Escape from Philadelphia to San Juan on a budget

Photo: iStock

If you're looking to escape to the tropics, head to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the destination with the top spot on the New York Times' list of places to visit in 2019.

The island's capital and largest city faces the Atlantic Ocean, and it has plenty to offer. Plan to visit both the Isla Verde resort strip, known for its bars, nightclubs and casinos, and Old San Juan, which features colorful Spanish colonial buildings, cobble-stoned streets and 16th-century landmarks.

It's more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from Philadelphia to San Juan in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list.

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Cheapest San Juan flights

Currently, the cheapest flights between Philadelphia and San Juan are if you leave on Feb. 19 and return from Puerto Rico on Feb. 21. Spirit Airlines currently has tickets for $164, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had later in February. If you fly out of Philadelphia on Feb. 26 and return from San Juan on March 1, Spirit Airlines can get you there and back for $166 roundtrip.

Top San Juan hotels

Regarding where to stay, here are two of San Juan's top-rated hotels, that we selected from Skyscanner's listings based on price and customer satisfaction.

The Hotel El Convento (100 Cristo St. Old, San Juan)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to treat yourself, consider The Hotel El Convento. The boutique hotel has a 4.9-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $280.

Located in the historical district, the hotel is near the Museo del Nino's, the San Juan Cathedral and Puerta de San Juan.

The Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino (1309 Ashford Ave.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

There's also the 4.7-star rated The Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino, which has rooms for $261/night. This beachfront resort is close to Plaza del Mercado and Condado Beach.

Featured San Juan food and drink

Don't miss San Juan's food scene, with plenty of popular spots to get your fill of local cuisine. Here are a few of the top-rated eateries from Skyscanner's listings.

Santaella (219 Calle Canals)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

One of San Juan's most popular restaurants is Santaella, which has an average of five stars out of 10 reviews on Skyscanner.

Acapulco Taqueria Mexicana (2021 Calle Loiza)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another popular dining destination is Acapulco Taqueria Mexicana, with five stars from six reviews.

"We were recommended to try this place out," wrote reviewer Dani. "Started out with the fried cheese and it was delicious."

Jose Enrique (176 Calle Duffaut)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Jose Enrique.

"Awesome local food," wrote Jasey. "It allows you to bring your own booze and you sometimes have to wait for a table. No reservations."

El Jibarito (280 Calle Sol)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's El Jibarito.

"San Juan dining at its best," wrote Aaron. "The friendly atmosphere, the local feel and the celebration of Puerto Rico's history are just the visual appetizers for the culinary delight that is to come."

Top San Juan attractions

To round out your trip, San Juan offers plenty of popular attractions worth visiting. Here are some top recommendations, based on Skyscanner's descriptions and reviews.

Old San Juan
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Old San Juan.

"Old San Juan was beautiful," wrote visitor Sofia. "Spent the whole day there with my family. We loved it. So much history and great restaurants. There's a lot to do here."

Castillo San Felipe del Morro (501 Calle Norzagaray)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Castillo San Felipe del Morro is another popular destination.

Constructed in 1540, this six-story fort hides a warren of prison cells, barracks and hallways and was attacked on many occasions by both English and Dutch forces.

Viejo San Juan, San Juan
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, spend some time at Viejo San Juan

"Old San Juan offers great sightseeing, shops and restaurants," wrote visitor Jasey. "You may want to wear your walking shoes."

This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.
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