Six Days In Paradise

There are not enough nice words in the world to describe my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Everything about it fell into place — from our incredible presidential suite to our plans for the week — and I don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. That said, there were some things I couldn’t have lived without, and I feel I should share those packing tips with you (and anyone else looking for an easy, fun experience). And, of course, I have several suggestions on things to do and places to see…

1. I barely wore makeup except for sunscreen all week, primarily because I’m lazy. But, the only nights I did, I stuck to Diorshow mascara, Sephora waterproof eyeliner and Sonia Kashuk’s eyeshadow duo in True Love (which they do not make anymore). I’m really not into the heavy makeup look, and these 3 products were perfect for a barely-there, sunkissed emphasis around my eyes. In terms of sunscreen, I highly recommend Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch formula for all-day wear, and Supergoop’s sunscreen serum.

2. Despite packing plenty of clothes for the whole week, I found myself going back to my Madewell denim shorts after realizing that it was too windy for dresses. Very comfortable and very versatile. The other staple I couldn’t have survived without was a white, Kate Spade Saturday crossbody bag that I scooped up before the brand shuttered in March. There’s a similar style here. It’s obviously not beach-friendly, but it came with me to four out of six days of sightseeing. It’s small enough not to weigh on my shoulders, and can comfortably fit keys, my cell phone (in this enormous case), sunscreen, and several cards + cash. One of the best purchases of my life.

3. Can’t recommend this snorkeling trip to Culebra enough. We were lucky enough to visit Flamenco Island — the number two most beautiful beach in the world. The crew is not f*cking around when they say the ride to the island is bumpy, though, so take dramamine if you’re susceptible to seasickness. You’re also going to want to reapply sunscreen several times.

Flamenco Beach, Culebra
Flamenco Beach, Culebra

4. And following that last bullet, do not use this sunscreen for anything. It claims to be “ultra water and sweat resistant,” but came off while I walked through the drizzling rain for 3 minutes. Seriously disappointing. And, if you’re like me and miss spots while reapplying sunblock at the beach, it can’t hurt to pack aloe gel. Many friends also recommended aloe + lidocaine and constant doses of Advil after a severe sunburn, like the one I developed on day two of my trip.

5. You absolutely must bring home ron del barrilito and coffee from Hacienda San Pedro, eat at Punto de Vista in Old San Juan and Jose Enrique, visit these historic sites, and spend a day at the beach.

Coffee from Hacienda San Pedro at Abracadabra
Coffee from Hacienda San Pedro at Abracadabra

Would love to hear any and all suggestions about things or places I missed. I know I also owe you all a post about last night’s event with The Society of Grownups. But, please bear with me! I promise it’s coming.

Hope you all are enjoying the slow change of season into spring. And wearing sunblock, obviously. Keep your eyes peeled for another post coming your way! xx

Published by Julie Bogen

CT --> NYC --> Washington, DC. Audience Engagement at The Atlantic, formerly at & R29.

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