So where do you go when need a weekend R&R sesh away from Miami? Puerto Rico of course! Where else are you supposed to jet when the rest of the country is under snow? Tulsa? I’d rather shop at Sears.
My gals are jetting to the Isla del Encanto next month – and with good reason – it’s a blast. There’s no better place for a Bachlorette party because Puerto Ricans love to party and they do it shamelessly with a bottle of Don Q and some serious mofongo.
Here is the Brickellista guide to conquering the Island, fully equipped with alcoholic beverages, hot cabana boys / spicy Latinas, and of course culture.
Where to Party:
- La Factoria Old San Juan – I have a thing for mixology and tattooed bartenders. This place combines my love of both. This place is tucked away in Old San Juan but it’s a favorite among (young) trendy locals.
- La Taverna de Lupulo – The locals love this place because of the variety of artisanal beers on tap. It s hole in the wall, but it’s a fun low-key party scene to kick start your night.
- The El San Juan – This is an iconic hotel in San Juan. The great thing is that most hotels offer a great party scene for both locals and tourists. It’s a great stop for any trip.
What to Explore:
- Castillo San Felipe del Morro (aka el Morro) – It was built in the 16th century to protect San Juan Bay and to keep pirates away from the hot Puerto Rican ladies (at least that’s what my dad says). The citadel was named in honor of King Phillip II of Spain. Felipe is Phillip in Spanish. Exótico, ¿verdad? If you don’t have a Spanish name – don’t fret use this translator to find your very own Spanish name before you jet to PR.
- El Yunque National Forest – is the only tropical rain-forest that belongs to the U.S Forest Service. There are many companies that offer tours of the rain-forest. I suggest a tour that takes you for a swim under the waterfalls. You can wear your sexiest bikini and have a full on Sport Illustrated style photo shoot in the falls.
- Isla de Vieques & Mosquito Bay – I love anything sparkly and glowy and the waters of Mosquito Bay are like Ultra Music Festival meets… water. There are organisms named Pyrodinium bahamense, Dinoflagellates (dinos) and these “dinos” are responsible for the bioluminescent waters in the Bay. When the “dinos” are shaken they produce a bright burst of blue light. Take that Bill Nye.
Where to Eat:
- Budatai – I know what you are thinking. Asian in Puerto Rico? But before you shun me for this let me tell you that this place is unreal. Chef Roberto Treviño infuses oriental inspired delicacies with traditional Puerto Rican elements. Such as the most delicious Mofongo Soup. Oh and make sure you try the Bread Pudding.
- Jose Enrique – Probably known as Puerto Rico’s most famous Chef, Jose Enrique’s restaurant is harder to get into than a bunch of bros at LIV on a Saturday night. Get there early and save yourself the headache. Unlike LIV it’s worth the wait and every penny.
- Santaella – How can you not try a place that serves Parmesean Orzo Risotto with Chorizo and Dates?! This place is a culinary treat combining Mediterranean dishes with Puerto Rican staples.
- Mezzanine– I’m adding this place because they have the best bottomless mimosa brunch in San Juan. Guava Mimosas. Stop. You had me at bottomless.
So, before you start calling yourself a Boriqua… let’s first define the term, so you too can be sexy smart. Before the Conquistadors settled in Puerto Rico with their Spanish armada of smallpox and measles, the original peoples of Puerto Rico were the Taíno and they called their Island – Borikén. Puerto Ricans that have strong roots to their Island call themselves Boriquas or Boriquén in honor of the original inhabitants of the Island.
Now that you’re armed with a few basics you can roam the Island and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Don’t worry, if you get lost, Puerto Ricans love to help… and 90% of them speak Spanglish so you can communicate at ease.