Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Condo


Studio Condo Apartment with balcony, pool & parking lot!
Yvonne’s Condo is a beachfront studio condo conveniently located in the heart of Isla Verde Beach in Puerto Rico. Cozy enough to sit back and relax and enjoy the pool; close enough to spend a day out on Isla Verde beach; walking distance from great restaurants, live entertainment, museums, historic sites, beaches and shopping; a cab ride away from the historic streets of Old San Juan and El Morro or just a short day trip to Vieques, Culebra or El Yunque tropical rainforest.

The condo has all the amenities of home, and more!  The condo is located at the Saint Tropez gated community (between the ESJ Towers and El San Juan Hotel & Casino) and has a private parking lot and 24-hr security, as well as a pool for all guests. Yvonne's Condo is equipped with TV/cable, VCR, radio,  CD player, air conditioning, full kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, plus a washer/dryer in the facility for all guests. Eat breakfast on the balcony with it's small table and chairs and then begin your day!

Click on any of the archives on the left to find out more about Isla Verde and it's surrounding sites. Or better yet, email Yvonne & Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com and book your stay today!

Small breakfast nook and reading area

Pool is located at base of building, plus beach across the street
Cozy bath
Lobby entrance is adjacent to ESJ Towers & El San Juan Hotel & Casino
24-hour security at entrance & parking lot

Gated community

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Room Rates & Policies



Pool located at base of building, beach is across the street

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!


Policies & Refunds
  • Room rates are $125 per night during our high season  and $100 per night during our low season
  • There is a two-night minimum stay on weekends (Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday)
  • A five (5) day minimum notice is required during our low season (September-March) to receive a full refund. If less notice is given a refund can be issued only if the room is rebooked, otherwise your credit card will be debited for one night's rate.
  • There is a $50 cleaning fee.
  • There is a $150 refundable deposit required to obtain Keys, Parking Pass and Garage Remote Control.
  • Once Keys, Parking Pass and Garage Remote Control are returned, $150 will be refunded 100%.



To book your stay, email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Heading to PR?

La Isla del Encanto


Puerto Rico is known as "Isla del Encanto" (Island of Enchantment), and "The Shinning Star of the Caribbean". A beautiful, romantic island, full of friendly people, year round warm tropical weather, endless natural beauty, and over 400 years of Spanish influence. It's a vacation experience you'll truly enjoy.


Weather
The average is in the 80s (slightly lower in the winter and slightly higher in the summer), with relatively moderate to high humidity. Rainy season is May through December.


Attire
Dress comfortably, but for nightlife, dress to impress, sneaks and a t-shirt won't get you in if you want to go out for nice dinner, a nightclub or bar.


Must See Sites
Old San Juan, Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, El YunqueBalneario La Monserrate in Luquillo, Parque de las Cavernas del Río CamuyPlaya Flamenco, Vieques and Culebra.


Activities to Enjoy
Other than relaxing in your condo, walking the beach and sunset dinners. Puerto Rico offers it's tourists historic sites, biking, boating and sailing, surfing, diving and snorkeling, fishing, golf, horseback riding.


Visitor Information
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (800/866-7827) has offices at the airports in San Juan and Aguadilla, as well as downtown offices in San Juan, Cabo Rojo, and Ponce. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company New York City offices are located at 135 West, 50th Street, 22nd Floor (800/223-6530)


El Morro is the most recognized landmarks of the island


Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Around


Luis Munoz Marin San Juan International Airport (SJU) is a public airport located in Carolina, 3 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (787/791-4670) or (787/791-3840)

Driving Directions
Baldorioty de Castro Avenue runs west from the airport past the Isla Verde, Ocean Park and Condado sectors (tourist areas) into Old San Juan.

Car Rentals
A car is not necesary if you are staying in Old San Juan, Isla Verde or San Juan; taxis are more cost-effective. However, if you want to explore the island for a day or two, then a car is a necessity. Car rental companies with desks on the first level of each terminal include Avis, Budget, Charlie, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Offices are in Concourse E, and there are courtesy telephones in the Arrivals area

Taxi
Taxis are available from the first level of each terminal (journey time to San Juan is 30-45 minutes). The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has instituted a well-organized taxi program. Taxis painted white and displaying the taxi turistico logo charge set rates depending on the destination; they run from the airport or the cruise-ship piers to Isla Verde, Condado/Ocean Park, and Old San Juan, with fixed "zone" rates ranging from $10 to $19. If you take a cab going somewhere outside the fixed zones, insist on setting the meter. City tours start at $30 per hour. Metered cabs authorized by the Public Service Commission start at $1 and charge 10¢ for every additional 1/3 mi. 

Public Transportion
Regular buses and airport shuttles run to San Juan, where there is a ferry service from Pier 2 across the bay to Catano. The journey time is about 45 minutes.

The Tren Urbano (urban train) is a 10.7 mile  metropolitan rapid-transit system which links the central business district to residential and employment areas in San Juan, Bayamón, and Guaynabo. At the present the Tren Urbano is composed of 16 stations, ten of which are elevated, four at grade or in open cuttings, and two underground.  The train runs everyday with from 5:30am to 11:30pm. The $1.50 fare includes a one-way transfer to ride the bus. (866/900-1284).

Boat and Ferry
The Puerto Rico Ports Authority (787/863-0705) runs passenger ferries from Fajardo to Culebra and Vieques. Service is from the ferry terminal in Fajardo, about a 90-minute drive from San Juan. There are a limited number of seats on the ferries, so get to the terminal in plenty of time.

The Fajardo-Culebra ferry leaves Culebra daily at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.. The 90-minute trip is $2.25.

The Fajardo-Vieques passenger ferry departs from Vieques weekdays at 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p..m, and 8:00p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.

On weekends ferries depart from Vieques at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m..

Tickets for the 90-minute journey are $2 each way.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Info

Puerto Rico is truly breathtaking!


The island of Puerto Rico (est. pop. 3,917,000), is about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida and just east of the Dominican Republic and west of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island is approximately 90 miles wide in an east-west direction and 30 miles wide between the north and south coasts.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a self-governing entity in association with the United States), it includes the offshore islands of Mona, Vieques, and Culebra. The capital and largest city is San Juan. Puerto Rico has a mountainous, tropical ecosystem with very little flat land and few mineral resources. The coasts of tropical Puerto Rico are flat but most of the interior is mountainous. The tallest mountain is in the center of the island, Cerro de Punta, which is 4,389 feet high. About eight percent of the land is arable for agriculture.

Puerto Rico's governor is elected directly for a four-year term. A bicameral legislature consists of a 27-member Senate and a 51-member House of Representatives, all elected for four-year terms. Under the Commonwealth formula, residents of Puerto Rico lack voting representation in Congress and do not participate in presidential elections. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are subject to military service and most federal laws. Residents of the Commonwealth pay no federal income tax on locally generated earnings, but Puerto Rican government income-tax rates are set at a level that closely parallels federal-plus-state levies on the mainland.

For more information, visit Bienvenidos, the official visitors magazine of The Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association.

Map of Puerto Rico

A = Old San Juan arrow points to Yvonne's Condo
distance is literally 15 minutes away by car or taxi

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Isla Verde

Isla Verde Beach ranked top 10 in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine

Isla Verde is a district of the City of Carolina, Puerto Rico. It is bordered to the north by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west by the City of San Juan metro area of El Condado, to the south by San Juan metro area of Santurce and to the east by downtown Carolina. Isla Verde has been, for decades, a main tourist area in Puerto Rico, hosting various hotels, casinos, disco and restaurants.

Isla Verde has one of the finest white sand beaches on the Island (Isla Verde Beach) with a wide variety of activities. Isla Verde Beach was named as one of the top ten City beaches in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine and has been awarded the eco-label of a Blue Flag beach, which attests to its water and environmental quality and safety.

Isla Verde is only 10 minutes from Old San Juan, 5 minutes from El Condado, and 40 minutes from El Yunque Rainforest.  Isla Verde is also only five minutes from the Luis Munoz Marin San Juan International Airport (SJU). Generally, when tourists say they vacationed in San Juan, they were most likely in Isla Verde, El Condado or Old San Juan. The San Juan Metro Area is considered to encompass the Puerto Rico municipalities of Carolina, Santurce, San Juan, Bayamon, Guaynabo, Hato Rey, plus other smaller municipalities.

If you love gorgeous architecture, great beaches, fantastic restaurants, Old San Juan and Isla Verde are definitely the places to visit and stay.

strips of pink and white sand welcome all!

Isla Verde Beach strip

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beaches

Isla Verde Beach ranked top 10 in the world by Travel & Leisure
There are two deep, curved pale-pink-sand beaches, each a mile-and-a-half long, make up Isla Verde. Both have gentle waves and are hugely popular with families. The beach as been awarded the eco-label of a Blue Flag beach, so expect strict environmental regulations and on weekends, Blue Flag officials set up a booth and talk with children about the environment.

Isla Verde Beaches stretch for distance


Other Beaches
Drive along the coast line and you can literally find a spot to drop your blanket and slather on the suntan lotion. It's just far too beautiful an island to list each beach you can visit, but I can list a a few beaches near Isla Verde where you can drive to.
  • Balneario La Monserrate is off Rte. 3, Luquillo; Cost: Parking $3 Hours: Tues.-Sun. 9-5
  • San Juan's Ocean Park is  2.1 miles to the west 
  • Seven Seas Beach is 26.4 miles to the east
  • Condado Beach is located 3.5 miles from Isla Verde Beach
Scuba Diving
Diving is excellent off Puerto Rico's south, east, and west coasts, as well as its nearby islands. There's the south coast near La Parguera and Guánica, Fajardo, Vieques and Culebra just to name a few.

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Restaurants in Isla Verde

Empanadillas
The native Taíno Indians, the Spanish conquistadores, and the African slaves have all influenced what has come to be known around the island as Comida Criolla. As such, even though Puerto Rican food has its roots in Caribbean and Spanish cuisine, it is its own creature.  However, you can't leave the island 
without trying mofongo (mashed plantain with your choice of filling; vegetarian, shrimp, steak, pork, seafood), lechón (roast suckling pig), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), asopao (soup), alcapurrias (a kind of fried turnover), friturasalmojábanas (cheese-flavored rice fritters), bacalaítos (codfish-flavored fritters), and buñuelos (yam fritters), and empanadillas. Or finding out what makes Sofrito our liquid gold!

Metropol Latin American  
Puerto Rican, Cuban, International
Av. Isla Verde in Club Gallistico
Reservations not necessary (787/791-4046)

Panadería España Repostería
Light Fare/Fast Food and great Cuban sandwich
Centro Comercial Villamar, Marginal Baldoriti de Castro
Reservations not necessary (787/727-3860)

Ciao Mediterranean Café 
Mediterranean
Av. Isla Verde 5961
Reservations recommended for dinner (787/791-6100)

La Piccola Fontana
Northern Italian
Av. Isla Verde 6063
Reservations required (787/791-0966)




Ruth's Chris Steak House
Av. Isla Verde 187
Reservations recommended (787/253-1717)


Tangerine
Asian/Pac Rim
Tartak St. 2
Reservations required (787/728-3666)

Yamato 
Sushi/Japanese 
Av. Isla Verde 6063 in Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino
Reservations recommended (787/791-1000) 


The Algave Ranch 
American, Steak
Av. Isla Verde 6063 in El San Juan Hotel & Casino
Reservations recommended at dinner Fri-Sat (787/791-1000) 

The Palm
Seafood
Isla Verde 6063in El San Juan Hotel & Casino
Reservations recommended (787/791-1000)

Seafood paella

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Restaurants in Old San Juan

Empanadillas
Old San Juan's "restaurant row" is located on Calle Fortaleza, just about any place you step into, Caribbean or not, will definitely make your tastebuds happy! 

If you've never tried Puerto Rican cuisine, you can't leave the island without trying mofongo (mashed plantain with your choice of filling; vegetarian, shrimp, steak, pork, seafood), lechón (roast suckling pig), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), asopao (soup), alcapurrias (a kind of fried turnover), frituras, almojábanas (cheese-flavored rice fritters), bacalaítos (codfish-flavored fritters), and buñuelos (yam fritters), and empanadillas.
Puerto Rican / Caribbean Cuisine:
Raíces    
Calle Recinto Sur 315
Reservations not necessary (787/289-2121)

Caña 
Calle Cristo 100
Reservations recommended (787/723-9200)

La Mallorquina Caribbean
Calle San Justo 207
Reservations not accepted at lunch, recommended at dinner (787/722-3261)

El Patio de Sam
Calle San Sebastián 102
Reservations not necessary (787/723-1149)

Café Puerto Rico
Calle O'Donnell 208
No reservations needed (787/724-2281)

Amadeus
Calle San Sebastián 106
Reservations recommended (787/722-8635)

Barú
Calle San Sebastián 150
Reservations recommended (787/977-7107)

Don Tello    
Ave. las Nereidas 36
Reservations recommended (787/788-1951)

La Bombonera
Calle San Francisco 259
Reservations recommended (787/722-0658)

Spanish/Portuguese Cuisine:
El Picoteo
Calle del Cristo 100
Reservations recommended (787/723-9202)

Toro Salao
Calle Tetuan 367
Reservations not accepted (787/722-3330)

Nuevo Latino Cuisine:
Parrot Club
Calle Fortaleza 363
Reservations not accepted (787/725-7370) 
Live music in evenings   

Aguaviva Seafood 
Calle Fortaleza 364
Reservations not accepted (787/722-0665)  

Dragonfly 
Calle Fortaleza 364
Reservations not accepted (787/977-3886)

Indian Cuisine:
Tantra
Calle Fortaleza 356
Reservations required for groups (787/977-8141)

Mediterranean, Greek, Lebanese Cuisine:
Makarios
Calle Tetuán 361
Reservations not necessary (787/723-8653)

International Cuisine:
Burén
Calle Cristo 103
Reservations recommended Sat-Sun (787/977-5023)

Café Berlin
Plaza de Colón 407
No reservations needed (787/722-5205)

Patio del Nispero
Calle del Cristo 100
Reservations not necessary (787/723-9020)
Live music is featured 2 evenings a week

Carli Café Concierto
Calle Tetuán 206
Reservations recommended (787/725-4927)

Eclectic Cuisine:
Ostra Cosa Eclectic 
Calle del Cristo 154
Reservations recommended (787/722-2672)

French Cuisine:
Calle Fortaleza 311
Reservations recommended (787/725-7959)

Bodega Chic
Calle Cristo 51
Reservations recommended (787/722-0124)

Italian Cuisine:
Al Dente  
Calle Recinto Sur 309
Reservations recommended (787/723-7303)

Il Perugino
Cristo St. 105
Reservations recommended (787/722-5481)

Sofia
Calle San Francisco 355
Reservations recommended at night (787/721-0396)

Raíces restaurant has Caguas boys in the kitchen, so enjoy the rustic Puerto Rican setting!

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Old San Juan

The streets of Old San Juan are gorgeous
Did you know that Old San Juan is the second oldest city in the western hemisphere and the oldest city under the U.S. flag?

If want to go to explore the history of Puerto Rico, just spend some time in Old San Juan! Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes to enjoy the architecture, the language, the foods, the sunsets!

Old San Juan is a 465-year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. The city includes more than 400 carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings.
Each turn brings a surprise!

Streets are paved with blue cobblestones of adoquine.

Below is a list of plazas and their statues, should you come across them during your exploratory walks!











Plaza de San José 

Plaza de San José features bronze statue of Ponce de León

Plaza del Quinto Centenario
Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Square) features a sculpture by one of Puerto Rico's foremost artists, Jaime Suarez,in black granite and ceramics symbolizes the earthen and clay roots of American history.










Plaza de Armas











Plaza de Armas (arms square) on San José Street features four statues representing the four seasons.
Plaza de Colón
Plaza de Colón (Columbus square) features bronze tablets at the pedestal of the Columbus statue record important episodes in the explorer's life.

Plazuela de la Rogativa
Plazuela de la Rogativa  features a modern sculpture depicting a procession of religious women commemorates an event that took place on the site in 1797.

Plaza de Hostos
The Plaza de Hostos is located near La Casita, which includes artisan displays, snack stands, and traditional piragüeros.

There are also small parks throughout Old San Juan which are just as beautiful as the plaza and many with just as much history!










El Parque de las Palomas 

El Parque de las Palomas (pigeon park) is located at the top of the city wall, this park overlooks the restored La Princesa Jail, now a government office with an attractive art gallery.

The Muñoz Rivera Park
The Muñoz Rivera Park is an spacious ocean side park with large trees, landscape gardens and wide walks, located on Jesús T. Piñero Avenue. Open Tues-Sun 9:00am - 5:00pm.

Martí Coll Linera Park
Martí Coll Linera Park, can be accessed from 3 different places: right next to the AquExpreso terminal in Hato Rey, from a corner of the Parque Central, and from the San Juan Park. Perfect for if you’re a runner or a biker.

Puerto Rico's CentralPark
Central Park has facilities for jogging, baseball, calisthenics and tennis.

Forts
For photos and information on Puerto Rico's Forts, click here or click on the archive on this blog called El Morro
El Morro

Old San Juan is really quite amazing and gorgeous and very easy to spend a day walking and window shopping. If you're not comfortable walking about on your own, you can always do the tourist thing and book a walking tour.

Email Yvonne and Nelson at Rentals@YvonnesCondo.com to book your condo stay today!Rentals@yvonnescondo.com