We recently moved to the beautiful resort community of Palmas del Mar in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Palmas del Mar is a popular resort community for tourists, ex-pats and some full time residents. It is located on the East coast of Puerto Rico surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Many Puerto Ricans have beach homes in Palmas for weekend retreats, so there is a lot more traffic on the weekends.
I meet many tourists coming to our beautiful community, so here is a quick guide for your visit.
- Wyndham Garden Resort: 3 star resort that offers accommodations and options for all-inclusive packages. As of January 2018, the hotel is still closed due to Hurricane Maria. No ETA for opening.
- Vacation Rental by Owner condos and houses are another great option: The beach houses and condos are a great way to save money if you are staying more than a few days. We stayed a week at a VRBO condo in Beach Village for a great price, and loved it!
- The Plaza Condo Suites offer a variety of hotel style and condo suites with kitchen, living room, and free wifi connection. Available for a single night, or longer stays with a discounted rate for monthly rental.
- Harbour Lakes
The easiest way to get around Palmas is by Golf Cart. Target Rental Car has a desk right at the Wyndham resort, but brace yourself, prices start at $50 for 24 hour rental, and increase during high tourist season. Club Cala de Palmas golf cart rental starts at $35 per day, with nicer cars and more options, and can be reached at 787-718-0144 (located near Palmanova Plaza).
Palmanova Plaza is the heart of the community and has a little bit of everything.
Palmanova Plaza Restaurants:
- Blue Hawaii – Chinese and Asian cuisine, take-out and delivery options. Lunch specials Noon to 5 PM. Dinner portions big enough to share or left-overs. Try the Hawaii 5-0 pork dish, or any of the dinner specials.
- C Bar Kitchen – Upscale dining. Fresh, local ingredients with a regularly updated menu. The menu includes light starters, more substantial starters, entrees, and dessert. Perfect for a special night out, celebration, or any excuse for a fantastic meal.
- Chihuahua Tex Mex – Good margaritas, decent TEX-Mex. Full warning, if you are from Arizona or Mexico, then you will immediately taste this is not authentic Mexican food (nor do they claim it to be), it is definitely Texan, but it is the closest to Mexican food in Palmas.
- Flying Pizza – Thin crust NY style pizza. Delivery available within Palmas.
- La Brochette – As expected, the appetizers and brochettes plates are small, split between 2 people they are a few bites each. The entrees range from normal to large portions. Get the chef’s special! Best patio on the plaza to view the beach below.
- Pura Vida – Simple, local Puerto Rican food. Ceviche, mofungo, plantains, and seafood are excellent in this casual dining setting. Our favorite casual restaurant in Palmas. Consistently good food, excellent service! Friendly bilingual staff.
- Zona Fresca – Local bar and grill, great hamburgers and grilled sandwiches. Skip the fries and get tostones or rice and beans. Very popular with the locals. Great prices on local beer and house drinks.
Palmonova Plaza Market contains a sandwich and coffee shop, as well as basic groceries, sunblock, OTC Medicine, and a well stocked liquor selection. Local Criollo bread is available hot daily in the market and oh so delicious!
More Dining Options in Palmas:
Chez Daniel and Tapas Bar upscale French and International cuisine. Large patio to accommodate large events, rehearsal dinners, celebrations, and Art Night activities. Excellent food and great service. Best wine selection in Palmas! Consistently the best meals are the evening’s specials. As of January 2018, Chez Daniel is closed due to Hurricane Maria. No ETA for opening.
La Pescadería located at the end of Harbour Drive (near the Marina). Waterfront patio seating for lunch (11 AM to 7 PM) offering the best fish Tacos in Palmas! The upscale restaurant offers inside or patio seating and is only open for dinner.
Aracelis Salón & Spa located in the Chez Daniel Plaza near the Marina. A small salon offering hair services and two stations for pedicures. Closed Mondays.
Barber Shop located in Palmonova Plaza. No appointments needed, excellent service, and great haircuts for Men and Boys.
Bella Época Salón is located outside of Palmas, in the Humacao Plaza Palma Real shopping center (near JC Penney and Walmart). Two level salon offering nail services and hair treatment. Excellent haircuts. I bring a picture of the haircut I want to avoid any confusion (the owner, receptionist, and many employees are bilingual). As of January 2018, the salon is still closed due to Hurricane Maria. No ETA for opening.
Corpus & Esthetics: Massage only (located next to Palmas market), open evenings until 9 PM. Text Edna at (787) 907-4440 for appointments. Cash only.
Los Lagos day Spa is located off of Nursery Road at the North end of the community (across from the Catholic Church). Offering beautiful views from the infinity pool, a heated hot tub, and warm Watsu pool. The property expanded in Summer 2016 to include 2 pedicure stations, and additional hair stations. The grounds are lovely, but the service can be unpredictable and appointments are often mismanaged. Be sure to confirm service prices before treatment, as prices seem to fluctuate on a whim.
Other Nail Services:
JC Penney and Walmart both offer nail services in the Plaza Palma Real locations in Humacao, outside of Palmas. I was told there are very few English speakers at each location, but my Spanish speaking friends have had great experience and are pleased with the results. As of January 2018, nail services are no longer offered due to Hurricane Maria. No ETA for opening.
Moving to Palmas del Mar:
If you decide to make Palmas your permanent home, there are several Real Estate agents (I highly recommend Costa del Caribe), insurance company, Banco Popular bank, and more services to get you settled in.
The BEST beach bar is Bohio, easily accessed while walking on the beach, from the Wyndham, Beach Village condos, and down the beach from Palmanova Plaza. Bohio offers great local food and drinks, steps from a golf course, with plenty of golf car parking. Bohio closes at sunset, since it is surrounded by Sea Turtle nesting areas. Bohio is also a great location for sunset beach wedding! As of January 2018, the Bohio beach bar was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. No ETA for rebuilding.
Palmas is a gated community with 24 hour private security. The most common “crime” is a someone taking your assigned parking spot! This little slice of heaven is a perfect resort getaway to relax (or live) in Puerto Rico!
Updated in December 2016 as some businesses have closed, more opened, and updated information.