You can leave the passport at home and just concentrate on three things as you jump on a plane for the quick flight to San Juan: Sun, sand and the green, green grass of the Caribbean winter. OK, make that six things … we can’t leave out the island’s incredible food, good-as-it-gets accommodations and unfailingly friendly service.
After a couple decades as a de facto flyover — or cruise stopover — destination, this American territory is back on the top tier of golf getaway choices thanks to a few architectural nips and tucks at places like Bahia Beach Resort, whose plantation-style St. Regis hotel is truly stunning and the Robert Trent Jones II golf course finishes with a breezy seaside flourish; the arrival of a regular PGA Tour event a few years back at Trump National Puerto Rico and the adjacent Gran Melía Resort; the continued magnificence of the El Conquistador Resort on the island’s northeast corner, with its views of St. Thomas and the broad, blue Atlantic; and, along the way, the Wyndham Rio Mar Resort with its 36 holes of golf. Natural wonders like the El Yunque rainforest, “bio bay” glow-in-the-dark kayak excursion and newly opened zipline keep outdoor adventurers happy. And, of course, there’s all that tasty history.
Puerto Rico’s tourism powers that be have really ramped up their efforts to make their home more inviting and safe for America and the world, and it’s showing with higher occupancies, busier fairways and packed San Juan restaurants and nightclubs. It’s fitting into its proper “gateway to the Caribbean” suit like never before, and it’s only a two- to three-hour flight from major East Coast hubs. Muy bueno!