The next stop in our Re-imagine: Event Destinations series is, “The Island of Enchantment,” Puerto Rico. In this series, we’re sharing travel guides for prominent places to consider as destinations for your next major event. (read our New York City travel guide in this post) Here, we’re taking you on a tour of Puerto Rico, complete with tips and insights from an experienced BCD M&E traveler. In our Puerto Rico travel guide, you’ll discover the one dish you must try while visiting and the surreal spot that will surely take your breath away!
Steeped in history, Puerto Rico offers its visitors a distinctive cultural experience while boasting the natural beauty of 272 miles of beachfront along a lush, tropical landscape. Puerto Rico consists of an archipelago that includes the main island and its outer islands: Vieques, Culebra, Mona and numerous islets. The island’s multicultural history – from its earliest Indian roots, to Spanish colonial times, to modern day – offers a mingling of flavors, traditions and people that sets it apart from other Caribbean destinations.
Weather: 77-82°F (25-28°C)
CONDADO VANDERBILT HOTEL: Completely reborn and exquisitely refurbished – but still incorporating its richly appointed past – the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel offers visitors an unparalleled experience. Bathed in the rich history of its provenance, the property is balanced with 21st-century expectations. The hotel features seven food concepts and offers a complete epicurean experience featuring farm-to-table cuisine, luxe lounges, bars and elegant restaurants.
Located in the bustling heart of Condado, directly on stylish Ashford Avenue, the Serafina Beach Hotel is a full-service lifestyle boutique hotel offering a chic oasis for urban travelers. Newly opened in March of 2018, this oceanfront hotel is home to globally-inspired dining and a fresh vibe that flows through the property. The Serafina features an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, three unique food and beverage concepts and an oceanfront ballroom.
Learn to cook like a local (or at least start practicing). Puerto Rico’s distinctive American, Spanish, Taíno, and African-fusion cuisine, “cocina criolla,” is a delicious blend of tastes passed from generation to generation. Experiment with Puerto Rico’s gastronomical treasures in an authentic Puerto Rican cooking class. Schools, culinary labs, interactive spaces and open kitchens are designed with all kinds of food lovers and group sizes in mind. In San Juan, The Atleier at Cocina Abierta offers classes and workshops in an industrial-style kitchen space specifically designed to inspire. The school can accommodate private and corporate events complete with a private chef, tastings, education and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Puerto Rico is the world’s capital of salsa music, and there is no greater place than here to listen and dance to it. La Ruta de la Salsa takes visitors on a journey through a history of this lively music genre. Today, the island’s tourism authority has designated two routes that commemorate a selection of historic sites, establishments, museums, neighborhoods and residences – all showcasing the world’s greatest salsa figures.
Here in this prime ecotourism destination, zip lining is arguably the most exhilarating way to explore the majestic Puerto Rican canopy. Float above the landscape in any variety of tours. Thrill seekers can book full-day adventures interspersed with waterfall climbs, caving, rappelling and sailing. For a truly unique experience, try a full-moon zip lining tour featuring post-tour cocktails and music.
Get to know: Zoë Howard
Years working in the meetings and events industry: 20
Something travelers might find surprising about Puerto Rico: If you’re a foodie, you’ll love it there. Walking around Old San Juan, I found cute little restaurants with amazing food from a variety of cuisines
One meal or dish we must have while in Puerto Rico: Overall, the food is very flavorful. I’m vegetarian so the plantains cooked a variety of ways were my favorite
Tips for traveling like a local in Puerto Rico: Rent a car so you can visit the rainforest and get around at leisure. Most everyone speaks English and Spanish
Top 3 things we must see or do in Puerto Rico: 1) Visit El Yunque rainforest; 2) Walk around Old San Juan; 3) If you’re adventurous, do a kayak or glass-bottom boat ride in the bioluminescent waters of Vieques
Surreal spots or views that take your breath away in Puerto Rico: The rainforest is amazing! You can drive through and stop at the look-outs along the way
One thing we need in our suitcase when traveling to Puerto Rico: Your bathing suit!
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