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First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

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plymouth...
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First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

Hi Thanks for your help.

We are taking a family vacation to El Conquistador, 4 adults 2 children, ages 13 & 9.

Questions are

1. Can we bring a few frozen meals from home to the resort? We already know that the food there is pricey. We thought we would eat in 3 nights out the other three

2. Is the water at the resort safe to drink, does it taste like spring water??

3 I understand there is a little store on property, how are the prices? and what might they have there? Just the regular staples, (bread milk any fruit?? )That type of thing?

4.Is there a big enough sandy beach at the private island?? Do we need to bring water shoes??

5. Can you bring on the island any drinks or snacks, etc????

6. Taxis or shuttles from the airport?? What is the difference in prices where it is the 6 of us?? We really don not want to rent a car, but just in case any suggestions on a name, we will probably need a small van where it is the 6 of us.

7. Is ther any transportation offered to go off sight to sight see, (sightseeing buses) We definitely want to go to the rainforest. If there is nothing offered how much would it be for a taxi?? And how much is the Rain Forrest to get in??

8. We were thinking of getting the breakfast option, Does anyone know if it's worth it??

9. How is the knew water park?? Looks like fun, how much is it to get in??

10. We see there is a tram that goes up the cliff, is there a fee for that???

11. Hey its a vacation we really want to mostly stay & enjoy the resort. We are just trying to figure out a budget

We would like to see Old San Juan Is that worth

it??

12. Can you walk to anything off the property, stores, shops?? Is it safe there??

13. Any opinions on what restuarants to try?? They all look great!

I know this sis a lot of questions any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so very much!!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

I will try to answer what I can

1. Can we bring a few frozen meals from home to the resort? We already know that the food there is pricey. We thought we would eat in 3 nights out the other three

<If you have cooking facilities-and this I think is limited to Las Casitas village>

2. Is the water at the resort safe to drink, does it taste like spring water??

<yes, it is safe to drink, but it certainly doesn't taste like spring water-tell me where tap water tastes like spring water, and I might mover there.>

3 I understand there is a little store on property, how are the prices? and what might they have there? Just the regular staples, (bread milk any fruit?? )That type of thing?

<There is a sundry shop with snacks and things. Not sure if they have bread and milk. Expect to pay double what you would pay at the grocery store down the road>

4.Is there a big enough sandy beach at the private island?? Do we need to bring water shoes??

<yes, the beach is nice, but there is a lot of broken coral, so water shoes are a must>

5. Can you bring on the island any drinks or snacks, etc????

<not supposed to, but we did in an inconspicuous bag. No one stopped us. What is the worst they will do, say "you can't have that", you apologize, and put it back in your room.>

6. Taxis or shuttles from the airport?? What is the difference in prices where it is the 6 of us?? We really don not want to rent a car, but just in case any suggestions on a name, we will probably need a small van where it is the 6 of us.

<without a car, you are TRAPPED at El Con>

7. Is ther any transportation offered to go off sight to sight see, (sightseeing buses) We definitely want to go to the rainforest. If there is nothing offered how much would it be for a taxi?? And how much is the Rain Forrest to get in??

<Hotel offers tours, but they are EXPENSIVE-like cruise ship excursions. You would be better off with a car and doing it yourself to El Y. There is no charge to get in, per se, but I think you are expected to stop in at the visitor center and pay. I forget.>

8. We were thinking of getting the breakfast option, Does anyone know if it's worth it??

<Didn't do this-too expensive, but people said it was big, and would eat as late as possible so it would be breakfast and lunch.>

9. How is the knew water park?? Looks like fun, how much is it to get in??

<This was not yet completed when we were there.>

10. We see there is a tram that goes up the cliff, is there a fee for that???

<No, the funucluar is free. It is a long way around the resort-it is MASSIVE>

11. Hey its a vacation we really want to mostly stay & enjoy the resort. We are just trying to figure out a budget

We would like to see Old San Juan Is that worth

it??

<We skipped OSJ both times in PR. We are more into nature than history, so can't advise.>

12. Can you walk to anything off the property, stores, shops?? Is it safe there??

<no, you can not walk to ANYTHING. You are totally trapped. They do this on purpose to try to suck every dollar from your wallet. Again, recommend a car so you can get to grocery stores, see the sites, etc. but be prepared to pay the resort $15+ per day to park it.>

13. Any opinions on what restuarants to try?? They all look great!

<The oriental one is very good.>

plymouth...
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2. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

Hi

I just wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to answer me.

Vacations are great but soooo much to plan. Hey at least we're not at work.

Thanks again!!

Washington DC...
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3. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

No problem. I am not a big fan of El Con, but that was my personal preference. We enjoyed our days there, but it was just too big for my tastes, very "Vegasesque", and I had a big problem with a lot of the nickel and diming and the prices. For example, when we were there 18 mos ago, a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich was $9. That really turned me off.

I think considering what you can save vs. what it would cost you to be at the mercy of others, rent a car. There is a lot you can get in and around Fajardo. 6 of us had breakfast in Burger King before going to Culebra for the day and we paid $20. (There still wasn't sales tax in PR at the time.) Driving around is not any worse than any other developed suburb we find in the states, and there are all sorts of options for grocery stores along the main road. Driving up to El Yunque is easy and it is not necessary to go "on a tour". Stop at the visitor center and get the literature and find a suitable hike. It really is a neat place-even better when it is raining.

The meals at the restaurant on Palominos island (the private beach/island of El Con)are not unreasonable.

NC
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4. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

I think you would be crazy to go to Puerto Rico and *not* see Old San Juan. =) But my kids (4 and 7) love the history and culture aspect of something like that. El Morro is stunning and the kids traveling with you might enjoy a non-beach/non-pool day.

(We didn't stay at El Con, so I can't offer you any advice there. But good luck!)

plymouth...
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5. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

Hi All - thanks again for your helpful input- I appreciated it!

San Juan
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6. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

Mom, if you finally decide on renting a car/minivan, which you won't regret and is higly advised, do it through hotwire.com You'll get better prices and sightsee for the price of one... You'll also be able to move around freely and get your goodies, snacks for 1/10 of what they will cost at the hotel (even if you have to pay for parking, you'll be saving a lot. OSJ is a must, so is the biobay and El Yunque. All of them are an easy drive fron El Con.

Ah, you wont have a kitchen if you are not staying at the Casitas.

ATLANTA
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7. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

1. Las Casitas Village has a kitchen if you get a 2 BR.

2. Water is fine for me.

3. If you rent a car there are grocery stores for food, wine, beer, etc.

4.Only been to the island once. Look at Google Earth and the beach is plenty big. I don't think the water has rocks is that's what you're asking. Also, I think the back part of the island is nude (I didn't go--- someone told me).

5. You're not supposed to, but if you get one of the collapsible (soft sided) coolers (Target, Walmart, etc) that doesn't look so much like a cooler, I don't think you'll have a problem. If there are six of you, let the one with the cooler be farther away from the boat "letter-oner" at the dock.

6. I'd rent a car. With 6 of you, you'll save money in the long run and won't feel like you're stuck at the resort. Go to El Yunque, Luquillo beach, the nature preserve. Both you and your kids will love it. Also, there are tons of places to eat around there (cheaper) and the hotel has menus.

7. Rain Forest is like $5.00 and they have guides on-sight.

8. Don't know.

9. Don't know

10. No

11. Go see Old San Juan for sure (in the rental van) and take your cameras.

12. It's not a walk, it's a hike (a mile or two) and I think it's safe in the daytime.

13. It's been 2 1/2 years since I've been, but I'm going at the end of the month.

Good luck!

Kent

San Juan
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8. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

The entrance to El Yunque is free. If you want to see a movie about the reserve, and see the other displays that they have the entrance is $3 per person (less for kids and 65+. You can just get the trail maps (free) and do the trails, the Yocahu Tower Mirador is free, use of picnic tables and gazebo, free, parking, free.

upper marlboro, md
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9. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

The El Con is great with kids. If you can rent a 2 bdrm or even a 1 bdrm at Las Casitas Village, that would even be better. You can cook your breakfst, lunch and dinner. It really saves on the food bill. Rent a car and then you won't be stuck. You can go to the grocery store, the laundromat, Biobay, Old San Juan, el Yunque. Las Marinas at the El Con also has 1 bdrm suites with a kitchen.

Unless your children are qourmets, you will find the food at the restaurants very pricey. Try to get a reservation at las marinas or Las Casitas. You will be so much happier eating in. With our car we went to Church's, Kentucky Fried and brought the food back to the hotel. We also ate at Metropol in town and the kids enjoyed that.

I think the water park will open in Feb. $19.99 for adults and $9.99 for kids. We didn't go to San Juan because the kids just wanted to stay at the resort. They loved the private island, the funicular (elevator tram) to get to the marina and the ferry to get to the island.

Yes, the resort is huge but we had all the time in the world. We were on vacation.

plymouth...
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10. Re: First Time to Puerto Rico & El Conquistador-Please Help!

Hi All!!

You are all so great to reply!! Thanks again. Sounds like a good idea to rent a car. I understand the ride to the Resort is 1 hour

Thanks again all~~