Places Where Locals Go
Puerto Rico offers a special kind of social life unlike anywhere else.
Every day is a good opportunity to catch up with friends over coffee, lunch, drinks, or dinner. Weekends are mostly dedicated to road trips along the Island, beach days, and family outings. If you want to experience Puerto Rican life as a true local, these are just a couple of areas where you must go during your visit.
LA PLACITA DE SANTURCE
La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce, known as La Placita, has served as the farmer’s market of the Santurce neighborhood in San Juan for more than a century. During the day you can visit shops full of fruits, vegetables, meat, and more. Older folks sit around the square playing dominoes. After 5:00 pm, the famous ‘Placita de Santurce’ comes to life as locals and visitors arrive and music starts to play in every corner. There are recognized restaurants and local kiosks that sell fried foods like empanadas, alcapurrias, and bacalaítos.
LA CALLE LOÍZA
Loíza Street (part of Road #37) begins at the corner of Avenida de Diego near San Juan’s Condado neighborhood. Along Loíza Street you will find traditional businesses like small hardware stores, banks, local pharmacies, fruit vendors, shoe repair shops, and the US Postal Service Station. As you walk by, you can choose to stop for a drink at different establishments, get coffee and fine pastries, or have an amazing lunch or dinner at any of the restaurants. At night, Loíza Street comes to life with diverse bar options and lively music for every taste. Loíza Street is only five minutes walk away from Ocean Park beach and the Parque Celso Barbosa public beach park and racetrack. Expect to see sun tanned couples walking down the street in their beach cover ups and sandy flip flops in search of the perfect drink and snack.
Drive from Carolina to Loíza and enjoy the picturesque ocean drive. Here you can enjoy local dining experiences and practice what Puerto Ricans call “chinchorreo.” Try delicious specialties while you go from one food stand to the other. Enjoy the peaceful waves at La Pocita or Vacía Talega, two secluded beaches where you can go swimming or soak in the sun.
Every weekend locals and tourists visit the mountain town of Cayey to get to Guavate, a special area where traditional Puerto Rican food, live music, dancing, and a party atmosphere are always on demand. Drive along Route 184 up the mountain where you’ll find lechonera after lechonera serving slow-roasted whole pork. You will also find roasted chicken, heaping portions of rice and pigeon peas, yuca al mojo, mofongo, and more traditional Puerto Rican dishes. Have a cold beer or tropical drink, and be ready for when the music starts and the beat takes over.
EL MALECÓN DE NAGUABO
In Aguada, Hotel Colombus and Atlantis Fresh Lobster Restaurant is located on Road 441, only 25 minutes to Aguadilla Rafael Hernandez Airport. It features comfortable rooms with air conditioner, pool and ocean view across the street. The restaurant, specializing in seafood and creole dishes, offers continental breakfast, lunch and dinner.
LA PARGUERA, LAJAS
With 210 rooms on perched on a hill top property, Mayaguez Resort and Casino is one of the largest hotels in the West. Its convenient location is only 10 minutes from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus and Plaza Colón, the picturesque town center. The hotel’s main attraction is the River Pool Village, a favorite hangout place for families to spend all day. The facilities also include a restaurant, bar and three tennis courts.
EL POBLADO, BOQUERÓN
In Lajas, Parguera Plaza Hotel is located on Road 304, right across the town square, close to the bioluminescent bay tour boats and dinghy rental docks. The facilities include pool and twenty five rooms with private baths, air-conditioning and Cable TV. The hotel’s private parking is convenient since there are many restaurant options that are walking distance from the hotel.