We've been to Puerto Rico a couple of times in the past few years because we love the proximity to central Kansas (seriously). We can hop on a plane out of Kansas City, make one stop and arrive in Puerto Rico by afternoon. No passport required and the airfare is relatively inexpensive compared to other warm climate destinations.
We took a chance at a bed and breakfast on our first visit and, because we love it so much, we stayed there a second time and would love to go back again!
El Escondido Guest House is located on the edge of the Caribbean National Rain Forest in the Sierra de Luquillo Mountain Range overlooking the north coast of the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan. They offer five rooms all with private baths en suite on almost 10 acres of lush botanical gardens. Guests can explore the trails on their own or go on a guided morning tour.
The location is close enough to the city to enjoy its abundance of restaurants, nightlife, entertainment and culture, yet far enough away to enjoy the sounds of nature and take in the impressive views of the surrounding countryside. Also nearby is El Yunque National Forest, several lightly populated beaches, the ferry docks in Fajardo and many tour companies offering mountain biking, hang-gliding, horseback riding, zip lines and many other activities. The owners of El Escondido are locals who live near the Guest House and have extensive knowledge of the surrounding area and are more than happy to assist in your daily itinerary. See El Escondido Guest House's website HERE. We enjoyed gathering with other guests on the patio next to the pool and enjoying the amazing views of the mountainside and clear to the ocean with San Juan in site each evening. Hearing about their adventures gave us ideas for excursions we might like and we in turn shared tips with them. We played board games, enjoyed cocktails and just chatted under the stars.
We rent a car so we can get around quickly and at our whim. The gentlemen at El Escondido gave a us a great tip on a beautiful but less busy beach. It was gorgeous - thanks guys! We grabbed some snacks and cold drinks and headed to the beach!
A visit to the (free) El Yunque National Forest is a must for anyone visiting Puerto Rico. There are paved trails, semi-finished trails and hiking trails. The types of trails are clearly marked. Parking can be a bit of a challenge but well worth it. This is an experience you do not want to miss and would be worth the trip to PR.
The cuisine is amazing! You'll notice that we choose to go more local with our dining experiences off the beaten path. La Familia in Canovanas, the grocery store up the hill from the Guest House, roadside kiosks are all worth trying. Knowing a little bit of Spanish is helpful in communicating with the staff. Did I mention the food was quite amazing?
On this trip we enjoyed visiting the market in San Juan, a tour of Baracardi with the mixmaster class, a local baseball game featuring Cangrejeros de Santurce and a walk around Old San Juan.