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Puerto Rico (British Virgin Islands?) between the holidays and New Year's

Puerto Rico (British Virgin Islands?) between the holidays and New Year's

Old Oct 31, 16, 4:28 pm
  #1  
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Puerto Rico (British Virgin Islands?) between the holidays and New Year's

I booked a flight to San Juan (arrival at 1 o'clock in the morning on December 27), will fly to Miami on the 31st and then back home to Europe on the 1st of January.

How would you recommend to spend the time?
Hotel prices are of course quite high.
I would be willing to pay up to 200-250 USD per night, roughly.

Would you stay in Puerto Rico or go to the British Virgin Islands, even though it's not much time?
I don't really feel like staying in a huge hotel block with tons of tourists - I've read that tourism in Puerto Rico can be really bad, with a lot of traffic.

I've never been to the Caribbean before.
Any recommendations?

Hotel suggestions for Miami are very welcome, too...
Thanks!
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Old Nov 2, 16, 10:42 am
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I would highly recommend going to Vieques. It is a very short flight from San Juan (maybe 20 min) or there is a cheap ferry. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and you will have them to yourself. It is unreal. I stayed at Hotel Tamarindo which is in your price point and is fun (and a bit funky). There is also a W which is nice but does NOT have a nice beach. The only issue is you need to rent a Jeep to get to the nicest beaches.

Neil
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Old Nov 2, 16, 12:53 pm
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Thank you so much! I think the real issue here is the limited time... I'd also like to see the British Virgin Islands, but I think that would simply be too different to do.
What about the rainforest in the main island, is that interesting to see?

Maybe the best option would be to stay in San Juan for one night on the 26th, then see the rainforest etc. on the 27th and then go to Vieques in the evening. Stay there until the 31st and then fly to Miami from there.

But is there still something to do and see in Vieques, except for beaches?
It's a bit boring when there are no restaurants or cafés (I was in Koh Samui at Easter this year, and there was absolutely NOTHING going on).

The ideal thing would of course be secluded beaches, but in five minutes you could go somewhere else for a little bit of nightlife.
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Old Nov 23, 16, 12:49 pm
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You should research a bit and decide. You do not have much time and the last thing you will want is spend the time flying back and forth. Personally, I would stay in San Juan, in particular, close to the airport, Isla Verde area, you have restaurant, beach and nightlife such as casinos, bars, clubs. The lobby of most of the major hotels in the area is usually in a partying atmosphere on the weekends, more so with the Christmas Holidays featuring live music or DJ's. The rainforest is good, and that can certainly be done as a one day trip, giving you time to explore around the area. Vieques is nice, but not much aside from the beach, snorkeling. My suggestion is don't try to do too much with the little time you have, basically concentrate on what you really want to do. As for cheaper lodging, try airbnb.
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Old Nov 29, 16, 2:20 am
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Ok, my plan now would be as follows:

12/26 - Arrival at SJU (late at night)
12/27 - Explore the rainforest and Old San Juan
12/28 - Explore the rainforest and Old San Juan, fly to Vieques
12/29 - Vieques, beach, biobay
12/30 - Vieques, beach
12/31 - Fly from Vieques to SJU and on to MIA

Are Vieques Air Link (VAL) reliable enough to build a connection on?
I must not miss my connection at SJU under any circumstances - but I guess with a connection time of 3 hours, I should be fine? Or do their flights often get canceled?

Also, I still don't know which hotel to stay at.
I need one more Starwood stay before the end of the year to renew my status, but the Sheraton Old San Juan has terrible reviews.
I could stay at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, but that seems to be further away from the action?

Or I could just stay with a different chain. I still have some Hilton points to burn, for example. And IHG is running a sale as well.
What would you recommend?

Hotel recommendations for Vieques are also gladly accepted.
Unfortunately, both the W Vieques and the Hacienda Tamarindo have minimum stay requirements I can't meet.
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