Vacations in Puerto Rico
4 tips if you travel to Puerto Rico on a budget for 4 days
Puerto Rico is an island with plenty of things to do. Perfect all year long and plenty of natural wonders and wonderful sunsets and sunrise. Between the beautiful beaches that surround us, rivers, and the waterfalls that are at the center of the island between our mountains, there’s a lot to visit.
The best of all? You don’t have to break the piggy bank to visit Puerto Rico if you follow our advice. It’s important to know how many days you are staying in our island and the places you want to see, that way you can plan your vacation without breaking the bank. Our advice for you is to stay in San Juan, if you are going to travel 4 days.
Dreams hotel Miramar recommends you follow these tips for your next vacation in Puerto Rico;
High season in Puerto Rico begins in October and ends in April. Due to high demand during the high season, the ticket costs of the airplane tickets are higher. That’s why we recommend you visit the island between August and September to get cheaper tickets. Most of the time, if you buy the tickets beforehand, or if you travel between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, there’s a possibility get cheaper tickets.
Transportation in San Juan
Rental Car, Taxi, Train Uber or Public Transport?
In the metro area you can use various types of transportation, each one with their own advantage. Your selection depends on the activities you wish to do!
If your visit to the island is for only 4 days, and you stay in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, it’s not necessary to rent a car.
It will be more cost effective not to rent a car. Renting a car will be approximately $100 daily. After that you need to pay parking at Old San Juan.
San Juan is divided in different sectors, but Old San Juan locally known as Viejo San Juan is the most visited area by tourists in Puerto Rico. 85 percent of the tourist who visit the island stay in San Juan. This cultural space has history, art, gastronomy, tourist excursions, nightly activities, and other opportunities to have fun.
To visit Old San Juan most of the time you will walk to the places of your choice and it’s inconvenient to have a vehicle in the area due to a lack of parking.
You can arrive to Old San Juan from Dreams Hotel Miramar in Uber with a cost of $6.00 in regular season and not in high demand. With this, you can save money by not paying an expensive parking and relax by not worrying about limited space.
Visiting the Old San Juan can take you a minimum of 3 days in a leisure pace.
Hotels in San Juan Puerto Rico
San Juan has hotels of every kind. In my experience and for a good trip, my requirements for a hotel are a clean space, accessibility, comfortable beds, a good air conditioner, WIFI and a private bathroom.
My preference during a trip is to sleep comfortably so during the day I can visit every place I’m interested.
That’s why we recommend Dreams Hotel Miramar. Steps away from Distrito T-Mobile, its location is ideal for visiting restaurants and take advantage of the best prices of the area. Also, from Dreams Hotel Miramar you can walk to Condado Beach and other places at a walking distance.
Puerto Rico is an expensive place for hotel rooms. Staying with Dreams Miramar is a great option to avoid sacrificing security and paying too much. Staying in hotels with extra amenities that one won’t use would be costly.
There are many places in Puerto Rico to visit and the price depends on the way you prefer to get there.
In the Old San Juan area, you can visit the forts of San Cristobal, Morro and the Palace of Santa Catalina, whose entrance fee is around $10 each per person. If you would prefer a tour, be prepared to spend at least $65 per person.
A lot of destinations also offer free entrance, or their fee is not over $10.
Next, we provide a mini-itinerary that you can do during your visit without breaking the piggy bank.
Day 1, Old San Juan and at night, the Placita in Santurce:
- Place: Chocobar Cortés
Having breakfast in Chocobar Cortés will be a different experience that you will enjoy. Their main ingredient of the restaurant is chocolate. You can’t imagine the different dishes that can be prepared with chocolate. In addition, the Chocobar Cortés has a rich history of using its Cortés chocolate in creative ways. You can visit their page to know more. https://www.chocobarcortes.com/
Approximate Time: 1.5 hours
- Place: Morro Fortress
The castle of San Felipe del Morro, better known as El Morro, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site found in Old San Juan. It has an incomparable landscape with views of the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by windy area used for flying kites. There you can see and try one of our famous piraguas!
Approximate Time: 2 hours
- The next stop will be the San Cristobal Castle, which is a few steps away from the Morro fortress. On the way to Castillo San Cristóbal, you will see La Perla on your right, where the Luis Fonsi Despacito video was made.You can visit in front of La Perla, behind La Vergüenza Restaurant, the El Callejón Rest., which sells alcapurrias made on the spot.
Approximate Time: 2 hours
- Place: El Capitolio (Free entrance)
After San Cristobal Castle, you will find the Capitolio, which is the house of the laws. The Capitol is a structure very similar to the Washington Capitol that you must visit if you travel to Puerto Rico
Approximate Time: 1 hour
- After this walk, what your body needs is to sit down in a restaurant for dinner and drink a mojito or the drink of your choice. I suggest that at night, take an Uber to La Placita de Santurce where you will have a great time. Are plenty of good restaurants in the area a live music also. If you like the skirt steak there is a restaurant that the name is Ruben’s Café, the place has reasonable prices and good Puerto Rican food. Is also a Santaella Restaurant, with stylish eatery for tapas and cocktails.
Day 2, Old San Juan:
- Place: Cuartel de Ballajá
The Ballajá Barracks was built by the Spanish army between 1854 and 1864. The building is one of the largest and most impressive built by Spain. The building was prepared to house 1,000 people, originally Spanish soldiers and their families.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
- Place: San José Church
Was built in 1532 and is the second oldest church in the Americas; one of the few surviving examples of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture in the Western Hemisphere.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
- Place: San Juan Bautista Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral is the tomb of Spanish explorer Ponce de León, who founded the first settlement on Puerto Rico and in 1509 was named the island’s first governor. In the Cathedral are also the remains of St. Pio, a Roman martyr, and the saint’s mummy has been displayed here in a glass box since 1862. Many famous people have gotten married in this Cathedral.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
- Place: Puerta de San Juan(San Juan Gate)
There were 6 gates around the city. La Puerta de San Juan is the only one remaining, making it a precious historic landmark in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Approximate Time: 30 minutes
- Stop at Barrachina and taste a Piña Colada, the place where it was invented, is a priceless experience. Very near to Fortaleza Castle, it’s an opportunity you can’t miss. At Santa Catalina Castle there are tours available in the Fortress and each one might take around 2 hours.
- At night you can visit the Distrito T-Mobile, located just steps away from Dreams Hotel Miramar. There you can have dinner if you did not do so at Old San Juan. Among activities you can do at T-Mobile District, you can watch sports at the Medalla Arena, ride the Toro Verde Zipline or even enjoy a concert in the Coca Cola Music Hall.
Day 3, Old San Juan:
If you want a perfect place for photos and a tour with a dazzling view, the Paseo de la Princesa is the ideal place. At Paseo de la Princesa you will find the Old Prison of the Princess, now office of the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico are in the building now. In addition, on the Paseo de la Princesa, in the afternoon and on weekends, you can see artisans and kiosks with piraguas, piña coladas, fried foods and you can even try the mabí, another local drink.
I recommend taking the Cataño Ferry, to Cataño, the city that is across the bay. The ferry is only $1.00 each way and the view from the other side, worth it. You will be able to take spectacular photos of the Morro fortress and make a beautiful experience out of it.
On the other side of the bay, you will find a variety of restaurants, bars and you can take transportation to Bacardí Distillery. There are various excursions that Bacardi offers.
Day 4, Beach Day:
If you come to Puerto Rico and don’t enjoy some if our beautiful beaches are like not coming to our beautiful island.
Near Dreams Hotel Miramar is Balneario Escambrón, which can cost approximately $5 USD in Uber from the hotel. It’s a beach that has a blue flag classification, which provides additional security to those who visit it. There you can spend the amount of time you wish and relax. After leaving the water, a few steps from the Escambrón, is the El Hamburger restaurant, where they make hamburgers in different styles and flavors.
To add a final touch to your visit to Puerto Rico, you can’t leave without experiencing the nightlife at Metro Casino, also near Dreams Hotel Miramar.
Puerto Rico has a variety of attractions for all tastes. 4 days are not enough to visit all the places in Old San Juan or our surroundings. At least, you can enjoy those within 10 minutes distance of Dreams Miramar and say you visited Puerto Rico!
In addition, Old San Juan also has shops, museums, restaurants, statues, theaters… Too much to see in such short time and all without breaking the bank.
In some seasons, Dreams Hotel Miramar offers free transportation to Old San Juan, a round trip with an established schedule by the hotel.
Dreams Hotel Miramar provides free shuttle from the hotel to cruise ports between 10 am to 12:30 PM for our guests.