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We found that everything we had heard was true: Puerto Rico is the ideal place for big groups from the States. It’s the best parts of an exotic tropical island vacation without any of the international travel headaches.
Considering a group vacation as well? Here’s why we found Puerto Rico a top spot for an easy trip:
We stayed at a resort in the Condado district of San Juan on the advice of another Travelzoo colleague. It was exactly what we wanted -- modern rooms, multiple pools and a location right on the Atlantic Ocean. Our days were spent either hanging out at the pool or beach. The ocean water was crystal clear and the waves were great for swimming.
One day, we did venture out and rented a boat to take us to smaller islands surrounding Puerto Rico. We had to drive about an hour to a marina on the other side of the island, but it was worth it. We had a 30-foot boat with a private captain, so we could go anywhere we wanted. The captain took us to a coral reef where we snorkeled for a little while. Then, we boated over to a couple smaller islands that were filled with other boaters. We took Jet Skis out and swam in the warm Caribbean water. There are many group charters to the islands, but I recommend renting a boat for the privacy and freedom to go where you want. The hotel concierge happily explained our options and priced out the competition for us. The captain provided food and drinks on the boat, so all we did was show up. It was our favorite day of the entire trip.
The nights in Puerto Rico were just as eventful as the days. We went out in different areas and tried lots of new restaurants. After dinner, we explored the area, which during the day is a market and at night becomes bars and restaurants. It’s a very lively atmosphere with people spilling into the streets. The last night of the trip we went into Old San Juan and walked around. It is very charming with narrow cobblestone streets and plazas.