It is no secret that people in Puerto Rico know how to party, especially around the Christmas holidays. Announce that there will be a parade, music, dancing, libations, food – then add in local artisan crafts for sale – and it all adds up to one crazy celebration! That describes the San Sebastian Street Festival, or Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, which will be held in 2013 from January 17th to 20th.
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The Puerto Rico Convention Center is more than just a venue for professional gatherings. It is often a place for fun — hosting fairs, shows and exhibitions of interest to the general public. Located in the Isla Grande/Miramar neighborhood, it is a short ride from Isla Verde, Condado, and Old San Juan. It may be just the type of fun you are looking for during your visit.
Every year, the town of Aibonito hosts the largest plant show & sale on the island. It features flower & plant displays, a large section for plant sales, live local music shows (of course) and food kiosks. This year, the festival will be from June 29 to July 8, 2012.
Spring is in the air, so that means that is is time for Plant Shows here on the island! There are a number of orchid and plant shows on the island, featuring displays, sales, and seminars. If you love tropical plants and flowers, be sure to mark these dates on your calendar!
Are you looking for a fun shopping experience in San Juan? On the first Sunday of every month, the Mercado Urbano is set up at La Ventana al Mar in Condado. Under big tents, this market holds about 40 or 50 vendors of local, Puerto Rican made products. Everything is home grown or home made on the island. You’ll be able to find all sorts of things. It is a great stop.
More than 150 years ago, the Plaza del Mercado on Norzagaray Street in Old San Juan was the place to go to shop for food stuffs, fruits and veggies. Once again, it is open and, similar to in olden days, it is full of only organically grown and homemade organic products. Today, it is called the Mercado Agricola Natural Viejo San Juan and it is a treat for the eyes and the taste buds, for locals and visitors alike.
SoFo is the Old San Juan Culinary Festival semi-annual food festival. It’s typically held in the early summer & again in the fall, and it is all about enjoying food & having fun. In the evening, the Old City closes a number of streets to traffic. Then the restaurants start setting up serving tables and bars, tables and chairs, and stages are set up for the bands. This summer, the festival is being held from July 8 through July 11, 2010.
When looking for day trips to do, I sometimes forget to look at places close to home. Luquillo is a great little town in the north east part of Puerto Rico. It is home to diverse natural beauty — both miles of beautiful beaches and acres of rain forest. It has a rich and interesting history and a decently active, modern social life. Most people assume they have "done" Luquillo if they make it to the food kiosks and Luquillo Beach, but there is a lot more for people to do and enjoy. So take some time and come explore Luquillo!
If you want to be part of a local experience, get up early on a Friday and head to the San Sebastian Market. I guess I would call it a large flea market or farmers market, since it had a little bit of everything. The market is located on the Centro Agropecuario grounds. It has slots for over 340 tables inside the grounds and, of course, there are other people selling things outside in the parking lot.
If you love ice cream and exotic flavors, you need to visit Heladeria Lares, located on the town square in Lares. They have home-made ice cream in flavors like rice & beans, garlic, corn, pumpkin and cod fish (to name a few). Most are tasty. Some are just bizarre. For the faint of heart, they also have "safe" flavors like vanilla and chocolate.
Whether you have just a couple of hours or a couple of days, there are plenty of things to keep you busy and entertained in the northeast part of Puerto Rico. From the rain forest to beaches to biobays, we’ve put together a list of activities sorted by the amount of time you need to do each.
For the real Puerto Rican local market experience, head to Rio Piedras. There, you will find a large indoor Mercado de Rio Piedras (Rio Piedras Market) and blocks of outdoor sidewalk shopping where the locals go to shop!
One of my favorite things about going on vacation is the opportunity to try food that is different than I can get at home. Tropical fruit has become somewhat of a passion of mine, and it’s always something I seek out whenever we travel. Luckily for me, we can grow a bunch of different types of tropical fruit right in Puerto Rico. Luckily for you, there are many different places you can get a taste of the tropics!
If you’re embarking on your cruise from San Juan, then you’ll be able to purchase duty free liquor and cigarettes at the pier before you board the ship. We were in Old San Juan the other day and came upon a copy of ad for the duty free store at the cruise pier, which we’ve scanned so that you have some idea of what’s available and how much it will cost.
The recently expanded Puerto Rico Premium Outlets Shopping Village in Barceloneta now boasts over 85 designer and famous-name factory stores. You’ll find discounts on brands like Coach, Gap, Tommy, Polo, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, and many more. And it’s only about 1 hour from the San Juan area.