Before traveling to Puerto Rico, I spent a lot of Google-icious hours trying to determine the most perfect part of the island for our young family. After our two week trip, I now have our answer: we liked the West Coast of Puerto Rico best of all!
The West Coast of Puerto Rico has a much more natural, relaxed feel than the built-up East Coast, and it’s just two hours from San Juan using a handy-dandy rental car to reach the town of Rincon: the prime West Coast destination for surfers and English speakers.
So where to stay? Whether on the West Coast or anywhere else, really, consider a vacation rental instead of a hotel for part of your time. For the same price as a hotel, a rental property usually provides a full kitchen, and numerous rooms instead of just a single hotel bedroom. These two elements are endlessly useful when traveling with a baby, particularly because it’s awkward to have to whisper from 7pm onward if the baby has to sleep in the same room as you!
We hit the absolute jackpot with our Rincon apartment. How did I find it? Having heard good buzz, I decided to try out the new online vacation rental site by TripAdvisor called FlipKey.
Now, as background, know that I have a rabid lust for oceanfront balconies. I’ve sought them out in Belize, Vietnam, Hawaii, and San Juan… but what I wanted in Rincon was to be RIGHT ON the water. Like, the ocean spray would get on my eyelashes. That kind of “right on the water.”
Delightfully, FlipKey has filters to narrow down your vacation rental options. I slid the budget option down low enough to suit our pockets, selected “Internet Access” (hey — a gal’s gotta blog!), then decisively clicked the “Waterfront” filter.
But here is the tip I have for you: Once you’ve selected all your preference filters, click on “View Larger Map” so you can actually see where each property is in relation to the town and its surroundings. Let me tell you, dear chum: Some places have a mighty broad definition of “Waterfront!”
The map helped me narrow the options down to four rentals that actually kissed the ocean. Next, I used the Reviews feature to rule out one rental which was described as “Good for party-hearty 20-somethings who don’t mind loud road noise and a terrible bed.” Phew!
Next, I studied the map and reviews to figure out which properties were within walking distance of food and fun. This eliminated one which required a car to get to anything. Finally, I corresponded with the owners of the final two options, and after much hemming and hawing, used the “Book Now” button to seal our date with what turned out to be the most gorgeous oceanfront balcony I’ve stayed at in my life.
Will I continue to use this vacation rental strategy? Without a doubt. The challenge is now on: Where in the world can I find an even more perfect oceanfront view? Challenge accepted.
We were guests of FlipKey, but all opinions and beach balcony obsessions are my own. If you enjoyed this article, consider doing your vacation accommodation search through this link, as you will find great deals, while supporting this site with a small commission at no extra cost to you. Merci!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have visited this site over the decade. Lillie also runs Teaching Traveling Global Education Community and Drawings Of… Educational Cartoon Site. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow on social media with the links below!