If you’re in search of a more adventurous, mixing-with-the-locals kind of experience, you should try going on one of the many chinchorreo routes Puerto Rico has! Chinchorreo in Puerto Rico is a trendy day activity that locals love to do on the weekends and holidays. Usually it’s a gathering with a group of friends to go on a roadtrip around a certain route, making multiple stops in chinchorros for drinks, food, play pool, dance with jukebox or live music and have fun with friends.
There are many routes around the island – mountain and coastal – and different options to chinchorrear: going on your own with a rental car or booking a private bus with driver to take you to a predefined route.
Today, we’ll share a mountain scenic route that starts in Cayey and ends in Aibonito, for when you’re feeling of going on your own rental car.
First off you can start at Ramonitas Tacos Place, where you can try their famous yummy tacos and have a beer or drink while waiting for the rest of your party. As this spot is not yet on the mountain, it’s an excellent meeting spot when you’re road tripping in different cars. Once the stomach is full and everyone has arrived, you will start the trip up the mountains.
Next stop is El Rincón Criollo. Here, they have almost any natural juice you can imagine to mix with your choice of poison. You can even buy ½ gallon of 100% natural coconut water to take home! For the foodies that want to grab a bite in every chinchorro, they have the traditional Puerto Rican alcapurrias, a variety of turnovers, and food to order. And for those who love karaoke and dancing, you could get lucky as there is karaoke and live music almost every weekend!
Once you finish dancing and singing, hop in the car to your next stop: Kiosko del Sabor. You cannot miss trying the fresh tiritas de chicharrones (ground pork cracklings). They are their best-sale for a reason. Also, try the relleno de apio, a tuberous crop similar to the potato which is mashed and fried with ground beef filling; you won’t regret it!
After your belly is all set, you’re ready for the next stop: Colmado La Peña. This is a mini market & bar that sell all sorts of Puerto Rican traditional candies, homemade hot sauces, Puerto Rico souvenirs and their famous drink ‘El Cañonazo’.
If you’re in the mood to keep going up the mountain and arrive in Aibonito, you should stop at Campofrio. This is the ideal place to relax while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and the pleasant climate – it can get a bit chilly on winter months, around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This place also has delicious tapas accompanied by your favorite drink, while listening to live music and taking instagram-worthy pictures on the iconic Puerto Rican flag painted in one of their walls.
Next, you can visit El Cantinflas Restaurant, where you can choose from a varied menu which includes the traditional mofongo and their signature tacos, if you’re still hungry. Also, with a spectacular view of the mountains, it is the perfect place to watch and take pictures of the sunset.
El Balconcito Criollo wraps our chinchorreo day. This place is ideal for the craft beers and craft hard liquor enthusiasts. As one of the favorite places locals like to stop, it’s very common for it to be full on weekends.
There are lots of more chinchorros and restaurant stops in this route that you will find down the road or by searching on your GPS. The duration time of your roadtrip depends on you, how much time you want to spend in every chinchorro and how much fun you’re having. Don’t forget to always stay safe, have a designated driver, and if you drink, don’t drive!
Let’s get this chinchorreo started!