Escape from Miami to San Juan on a budget

Escape from Miami to San Juan on a budgetPhoto: iStock
Published on July 31, 2019

Can't stop daydreaming about an island escape? Consider heading to San Juan, which was named the top destination on the New York Times' list of places to visit in 2019. Settled on the island's north shore facing the Atlantic Ocean, San Juan is Puerto Rico's capital and largest city — and has plenty to offer.

San Juan boasts many areas of interest, all worth visiting, including 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. There's also the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade in Old San Juan, home to a number of imposing fortresses, as well as El Yunque National Forest, located within fairly close proximity of the city.

It’s more doable than you might think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are ample flights from Miami 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 compelling deals to put on your radar. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Cheapest San Juan flights

The cheapest flights between Miami and San Juan are if you leave on Sept. 19 and return from Puerto Rico on Sept. 21. LATAM Airlines currently has roundtrip tickets for $209.

There are also deals to be had in October. If you fly out of Miami on Oct. 9 and return from San Juan on Oct. 12, LATAM Airlines can get you there and back for $219, roundtrip.

Top San Juan hotels

To help plan your stay, here are some of San Juan’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that were selected based on price, proximity to activities and customer satisfaction.

Hotel El Convento (100 Cristo St., Old San Juan)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

For an all-around top recommendation, consider Hotel El Convento, which has a 4.9-star rating on Skyscanner.

Nestled in the historical district of Old San Juan, this boutique hotel offers convenient access to several noteworthy attractions, including the San Juan Bautista Cathedral, Puerta de San Juan and La Fortaleza Palacio de Santa Catalina.

The Condado Plaza Hilton (999 Ashford Ave.)

There's also The Condado Plaza Hilton, which currently has a 4.8-star rating.

"Great place to stay. The hotel is big with tons of restaurants and things to do right in the plaza. The pool area is large and it's right on the beach," wrote visitor Maddie. 

The Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino (1309 Ashford Ave.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is The Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino, rated 4.7-stars.

This beachfront resort is close to Plaza del Mercado and Condado Beach, as well as the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

Featured San Juan food and drink

San Juan has plenty of top-notch dining options. Here are a few of the most popular local dining establishments, according to Skyscanner.

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.

"Santaella celebrates the roots of the island's comida criolla, and incorporates techniques, flavors and fusions from around the world into its food," wrote "Santaella will elevate and redefine your Puerto Rican dining experience."

Kasalta (1966 Mc Leary)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Another noteworthy dining destination is Kasalta, with 4.6 stars from 29 reviews.

"Great place for sandwiches, seafood, cheeses and pastries," wrote Hector. "Beverages include beer, wine and all kinds of refreshments, including great coffee. A local's favorite."

El Jibarito (280 Calle Sol)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is 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. ... And everything was fantastic."

Acapulco Taqueria Mexicana (2021 Calle Loíza)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's Acapulco Taqueria Mexicana.

"Started out with [the] fried cheese and it was delicious," wrote Dani. "The tacos are to die for, especially la cochinita."

Featured local attractions

Not sure what to do in San Juan, besides eat and drink? Here are a few activity recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Old San Juan (San Juan)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Old San Juan.

"Old San Juan was beautiful," wrote visitor Sofia. "So much history, and great restaurants! ... I highly recommend coming here if you're interested in learning history, local food, museums and much more."

Castillo San Felipe del Morro (501 Calle Norzagaray)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Castillo San Felipe del Morro is another notable destination.

Constructed in 1540 and now listed in the National Historic Register, this six-story fort hides a warren of prison cells, barracks and hallways, attacked on many occasions throughout history by both English and Dutch forces.

"El Morro was breathtaking!" wrote visitor Sofia. "It's located in Old San Juan. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes."

The Bacardi Rum Factory (Cataño)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Lastly, spend some time at The Bacardi Rum Factory.

See how Bacardi is made and enjoy rum samples while taking a tour of the original Bacardi Rum Factory.

"This place is quite charming. ... They have a nice free tour of their plant, and then they even offer you a complimentary drink," wrote visitor Julio. "The view from Cataño Bay to Old San Juan is really astonishing, especially during sunset." 

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.