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Jose Lopez Fontane

New York, New York Travel Agent

The Hidden Charms of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is much more than most people realize.

I have a special feeling for the island because that is where my dad came from and where he has a home today. It’s a beautiful place, high on a mountaintop. From there, you look out at mountain peaks poking through the clouds and hear roosters crowing, and you feel like you’re in heaven. I grew up in Massachusetts, but we often visited family at a small beach town not far from Ponce. There, we usually had the beach to ourselves, something you can easily do around the island.

For lovely hidden beaches, Rincon is a great corner of the island. Some beaches draw surfers with their amazing waves; others are as calm as a pond., and many are completely unspoiled and rarely visited. It is a fantastic area to go chill, and the sunsets are gorgeous because it is on the western side of the island. 

The area has some wonderful inns. One of my favorites is Villa Cofresi Hotel & Restaurant. They have an incredible buffet breakfast, great rates, spacious rooms, and a pool. But best of all is the seclusion. It is at the end of a road that dead-ends at the beach. You have the feeling of being marooned in a tropical paradise. I’ve sent couples, families, and groups of friends. 

Most people don’t think of mountains when they picture Puerto Rico, but that’s the place to go for incredible hiking and to rub elbows with locals. I can map out a day trip through the mountainous interior that will be a wonderful adventure. A hike through rain forest can lead to beautiful hidden natural pools at the base of waterfalls that are the perfect setting for a picnic. You can stop at great inexpensive mom and pop markets with people selling fruits and vegetables, pets and crafts. You will happen upon food trucks selling the best chicken you’ll ever eat—fresh off the farm and cooked with wonderful homegrown spices. And you can sit at a local bar, the breeze blowing through and Spanish music playing as you enjoy your Medalla Light beer and chat with locals. 

Another great area to dine with locals is on the road from San Juan to Fajardo. Many families run restaurants off their homes so as you drive by; you will notice outdoor terraces where mom and grandmom are whipping up local dishes that are to die for. They’re inexpensive too, and they’ll come out and sit with you as you eat if you are receptive to chatting.

Not to be missed is Old San Juan. Most people have heard of it, but few know how amazing it is. You get a real sense of history as you walk along the cobblestoned streets lined by brightly-painted houses and tour its 500-year fort, part of the San Juan National Historic Site, run by the U.S. National Park Service. There are smaller museums as well, such as Casa Blanca, built for Juan Ponce de Leon. More than anything, Old San Juan is a living neighborhood, with great restaurants, shopping, and clubs. My favorite is an open-air terrace where you can listen to live salsa and meringue music under the stars and join the locals on the dance floor. 

Within walking distance, the Condado area is a great place to stay. It has the beach and beautiful hotels with lovely pools. It is also a shopping and dining hub with a lot of choices for restaurants, so you don’t need a car to enjoy it. Isla Verde is another popular area to stay with splendid beaches. It’s more commercial and slick, but it also provides lots of options with everything from fast food to fine dining and plenty of shops.  

A bit more remote, El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and Spa, is near El Yunque National Forest. It’s also a short drive from the port for ferries going to the islands of Vieques and Culebra, where you can find great beaches and an amazing phosphorescent bay. Go on a night with no moon for the full effect. Your boat will ignite a bioluminescent wake that is beyond imagination. 

Whether you want to be pampered at a five-star hotel or find a secluded beach or mountain adventure, you will receive a warm welcome in Puerto Rico, and I am here to help you experience all the wonders the island has to offer!

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Reviews

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

1st Trip of 2019

Reviewed By tmpindy - Indianapolis, IN | Traveled to New York (La Guardia) ~ New York ~ USA
Jose is extremely friendly, thorough, polite, and precise. He has wonderful recommendations on flight, hotel, and transportation. His vast experience and easy going personality, make traveling a piece of cake!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

A Travel Agent You Can Trust!

Reviewed By Laura - NY NY | Traveled to Florida ~ USA
Jose is extremely attentive & direct. I can 100% trust him to handle any situation.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

First Westminster Dog Show.

Reviewed By The Crazy Boxer Lady - Indianapolis, Indiana | Traveled to New York (La Guardia) ~ New York ~ USA
Jose was very friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, He answered all my questions, talked to me about what was best for me in scheduling time for departure. He scheduled me with a needed wheelchair assistance in Indianapolis & arrival in New York. I did not have to worry about anything, Jose helped me with everything.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The best trip to New York

Reviewed By Sunshinegirl - LYNN | Traveled to New York (La Guardia) ~ New York ~ USA
Jose made my first time trip to New York a spectacular experience for me, took care of all the great places to visit as a tourist.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Family Reunion- The best trip of our lives

Reviewed By Sarah - malden | Traveled to New York ~ USA
Our family reunion in New York City was the time of my life. Jose Lopez Fontane planned it perfectly.
We saw the big apple through the eyes of a native. We stayed at the Fifty nyc hotel, Our suit was comfortable & accommodated our family guests for a wonderful get together in the evening, with an amazing view from the balcony, Every event from brunch to dinner, we enjoyed venturing out to see the 911 memorial and going on a boat ride out to see the statue of liberty and the Puerto Rican PRIDE parade was a total blast.
The best part. Not needing to plan, book, or worry about anything.
Thank you for the wonderful memory.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great experience, everything was great!

Reviewed By David - Glasgow | Traveled to New York City ~ New York ~ USA
This past month, my wife and I had the privilege of travelling to New York City. We had no idea as to where to stay and how to get around town. Fortunately, we were highly recommended to get in contact with Jose Luis Lopez Fontane. After contacting Jose and sharing with him our travel schedule he was able to put together for us a hotel stay, parking and suggestions to many of the things to do and see while in New York City. Once we got to our location, it was obvious that Jose went above and beyond with our accommodations and experience. Not only was our experience great, it was beyond our expectations. We would highly recommend Jose to everyone, especially travelling to the New York area.

David & Teresa Purichia [Glasgow, KY]
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

So much fun!

Reviewed By Angie - Zionsville, IN | Traveled to Orlando ~ Florida ~ USA
Jose makes planning your trip so simple for you and always provides lots of options. He thinks of the little things that make vacations such fun! And, he looks into every possibility when organizing your trip for you so that you avoid any hassles, glitches, or snags. Such a pleasure to work with!!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Stress free vacation

Reviewed By Recee - Lynn, MA | Traveled to New York City ~ New York ~ USA
Jose booked an entire family reunion to NYC and accommodated every single person.
Hotel was nice, the rooms were spacious and great views off the balconies.
He was extremely helpful with our weekend itineraries making it possible to see and do everything we wanted.
We even enjoyed a fun time at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Fifth Avenue!
What I loved most was his willingness to ease our minds with traveling around the Big Apple.
We never got lost and had ZERO worries!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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