Big City Adventure

Based on my Wikipedia research, I learned that San Juan is home to roughly 400,000 people, making it the 46th largest city under the jurisdiction of the U.S. It’s the capital of Puerto Rico and our latest destination for a quick, island-hopping, weekend getaway.


Although we recently traveled for a few days to the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, it was my husband’s first flight away since we moved to St John over eight months ago. We were both excited for a “big city” adventure!

Puerto Rico

We traveled to Puerto Rico once before but definitely didn’t have the chance to appreciate the beauty of Old San Juan, because we only went into that area at night for dinner.

Puerto Rico

This time we spent a lot of time sight-seeing. Being there during the day, we were so visually stimulated by all of the beautiful colors!

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

One thing has not changed since we were last in Puerto Rico. I absolutely love the local cuisine. Mofungo is one of my favorite dishes anywhere in the world.

Mofongo Puerto Rico

On this trip, I also consumed my first two margaritas. I’ve always wanted to drink margaritas, but I’ve never liked the taste of tequila. Oh well, when in Rome, right? Or when on a rock-hopping adventure…

Puerto Rico

Aside from sightseeing, we did what every island girl would be expected to do when on a much larger rock with not one- but TWO- malls! We shopped til we (almost) dropped.

Plaza las Americas

Plaza las Americas is the largest mall in the Caribbean. For us, it was a bit overwhelming, but we braved the crowds in search of new duds.

My favorite part of this enormous shopping center was our lunch at Faccios, an Italian spot inside the mall. The broccoli cheddar soup changed my life, and we couldn’t even get a picture of it before we devoured it! The pizza was amazing too.

Faccios Puerto Rico

The Mall of San Juan is completely different. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue are its anchor stores, and most of the stores inside have not opened yet. Eventually there should be a Free People, Lululemon, Anthropologie, and other treasures. I can’t wait! I will be back!

Saks Fifth Avenue Puerto Rico

My favorite part of the Mall of San Juan was the super chic cafe inside Nordstrom called Habitant. There are only three in the world… It’s a new concept Nordstrom is trying out. I highly recommend they stick with it! The food was amazing and reasonably priced at that!

Habitant nordstrom Puerto Rico

Have you noticed a trend? I just realized my favorite part of everything we did in Puerto Rico was the food!

San Juan Puerto Rico

Thank goodness we walked and walked and walked, which reminds me- when you live on an island and almost all of your shoes are flip-flops, be sure to purchase one good pair of walking shoes.

Maybe 400,000 people and 77 mi.² doesn’t sound that big to you, but for us St. John residents who sometimes get Island Fever, it was the perfect size! We were reminded of stop lights and traffic jams. We spent way too much money on taxis. And we definitely over-indulged, just like tourists should.

San Juan Puerto Rico

Ashley Cates, St. John USVI Blogger

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