How I Survived in Puerto Rico with $350

June 08, 2012

Last Friday I was able to go on a free trip to Puerto Rico.  My sister's friend paid for my flight and hotel because he was unable to go.  Unfortunately, his father had fallen ill and passed away.  Now all of my friends know that I am broke.  I was able to squeeze a few dollars from my boyfriend and grandmother.  I didn't find out I was going to Puerto Rico, until 12 hours before my flight.  Now this is the time to scream out YOLO because that was very much a "You Only Live Once" moment.  I packed enough clothes to last me until Monday, into a carry on.  I don't know how I did it, but I got it done.  I left with only $350 to spend, while in Puerto Rico.  We stayed in San Juan, which is the capital of PR and the largest city in the Caribbean.  I loved flying into San Juan because it was a beautiful site to see.  Crystal clear water, white sands, and lots of greenery.  Yes, I was really flying into paradise.  Once I arrived. my sister and I took a taxi to Old San Juan.  It was really beautiful in Old San Juan. 
It reminded me so much of the French Quarters, in New Orleans, because of the Spanish architecture.  The blue cobblestone streets were also very beautiful.  After walking about 20 minutes, we finally found a Puerto Rican restaurant with affordable meals.  Since I was on a budget, I made sure to not spend more than $10 on meals.  This worked out very well.  After we ate, we walked around some more and finally headed back to the hotel.  I spent most of my money on taxi rides because every ride was about $20, for a one way trip.  At the hotel, we played a few slot machines before calling it a night.  I lost $17 on slots :-(.  My best friend, Chelsi, joined us the next day.  We found a cute little bar by the beach and got drinks and food before hitting the beach.  We decided to go on a banana boat and that was really fun.  The banana boat ride was $20.  The ride was a great rush and I had great laughs seeing people fall off into the water.  I was the only one that didn't fall off.  The salt water burned my eyes, which was the worst part.  Besides that, the ride was very fun.  After the ride, we laid out on the beach to catch some sun and left a few hours later.  I enjoyed people watching on the beach.  There were a lot of beautiful people on the beach, with different brown skin tones.  After the beach, we rested a little bit and went to a nightclub called Brava.  The cover charge was $20. It was really live in there and I had an OK time.  I'm not a fan of reggae-ton, so that's why it wasn't the greatest experience.  I knew the music would be ok, therefore I got a Crown on rocks to get me a little loose.  That drink was $11.

The next day we caught a taxi and went to the beach, before Snuba divining.  Snuba diving was a great experience.  It was $84. It's a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving.  Unlike scuba diving, we get an air supply from a tank that is hooked to a raft.  The furthest we are able to go underwater is 20 ft.  It took a lot getting use to breathing in my mouth and not my nose.  While under water, we saw lots of fish and some coral reef.  It was a really great experience.  After snuba, we swam some more in the Caribbean sea and headed back to the hotel.  My sister and friend decided to go to a few bars that night, while I stayed inside because of cramps.

Finally Monday was here and our flight didn't leave until 4:45 so we decided to catch a ferry that would bring us to the Bacardi distillery in Cantano. The ferry was $1 for a round trip.  I enjoyed the free tour of the Bacardi distillery and learning about the history of the brand.  We also were able to get complimentary cocktails, which was a plus.

I enjoyed my trip to San Juan and I definitely want to go back because we didn't have time to go horseback riding on the beach, zip-lining in the rainforest, or an excursion through the rainforest.  I also I needed more money to do these activities.  I somehow managed to come back with $33, which was shocking.

Chicken with garlic, rice and beans, and plantains
Blue cobblestone street in Old San Juan
My sister and best friend at Brava
Snuba diving
Tour at the Bacardi distillery
Balcony view from our hotel
Snuba diving
Bacardi distillery
Old San Juan
Old San Juan
San Juan Convention Center
Locals doing flips into the water

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  1. Wowww, that's amazing that you were able to do that, no joke! Me and my family went to Puerto Rico and didn't do much of anything and still shed out a lot of money. It's expensiveee there! I'm going to have to use some of these tips if we travel there again! Loveee your blog btw, lot of great reads and hair advice!