DayTrip: Old San Juan, PR

DayTrip gives you a quick taste of a town you don’t know. 

ElMorroSanJuan

Peeking out at the garitas of the city wall on Paseo del Morro.

EATsome mofongo at Cafe el Punto [105 Fortaleza St.], toward the end of a small walk between the blocks. A couple minutes out of the sun and you’ll feel refreshed (or maybe that’s the Medalla talking). Pay your respects to the former La Bombanera [259 Calle de San Francisco, RIP] and grab your morning dough down the block at Cafeteria Mallorca [259 Calle de San Francisco] instead. Not as historical as la B, but just as delicioso. At night, push back those pina coladas and get to El Batey [Calle Cristo 99], infamous cavernous dive bar with an incredible jukebox: songs are a quarter each. 

SLEEPsomewhere historical (but a little spartan) like el Convento [100 Calle Cristo] or get all retro-luxe at el Caribe Hilton [los Rosales St] … or for something totally different, stay at Da House [312 Calle de San Francisco],the artsy B&B above the Nuyorican Cafe.

Flying kites on the lawn of el Morro.

GOget some sun: you’re far from the beaches but you can still work on your tan (and your piragua consumption) checking out the colorful paint jobs on the homes along Bulevar del Valle, or strolling the Paseo de la Principesa. Absorb some cultura at the historical site of El Morro [Calle del Morro]. Or get your daytrip-within-a-daytrip on out of town in el Yunque, Vieques or Culebra.

Can you top this day trip? Tell us what we missed!

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in-flight film: The Rum Diary (2011)

The Rum Diary is an adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s vaguely autobiographical novel about his time served at the San Juan Star. As far as Johnny Depp and co. are concerned, the film is about many stories (romance, buddy movie, corporate intrigue), all of them revolving around expats versus locals in 1960s Puerto Rico. But regardless of what you think of the plot, the movie is a gorgeous peek at the east side of the island of Puerto Rico.

Amber Heard / Chenault

"I thought maybe you were a mermaid."| "I'm from Connecticut." All images via

Rum Diary

TRD lets you bask in the clean mod architecture of the wealthy coastline, dart through the lush jungles aboard a round of questionable vehicles, and watch staticky TV via your neighbor’s apartment across the alley in el Viejo San Juan. Plus there’s a bedazzled turtle. I mean, not that this is meant as a tourism PR piece (pretty clearly stated as such in a couple of the plot’s strands), but considering the real deal is just a couple hours’ from the East coast, it’s worth a trip. See for yourself. And on the flight there, watch this. (But do not try to best that record of 161 nips.)