Adventures in Puerto Rico

Hola! We’re baaaack from Puerto Rico!

Little sis Rachel and I just spent a few days exploring the El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Fajardo with the Jockey team and a handful of fashion bloggers. It was a completely different experience than most organized trips I’ve been on (and planned, as a publicist) but all the same, it was a ton of fun and it was great to chat about blogging with people whose business model is completely different than mine.

Bloggers in paradise
Bloggers in paradise

But let’s be real… I didn’t go all the way to Puerto Rico to talk shop. I went to get some sun, explore the El Yunque rainforest, splash around in the Caribbean, hit up the Waldorf Astoria Spa and try not to get lost on the sprawling resort grounds.

Hotel Explorations

El Conquistador, from the ferry to Palomino Island
El Conquistador, from the ferry to Palomino Island

El Conquistador is a massive resort spanning 500 acres, consisting of luxury villages, a spa, villas with butler service, a championship golf course, swimming pools, a funicular and more than 20 restaurants, all perched on a bluff overlooking the sea. 

El Conquistador Resort Puerto Rico

El Conquistador

El Conquistador Palm Tree Puerto Rico

Near my room in Las Brisas
Near my room in Las Brisas

One of the best parts about this particular trip was the chance to bring a guest… and let me tell you, it was a tough call choosing between my fiancé and my maid of honor. Since the maid of honor knows her way around social media & iPhone photography, she won out. Sorry, honey! 

Waking up with little sis in our Jockey jammies
Waking up with little sis in our Jockey jammies
A pillow fight before breakfast... doesn't everyone do this?
A pillow fight before breakfast… doesn’t everyone do this?

Hike in El Yunque National Rainforest

The only time we left the resort during our short stay was to hike El Yunque National Forest, so it was bound to be a special experience. El Yunque is about a 20 minute drive from El Conquistador, and it’s the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. It rains more than 200 inches a year in some areas, creating some pretty spectacular waterfalls.

El Yunque National Forest Puerto Rico The Jet Sisters Angie Away
Warpaint & Jockey Activewear… what every girl needs for a successful hike in El Yunque

We met up with tour guide Edwin Ortiz, who is one of the best guides I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. His enthusiasm for the flora and fauna of the forest was contagious, and I found myself much more interested in red ginger and rainfall tallies than I ever would’ve expected to be.

If you ever visit El Yunque, take Edwin with you. He is the man!

The best tour guide in Puerto Rico
The best tour guide in Puerto Rico – Edwin Ortiz
El Yunque Puerto Rico
Take a break from hiking at the waterfall where Edwin gathers stones from the riverbed to create natural pigments for ‘warpaint’

Hiking in El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

EL Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

Red ginger in El Yunque
Red ginger in El Yunque

El Yunque Puerto Rico

El Yunque Waterfall Puerto Rico

El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

We hiked!
We hiked!

Sunset Yoga

After getting all sorts of sweaty in El Yunque,  some sunset yoga outside of the spa was just what I needed. It was perfect to chill out with some downward dog overlooking the rainforest in the distance.

Time for a little sunset yoga in our Jockey active wear
Time for a little sunset yoga in our Jockey active wear
Row, row, row your boat
Row, row, row your boat

Our yoga instructor, who once was Mariah Carey’s personal trainer, presented a fun mix of challenging and restorative poses.

Which is which?
Which sis is which?

And of course, Rachel and I took lots of twin yoga & jumping photos. (It’s better than selfies, right?)

Yoga jumping Puerto Rico El Conquistador The Jet Sisters

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Active Day on Palomino Island

On top of all the first class amenities you’d expect at a Waldorf Astoria property, there’s also a 100-acre private island accessible by ferry, which kept me too occupied to visit the other water highlight, the Coqui Water Park.

Victory! I am the SUP champion!
Victory! I am the SUP champion!

There’s stand-up paddleboarding, my new favorite activity…

A little Jet Sisters selfie on the SUP board
A little Jet Sisters selfie on the SUP board

SUP El Conquistador Puerto Rico

There’s glass-bottom kayaking in the crystal clear water…

Definitely pick the glass bottom kayak - it gives your whole adventure a little extra kick
Definitely pick the glass bottom kayak – it gives your whole adventure a little extra kick
I NEVER recommend getting the 2-sister kayak, but it's all they had. We made it work and miraculously are still friends.
I NEVER recommend getting the 2-sister kayak, but it’s all they had. We made it work and miraculously are still friends.
A glimpse at the underwater scenery at Palomino Island
A glimpse at the underwater scenery at Palomino Island

There’s snorkeling…

Sister swimming!
Sister swimming!

There’s sister swimming…

Like swimming in liquid emeralds
Like swimming in liquid emeralds

There are boaters to meet…

Walking around Little Palomino
Walking around Little Palomino

There are long walks to take on abandoned stretches of sand…

Puerto Rico Caribbean Palomino Island

There are desserts to eat…

4 Tres Leches on Palomino Island - so sinfully delicious!
4 Tres Leches on Palomino Island – so sinfully delicious!

And tropical drinks to imbibe…

The must-try beverage on Palomino Island is the Palomino Adventure, a mix of mojito and pina colada
The must-try beverage on Palomino Island is the Palomino Adventure, a mix of mojito and pina colada

When you visit El Conquistador, be sure to factor in at least one full day to spend out on Palomino Island. If I hadn’t been on a work trip, I likely would’ve spent several days out there soaking up the sun and enjoying the watersports.

Spa Time

After hiking, kayaking, SUPping, yoga, bed-jumping and the exertions of eating at all of El Conquistador’s restaurants, a visit to the Caribbean’s largest spa is definitely in order. Rachel & I both had the 80-minute Rainforest Hot Stone Therapy…

EL Conquistador Waldorf Astoria Hot Stone Massage

…it was obviously wonderful.

A beachy pedicure is a must
A beachy pedicure is a must
Post-pedicure wander through the resort's serenity garden
Post-pedicure wander through the resort’s serenity garden

As spas go, this one was pretty much par for the course, featuring all the bells & whistles – sauna & steam, 25 treatment rooms, soaking tubs, a kids’ area, hair & nail salon, fitness classes, etc.

Beach massage is available, too, which I am already planning to set up for the next visit. 

Cheers from El Conquistador!
Cheers from El Conquistador!

It was a quick trip, but not too quick to realize that Puerto Rico deserves to have a return visit on the calendar – ASAP!

Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? What suggestions do you have for our next adventure?

This was a very photo-heavy post, and I have tons more! Check out the album on Facebook.

Special thanks to RaeRae for serving as my wonderful assistant/bestfriend/photographer/maidofhonor/sister, to El Conquistador for hosting us and to Jockey for the activewear, sleepwear and other assorted goodies. Though this trip was sponsored, all opinions are mine.

8 thoughts on “Adventures in Puerto Rico”

  1. Hi Angie
    I am a script writer and I am new to Jacksonville, I am looking for a writing partner. Do you know of any forums or groups where I might find someone?

  2. Puerto Rico is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. So I am always looking for new ideas of things to do. This is great. I can’t wait until I can get a flight back to Puerto Rico.

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