The Paradores of Puerto Rico

The best places to stay on the island

Puerto Rico
View from the pool at a Paradore in Puerto Rico.

By Michael DeFreitas

[Editor's Note: Many of these establishments in Puerto Rico were damaged and may be without electricity due to the hurricane of 2017. Be sure to check with each one to see their current status.]

Affectionately known as the "Isle of Enchantment," Puerto Rico attracts millions of visitors to its shores each year.

Most come to savor the island's spectacular palm-fringed beaches, championship golf courses, luxurious resorts and casinos, world-class shopping and the quaint cobblestone streets of Old San Juan.

But to really experience the enchantment of this tropical paradise, you must sample Puerto Rico's countryside or as the locals call it "en la isla." Venturing beyond the big resorts of San Juan reveals a tranquil beauty -- the envy of other Caribbean islands -- and scattered throughout the countryside are an array of charming inns called Paradores Puertorriquenos.

Best known for their hospitality, affordable rates, traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and picturesque locations, paradores are the favorite choice of Puerto Ricans when they travel "out on the island."

Here are a few recommended paradores around the island.

Greater San Juan Area

The quiet neighborhoods of Ocean Park, Condado and Isla Verde, just east of San Juan, are fringed with great beaches and offer an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the resort areas. These neighborhoods are rich in old colonial homes and a few of the larger ones have been converted into small inns and guesthouses.

Casa del Caribe Inn
57 Caribe St., San Juan, PR 00907
Tel: 787-722-7139, Email: reservations@casadelcaribeinn.com
Website: http://casadelcaribeinn.com/
A true Caribbean bed & breakfast inn nestled in the heart of Condado. Close to the beach, casinos, dancing, quaint restaurants and shops, but in a quiet neighborhood. Huge wrap-around veranda overlooking a tropical garden. $95 - $170.

Borinquen Beach Inn
5451 Isla Verde Avenue, Isla Verde, PR 00979
Tel: 787-728-8400, Email: borinquenbeachinn@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.borinquenbeachinn.com/bbinn/
Being right in the center of Isla Verde's nightlife, you are only a walk around from casinos, restaurants and the beaches of Isla Verde. During your stay be sure to check out Castillo del Morro, a beautiful national park dating back to the 16th century. $85-$135.

Number One Guest House
Calle Santa Ana 1, Ocean Park, PR 00911
Tel: 787-726-5010, Email: info@numero1guesthouse.com
Website: http://www.numero1guesthouse.com/
Located on Ocean Park beach this family owned and operated 8-room inn has all the comforts of home and a great restaurant. $99 - $500.

Tres Palmas Inn
2212 Park Blvd., San Juan, PR 00913
Tel: 787-727-4617, Email: reservations@trespalmasinn.com
Website: https://www.trespalmasinn.com/
This Spanish 12-room inn fronts Isla Verde Beach and its owner Manuel Peredo keeps it in immaculate condition. Oceanview sun deck and tropical jacuzzi pool. $135-$324

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The colorful exterior of the Tres Palm Inn. Photo from Tres Palm Inn.

Northwest

The rugged northwest is karst country with rolling limestone hills called mogotes. For this reason, most of the paradores are located along the narrow coastal plain. Two of the islands major attractions, the Arecibo Observatory (the world's largest radio-dish telescope) and the Rio Camuy Caves are located in this region

Hotel El Guajataca
Road #2 Km 103.8, Barrio Terranova, Quebradillas, PR 00678
Tel: 787-895-3070 Email: actividadeshotelelguajataca@gmail.com
Website: http://www.hotelelguajataca.com/
Set on beautiful Guajataca beach about 70 miles West of San Juan, Hotel El Guajataca is a complex of small cottages. Each cottage has two rooms (38 in all) with private balconies overlooking the blue Atlantic. $101-$125.

Hotel Perichi's

Relax by the pool at Hotel Perichi's. Photo from Hotel Perichi's Facebook.

Road #102 Km.14, Playa Joyuda, Cabo Rojo. HC 02 PO Box 16310, Cabo Rojo, PR 00623.
Tel: 787-851-3131, Email: hotelperichi@gmail.com
Website: http://www.hotelperichi.com/
This modern, 3-story inn is caressed by cool ocean breezes and its award-winning restaurant serves up traditional island delicacies. $92 - $127.

South

Puerto Rico's south side is the driest and least populated area on the island. The historical city of Ponce is rich in colonial architecture and contains a number of world-class museums. Just north of Ponce is the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center an ancient Taino Indian village.

Parador Banos de Coamo
Road #546, Coamo. PO Box 1867, Coamo, PR 00769
Tel: 787-825-2186
From its perch on the lower slopes of the Cordillera Central mountain range, this rustic 48-room inn is built on the site of the most ancient hot thermal baths in the Americas. Due to the damages from Hurricane Maria, the hotel is being renovated but the thermal spas are open. $85 - $95.

Enjoy the beautiful view of Parador Villa Parguera. Photo from Parador Villa Parguera Facebook.

Parador Villa Parguera
Road #304, La Parguera, Lajas. PO Box 273, Lajas, PR 00667
Tel: 787-899-7777
Email: hotel@villaparguerapr.com
Website: https://www.villaparguerapr.com/
On the beach at Phosphorescent Bay and adjacent to the largest dry tropical coastal forest in the world, this large parador (62 rooms) still maintains a cozy feel to it. $107 - $194.

East

Puerto Rico's mountainous and windblown east side offers breathtaking scenery and the islands main natural attractions. The Caribbean National Forest and El Yunque are the most visited sites on the island. This is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest Service and it contains two of the islands highest peaks: El Toro (1,075 m) and El Yunque (1,065 m). Many of the paradores in this area cater to hikers and nature lovers.

Caribe Playa
Road #3 Km 112 Patillas. PO Box 8490, Guardarraya, Patillas, PR 00723.
Tel: 787- 839-6339, Email: manager@caribeplaya.com
Website: www.caribeplaya.com
Thirty-two studio rooms right on the beach will make your stay very comfortable. Great for families. $92-$130.

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Hotel Yunque Mar
Calle 1 #6 Fortuna Playa, Luquillo, PR 00773
Tel: 787-889-5555
Website: www.hotelyunquemar.com
Take in the ocean views of Fortuna Beach from the balconies of this intimate 15-room, family-owned property. $120-$260.

Parador Palmas de Lucia
Road Panor mica #901 Int 911, Camino Nuevo, Playa Luc¡a, Yabucoa. PO Box 1746, Yabucoa, PR 00767
Tel: 787-893-4423, Email:
Website: www.tropicalinnspr.com/parador-palmas-de-lucia
Located on Lucia beach, just east of Yabucoa, this Parador boasts oceanview balconies in all its 34-rooms. $114 - $175.

Interior

The least explored, but the most rewarding side of Puerto Rico is its interior. The cool mountain air, panoramic vista and the friendliness of the people make this a must experience. A scenic road called the Panoramic Route runs east to west along the island's Cordillera Central mountains and there are many paradores and attractions along the way.

Parador Hacienda Gripinas
Road #527 Km 2.5 Barrio Veguita Final, Jayuya. PO Box 488, Jayuya, PR 00664
Tel: 787-828-1717, Email: phgjayuya@hotmail.com
Website: http://haciendagripinas.tripod.com/
High in the hills above Jayuya in the Cordillera Central sits the fully restored Hacienda Gripinas. This beautiful historic 19-room coffee plantation house was built in 1858 and offers a true Old World experience in a classic tropical garden setting. $97 - $181.

Parador Hacienda Juanita
Road #105 Km 23.5 Maricao. PO Box 777, Maricao, PR 00606
Tel: 787-903-0307, Email: reservations@haciendajuanitapr.com
Website: http://www.haciendajuanitapr.com
A traditional coffee plantation house with 21 rustic rooms surrounded by wonderful tropical gardens. Nature trails, local cuisine, and friendly staff. $87-$115

Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
Road #612, Km 1, Utuado. PO Box 1499, Utuado, PR 00641
Tel: 787-894-3939, Email: relax@hotelcasagrande.com
Website: https://hotelcasagrande.com/en/
Transplanted New Yorker Steven Weingarten welcomes you to his 20-room mountain retreat. This former coffee plantation is as far away from everything as you can get and their Jungle Jane's restaurant serves some of the finest local cuisines on the island. $136

Villas de Sotomayor
Road #10 Km 36, Adjuntas. PO Box 661, Adjuntas, PR 00601
Tel: 787-829-1717 , Email: reservations@paradorvillassotomayor.com
Website: http://www.paradorvillassotomayor.com/
This modern 34-room villa deep in the mountains is located in a private valley just west of the town of Adjuntas. They even have their own private airstrip. $121 - $267.

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