I booked a flight to San Juan when I happened to be searching on Google Flights (check out my trip-booking tools), and saw that I could get there and back for about $250. I texted one of my friends who agreed to go, so I booked both of our flights. Later, I invited one other to round out the trip. We used AirBNB to book a bungalow right at Ocean Park Beach, and the plans were all set!
One reason I love Puerto Rico is that although it is a tropical island, it is still a U.S. territory, so I am able to use my cell phone and pay in U.S. currency while still enjoying the perks of being somewhere so....tropical.
On Day 1,(Saturday), we lounged on the beach (Ocean Park) for a short while and then showered and headed to dinner at Mango's Ocean Park Restaurant & Grill. We got a few drinks (they have an award-winning mojito, by the way), Spinach Cod Fritters, Voodoo Wings (get the peanut butter sauce on the side - not on your wings), Chicken Bacon Roulette stuffed w/ Cassava, and a...chicken burger (basic, right?).
On Day 2, I headed to the beach to lounge for a bit, since my co-travelers slept in (see the note at the end of this post). When they finally woke up and we got the day started, I wanted to head to El Yunque, but with only a few hours of daylight left, and bad directions (be careful which Google directions you use...the forrest is big - Once you get in the area, follow the road signs, and go to the ranger station) that plan was a bust. Who wants to be in the rain forrest when it's dark? Not me. So, as an alternative, we went to Old San Juan for drinks, and to watch the sunset at the forts. For dinner we went to El Hamburguer, which is also in Old San Juan. It's an extremely cheap burger joint. I highly suggest the Wine Burger with swiss. The bacon burger seemed kind of dry compared to the wine burger. Later that evening, we stopped by $2, $3, $4 Happy Place for drinks.
Day 3, the final day, we woke up early and went back to El Yunque, this time following better directions, and we drove up to the La Mina trail and parked. It's about a 30-minute hike down the mountain to get to La Mina Falls. Note: Wear comfortable shoes that have a grip, as it is easy to slip and hurt yourself. We saw many smaller waterfalls on our way down the mountain, but La Mina Falls took the cake! When we got there, only one other couple was there, and the husband was in the water. So, we decided to get in the water as well. It was rather cold, but easy to get use to. If you have water shoes, wear those, and it'll be a lot easier to get on the water and step on the rocks without being afraid of hurting your feet. Since it had been raining so much that week, the waterfall was quite powerful, so we didn't get to go under it as I did the first time I ever visited, but it was cool nonetheless. Actually...I would have done it, but my co-travelers were so scared to do it, so I second-guessed my excitement to do it.
That evening we ended our trip with a steak dinner at Fogo de Chao. Yes, I know we could have had that anywhere...well, we wanted it in San Juan! Sue us!
Note: When I travel, I try to pack as much activity into each day as possible...especially if it is a short trip. Yes, I get rest, but I take full advantage of the daylight, and Google definitely becomes my best friend. If you want to sleep all day, and aren't excited about seeing and doing stuff, then you should probably not travel with me. You can sleep at home. K?