Puerto Rico Feedback Wanted

Old Mar 19th, 1999, 02:45 PM
Jay Frank
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Puerto Rico Feedback Wanted

My wife and I (middle-aged & middle-income) are considering Puerto Rico as our first Caribbean vacation experience. Puerto Rico interests me because of its (bio)diversity. Please let me know how you'ld rate it in terms of natural beauty, affordability, and safety. Thanks.
Old Mar 19th, 1999, 04:52 PM
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I feel that Puerto Rico would be an interesting and educational choice for you. Rent a car and avoid the resorts. You should spent a full day in Old Town. You might enjoy staying in the old convent, name not certain now, but it was the El Convento Hotel. The location is what you want. Parking is around the corner. Next, plan to tour the island staying in Paradors. The prices are about as reasonable as you will find and the comfort is good. You should visit the caverns. They are a close second to Carlsbad in New Mexico. The terrain near them is facinating. Spend a night in a highland Parador. Stay in Guanica and see the luminous waters. Next stay at a hotel with room looking over the main square near old town in Ponce and watch the people and the changing lights on the fountain. The art museum in Ponce is great and fun. Most will suggest a drive to the rain forest but we like the highlands near the coffee plantations better. As you leave the main resort and tourist areas, Puerto Rico is an interesting island to explore. The danger is minimal and most people speak some English. The island is not just for tourists. Based both on bio and social diversity it has a lot of things going for it. Also it has a lot of affordability along with its two offshore islands of Vieques and Culebra.
I hope this helps. Call the Puerto Rico Tourist Bureau and they will sent you all the info you need. The internet is great but you have a hard time leafing back and forth through pages and you can't carry the internet with you easily. They have all the info you need on Paradors. It is head and shoulders over the US Virgins in most catagories. Also, depending on where you live, Puerto Rico is the gateway the the rest of the Caribbean. Traveling from San Diego, very often we must at least spend the night there. All of the roads are paved and the traffic is light once you leave the San Juan area. The worse traffic is between the airport and San Juan.
Old Mar 20th, 1999, 03:26 PM
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Louis is dead on with his advise. I had to spend a week in San Juan, but (aside from Old San Juan) enjoyed more a couple of days traveling around the island, particularly the area between Ponce, Paraguera, Boqueron, and Joyuda. Would have liked to spend some time in Rincon, too. Will have to be another trip! Also enjoyed a couple of days on Vieques.
Old Apr 4th, 1999, 09:18 AM
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I would have to agree with the other posters here. Hubby and I went to southern PR last April, and though we never made it to San Juan (except for the airport), we enjoyed the beauty and diversity of the rest of the island.

I must disagree on Ponce though. The beach and the downtown area were great. The rest of the town looked as if it had been bombed, and the people were scary. Also, even with my rather extensive knowledge of (Tourist) Spanish, I was still misunderstood by the locals (the PR Spanish is a mixture of LA Spanish and Carib Indian dialect). Also, the food in the smaller towns left a little to be desired. If you wish fine cuisine, stay in San Juan.

Also note that PR has it's own economy, so, in between the palm trees, you will see smokestacks and other elements of industry.

Outside of that, it is a gorgeous place, lots of friendly people, healthy atmosphere. And the diving in La Parguera rivaled anything I saw in the Cayman Islands, the supposed "king" of Caribbean diving (I highly recommend Parguera Divers - get there in the middle of the week, when noone else is there). I don't know if Paradores are cheaper than other accomodations, but the one we stayed in in La Parguera was VERY comfortable. Boat docking was RIGHT THERE! Mangrove islands and everything. I also recommend the windy, yet beautiful drive to the Arecibo Observatory.

Hope this helps as well. And sorry for the long post.
Old Apr 4th, 1999, 11:49 AM
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Hello There:
I may have a few recomendations for you, first visit the oficial web site of The Tourism Company of PR, www.prtourism.com is a new renovated site. When you get to the island look for Que Pasa magazine it has information on every hotel, restaurant and point of interest of PR. If you goto Old San Juan you can visit the office of Tourism Company for more information they are located at La Princesa Bulding or give them a call at (787)721-2400 I dont have the 800 number for them at this time. Hope this help and enjoy your visit to PR.....See you soon.

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