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Sunday, March 7, 2010

GETTING THERE

American flies nonstop from Dulles to San Juan, with fares starting at $242 round-trip.

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If you plan to stay in Old San Juan, you won't need a car (in fact, you won't want one), but if you think you'll be venturing out, renting a car might be a good idea, as San Juan doesn't have much of a public transportation system. Condado Beach is at least a 15-minute drive from Old San Juan; Isla Verde is about 10 minutes farther. Cabs are fairly pricey, about $15 each way to Condado, $20 to Isla Verde.

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel El Convento

100 Calle Cristo, Old San Juan; 800-468-2779

http://www.elconvento.com

Boutique hotel in restored 17th-century convent. Rooms start at $210 per night.

WHERE TO EAT

The Parrot Club

363 Calle Fortaleza,

Old San Juan; 787-725-7370

http://www.oofrestaurants.com

Popular, lively cafe featuring very tasty "Nuevo Latino" cuisine. Lunch and dinner daily; weekend brunch; live Latin jazz many nights. Entrees start at $14 for lunch, $16 for dinner.

Restaurante El Jibarito

280 Calle Sol, Old San Juan; 787-725-8375

http://www.eljibaritopr.com

El jibarito means "hillbilly," and this restaurant honors traditional country food. Authentic, delicious and reasonably priced. Entrees start at $7.50.

La Bombonera

259 Calle San Francisco, 787-722-0658

Turn-of-the-20th-century bakery-cafe that serves must-have breakfast with fabulous Puerto Rican coffee in a homey atmosphere. Don't miss the mallorcas. Breakfast for four, about $30.

Los Gemelos

Route 184, Guavate; 787-632-6953

A classic "lechonera" on the Pork Highway. Open Thursday--Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Lechon is $4.5o per person.

Donde Olga

Route 187, PiƱones, Loiza; 787-791-6900

Rustic, picnic-style seating at this beach community seafood restaurant. Fresh local snapper and other specialties. Dinner for four, about $75.

WHAT TO DO

El Yunque National Forest

Rio Grande; 787-888-1880

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/caribbean/index.shtml

INFORMATION

http://www.gotopuertorico.com

-- A.P.


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