For anyone craving a blissful tropical beach as spring showers land on Britain’s shores, San Juan’s Playa Isla Verde provides the perfect fix. After an eight-hour flight to the Puerto Rican capital from the UK, and a five-minute cab ride, visitors can find themselves standing on one of the most exquisite beaches in the Caribbean, luggage in hand.
A mile-long crescent of sand backed by hammock-strung palms and tall apartment blocks, PIaya Isla Verde ranks in the premier league of urban beaches, alongside Florida’s Miami Beach and Rio’s Copacabana -though the town beyond it is just as beguiling. Shake the sand from your sandals before storming the ramparts of San Juan’s 16th-century fortress – one of the oldest European structures in the Americas. Further beyond, get lost by wandering cobble stoned streets among the colonial townhouses and cafes of the old town, noisy with the rhythms of salsa after dark.