Since Chris and I only spent a few nights at El Conquistador, I followed up with a few of these folks after their trips to gather additional feedback on the resort and Fajardo. Most importantly, everyone had a great time and enjoyed the sunshine, calm water and warm breezes of the island.
Here are a few tips I found particularly helpful:
Transportation to and from El Conquistador
My friend Meg stayed at the Casitas Village with her husband and if you book a room or apartment at the Casitas Village, parking is included in the rate. They took the shuttle, but if she were to do it again, they would have rented a car, mainly because the taxis were overpriced and they enjoyed leaving the resort for meals.
On the flip side, Elizabeth recommends taking the shuttle. She was traveling with her mother and young son and found the shuttle to be much more economical than renting a car as she was staying there for a week and parking would have added up. The shuttle costs $78 per adult and $58 per child round trip. If you are a family of two adults and two kids, they cut the rate to $200 round trip. This means that families that consist of two adults and one kid pay MORE ($214) than families with two adults and two kids ($200). A little bizarre, but she successfully negotiated the policy with the concierge ahead of time and got the rate for $200 round trip. She said the airport transfer was very easy - they were met at baggage claim and driven directly to the resort.
She also rented a four door Jeep on-site for 24 hours in order to see the rainforest and to go out to dinner one night which was far more economical than paying for the hotel sponsored rainforest tour.
Like Meg, Elizabeth acknowledged that the hotel's taxi service was overpriced but considering that the dinners in Fajardo were half the price of the food at the resort and far better quality, it was was worth the extra expense.
[Pictured Below] Elizabeth's beautiful view from El Yunque rainforest. Worth a visit on a sunny day!
Best Restaurants in Fajardo
- Breakfast at Las Vistas Cafe
- Dinner at Pasion por el Fogon - try the whole stuffed fish and the fried ice cream in almonds and coconuts.
- Dinner at Di Yukas
- At the resort, Singray Cafe by the marina and Cafe Bella Vista were recommended.
Tips for Kids at El Conquistador
Also, the sun is really strong in Puerto Rico and a few of the fairer travelers got burned, even after applying really strong sun screen. Remember to bring long-sleeved sun/swim shirts and hats for the kids. They are not going to want to sit in the shade with a water park, pool and beach at their disposal!
Special Events at El Conquistador
Favorite Part of the Resort & Fajardo
- Palomino Island (also my favorite!). The beach was calm, clear and very relaxing.
- Las Casitas Village - the couple that stayed here loved their room with a balcony that looked over the ocean.
- Snorkeling - one couple loved their snorkeling excursion and wished they had booked a day trip to either Culebra or Vieques for more snorkeling fun, but the tours were full by the time they got there.
- The rooms with a balcony in the Las Brisas wing had beautiful views and modern bathrooms. One person said they might want to try a first floor room in the Marina because they have balconies that have both sunny and shady sections.
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Remember, Resort Fees Apply
Thanks so much to those who sent in feedback from your trip!!!