Our Home Away From Home in Puerto Rico

Sometimes you are fortunate enough to find a spot while traveling that allows you to relax and makes you feel like you are at home — without the hassle of housework, of course.  Instead, you can kick back, grab a good book, enjoy the view from a lounge chair, and even have a favorite four-legged friend at your side, for an extra-personal touch — so was our experience at the Ceiba Country Inn.

We spent a week in Puerto Rico in June of this year — a family vacation with the destination selected by my oldest son (the motivating factor: somewhere he could use his five years of Spanish without breaking the vacation bank).  He had the privilege of selecting the destination because the trip was in lieu of a high school graduation party.  (I admit, I strongly encouraged him to take the trip rather than the party — didn’t we all win that way?!)  It was a great week of family time at a stage in our family’s life that makes me appreciate how rare family time can be, as the countdown has begun before our oldest goes to college in the fall.

Our week was divided between four nights in eastern Puerto Rico, at the Ceiba Country Inn, and then two nights in Old San Juan.  If and when we return to Puerto Rico, as we certainly hope to do, the western side of the island has more sights to explore, but we would have to make time again for at least a night or two at this little Inn on top of the hill on the edge of the rainforest.

The days started with fresh fruits and freshly-squeezed juices from the property, along with Michael’s home-baked breads, yogurt and coffee.  One morning we had a special treat of fresh hard-boiled eggs from the resident chickens. The view from the patio deck stretches across the rolling hills of the rainforest to the sea.  Games and books were available for guests to borrow, with reasonably priced beer and wine available for purchase while the office was open in the evenings.

With only 9 rooms, the Inn has an intimate feel to it, yet is laid-back and friendly with its communal breakfast room and patio. While we fully appreciated the companionship of the canine and feline residents of the Inn, for those who were not as enamored, the owners and staff helped with minimizing interactions (as you can see from my photos, we welcomed their antics and friendly greetings as we came and went).  As the sun sets, the sounds of the forest come out:  the owls, the wind in the trees, and the little coquis.  Even if the night was warm, we left our windows open so we could fall asleep to the sounds of nature surrounding the Inn.

The Inn was a getaway in the countryside, just outside of the town of Ceiba, yet only a short 15-minute drive to Fajardo with many dining options, and just a few minutes farther to the Laguna Grande biobay kayak tours and some great beaches.  It was the best of both worlds.  Owner Michael was always gracious when answering questions about the property, area activities and dining suggestions. The Inn’s front office was often staffed by Chris, who also works as an area tour guide (our morning trip with him to Rio Tinajas will have to be the subject of a future post, along with some of our other favorite Puerto Rican experiences)!  For now, I leave you with a short video slideshow that gives you a small idea of why the Ceiba Country Inn is such a charming part of our travel memories.

Ciao! ~ Kat

17 responses to “Our Home Away From Home in Puerto Rico”

  1. Reblogged this on Travel. Garden. Eat. and commented:

    Reminded how precious and fragile life can be when I saw the news Inn owner and host, Michael Marra, had unexpectedly passed away last week. He helped make our visit to the Island of Puerto Rico and the Ceiba Country Inn a memorable one. He was a generous and compassionate advocate for the Island’s many homeless animals. In his memory our family will be making a donation to Island Dog http://www.islanddog.org/ — if you ever had the occasion to enjoy Michael’s hospitality, please consider honoring his memory in a manner I think he would have loved. ~ Kat


  2. How come I find this now? You were HERE! I’m so glad you enjoyed your stay and hope you repeat your visit 🙂 Stay close to the shore next time. I recommend a room in Vieques. Ah… paradise.
    I’m pressing this today, thanks for sharing!


    • Thanks for sharing, as well! I really need to do another post or two on our trip — did not have enough time for Vieques (and unfortunately the biobay was not as vibrant as Fajardo when we were there last month, either) so just another reason to return!


  3. I always wondered what Puerto Rico looks like. Thanks for inserted some pieces of Puerto Rico in y head. 😀 It seems so easy to like hotels that only accomodate very few rooms.


  4. Thanks for taking us along! I loved the video, the beautiful nature, the relaxing atmosphere & music, the playful dogs, the fat cat…and even the little frog and the lizard 🙂 I’ve only been in San Juan and the nature in Eastern Puerto Rico was spectacular, it reminded me a little bit about Mahe island in Seychelles.


  5. Kat, this looks like it was a wonderful trip. I agree–you all won by not having that party and traveling instead. Your trip brought back memories of our own trip to Nicaragua a couple of years ago. Thanks for sharing it.


  6. I love Puerto Rico too. Especially old city ( sometimes all the bars on the windows are a bit disconcerting ) ! Love to go back. He did make a wise choice and your photos illustrate this! Sigh!


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