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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Find Modern Style in San Juan

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5. Oddball Day

Try out some new aquatic moves with Wow! Surfing School.  

After delving into San Juan’s urban side, get moving and explore the seaside outdoors. Sweat out the weekend’s indulgences with a vigorous morning class at Ashtanga Yoga in residential Ocean Park. David Kyle, the remarkably flexible Louisianan who opened this bright, clean-lined studio five years ago, teaches an intense style of vinyasa aptly called The Rocket. Afterward, walk a block to Kasalta for a well-earned breakfast of a mallorca ($1.75), a fluffy sweet bun the size of a small birthday cake, which pairs perfectly with café con leche ($1.50). Drive ten minutes to the beach in Isla Verde, where Wow! Surfing School offers lessons to both neophytes and more seasoned surfers in temperate, moderately rippled waters. After you’ve dried off, roll down your car windows and make the 30-minute road trip to the eastern coast of the island, stopping for a hearty lunchtime snack in Piñones, a somewhat rickety but charismatic beachside community filled with chiringuitos, shacks peddling fritters like beef alcapurrias (from $1.50), made with taro root and green banana batter. From there, take Interstate PR3 to reach the town of Fajardo, home to one of the island’s three bioluminescent bays, whose waters are filled with microscopic plankton that glow when touched. In spite of its proximity to San Juan, Fajardo’s Laguna Grande nature reserve feels worlds away and is kept reasonably uncrowded. Tour operators like Las Tortugas Adventures guide you on a nighttime kayak trip to the lagoon, leaving from a beach and passing through an enchanting stream ensconced in overgrown mangroves. You’ll finish just in time for dinner, so speed up the drive back by taking Route PR66, which should get you to Old San Juan in less than an hour. End the night with a board of brie, havarti, and manchego cheeses ($18), charcuterie ($22), and a bottle of crisp Dominio de la Vega cava ($28) at Al Fresco, a brick-walled wine-and-tapas bar on the top level of a three-story Colonial home. The terrace, open until 11 p.m., is an ideal vantage point from which to admire the pastel facades of the cobblestoned historic district.

Published on Feb 27, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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