Rojo Cabo, in the South Western corner of the island. It has sweeping ocean views from almost all sides, a cute lighthouse that can be used as a photo backdrop, and a pristine beach if you are looking for some water shots.
One of our favorite restaurants on the western side of the island was Mangia Mi, located in the town Rincon. They serve everything from delicious fresh seafood and meats to homemade pasta. Owned by a lesbian couple, Mangia Mi has a super friendly, open kitchen atmosphere.
Puerto Rico overall takes pride in investing in its local cuisine, with a lot of its restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets, getting their supplies from Frutos del Guacabo – a company dedicated to the local production and distribution of organic products. Puerto Rico is really embracing the farm to table movement. I was fortunate enough to visit the Frutos del Guacabo Farm to see how they grow their produce and to taste a freshly prepared meal. It was amazing – check out our photos evidence!
We happened to go during the Saborea Food Festival, an annual food festival that brings together some of the best chefs in Puerto Rico, giving guests the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine. The Festival also features great music, and a variety of wines, beers, desserts, and coffees. The next festival will take place on April 2 – 5, 2020.
One of our favorite meals in San Juan was at Cana by Juliana Gonzalez, located in the El San Juan Hotel. Cana features authentic Puerto Rican flavors. Chef Gonzalez is known for her zest and fresh ingredients, which introduces guests to one of a kind dishes that celebrate the Puerto Rican culture.
We also took a day to visit Casa Bacardi and participated in their tour and mixology class. It was a great time. We got lit! haha. If you go, I definitely recommend the mixology tour. It includes a welcome drink and you get to mix 3 full cocktails. You don’t have to feel guilty because it is also educational – so drink up!
We stayed at the El San Juan Hotel, by Hilton. The recently renovated hotel offers a mix of modern tropical splendor and Old World grandeur. The contemporary accommodations feature floor to ceiling windows, allowing for stunning views of Isla Verde Beach. Guests have access to four pools, a spa, fitness center, shopping, and on site restaurants, including Cana by Juliana Gonzalez, bars, and lounges. I particularly loved the hotel lobby. I think it’s one of the most naturally lively hotel lobby’s I’ve ever seen! There are multiple bars, a stage for performances, and even a nightclub!
Puerto Rico is a dream come true for a travel, lifestyle, and food blogger (and really, for anyone looking to have a relaxing and fun vacation), and whether you want to visit for the beautiful beaches, local cuisine, or both, you are bound to have an amazing time.