Topic Wiki

Info for the jewish traveler
http://www.chabadpr.com/


Hotels   (feel free to add suggestions)
   Before booking any hotel check the Chabad website they have very good rates for the popular hotels that are close to them

   Ritz Carlton

   http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SanJuan/Default.htm
        DDF'r Hotel Review
        http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg462832#msg462832
   St. Regis
   http://www.stregisbahiabeach.com/
       DDF'r Hotel Review
       http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg161581#msg161581
   El San Juan
   http://www.elsanjuanhotel.com/default-en.html
   Gran Melia
   http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/puerto-rico/coco-beach/gran-melia-puerto-rico-golf-resort/index.html
         DDF'r Hotel Review
         http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg927319#msg927319


Preferred Car Rental
   http://www.chabadpr.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2370163/jewish/Charlie-Car-Rental.htm


Kosher food
  Old San Juan
   Kosher in Paradise, Israeli style. With panini, falafel and more.  They can deliver to your hotel for a fee
   261 Fortaleza Street.
   787-244-3399
   Chabad (next to The Ritz and El San Juan)
   http://shop.chabadpr.com/   (please someone add info regarding this)


Things to do

   Bioluminescent Bay
   http://www.pureadventurepr.com/adventure_trips/bio_bay_lagoon_tour_excursion/
 
   El Yunque rainforest
   http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147324-d1448148-Reviews-The_El_Yunque_Rain_Forest-El_Yunque_National_Forest_Puerto_Rico.html

   ATV/Horseback Riding
   http://www.carabalirainforestpark.com/atv.php

   Casa Bacardi Distillery Tour- Rum Factory
   http://www.casabacardi.org/

   Explore Old San Juan-
   Castillo de San Cristobal- Old Forts in Old San Juan

   http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm

   Vieques and Culebra
    2 small islands with fabulous beaches that, IMHO are more interesting than the main island. (and Vieques has its own biobay)

  Mini Boat Adventure
  http://www.kayakingpuertorico.com/pages/island_hop_snorkel.html


Trip Reports:

   http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg651144#msg651144

   http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7995.msg1063469#msg1063469

Author Topic: Puerto Rico Master Thread  (Read 170804 times)

Offline jmoski

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #140 on: October 27, 2013, 08:13:21 PM »
can anyone compare the ritz, caribe hilton, and intercontinental in regards to vacation with toddler. playgrounds, beach, toddler pool etc. staying a few days at el conquistador, but planning on switching hotels mid - vacation. thanks in advance

Offline sky121

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #141 on: November 05, 2013, 03:34:12 PM »
Round two.


To be continued...

Anytime.. :)
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline alpicone

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #142 on: November 05, 2013, 05:04:47 PM »
Let me know how the EL is.  I've heard reports ranging from horrible to excellent.  It looks like we're going to stay at the Embassy Suites, as of now.

The El San Juan was OK. We had a decent experience (unlike the horrible reviews online) but would not recommend the hotel especially if staying with young kids.

The hotel is basically a large club which is nice if you want to party but not so great it you are there with kids on a family vacation. A lot of people complain about the staff and the noise. I was pleasantly surprised by most of the staff who were very nice and helpful. We were on the 7th floor so we didn't have an issue with loud music but I was woken up at 4am one night from people the the hallway on the way back from their room. Other people that I met in the lobby were complaining to me about the noise but I guess I was too tired to hear most of it.

We were upgraded to a Jr Suite which was very spacious for 2 adults and 2 kids even with a roll-away and crib. My biggest complaint was that the room was not cleaned well. Didn't bother me much but my wife wasn't happy. The also said that the room doesn't come with a fridge(even though the website says it does) and wanted to charge me $26/day for the fridge. They sent it and never charged for it so I didn't have to fight that one. They must have charged someone else as I was charged over $100 for charges that weren't mine. They took it off when I went to the front desk but it was still annoying.

The pool and grounds were nice overall and we had a good time but would not recommend the hotel.

I picked this hotel over the Ritz because it was $50 less per night with the Chabad rates but if I were to go to PR again (which I probably won't) I would stay at the Ritz.

Offline daveb

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #143 on: November 10, 2013, 03:08:32 PM »
hi  does anyone  know the hashgacha status of  the restaurant in san juan? I don't have any problems with any it I just dont  know anything about it.

Offline Mordyk

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #144 on: December 03, 2013, 01:32:48 PM »
Hi, im planning a san juan vacation.  i got a cyber monday marriott deal. wanted to know if anyone went with a baby. and which places are a must-see(besides the beach 8) ).  thanks!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:44:00 PM by Mordyk »
#TYH

Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #145 on: December 03, 2013, 04:13:26 PM »
Hi, im planning a san juan vacation.  i got a cyber monday marriott deal. wanted to know if anyone went with a baby. and which places are a must-see(besides the beach 8) ).  thanks!

My buddy went with a 1-year old a few months ago.  I have his itinerary if you'd like it.  Shoot me a PM with your email and I can send it over.  He traveled with a relative as a babysitter so they can also do non-kid-friendly activities.

Offline Dan

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #146 on: December 03, 2013, 04:21:04 PM »
Why not just post it?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #147 on: December 03, 2013, 05:19:56 PM »
I didn't want to post it because it's not the most organized.

Either way, here y'all go:

Thursday night:
8:35pm - Fly out, arrive late, rent car @Avis and unpack.

Friday:
A)   bike along the beach $39 two hours (with baby seat) (https://sites.google.com/site/rentbicycletours/)
or do the tour of the city or the boardwalk (https://sites.google.com/site/rentbicycletours/rental--tours)
B)   get ready for shabbos

Shabbos
at chabad in morning, board games, motzai shabbos – (big parties) – casino?

Sunday:
Old San Juan etc:
•   free trolley around El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) –
o   http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/old-san-juan-walking-tour-1/
•   walking tour of 2 castles (Castillo San Cristobal & Castillo San Felipe del Morro)
•   kite flying? and Calle Del Cristo (tourist shopping)
o   + children’s museum of Old San Juan (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147320-d149919-Reviews-Museo_del_Nino-San_Juan_Puerto_Rico.html)
•   if bored, do Bacardi ferry?

Monday:
A.   Barefoot Travelers Kayak Tour to Monkey Island
a.   (For Dina: kid’s waterpark 1 mile away)
B.   Drive back then possibly Bacardi tour or Don Q store?
a.   http://www.casabacardi.org/content.aspx?section=welcome
i.   arrive via ferry from old san juan? http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/catano-ferry/
C.   night tour of old san juan? http://www.legendsofpr.com/nighttales.htm

Tuesday:
Driving Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/CKE1L (approx 1.25 hours)
•   El-yunque Rain forest – La Mina waterfall trail (paved) hiking (ranger tour @11am or self guided)
o   (overview: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/el-yunque-overview/)
•   Luquillo Beach – 20 minutes away, snorkeling at beach / lunch.
o   http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147324-d148049-Reviews-Luquillo_Beach-El_Yunque_National_Forest_Puerto_Rico.html
o   do the Balenario Monserrate (next to luqillo to the right after kiosk to the pay-parking)
•   Bio Baby Bay tour in evening http://bioislandpr.com/service_excursion.html (electric boat )

Wednesday:
Arecibo: 1.5 hour drive, Directions - http://goo.gl/maps/wkIil
A)   Arrive EARLY (at 8:30) w/ sneakers @ Rio Camuy Cave Tour (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1383492-d147952-Reviews-or10-Rio_Camuy_Cave_Park_Parque_de_las_Cavernas_del_Rio_Camuy-Arecibo_Puerto_Rico.html#REVIEWS)
(overview: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/rio-camuy-caves-park/)
B)   Arecibo Observatory http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1383492-d147943-Reviews-Arecibo_Observatory-Arecibo_Puerto_Rico.html

Thursday:
A)   Back to Old San Juan to finish up walking tour?
B)   Beach day / rain-makeup day and /or shopping  - Plaza las Americas (bowling, movies, shopping) (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147320-d274582-Reviews-Plaza_las_Americas-San_Juan_Puerto_Rico.html)
C)   Jetskiing for Dina… https://www.facebook.com/pages/KNO-Jet-Ski-Rental-Banana-Boat-and-Fishing-Charter/153339038033415
D)   horseback riding by the beach: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g2721197-d2658965-Reviews-Horseback_Riding_Puerto_Rico-Manati_Puerto_Rico.html

Friday: return car and flying back early in the morning.
(YAY.) (because it’s awesome)

parking in OSJ
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147320-i72-k5995689-Trick_to_parking_lots_in_OSJ-San_Juan_Puerto_Rico.html
jetskiing:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147320-i72-k6153811-Jet_ski_rental_in_Condado-San_Juan_Puerto_Rico.html
night tour?
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147320-d584016-Reviews-Legends_of_Puerto_Rico-San_Juan_Puerto_Rico.html#REVIEWS

Offline Mordyk

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #148 on: December 03, 2013, 08:38:18 PM »
Thanx!! first time going on vacation with my 8 month old, wanted to do the most possible with a baby.  i will try to post the outcome after i finish my trip :D
#TYH

Offline E-MAN

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #149 on: December 04, 2013, 11:35:37 AM »
Thanks great info!

Offline Aaaron

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #150 on: December 19, 2013, 02:52:19 PM »
Just got back.  We rented an apt in Ocean Park that we found on AirBNB.  It wasn't the Ritz, but it was nice and crazy cheap.  Here's what we ended up doing (the itinerary included notes from TripAdvisor and other review sites; my notes are in red) :

Quote
Sunday:

Bacardi Factory Tour - http://www.casabacardi.org/content.aspx?section=welcome

Tours
Monday-Saturday
from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
(Last tour at 4:15 PM)
Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(Last tour at 3:45 PM)

From San Juan take Highway 22 west to the Cantaño exit, Road 165. The plant is visible on the right about a mile from the exit on Road 165, Km 2.6, Int. 888, at the Bay View Industrial Park in Cantaño.

This was cool, with two free drinks, but don't expect to see any rum being produced.  It's mainly a tour about the history of the company.

Tour/free trolly around old San Juan.  – The three trolleys run continuously 7am-7pm Mon-Fri, and 9am-7pm Sat-Sun. They are free to use, and you can hop on or off at any of the trolley stops.

Parking in OSJ:  As stated above, parking lots are easy to find . What is difficult is to find a spot on the street. If you use the lots by Recinto Sur they will be cheap. If you use the ones uphill by El Morro, then be prepared to pay a hefty fee. If you travel during rush hour, don't use the highway as explained above.

We just used Waze to get into the city and then found parking pretty easily.  There's a row of garages down by the cruise ship docks


Monday:

hiking/ waterfalls in El Yunque
   Do not skip the lookout tower, the view is priceless.
We started with La Coca and Yokahu Tower, very different views and both incredible. We also enjoyed hikes to La Mina Falls and Britton Tower. We arrived around 10 and stayed until around 2.

Skip the visitor center.  It's just a way for them to charge you money and give you a map.  Just drive up the road straight to La Coca falls.  We climbed around the fence and up the rocks to the falls which was really cool and wouldn't be allowed on the mainland.  Also, we thought this falls was nicer than La Mina, but La Mina has more water to go into, if you're into that.  Definitely do the lookout tower too, the views are incredible.  Then we hiked the Big Tree Trail to La Mina, and got caught in a bunch of storms.  The hike takes about 25 minutes each way.

Maybe do JungleQui:  Ziplining

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1006845-d3215038-Reviews-or20-JungleQui_Rainforest_Ecoadventure_Park-Rio_Grande_Puerto_Rico.html#REVIEWS

They were closed due to having the lines inspected.

BOOKED  5pm – Bio Bay

787-202-6551
http://www.pureadventurepr.com/adventure_trips/bio_bay_lagoon_tour_excursion/
   Duration: 2 hours (Weather permitting)
   Meeting times: 5:00pm & 7:00pm
   Launch Site: Las Croabas, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
   Trip rate: $51.36* per person ($45 in cash)
*For groups of 12 adventurers and more a deposit will be required. Rates valid up to August 31st, 2014. Tax included.

We went with Pureadventure and were really happy.  It was a full moon so they brought tarps to cover ourselves to see the glow, which was pretty cool.  USE A LOT OF BUG SPRAY.  They offer it.  Use it.

http://www.yokahukayaks.com/tours_Bio.html
•   Tours at 6pm and 8pm (subject to change).
•   $45

Tuesday:
BOOKED  9am – Horseback Riding at Campo Rico – 787-629-0222 - http://www.camporicotrailrides.com/countryside-horse-back-ride/ 

We ended up with a private tour which was nice, but 2 hours was too long.  I would recommend an hour.


Toro Verde Nature park: - http://www.toroverdepr.com/

Highlight of our trip!  The views driving up there are incredible.  It's all the way up in the central mountains.  We did the 8 line trip, so we didn't do the Beast which I kind of regret.  The lines were really awesome.

Wednesday:

Horseback riding - Rancho Buena vista Sunday or Wednesday- 1 or 2(expert) hours in Humacao –
We are open from Wednesday to Sunday. We have for beginners or little experience riders we have an hour tour for $35.00 +tax per person and an hour and half tour for $45.00 + tax. Our tours hours are: 9am, 1pm and at 3pm
For reservations you can call (787) 479-7479 or send an email to info@ranchobuenavistapr.com.


BOOKED  9:30am – Kayaking - Barefoot Travelers monkey island, Humacao – 787-850-0508

http://www.barefoottravelersrooms.com/index.php

They canceled due to weather which was unfortunate as we were really looking forward.  Instead, we went back to the old city and visited the Morro Fort, which was pretty cool and has a lot of history.  We also went to the El San Juan and killed time at the casino before our flight back (2 out of the 3 of us made money :) )

We ate at the Chabad welcome center in Old San Juan twice.  Food was pretty good but expect it to take some time to get made.

The above itinerary has some stuff that we didn't end up doing also.   

Offline Mordyk

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #151 on: December 31, 2013, 12:58:30 PM »
hi, does anyone know if any of the attractions need to be booked in advance?
#TYH

Online Lou Bob

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #152 on: December 31, 2013, 03:16:56 PM »
hi, does anyone know if any of the attractions need to be booked in advance?
iirc, kayaking to the glowing water needed some advance booking.  Maybe a week.  Could be cuz I went in the summer
Always use an Amex, you'll thank me one day.

Offline 972sg212

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #153 on: January 14, 2014, 12:02:32 AM »
Anyone have a Review of the Intercontinental San Juan ?
 Booked it on Priceline for $102 a night , with name your price . I read a review that they have a resort fee ,anyone know how much it is ?

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #154 on: January 14, 2014, 02:29:32 PM »
Anyone have a Review of the Intercontinental San Juan ?
 Booked it on Priceline for $102 a night , with name your price . I read a review that they have a resort fee ,anyone know how much it is ?
Did you try their website? Im sure they have a phone number as well

Offline yas

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #155 on: January 14, 2014, 06:28:09 PM »
Anyone have a Review of the Intercontinental San Juan ?
 Booked it on Priceline for $102 a night , with name your price . I read a review that they have a resort fee ,anyone know how much it is ?
When I stayed there in the summer I payed 34.02 resort fee + 24.53 occupancy tax.

For $102 in the winter you got yourself a great deal.

Offline 972sg212

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #156 on: January 14, 2014, 11:04:08 PM »
Did you try their website? Im sure they have a phone number as well

Thanks for your input
 I was asking as i haven't received a straight answer

Offline dvol

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #157 on: January 15, 2014, 03:54:29 PM »
Thanks for your input
 I was asking as i haven't received a straight answer

http://hotels.travelocity.com/hotel/HotelDetail.do?propertyId=21713&tab=features

What you should know:

    A daily resort fee of 18% taxable at 11% (total of 19.98%) is collected at time of booking for this property

Offline dvol

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #158 on: January 15, 2014, 03:55:07 PM »
I believe almost all hotels in PR charge resort fee. Easiest way to find out the exact amount would be to call and give your reservation number.

1.888.614.1750

Offline 972sg212

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Re: Puerto Rico Master Thread
« Reply #159 on: January 15, 2014, 10:59:51 PM »
http://hotels.travelocity.com/hotel/HotelDetail.do?propertyId=21713&tab=features

What you should know:

    A daily resort fee of 18% taxable at 11% (total of 19.98%) is collected at time of booking for this property

I believe almost all hotels in PR charge resort fee. Easiest way to find out the exact amount would be to call and give your reservation number.

1.888.614.1750

Thanks