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Puerto Rico trip 01/01
      #17126 - 01/30/01 03:35 PM (63.78.115.68)

After 2 years of reading this BB and the old one and planning a trip to SXM, I end up in PR instead. I have also
forgotten my username and password (sorry Eric & Carol) so I file this report anonymously. There does not seem
to be a wealth of BB activity for PR so I did a lot of independent research on the island after USAir announced
e-savers for $255 direct from Charlotte. My wife and I flew down on the 24th and returned last night - the 29th. I
have noticed many complaints about various airlines, in particular AA, however we had no problem on either leg.
Our destination was Parador Villa Antonio in Rincon which is on the western coast about 100 miles from
San Juan. I saw drive time estimates ranging from 2 to 2 1/2 hours. We landed about 4:00 pm and after
picking up the rental car and negotiating San Juan rush hour, straggled into Rincon shortly after 7:00. Much of
the route is via expressway but there are frequent tolls to pay and the last third of the journey has many stoplights.
I would allow 3 1/2 hours drive time because San Juan traffic is so congested. Rincon in general and Villa
Antonio in particular were worth the drive. My wife and I are not fans of the large resort chains and never
considered staying at one, in part because of the costs and also the somewhat sterile environment they seem
to foster. Villa Antonio is privately owned and offers a range of accommodations (most with kitchens) from
$85 to $135 a night - directly on the beach. The grounds resemble a tropical garden and are kept immaculate.
We rented a one br 'cottage' on the second floor of a newer building for $115/night. We had a huge balcony facing the ocean where we could take drinks and meals while enjoying the ocean breezes and famous sunsets. The rooms all come with ac but we never cut it on. Temperatures ranged from mid eighties during the day to mid seventies at night with steady breezes - very few bugs. Rincon is famous for its' surfing beaches to the north and
there are many surfers that have visited over the years, never to leave. It reminded me of South Florida, where I grew up, in the sixties and early seventies before development overwhelmed the area. There is an interesting
mix of locals and norteamericanos. There is one outstanding restaurant in Rincon - the Horned Dorset Primivera,
where we had intended to dine but somehow never got around to doing so. Instead we enjoyed fresh (FRESH)
very reasonably priced seafood at three smaller establishments. The Black Eagle stands out because of the view
as well as the menu. They also threw a hell of a superbowl bash where a party of 6 young women from Ocean City
Md cheered Baltimore to victory much to the dismay of the owner (Larry B.) who is a Giants fan. The other two
nights we dinned in using our own kitchen where the results can vary depending on the alcoholic intake of the
chef. I would visit Rincon and Villa Antonio again, preferably with similar airfare deals. It is a laid-back experience
best suited for the laid-back traveler.

Edited by Administrator on 2/14/01 02:45 PM.



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