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Travel Stories: Our 3 Week Trip to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Travel Guide


3 weeks in Puerto Rico


Today I’m sharing Part 2 of our 3 weeks in Puerto Rico! This trip included an awesome destination wedding, some spontaneous island hopping, and a lot of beautiful beaches! Before I begin, I want to share a quick overview of our itinerary with you:

Week 1

  • The magical Old San Juan
  • Ocean Park Neighborhood in San Juan
  • Spontaneous trip to Vieques Island with some friends we met in Old San Juan

Week 2

  • Staying at the Dancing Tortugas near Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla
  • Staying at the Wyndham Resort in Playa del Mar

Week 3

  • Staying with locals deep in the forest in Mayaguez
  • Rincon (the location of the wedding and where we were staying while Vincent had Dengue Fever)
  • Old San Juan again before our flight!

I hope this helps you follow along better as I share our 3 weeks in Puerto Rico! At the bottom of this post, I have a fun video to share as well as my map with travel tips! Hope you stick around for it :)

 Old San Juan

After catching a red-eye flight from San Diego with a 5 am layover in Newark, we hit the ground running in San Juan by immediately checking into our Airbnb and getting set to explore. We stayed in the historic part of town called Old San Juan, which was a perfect introduction to Puerto Rican culture.

Our experience in Old San Juan was one of our favorites. It is absolutely magical. We quickly made friends with some other travelers and let this historic city take us on an adventure. You can read about our amazing experience in Old San Juan in our Part 1 post of our Puerto Rican travels.

Old San Juan WeddingOld San Juan drinks Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Felipe del Morro FortressVisit Old San Juan

Senor Paleta Calle del Cristo
Be sure to check out the full post on our time in Old San Juan!

Ocean Park

Our time in Ocean Park was one of the more laid back segments (I mean, you kind of need that after all of those late nights in Old San Juan!) We split our time between becoming regulars at La B de Burro (this taco joint is a serious fave), laying around the beach in our hammocks, and getting a little work done at our Airbnb.

Ocean Park Wedding PhotographerOcean Park San JuanOcean Park travel tipsOcean Park travel guide San Juan, Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico sunset

Vieques

So this was one wild ride. We decided to go on a spontaneous trip to the island of Vieques with our new friends we met in Old San Juan. None of us knew how the ferry system worked from Fajardo to Vieques and there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ONLINE telling us how to prepare for the ferry. We took a chance off of the local’s guesses on when the ferry leaves and how to get tickets. So we packed up at 1 am to try to catch this mysterious ferry at 4 am on the other side of the island. After almost not getting tickets, then getting tickets, and barely getting the car parked in time, we ended up on the top deck of this very small and rickety ferry.

I will never forget the sight of the night sky from the middle of the ocean or the feeling of water spraying my face from the darkness. Although this trip was unplanned and totally crazy we had such a good time! Vieques is so special and doing a “Bio Bay” tour made it all worth it!

Vieques ferry tips

This was the FANCY ferry that ran in the afternoons -totally not what we experienced on the way there!

Vieques ferryVieques IslandVieques IslandVieques IslandViequesVieques Wedding Photographer Vieques Wedding Photographer Vieques Wedding Photographer Vieques Wedding Photographer Vieques tripVieques beaches Vieques

We had this spot all to ourselves!

Vieques sunset

Aguadilla

We had such a blast staying at Dancing Tortugas and spending our days at Crash Boat Beach! Dancing Tortugas is way too cute and we made friends here too! We swam at the beach together and had a grocery store dessert potluck in our rooms. Vincent and I enjoyed the hammocks and the bunny outside the window of our room. I would totally recommend this place for so many reasons!

Dancing TortugasDancing TortugasStaying at Dancing TortugasStaying at Dancing TortugasDancing Tortugas AguadillaDancing Tortugas AguadillaDancing Tortugas Puerto RicoQuenepas Puerto Rico

These quenepas are native to Puerto Rico and are a little weird but so tasty! You have to crack the shell in between your teeth before you can get to the orange gel-like fruit. You toss the seed but enjoy the slightly sour stuff in between!

Quenepas Puerto Rico

The AMAZING and SUPER FUN crash boat beach is just a 10 min walk down the street and a long set of stairs. There is so much awesome stuff going on here including a pop-up market, food, fresh coconuts, murals, a secret cave and so much more!

Crash Boat BeachCrash Boat BeachCrash Boat BeachAguadillaCrash Boat BeachCrash Boat BeachCrash Boat BeachCrash Boat BeachAguadilla, Puerto RicoCrash Boat Beach, Puerto RicoCrash Boat Beach SunsetCrash Boat Beach FunCrash Boat Beach, AguadillaCrash Boat Beach sunset

Crash boat’s remains!

Crash Boat Beach

Playa del Mar

This was the splurge stint of our 3-week trip. We mostly hung out at our hotel drinking cocktails by the pool!

Playa del MarPlaya del Mar

Mayaguez

This is where things got super interesting! We were staying with locals deep in the forest experiencing Puerto Rico in a whole new way! This experience included authentic dishes, lots of Puerto Rican hospitality, and rolling black-outs where you are left with no water or electricity. We got to experience the hardships but also the joy of being a true Puerto Rican!

Mayagüez, Puerto Rico3 weeks in Puerto RicoMayagüez Wedding Photographer Mayagüez Wedding Photographer MayagüezMayagüezMayagüez

Rincon

Rincon was a last-minute addition to our itinerary so that we could be close to a hospital while Vincent was sick with Dengue Fever. I’m grateful he recovered so quickly and we were so lucky things went as smoothly as they did! It is always best to have some sort of backup plan if someone in your group gets sick while traveling!

One thing I love about being a destination wedding photographer is that my couples bring me to places I have never been to. Desi & Zach had their intimate destination wedding on a beach in Rincon and they are the ones that brought me and their closest friends and family to this amazing island! I often turn my wedding related travels into a full-on exploration of the amazing places my couples bring me to! That is how 3 weeks in Puerto Rico even happened! Thank you, Desi & Zach!

Rincon Beach Destination Wedding | by Joni Bilderback, Destination Wedding Photographer

Click here to check out Desi & Zach’s wedding

Wow, what a trip! 3 whole weeks in Puerto Rico was a little crazy but even through the hardships, it turned out to be such an awesome time!!


I have something new to share! I made a video of our trip: 3 weeks in Puerto Rico! This is a compilation of our snap chat story and GoPro footage. It’s a more behind the scenes look at our trip presented in a fun and less curated way. I hope you enjoy following along on our journey of mojitos and shenanigans!


Follow along on InstaStories



As always, I’m sharing my travel tips map. If you want to be able to find my most recommended spots quickly and easily to help plan your next Puerto Rican adventure, this map is for you!

I hope you enjoyed this post sharing our 3 weeks in Puerto Rico!! Please leave a comment and tell me what you enjoyed most from this post :)

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