top of page

Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial

Day 2: El Conquistador & their private island Palomino 

DAY 2: PUERTO RICO-Still at El Conquistador in Fajardo, PR


Since we went to bed SUPER early for us (10:30am), I was bright eyed and bushy haired at 7:30am. I headed out to the balcony to just take it all in. It was super weird knowing that I just spent the night in a hotel, we had already done an excursion, and we were NOT boarding a ship today. I felt like this was a regular land vacation...and actually it was.


As I sat on the balcony, my phone started ringing...IT WAS MY WORK!!! Seriously? Come on. You know I'm on vacation. Why are you bothering me? What do you think I could possibly do from here? *ignore* Then I started hearing this "UGH, UMPF, UGH, UMPF" over and over. It reminded me of someone getting punched in the stomach and it taking their breath away. I got up and looked down...there were two guys playing tennis. One of the guys made this sound with each strike of the tennis ball....FOR.HOURS.ON.END. Seriously. These guys were out there playing before I got up at 7:30am and was still there after the family got up, we went to breakfast and came back to grab our things for the day at the beach around 10:30. Wow, I wish I had his energy, just not his grunts.


The family woke up around 8:40am and "my" time was up. Everyone got dressed and we decided we would just stay at the hotel and find breakfast. There are so many choices at this place. There were a lot of people eating outside, just above the pool area, but it was already hot out and we were just wanting to sit in a restaurant with air.


We headed to Cafe Carib.

P8120186 copy.jpg

The hubby immediately ordered his coffee and then I was allowed to speak to him. His shirt (angry bird) depicts him well until he's had his coffee.

P8120181 copy.jpg

Once again, the size of "drinks" in Puerto Rico continued to amaze me. This coffee cup is not your "normal" coffee cup you find in the states. Sakari ordered a kids cup and even it's bigger than this. But would you look at the size of my pop above? SCORE!!

P8120182 copy.jpg

Taking a look at the menu:


I went with the egg omelette, but I'm in Puerto Rico, so I thought I just needed to try something that said Puerto Rico in it to make myself feel better. I ordered the Puerto-Rican Home Fries.


The omelette was yummy and hit the spot.

P8120183 copy.jpg

The home fries...oh em gee...yep, they were GOOD! I even made the hubby try them and he liked them.

P8120184 copy.jpg

Sakari had her pancakes and cleaned the plate.

P8120185 copy.jpg

With our bellies full and the hubby loaded with coffee, we headed back to the room to get our bathing suits on. The hubby and Sakari had no idea what we are doing and as always, they just roll with the flow with momma duck being in charge.


We changed, packed our beach bags, and headed out.


It was a bit of a walk around the hotel, down by the outside shops, and then up the glass elevator with a view.

P8120216 copy.jpg
P8120219 copy.jpg

It was a gorgeous day outside and I was so happy about that.

P8120218 copy.jpg

We got to the end and found the rail car (I guess that's what you call it). This rail car (2 of them) would take us down the "mountain" of the resort and to the marina area.

P8120221 copy.jpg

There's a nice view from the rail car too as we descended down the hill.

P8120222 copy.jpg

I caught the other rail car coming back up and snapped a picture...then down we go...

P8120223 copy.jpg
P8120224 copy.jpg

Now knowing how many pictures I take, people must think I'm just crazy and wondering why I take all these pictures. There wasn't but one other person that took a (singular) picture as we were going down. I must have taken a good 20 or more. I just felt like saying "You have no idea who I am and my responsibilities and if you do anything "different" I will take a picture of you too and it will be in my review". (Just kidding of course...or am I?) But I do get some weird looks (especially when I take pictures of menus or food or drinks).

P8120225 copy.jpg
P8120227 copy.jpg

This was our make it to the marina...then we finally made it.

P8120226 copy.jpg
P8120228 copy.jpg

We kinda wandered around wondering where to go.

P8120229 copy.jpg

This was an entirely different world down here as well (also part of the resort, with a hotel mid-way on the rail car and also below). There was more shopping and bars as well. Now there is a water park here at this resort (but you must pay extra) and you had to take the rail car down here to get to it. I had wanted to go there for maybe a half a day, but the hours did not coincide with what I had planned and we had to skip the water park. Maybe another time.


WE ARE GOING TO PALOMINO ISLAND!!!!!! It's a private island for the hotel and I couldn't wait to experience it. I had seen a few pictures prior to going and searched around on the web, but I really didn't realize what was in store for us other than a nice looking beach.

P8120231 copy.jpg

They do have a nice area with seats and it's covered, so it helps with the wait for the ferry to get over to the island and you are not standing in direct sunlight. I thought that was a nice added touch.  The ferry arrived a few minutes before 11am.

P8120230 copy.jpg
P8120232 copy.jpg

This is a very nice and huge ferry. Not exactly what I had expected. This is not your small normal little boat, this was a full blown ferry, able to carry a lot of passengers. How nice.

P8120233 copy.jpg

I tried to talk the hubby into sitting up on the top so that I could take pictures, but he really didn't want to be exposed to the sun not knowing how far away the island was or how long it would take to get there. I gave in and we sat down below...with the statement mumbling out of my mouth that we WOULD be sitting on the top on the way back then. hehe

We were on the ferry by 11:00 and we pulled away at 11:07am. Right away, this occurs....

P8130234 copy.jpg
P8130235 copy.jpg

We arrived at the dock of Palomino Island at 11:24am. So, about a 17 minute ride. Not too bad at all, but the excitement made it feel longer.

As we pulled up, I started to get excited. The engines slowing down automatically woke Sakari up and she grabbed her "morphing bag" and headed toward the door.

P8130237 copy.jpg
P8130238 copy.jpg
P8130236 copy.jpg


There were a lot of chairs and most were empty. People were really spread out that were there. I was kinda shocked that there wasn't more people here considering the size of the hotel(s) at El Conquistador. But I wasn't complaining.


You could get prime real estate in the full sun or in the shade.

P8130239 copy.jpg
P8130240 copy.jpg

We picked a spot in the shade and put our things down and believe it or not...the hubby headed straight for the water! (That's a first). He was HOT!

P8130241 copy.jpg

I think this entire vacation has to be one of the HOTTEST vacations I have ever been on. Both on the cruise and land. But, I'm not complaining...well, at least not yet. I'm surrounded by water!


I was right on the hubbys tail and in the water in a matter of moments.

P8130242 copy.jpg
P8130246 copy.jpg
P8130247 copy.jpg
P8130253 copy.jpg

One thing I wanted to mention...this water was SUPER CLEAR. You didn't even have to stick your head under the water to see the fish or anything. Remember the review I did on Goffs Caye in Belize and I just couldn't get over how clear the water was? This water came pretty close to that. It was amazing.

P8130259 copy.jpg

I see a morph coming on at the beach...Yep, she's back to her mermaid self

P8130264 copy.jpg
P8130244 copy.jpg
P8130261 copy.jpg
P8130266 copy.jpg
P8130262 copy.jpg

The area was all sandy bottom with just a few areas with a small amount of sea grass. I explored, but nothing to see there. The sand was super soft and I loved it.

After swimming for awhile, I decided I would go exploring. This seemed like such a beautiful island and I didn't want to miss anything (which I did, because it's just so big). I told the hubby to watch the mermaid and told the mermaid to stay directly in the area that daddy could see her and off I went.


This is the covered area with tables that you can eat at:

P8130269 copy.jpg
P8130268 copy.jpg

I noticed there was a big field with "goal nets" so I imagine you could play soccer there.

P8130271 copy.jpg
P8130270 copy.jpg
P8130272 copy.jpg

Look right above my name stamp in the following picture. There's some type of hut up there. I can only imagine the views from up there.

P8130273 copy.jpg
P8130274 copy.jpg

A chicken and her nuggets. I hope they are not for lunch.

P8130275 copy.jpg

There was a basketball court and people were putting it to good use. I don't know how was too hot for that stuff!

I think this might have been a bocce game?

P8130276 copy.jpg
P8130277 copy.jpg

Would you look at the Connect Four game!! How cute!

Another type of sand game, but with a ball.

P8130278 copy.jpg
P8130279 copy.jpg

Wait, what is this? Another side of the beach area that I didn't even know existed. I guess that's what happens when you are so hot that you just put your things down at the first available chair.  They even have putt putt

P8130280 copy.jpg
P8130289 copy.jpg

They have ping-pong and pools tables and a "water" rental shack.

P8130281 copy.jpg
P8130282 copy.jpg

You can rent snorkeling equipment there along with other things.  We did see a lot of people renting the jet skis.

P8130284 copy.jpg
P8130285 copy.jpg

Locker rental for $10 and also a gift shop.

P8130286 copy.jpg
P8130283 copy.jpg
P8130293 copy.jpg

Volley ball area and this place just had everything to keep anyone entertained.


Nice trails leading different places too.

P8130287 copy.jpg
P8130288 copy.jpg

You can rent these as well...

P8130290 copy.jpg

So I went down to the beach area that I had recently discovered and seen people had some snorkeling gear on in the area. I wondered if there was anything to see.


I decided to head back to our "spot" and let the hubby know I was going "water exploring" over in my new found area.

I made my way back to our spot via beach of course. Gotta get those pictures along the way.

P8130291 copy.jpg
P8130292 copy.jpg

The crystal clear water

P8130294 copy.jpg

I grabbed a new batter for my camera and told the hubbys to keep an eye on the munchkin. He told me to go tell her what I was doing and see if she wanted to go. In other words, I'd like to take a least that's what I translated his words to. I told him I would go down there and let her know where I was going and it would be up to her if she wanted to tag along....which she did and was excited about going snorkeling.


We gave the hubby and #pointatthemermaid hand signal then a #pointattheotherbeach hand signal and a few arm swimming motions and we were off. (I'm getting super good at hand signals in PR, even to those who speak English).


We made it to the beach where I had seen others in the water and in we went.


Yep, it was a snorkeling area and I was a little shocked at just how good. (and to think if I hadn't went exploring, I would have never even knew it had this).


Time to share a magnitude of snorkeling pictures now...


Bluestriped Lizard fish

P8130302 copy.jpg

The mushroom fields...  My mermaid swimming right along side of me. (Well, or in the lead most of the time).

P8130296 copy.jpg
P8130304 copy.jpg

She is so good at swimming now. She simply amazes me.  Some chubs and a bunch of surgeon fish

P8130306 copy.jpg
P8130305 copy.jpg

Then it starts to get better. There were some really bright red urchins in these rocks

P8130309 copy.jpg
P8130312 copy.jpg

Lots of coral everywhere all over the rocks. Not huge coral, but a lot of it.

P8130316 copy.jpg
P8130315 copy.jpg
P8130319 copy.jpg
P8130318 copy.jpg

More red sea urchins and some "feather dusters" (which is actually a worm).

P8130322 copy.jpg
P8130320 copy.jpg

More feather dusters and a Juvenile Beaugregory

P8130326 copy.jpg
P8130328 copy.jpg
P8130330 copy.jpg
P8130334 copy.jpg

A bluehead wrasse. I love these fish. They are so unique and pretty

P8130338 copy.jpg
P8130337 copy.jpg

Some fire coral...Sakari's worse enemy for Cozumel

P8130339 copy.jpg
P8130342 copy.jpg
P8130340 copy.jpg
P8130344 copy.jpg

Four eyed butterfly fish

P8130343 copy.jpg
P8130346 copy.jpg

Four eyed butterfly fish with friends: surgeon fish and sergeant major

P8130349 copy.jpg
P8130350 copy.jpg

This sergeant major got in my way. I was trying to take a picture of this squirrel fish because I think they look so odd with their huge eyes. They are very shy fish too and usually hide in the rocks (under them) and you have to be really patient for them to come out. I always feel accomplished if I'm able to capture a picture of one. This one isn't a red as they usually are, but I think it's still the same species.

P8130352 copy.jpg

White (or gray) sea urchin who obviously thinks he's hidden and I can't see him. Eek, I spot more fire coral

P8130353 copy.jpg
P8130355 copy.jpg
P8130356 copy.jpg
P8130357 copy.jpg

Some red sea sponge I thought was pretty and a black sea urchin

P8130360 copy.jpg

But wait, what's that in the corner of the picture? A YELLOW worm!! Score. I love the colored feather duster worms. You always see the brown ones everywhere. I use to have a aquarium full of them. But the colored ones are special to me. I love when I find them.

This was a neat piece of soft coral that was pretty big in size:

P8130361 copy.jpg
P8130367 copy.jpg
P8130365 copy.jpg

Now I am use to seeing the bluehead wrasse everywhere I go when snorkeling, which is the fish with half of the body yellow with the black and white vertical stripes and the blue head. But this one I ran across was different. I had almost a marbled color to it. It was quite pretty. I have never seen one like this before. I'm wondering if maybe it's in a different "stage" in life or just another species of the wrasse. I'll have to look that one up.

P8130370 copy.jpg
P8130375 copy.jpg

Another surgeon

P8130376 copy.jpg
P8130379 copy.jpg
P8130383 copy.jpg
P8130380 copy.jpg
P8130385 copy.jpg

HA! I caught this squirrel fish!! He was slacking and off guard.

P8130388 copy.jpg

Then I think he noticed me and decided to give me a warning by spreading his fins to make him look bigger, which I have to admit that it was pretty neat because I don't think I have ever seen one do this before. They usually just run and hide.

P8130390 copy.jpg
P8130399 copy.jpg

We were getting back close to shore and I poked my head up and seen the hubby standing there. I guess he was getting worried about us because we had been gone so long. Sakari and I had a wonderful time and I enjoy snorkeling with her.


We headed back to our real estate to put our things up and the hubby had told us that he did a little exploring on his own before he went to look for us and found some interesting things.


We entered the world of Jurassic Park

P8130402 copy.jpg
P8130404 copy.jpg
P8130405 copy.jpg
P8130408 copy.jpg
P8130407 copy.jpg
P8130410 copy.jpg

They were pretty huge

P8130411 copy.jpg

There also seem to be more males than females so there was a lot of territorial fighting and chasing going on.

P8130412 copy.jpg

When they chase each other off...the winner bobs his head up and down like "yea, that's right, run!"



After that excitement, we headed back to the water. It was just too hot to stay out in the sun for very long.

P8130413 copy.jpg
P8130414 copy.jpg

Still not many people here. People would come and go all day long so it was never crowded.

P8130415 copy.jpg

I attempted to take my usual pictures of a picture with part of it above the water and part below. I must have been just shy of getting the part below the water, but it turned out kinda clear and you could see under there.

P8130424 copy.jpg

Nailed it...well kinda

P8130432 copy.jpg

I was able to get it again, thanks to a wave that came in as I snapped the picture (which you can see in the pic).

P8130425 copy.jpg

It's too bad there was nothing interesting to look at under the water in these though. I should have tried it when I was snorkeling but was too excited looking at everything.

P8130433 copy.jpg
P8130437 copy.jpg
P8130436 copy.jpg
P8130440 copy.jpg