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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Central America: Round-the-World Travel Destinations

Budget Scale: 1-5

1-least expensive; 5-most expensive
2– San Juan is filled with a lot of big hotels and resorts, but there are some hostels and cheaper accommodation opportunities if you look hard enough. There isn’t much in the way of cheap, street food, so eating is going to take up a good portion of your budget.

Indie Travel Scale: 1-5

1-not a good Indie Travel destination; 5-a great Indie Travel destination
2.5– San Juan and indie travel aren’t necessarily synonymous with each other, and the high prices of traveling in San Juan make it difficult to have a real indie experience here, but it is possible. You just have to put a little more effort into it.

Indie Travel Tips
If you take the following tips to heart, you can still have an indie travel experience in San Juan.

  • Explore Old San Juan by foot by yourself without a tour. If you’re a photographer, bonus, because you can spend all day here photographing this beautiful part of San Juan.
  • If you’re a foodie, you’ve come to the right place. San Juan is filled with great eats, and if you head outside of Old San Juan and the typically touristy areas, you can find some real, authentic gems.
  • A short 35 miles outside of San Juan, El Yunque is the only rainforest located in the United States. There are all types of activities to keep you busy during a day trip here.
  • Head just a short 20 minute drive out of town to Haciendo Campo Rico, where they offer ziplining, ATV rides, caving, rapelling, mountain biking, and horseback riding. An extremely fun place to spend a day.
  • If you want some local nightlife, head to La Placita where you won’t find a single tourist.

Why you should add San Juan to your RTW travel list

  • Walk backwards into the sea for good luck, during the Festival of St John the Baptist in late June
  • Explore the walled city of Old San Juan
  • Fly a kite at El Morro, the old fortress said to be the world’s best site for kites
  • Sample a rum cocktail at the Bacardi Rum Factory
  • Deep-sea fish for marlin, tuna and sailfish
  • Relax on beautiful Caribbean beaches

Why you should not add San Juan to your RTW travel list

  • San Juan can be tough on those traveling on a backpacker’s budget.
  • It’s difficult to get away from all the other tourists and chain hotels.

Are you heading to San Juan? What do you need to do?

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