Road Trip through Puerto Rico and where to stop along the way.
Discover the beauty of Puerto Rico’s most popular cities & what they have to offer. Drive over the mountains through Guavate for some tasty local food. Visit the historic city of Ponce and feel like you have traveled back in time. Hang out with the locals in Aguada, and finish off the trip in the city of Old San Juan for more historical views, great food and drinks.
Drive Through the Mountains to Guavate, PR
Driving on PR-184 towards Guavate takes you up through beautiful mountains with a birds eye view. You will come into Guavate where Pork Highway is. This is a must go there hungry kinda town. Filled with vendors selling local trinkets, crafts, & pastries. The reason they call it Pork Highway is because the main vendors are restaurants along the mountain road roasting up pork. Also known as Lechón. A famous dish in Puerto Rican Culture. Pair it with a Medalla for the ultimate Lechon experience.
Visit the Historic Town of Ponce, PR
Head South down the mountain tops into historic town called Ponce. Named after Ponce de Leon. A Spanish explorer and conquistador. Serving as the first Governor of PR in 1509. Take a walk around town because it is filled with old architectural buildings and a beautiful church called Cathedral de la Guadalupe. Ponce also holds a great appreciation for a group of firefighters who volunteered to fight a fire back in 1899. If you go to Calle 25 de Enero, still occupied today, you’ll find a row of red and black houses built for them and their families.
Hang with Locals at a Speak Easy in Aguadilla, PR
Stay near a local beach like Playa Peña near Aguadilla. We got an Airbnb in Aguada on a beautiful horse farm. Unfortunately, we experienced a power outage, so our stay in the barn was very uncomfortable. The next day we moved to a guest house in Aguadilla. This led us to explore more of the area. There is a strip of restaurants along the bay of Rte 442 called Paseo Real Marina. It’s filled with music, friendly locals, and a beautiful waterfront walkway to catch the sunset. If you stay past sundown, which seemed pretty safe, head to #34 Calle Ramón E. Betances. There you will find a great speakeasy bar aka (blind pig) called Timber & Blues . They serve delicious cocktails and are super chill. These towns are a great way to experience and live the life of a local.
Experience the Culture in Old San Juan, PR
Old San Juan- Old City – After a couple of great days exploring Puerto Rico, you’re going to want to finish your trip in no other than Old San Juan. This historic town is very popular with many things to do & see. Explore buildings dating back to the 16th century, relax at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro with ocean breezes and check out some of the best bars that PR has to offer. Such as El Batey or La Factoria, which are infamous for filming music videos like Despacitio by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee or the Beibs. And the latest Concion Bonita by Ricky Martin & Carlos vives. We always stop by these bars, there’s just something about them that makes you feel like you are living in Puerto Rico.
Rent a Car at the SJU Airport
Renting a car to explore the mountains and West side of PR is a must. But its going to take a little research. Luckly we just explored PR so here is what I recommend. Rent a car from the airport so you do not have to wait for a shuttle to the a rental dealer. Here is a list of the SJU Airport rent-a-cars. Drop the car off at the airport and Uber to Old San Juan. Its all very walkable and parking is almost non existant there.
Stay at a Local Guest House
If you are like me, Airbnb is the way to go. You can find some real gems all around PR, such as guesthouses that are open to hosting you and your party. Our backup in Aguadilla after a blackout in Aguada was the perfect place for us. All we needed was a bed, hot shower and some cold ass AC. Book with Discobery beach Guest House and tell Joel I sent you. And when in Old San Juan, staying in one of those colorful stone buildings is everything. You can breath in the culture stepping into one of those. Check out ZhuraBi’s place on Calle De La Cruz, Its just as beautiful inside as it is outside and so are the hosts.
Do you need a Covid Test to Fly into PR?
Yes! SJU requires you to submit Covid results 5 days prior to entering. You can submit your results here. If you are vaccinated you can upload your vaccination card or an antibody test showing positive. If you for-go submitting anything, you will be required to take a test at the airport.
Enjoy Your Roadtrip Through PR!
Take long weekend to explore what this beautiful Island has to offer. I’ve taken you over the mountains and back through an adventure that creates memories and mishaps that you may have figure out, like finding a last-minute place to sleep. But go explore these great cities because every passthrough is different. I hope you visit soon as things may start to tighten up again due to Covid & the Delta Variant. Check the CDC website here for any updates on travel.