Beach + Island

Escaping Winter

by Cathay Che

PUERTO RICO VALUE
Staying beachside in San Juan doesn't have to mean a soulless chain hotel—or a budget blowout. The recently renovated Numero Uno Guest House is a private home turned 12-room B&B on prime beach real estate in Ocean Park. In high season, standard rooms will set you back just $205, but an additional $60 gets you an apartment with a living room, dining room, and kitchenette. You're also ideally situated to grab some rays, and a beachside table at the hotel's restaurant, Pamela's Caribbean Cuisine—try the plantain-encrusted crab cakes. Even though you're in the middle of the city, seclusion is at hand: El Yunque, the island's 28,000-acre rain forest, is full of hiking trails and is only about an hour away by car. Ascend the 2.4-mile El Yunque Trail before noon and you'll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the forest canopy and the ocean beyond; in afternoon, clouds reclaim the view. There are beaches around here, too, of course—the best are at Piñones Nature Reserve (pictured) and Luquillo, where you'll find a bonus: A long row of food stalls selling home-cooked Criollo specialties, such as fried yuca, mofongo (plantains mashed with cracklings), and seafood. Who says you're not living richly?

Numero Uno Guest House and Pamela's Caribbean Cuisine
Tel: 866 726 5010
Tel: 787 726 5010
Fax: 787 727 5482
info@numero1guesthouse.com

El Yunque
Tel: 787 888 1880

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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