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Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? #19141
04/17/2013 12:07 PM
04/17/2013 12:07 PM
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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We are in the process of planning our winter 2014 trip. The original idea of a crewed charter for 5 nights and STJ for 5 nights isn't coming together like I had planned.

SJU is an easy flight for us and would be a good stop-over to STJ. Does anyone have thoughts about El Yunque and nearby beaches? Accomodations? Under-rated, over-rated activities?

We have a young son who will be 8yo at time of travel. He goes everywhere with us and loves the beach and all things nature (hiking, animals, adventure).

We stayed in OSJ two years ago and really enjoyed it.

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Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: Cleobeach] #19142
04/17/2013 02:40 PM
04/17/2013 02:40 PM
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Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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Cleobeach,

Puerto Rico has always been a special place for my wife and me. It was where we spent our first two years of marriage. A couple years ago we went back and just spent the week circumnavigating the island. We stayed in El Yungue for a two days and 1 night at Casa Cubuy Eco-Lodge. Although the place is a little tired the location is absolutely amazing. Perched high on a mountain, the sounds of waterfalls and coqui frogs will put you to sleep at night. And when you arise here is your view.

[Linked Image]

The place is run by a retired School Teacher (Defense Dept) who has live in PR since the early 70s and her son. It is not a Hilton by any stretch, but if location matters and you like to hike this may be the place for you for a couple days. Just a short walk below the eco-lodge is a wonderful waterfall with a great pool for swimming after a hike.

[Linked Image]

If you do not like to be in remote places where there are zero street lights at night this is not the place for you – there is nothing there but jungle, frogs, flowers, and waterfalls. And in our case we were the only guest also.

We are also big fans of the western side of the island. The beaches of Jobos, Borinquen, Crashboat, and Rincon are a big draw for us. Albeit they can be fairly rough in the winter time many of these same beaches are great for whale watching. Rincon is also known as a world class surfing location. Unfortunately on our last visit it was during a Tropical Depression and the water was pretty churned up but this should give you view into the beaches.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The Paradores (small inns or like a BB) can provide you some out of the way places to experience also. I cannot remember the name but there was a Parador in old coffee plantation near Mayagüez that was absolutely beautiful.

Of course there is the Arecibo Observatory that may peak the interest of your 8 year old, but if you are not prone to car sickness continue on Highway 10 up to Utuado and over to Ponce on the south coast. What a ride!

There is so much more to PR once you get out of San Juan. San Juan is great big city, but it is a big city… of course IMHO.


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: TomB] #19143
04/19/2013 09:44 AM
04/19/2013 09:44 AM
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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Thanks Tom! 99% certain we are going. Our plan is to head to STJ afterwards. Can we see enough in three full days? I realized "enough" is subjective. Maybe a better way to ask is can we get a feel for the place over the course of 3 full days? I am planning 5 nights on each island.

Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: Cleobeach] #19144
04/22/2013 03:23 PM
04/22/2013 03:23 PM
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TomB Offline
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There would be a lot of car time. Not sure the 8 year old would enjoy that much time in a car. It is a 2+ hour ride to the west end of the island depending on traffic.

El Yunque is a fairly easy drive, however the resort I talked about can only be approached from the south side since the bridge washed out 3 or 4 years ago. There are plenty of places in El Yunque closer to SJ than the one I referenced.

I think if I was traveling with an 8 yr old I think the rain forest would be my primary goal and then wait for the calmer waters of STJ to enjoy the sea.


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: TomB] #19145
04/22/2013 05:46 PM
04/22/2013 05:46 PM
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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Quote
TomB said:
There would be a lot of car time. Not sure the 8 year old would enjoy that much time in a car. It is a 2+ hour ride to the west end of the island depending on traffic.


we would wait until the next morning to drive to the airport to fly to STT.

Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: Cleobeach] #19146
04/23/2013 11:03 AM
04/23/2013 11:03 AM
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TomB Offline
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So you fly into SJU spend the night
Day 2-4 explore the island
Day 5 return to SJU and fly to STT?

You can definitely get a feel for the island and explore where you would like to return and stay longer.


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: TomB] #19147
04/23/2013 11:28 AM
04/23/2013 11:28 AM
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Cleobeach Offline OP
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Cleobeach  Offline OP
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Almost. We would fly into SJU in the morning and drive to El Yungue for five nights then back to SJU in the morning to fly to STT. So we would have three full days there.

Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: Cleobeach] #19148
04/23/2013 05:31 PM
04/23/2013 05:31 PM
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Dougie Offline
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Add Guavate to the list, if you enjoy roast pig with all the trimmings. The tiny town has at least 6-8 open air places that compete for the lechon trade with festive decor and colorful Puerto Rican dance music.
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />
The place has been featured on both Bourdain and Zimmerman.

Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: Cleobeach] #19149
04/25/2013 07:45 AM
04/25/2013 07:45 AM
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TomB Offline
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Dougie is right - Guavate! Never been but have always wanted to experience. Three full days in the Rain Forest, and may be a day long. Here again if nature and hiking are your thing you will want too stay longer.... There is never a right answer. Enjoy


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: Planning winter 2014 trip, thoughts on El Yunque? [Re: TomB] #19150
06/06/2013 03:33 PM
06/06/2013 03:33 PM
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Vieques, PR
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amurphy08 Offline
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Guavate is awesome.


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