“Despacito” is one of summer’s hottest jams, even for non-Beliebers who can’t help but sing along whenever it comes on (which is pretty much constantly). The super catchy song has impacted travel trends too, inspiring tons of people to consider Puerto Rico for a vacation this year. “Despacito” singer Luis Fonsi was even recently named Puerto Rico’s new tourism ambassador. In fact, Hotels.com recently reported that searches for the Caribbean hotspot have exploded by more than 45 percent since the tune was released on April 17. Since we love the idea of a song-inspired trip, we put together a list of four magical places to stay on the island before temps cool off come October. Read on for what makes each resort celeb-worthy, then round up your BFFs for one last bit of fun in the sun.
The Foodie Fave: La Concha Resort
There’s much to see and do at this epic resort, located smack dab in the middle of the rum capital of the world. At La Concha Resort, you’ll find award-winning mixologist Timmy helping guests sample local rums while teaching them about the different distilleries on the island. Even more impressive, his signature “call to bar” is a show of its own; you’ll love watching him add flames to the rum for a totally new take on fire cocktails. Naturally, these innovative drinks are an ideal match for the resort’s rum-inspired menu.
Are you and bae or your besties the kind who love to cook? If so, join Erika Gomez, a rising culinary superstar, in mashing plantains while prepping a signature dish together during your trip. Be sure to taste test Puerto Rican specialties, like croquet de morcilla and pulpo en escabeche. Talk about local flavor!
An Adventurer’s Paradise: Condado Vanderbilt
Much like La Concha Resort, the fabulous Condado Vanderbilt also offers unique, hands-on culinary experiences. Our fave? The opportunity to join Puerto Rico’s best pastry chef, Nasha Fondeur, to create dreamy sweets using heaps of fresh fruit from the island. Round out your adventures in eating with outdoorsy activities that show off Puerto Rican’s lush landscape. Easily check gliding through the rainforest off of your bucket list with a ride on America’s longest zipline, hit up a salsa dance class, or plan to kayak on the bioluminescent bay (OMG) when darkness falls — the resort’s concierge will arrange all of your adventures for you.
If you need some liquid courage before you try something brand new, opt to take an ultra-fun mixology course at the resort’s bar. You’re sure to forget your fears while working with edible flowers, local spirits, and fruits.
For the City Slicker: Hotel El Convento
Feel like channeling your inner Jack Sparrow while in the Caribbean? We don’t blame you. To do it here, sign up for a scavenger hunt at Hotel El Convento to explore the history and secrets of Old San Juan and its historic forts, which will take you through hundred-year-old cobblestone streets to see all of the top spots in the city.
Next, make the most of your boutique hotel’s gourmet garden (which of course comes with Insta-worthy rooftop views) to pick your own fresh herbs for dinner while you chat up your executive chef. Having dinner under the stars while wrapped in a warm island breeze is an awesome way to wind down after an amazing summer.
Beach Bum’s Best: Courtyard Isla Verde
If you can time your trip right and book it before October, you’ll have a great shot at watching newborn sea turtles make their first trek from the beach to the sea. Courtyard Isla Verde’s turtle cam will give you the 411 so you know exactly which days to head out for a sight you’ll remember forever.
There are also heaps of other fun things to do for beach bums here, whether you love reading under a giant umbrella, catching rays on your fave float, or surfing legit waves. Itching to give surfing a shot for the first time? Get a lesson from a local pro at one of the very best beaches in the world. Cap off your Caribbean day with a sunset bike ride to Boca de Cangrejos, a well-known local hot spot, for a stunning sunset. Pretty perfect, right?
Planning a trip to Puerto Rico? Tag us in your best shots on Instagram @BritandCo!