Soak Up the Sun at These Fall Staycation Spots in the Caribbean and Mexico CityBy Camila Cornejo
All hail the staycation! Spend time outside and away from the four walls of your house as you fall in love with your city and its surroundings. Here are five ideal destinations for local travelers to explore the Caribbean and Mexico City.
And before you get ready to go out, make sure to check for any closures or local travel restrictions.
Spend your morning in Puerto Rico on an unforgettable food and history tour that will take you to cultural landmarks in Old San Juan while at the same time stopping to get a taste of local delicacies.
After the tour, head over to Calle Loíza. Renowned for its diverse styles of restaurants, Calle Loíza is a place where you can take your food to go or eat on any of the restaurants’ open patios. Perhaps grab a burger in open-air restaurant Café Tresbé, experience La Cueva del Mar’s popular criollo cuisine or spend a happy hour (or two) in El Tap wine and beer bar.
And if you’re more of an outdoor activities kind of person, a day trip one hour east of San Juan to Cueva Ventana is ideal for you.
Once you’re at the cave, make the 40-minute moderate walk into the space to observe rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites, discover bats and insects in their natural habitat, and see unique Taino petroglyphs.
As you reach the back of the cave, you’ll find an arched opening in the rock wall with sweeping views of the Rio Grande Valley.
Blessed with breathtaking landscapes, Costa Rica is the perfect place to connect with nature. If you are in the lush Guanacaste Province, take a day trip to Santa Rosa National Park, one of the last dry tropical forests in the world and home to more than 350 species of animals.
Enjoy its many trails through the forest and don’t forget to visit La Casona once you’re there. An old Hacienda turned into a museum, La Casona details the Battle of Santa Rosa, one of Costa Rica’s most important fights against imperialism, which occurred at the site.
Be part of a unique natural event in Las Baulas National Park and watch baula (leatherback) sea turtles, the biggest turtles in the world, hatch during the night. By day, enjoy the park’s breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean, explore the Tamarindo estuary, surf and swim in Playa Grande, or trek to the Morro and El Hermoso hills.
If you’re looking for an unusual activity in Aruba, drive to La Ponderosa Ranch for a horseback riding tour around the island. As you sit astride your horse, you’ll explore the famous Ostrich Farm, the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins and the Wariruri Cove beach.
Should you prefer something a little more speedy, explore Arikok National Park on a guided UTV or Jeep tour and discover idyllic beaches like Boca Prins, Moro and Dos Playa, and see the striking cave formations of Huliba, Guadirikiri and Fontein.
After discovering the island’s natural wonders, visit the seaside bars and restaurants in Oranjestad and enjoy a delicious cocktail on their open-air balconies, like Garufa Cocktail Lounge, The Wine Room and the Rock N’ Rock bar.
When you need to take a break from the crowds and noise of Mexico City, head to Chapultepec Park and spend some time in the Audiorama, an open-air refuge for readers that has comfortable chairs where people can lounge while jazz music plays in the background.
For a day trip, escape from the “City of the Sun” on a drive to Valle de Bravo, a picturesque town surrounded by lush mountains and forests. Here you can mountain bike, sail or hike to the Velo de Novia waterfalls. You might also trek around the Ajusco Range or visit Los Dinamos National Park for some much-needed connection with nature.
Let the island’s soft white sand, turquoise waters and warm sun dissolve all your stresses. Spend each day of your staycation at a different beach while amping up your suntan. Choose from Coki Point Beach, Sapphire Beach or the most popular of all, Magens Bay.
If adventure fuels you, hike to the summit of Mountain Top, which rises 1,500 feet above sea level. And when the sun starts to set, head over to the local restaurants and bars for a happy hour. In Charlotte Amalie, try the classic painkiller from Greengos Cantina or the bushwacker at Paradise Point, and in Red Hook, make your poison the Cruzan rum cocktail from Fish Tails.