Two for the Road
Drive around this isle with Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines, and you understand why it’s known as the “Island of Enchantment.” The Ruta Panorámica, a maze of narrow, rural roads that snake past fields of sugarcane, waterfalls, national forests, and tranquil villages, is especially picturesque.
Day 1: El Yunque National Forest
Hop a flight to San Juan from New York—JetBlue, on most days, has up to five direct flights daily—rent a car at the airport, and drive east to Las Casitas Resort (from $289; lascasitasvillage.com). Visit El Yunque National Forest to hike the Big Tree Trail and cool off under the Juan Diego Falls. Next, make a day trip to the fishing town Maunabo to climb to the top of the lighthouse.
Days 2–3: Jayuya
Hike around San Cristóbal Canyon before checking into plantation home turned hotel Hacienda Gripiñas (from $85; haciendagripinas.tripod.com). Less than 30 minutes away is the Toro Negro State Forest—as glorious as El Yunque, but with fewer visitors—where you can walk the many paths, then make your way to the peak of Cerro de Punta, the highest point on the island, for the spectacular view.
Days 4–5: Guánica
Make a pit stop in Colonial beauty Ponce, the island’s second-largest city, to admire the exquisite Cathedral of Our Lady Guadalupe and learn about the coffee-making process at the Hacienda Pomarrosa coffee farm. Check into a quaint room at Mary Lee’s by the Sea (from $110 to $150; maryleesbythesea.com), then snorkel around the massive coral wall known as La Pared. Take an evening kayak ride around the glimmering phosphorescent bay in La Parguera.
Days 6–7: Rincón
This surfer’s paradise delights seasoned pros (go to Tres Palmas for its big breaks) and novices (take lessons at Rincón Surf School). Book a room with an ocean view at the Horned Dorset Primavera (from $570; horneddorset.com), a Relais & Châteaux property. For fresh grouper and beer, hit the Ship- wreck Bar & Grill (rinconshipwreck.com), just a ten-minute drive.
Days 8–9: Dorado
It’s your honeymoon. Indulge. All of the suites at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, feature an outdoor shower and either a private pool or terrace (from $719; doradobeachreserve.com). Its restaurant, Mi Casa by José Andrés, is a destination in its own right.
Days 10–11: San Juan
Cap off your trip in the capital city. The elegant rooms at El Convento hotel (from $260; elconvento.com), are a masterpiece of Colonial architecture with modern amenities; tour the cobblestoned streets in the walled quarters of Old San Juan (don’t miss El Morro, a sixteenth-century citadel), then cross the bay to Cataño to visit Casa Bacardi, one of the world’s oldest rum distilleries (it began operating in 1862).
From the Summer 2013 New York Wedding Guide