Last Weekend In Puerto Rico

Every few months, the travel bug creeps on me like clockwork.

So last weekend, I rallied my partner-in-crime and together, Kevin and I ravaged Hitlist for a last-minute weekend getaway. As usual, the criteria was simple: flights had to cost no more than 2 weeks worth of eating out ($400 or less), the plane ride no more than 5 hours, and the destination flip-flop-friendly. Our answer was Puerto Rico.

Castillo San Cristóbal

We landed Friday night and spent Saturday morning exploring Old San Juan. Our first destination: Castillo San Cristóbal, the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Castillo San Cristóbal

Partner-in-crime, Cap’t Kevin D.

the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Peeking out through the second level of the fort. Kevin was in the military and I’m a not-so-closet closet nerd. So if you’re into military trivia ( Kevin) + random bits of history (me), here’s a pretty good breakdown of Cristobal and its little secrets (like its underground tunnel system).

Castillo San Cristóbal

Inside Cristóbal.

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From atop of the fort is this amazing sprawl of city. On our way out, we stopped at the Museo de San Juan. Its location is epic: its entrance faces the Atlantic Ocean and the museum sits nonchalantly between two centuries-old forts. No big deal.

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It was too glorious of a day to spend inside so we didn’t actually venture into the museum. Instead we got distracted by the Saturday farmer market’s in the courtyard.

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Homemade goodness like fresh tamales lined the market tables.

World's cutest pineapple P

We found the world’s cutest pineapples at another table.

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A stand cranking out fresh sugarcane juice.

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We took our hot tamales for an impromptu picnic outside Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the second of the two 400-year-old fortifications surrounding Old San Juan.

Castillo San Cristóbal

Inside, we strolled around its 6 levels until we found a secluded wall for some optimal ocean-viewing.

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A 5-minute walk from El Morro, is Ballajá Barracks built by the Spanish militia for its troops and families. We pit stopped for views + coffee. For $6, you walk upstairs to check out the Museo Las Americas.

Puerto-Rico-IslaVerde

And of course, the beach. Puerto Rico has 270 miles of sandy coast to frolick on. So we took a 20 minute drive to the popular, but still pristine Isla Verde for a splash.

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Saturday night ceviche. We popped into Bagua, a local (but highly Yelp-ed) seafood place near our AirBnB in Ocean Park. Fresh grouper in plantain tacos.

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Rum + grilled octopus. This was my favorite dish for its saucy, tender goodness.

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Skirt steak in fried plantain. This was another win.

El Morro castle

Ending the night on top of a fort on a Saturday night…

 

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