Celebrity’s Global Insiders On: Puerto Rico

CEL_PuertoRico_SanJuan_5With the understanding that knowledge is power, Celebrity teamed up with one of the world’s most influential travel brands, Travel + Leisure, to create a group of savvy travel and lifestyle experts who offer insights on everything from the destinations that Celebrity visits, to the modern luxury vacation experiences they provide. Celebrity’s Global Insiders uncover unique and memorable experiences in key destinations on all seven continents. 

Puerto Rico, one of the largest islands in the Eastern Caribbean, boasts a stunningly varied landscape comprised of mountaintops, underground caves, coral reefs, white-sand beaches and an enormous rain forest that supplies fresh water to most of the island. At the same time San Juan, the capital of the commonwealth, is a big city with a bustling business district, glitzy resorts and is one of the most stunning examples of colonial living in the Western world.

Here’s how our Celebrity Global Insiders recommend spending your time when docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

MARC MURPHY CroppedMarc Murphy (Executive Chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants)

Whether you choose to spend your time relaxing on the beach or getting the perfect handmade Panama Hat at Olé (105 Calle Fortaleza), make sure to try these San Juan favorites. Start the day off right with a coffee and a breakfast Mallorca (fluffy bread stuffed with Ham and dusted in powdered sugar) at the classic La Bombonera. For lunch or dinner (maybe both!) take a bite of a mofonogo, a fried plantain dish that is the mainstay of local Puerto Rican cuisine. Some favorite spots to sample this tasty dish are Café del Angel or El Jibarito.

Alicia Ng CroppedAlisa Ng (Founder of ShopLatitude.com)

I would check out the neighborhood Condado, where all the New York yuppies seem to have moved to. Grab a fresh juice concoction at Kamoli, and shop at the bohemian boutique upstairs. Still hungry? Go grab some tacos and have a margarita at local haunt, El Charro.

Julia Dimon CroppedJulia Dimon (Travel columnist and television correspondent)

Take a break from the mid-afternoon heat at Barrachina, a lively restaurant in old San Juan that claims to be the birthplace of the Piña Colada. It is said that, in 1963, bartender Ramon Portas Mingot first made the fruity drink that has become a tropical-vacation bar staple. So while sightseeing and touring the cobblestone streets of San Juan, be sure to indulge in this historic rum-based cocktail.

Kate Betts CroppedKate Betts (Fashion journalist and award-winning magazine editor)

Traveling to the tropics requires wardrobe flexibility. You don’t want to over pack and have a cabin full of clothes, yet wearing the same outfit from day to night is definitely drab. My secret: I pack two or three bright, printed Indian Kurtas—or any kind of colorful cotton or silk tunic—and wear them as beach cover-ups by day and pair them with leggings, strappy sandals, and a statement necklace for a glamorous evening look.

Kimberly WilsonKimberly Wilson Wetty (Luxury travel expert)

In the heart of Old San Juan, Bodega Chic offers a cool vibe, relaxed atmosphere, yummy food plus tasty drinks. The mojitos are amazing (ask them to give you a demo on how they are made!).

5 thoughts on “Celebrity’s Global Insiders On: Puerto Rico

  1. Pam

    Barrachina is a great place to leave your luggage so that you can explore Old San Juan, if you are waiting for a late flight out after disembarking the ship. The charge is “gratuity” at your discretion. Very safe and convenient. And their frozen mojito is awesome! We loved our Summit cruise out of San Juan in November of 2013. 🙂

  2. Stayed for several days in Old San Juan prior to our Celebrity Cruise, and stayed in Condado beach for several days after the cruise. Enjoyed every minute of it; dinner at Raices and at Latin Roots and several more. Great shopping, welcoming people and wanting to return.

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