Trip Report: The Beach and Old San Juan


Disney Cruise, Lifestyle, Travel, Trip Reports, Vacations / Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

After the long day yesterday, we slept in late on Saturday. Unlike other trips, I had not made any definitive plans. We knew we wanted to visit the beach and Old San Juan so we did.

The Beach

San Juan Beach Disney Wonder
San Juan Beach

As I mentioned in my last post our hotel offered a shuttle service to the beach. It was about 5 minutes through traffic on a golf cart. We arrived at a beautiful beach with a playground at the entrance. Doubletree Hilton San Juan has a staff member who will set up loungers and umbrellas for you on the beach, he did ask to see or key card to make sure we were a guest of the hotel.

San Juan Beach
San Juan Beach

It was not crowded, there were maybe 10 people in the section of the beach we were sitting at. The water was warm and shallow. You could walk fairly far out and I could see a sand bar in the distance. The waves were strong and I was knocked over when I was looking the other way. Georgia thought it was hilarious until the waves got her.

Big Waves at San Juan Beach
Big Waves at San Juan Beach
San Juan Beach
San Juan Beach

After an hour and a half, we decided to head back to the hotel. The sun is much stronger in Puerto Rico than it is in Nova Scotia and we didn’t want to start the trip out with bad burns. Unfortunately, Georgia got a bit too much sun and had a bit of a sunburn on her shoulders. There was a cool breeze blowing on the beach and it made the sun seem less strong than what it was.

Lunch

Our plan for the afternoon was to get some lunch and wander around Old San Juan. A bunch of people on our cruise group had recommended the Chocobar and that is where we went.

Chocobar in Old San Juan
Chocobar in Old San Juan

There were four cruise ships in port on that Saturday and when we arrived at the Chocobar it looked like we would have a bit of a wait. We were wrong and were seated immediately. The menu has a number of chocolate-based choices including savoury ones. I started with a frozen chocolate drink. It reminded me of a Fudgsicle®.

Frozen Chocolate lunch after the beach
Frozen Chocolate at Chocobar

Jay ordered the Avocado Toast, Georgia the Marble Waffle and I settled on the Chalupitas de Mofongo. Both Jay and Georgia’s meals came out quickly. Jay loved the Avocado toast and Georgia thought hers was good but could have had more strawberries.

My food did not come out. It was very busy and it took forever to get someone’s attention. Our waitress had forgotten to put the order in, she said she would put a rush on it. It didn’t come out until about 20 minutes after Jay and Georgia had finished theirs. It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure it was worth the wait. Jay and Georgia ordered some churros while we were waiting so I wouldn’t be eating alone.

Avocado Toast lunch after the beach
Avocado Toast
Marbled Waffles at Chocobar lunch after the beach
Marbled Waffles at Chocobar
Chalupitas de Mofongo Lunch after the beach
Chalupitas de Mofongo
Churros
Churros from Chocobar
Churros with Chocolate Sauce from Chocobar
Churros with Chocolate Sauce from Chocobar

Old San Juan

After lunch, we headed out to Old San Juan. The extended lunch sadly limited our time in Old San Juan. Unsure where to go, we proceeded towards the water and walked along the edge of town. There was a police presence around Old San Juan, there had been some protests in the last week. At no time did we feel that it was unsafe and maybe we noticed mainly because it had been on the news.

Fundación Nacional Para la Cultura Popular
Fundación Nacional Para la Cultura Popular
Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud
Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud
Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud
Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud

There were lots of opportunities for pictures with many sculptures throughout the town. There were also lots of cats in the Parque Las Palomas. I would have liked to have spent more time exploring the streets and sights, but the sun was setting.

If we return—which we hope we do—I would like to do a walking tour to see more of the old town and learn some more of the history.

Bronze Shoes in Parque Las Palomas
Bronze Shoes in Parque Las Palomas
Cats at Parque Las Palomas
Cats at Parque Las Palomas
Gato Jirafo in Old San Juan by Jorge Zeno
Gato Jirafo in Old San Juan by Jorge Zeno

Our Last Night in San Juan

After our walk, we headed back to our hotel to pack up and get ready for the main event, the Disney Wonder. Since our lunch ended up being so late we were not that hungry and had a debate about what to do for dinner. Should we go out and eat or order some food in to the hotel and eat in the room?

After much debate and some Google/Trip Advisor research, we decided to go out and eat at San Juan Smokehouse. We don’t have many BBQ restaurants near where we live and it is the #1 rated restaurant in San Juan. We ordered an Uber and made our way there. It is located in an open-air area surrounded by bars and restaurants with live music.

We were excited that when we walked up to the restaurant we were able to grab a seat. But, our excitement was quickly deflated. Restaurant staff let us know that they had run out of food, lol. No wonder it was so easy to grab a seat. If you plan to eat make sure you go early! There were other restaurants in the area but nothing interested us and the area was beginning to transform into more of a street party.

Back into an Uber, we went. Arriving back at the Doubletree, we ordered a mediocre meal from room service, watched a little TV, and went to sleep.

Check back for the next part of our trip report, hopefully, I will have it up in a couple of days. Are you interested in learning a bit more about getting involved in a fish extender exchange? Check out this post.


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