FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

by Gregory D. McCluney

Oct 23, 2015
2015

Close to the financial district and minutes from the history and culture of Old San Juan, El Condado is the luxury hub of San Juan and Puerto Rico. Visitors find luxury hotels like the Condado Plaza Hilton and the new Condado Vanderbilt (right out of the 1920s); boutiques such as Cartier, Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton; local fresh markets; protected beaches; and world-class fine dining, trendy bars, casinos and non-stop nightlife. It’s all surrounded by views of the Condado Lagoon and cooled by breezes off the Atlantic Ocean.

Shoppers can enjoy a cocktail in an exclusive boutique on Condado’s toney Ashford Avenue (often called the Caribbean’s Fifth Avenue); view original art from several galleries; and then shop for souvenirs, local art and fresh produce from local farmers at El Mercado Urbano (the Urban Market).

Catch some sun and a massage at one of the luxury hotels and spas that line the Atlantic Ocean beachfront and make your plans for dinner — almost every option is available right in the neighborhood. Foodies crowd Chef Martin Louzao’s Cocina Abierta for his duck tacos with orange-grape pico de gallo. At another favorite, Pikayo in the Condado Plaza Hilton, Chef Wilo Benet blends Puerto Rican flavors with those of Eastern Europe and Africa, which he calls “nu + global mix cuisine.” The newest A-list eatery is 1919 in the Condado Vanderbilt by Juan José Cuevas, a Michelin-starred chef.

If it’s too early to go clubbing, visitors can try their luck at one of the sleekest casinos in the Caribbean, Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort. It’s right on the beach and offers cutting-edge gaming, high-tech slots and table games.

For nightlife, head to one of the most popular dance spots, La Piazza Terrace Club, part of the DiZucchero Italian Restaurant and home to some of the best DJs in San Juan. Or cruise down Ashford to Coco’s Lounge at the Condado Palm. Nearby you’ll find the popular El Barril and Esteban’s on Aguadilla Street.

Condado is a little bit Fifth Avenue, a little more South Beach, with a nice dose of Puerto Rico mixed in to spice it up — an exotic combination.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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