72 Hours in Puerto Rico: Where to Eat, Stay and Play

04/27/2015 01:31 pm ET | Updated Jun 27, 2015
Inti St. Clair via Getty Images

Dubbed "The Island of Enchantment," Puerto Rico is the perfect quick getaway for East Coasters. It's only a few hours flight to white sandy beaches, glowing waters, an ever-growing restaurant scene, and a rich history with Spanish and American influences. No passport is needed for Americans, as the tropical islands are a Caribbean dream all within the United States.


Nestled in coconut palms along Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is the epitome of exclusive luxury. Every room is directly on the beach, and guests have access to infinity pools, three distinct golf courses, and the luscious five-acre Spa Botánico. The hotel is also home to ocean-view dining with top of the class Spanish cuisine at Mi Casa run by Chef José Andrés.


Opening up in an area that was previously one of Puerto Rico's areas of high society and Old Hollywood glamour, the Ritz Dorado spins a story of history and luxury. The hotel recaptures Laurance S. Rockefeller's passion for the environment through its nature driven decor, eco-resort title and Rockefeller Nature Walk from land to sea.


The hotel also offers a complimentary Photography Concierge session with the backdrop of a breathtaking coastline.


St. Regis Bahia sits on the border of El Yunque National Rain Forest and Espíritu Santo River, making it a prime location for exploring Puerto Rico's tropical landscape. El Yunque is a 28,000 acre reserve that's well-staffed for its network of forest hikes and also has a zipline for the adventurous types. Espíritu Santo features lush plant and animal life and is Puerto Rico's only navigable river via canoe and kayak.


The hotel is the perfect mix of cultural diversity and a modern escape. It's built on a former coconut plantation and is 30 minutes away from Old San Juan. Over 65% of the property is preserved as green areas, and it even has a private bird sanctuary.



If you're looking for a quiet getaway, Vieques is the ideal spot. The small island underwent a metamorphosis from a navy base bombing range to a paradise of turquoise beaches, quaint fishing villages, and the world's brightest bioluminescent bay. You can book a flight from San Juan on Vieques Air Link or AirFlemenco for roughly $150, although they weigh and charge you for luggage, so pack light. Another option is to take the ferry for $2, but the ride is choppy and takes about 1.5 hours.


The W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island nestles on two private, secluded beaches. Day activities include tennis, horseback riding and an array of water sports. At night, get your stargazing on by going on an evening kayaking tour to experience the world's brightest bioluminescent bay.

The hotel's restaurant, Sorcé, offers a creative twist on Carribean cuisine with dishes like stuffed Caribbean lobster and a Viequense version of bouillabaisse. Off property, go for fine PuertoRican dining at Bili and make sure to try the fried snapper and mofongo dumplings.


Puerto Rico is a tropical gem that makes for the perfect and convenient city escape. Whether you're an adventure seeker to a beach bum, you'll definitely find something to suit your tastes.

Amy Chan is a lifestyle and relationship columnist. To read more of her articles, visit or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.