Tommy and I like to go on trips for our anniversaries. We choose travel as our gifts to each other, and even have automatic transfer travel fund accounts set up, so that we have money set aside for trips throughout the year. Last year he met me out in Italy, the year before we drove up to Canada to see Niagara Falls, and this year we decided on something more tropical: Puerto Rico.
We booked our flight and hotel package through Expedia (which ended up being a nightmare), but the trip itself went seamlessly. We stayed at the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo. We arranged for the hotel to pick us up from the airport, and as soon as we arrived, we were swept off our feet by the warm and eager staff. They led us through a gorgeous open air lobby, and down to a poolside balcony that looked over the ocean and the nearby islands. The resort owns Palomino Island which is a private island for guests to venture off to during the day. We made that our first stop.
A short ferry ride, and we were laying in white sands, virtually alone, on a private island. Our first surprise: Iguanas. An iguana the size of my leg walked past us on the beach, and we realized we weren't in New York anymore. It was strange how quickly we became used them wandering all over the island (the bottomless mojitos and beer buckets probably helped). Apparently they are not native, and are becoming a bit of an issue, but we didn't mind them!
After romping around the island all day, we chose one of the many, many restaurants on the grounds, and feasted on traditional Puerto Rican dishes. After dinner, we began exploring the beautiful resort, and found ourselves on a private balcony looking out over the stars and the ocean. To my GREAT surprise, Tommy chose that moment to propose. I could not have imagined a more stunning setting for a more important moment.
Over the next few days we went back to the private island, drank at the splash bar in the pool, ordered breakfasts in bed, dined at several of the amazing restaurants, and then when we wanted something new, we took a day trip to the nearby El Yunque Rainforest.
We had a tour guide for the 7 or 8 of us from the resort who took us on a three mile hiking trail through the forest. We stopped midway at a waterfall, and jumped into the (freezing water) to get under the falls. It was both of our first time visiting a rainforest, and it beat all of our expectations.
The last day we decided to spend in San Juan. Our flight was late that night, so we went into the city with no plan. To our luck, we found out San Juan is a very easily walked city. We wandered from one end to the other, and found beautiful churches, forts, castles, cigar shops, art museums, and theatres at every turn. The laid back, colorful city was a perfect way to spend the day.
Overall, Puerto Rico is so much more accessible that we could have imagined. It's a quick flight from almost anywhere in the US, you can use your phone and service as you regularly do, the people are friendly and eager to show you their country. There isn't a better backdrop for a romantic vacation, or even just a quick weekend trip. Consider it for your next adventure!