The approach into San Juan is very nice with the old castles and stone walls. It is an easy place to explore on foot without any real direction. We looked at one of the castles and just wondered around. A nice collection of old buildings and stores.
Very popular for shopping, my wife disappeared for 4 and a half hours after planning to shop for half an hour. I enjoyed the beer and the beach in the meantime. We paid a private taxi to drive us to Orient beach on the other side of the island. The waves were high, I tried snorkeling but the water was quite rough and opaque with sand and debris. The nude beach was interesting in a way. It is surprising that the people with the least to offer seem to predominate the landscape.
We took the St John Champagne tour. This was the only excursion I pre-booked. I have snorkelled in the BVI in the past and hoped this would be of similar quality. The crew was nice and efficient and the time went by very quickly. Probably about a 3 hr trip when you take off the bus trip to and from the destination. Leaves about an hour in the water, I did see a turtle and various fish but the reef we went to at Caneel Bay wasn't all that great. There was a strong current you needed to fight against all the way as well. The snorkeling around Virgin Gorda had been much better. We took a similar excursion in Cuba last year from Cayo Coco that was better for snorkeling. As promised there was rum punch, Champagne and beer for the return trip.
We hit Samana last with no plan at all. We walked along the road through the many street hustlers to a beach at a hotel near by. There was an interesting beach elevator up to the hotel. Beautiful view from the top. We walked back down to the town and paid a guy with a motorcycle powered taxi 20. to bring us to the Lemon falls. It was a fun ride as the poor 180cc engine needed to be shifted down to 2nd gear to climb the hills. We had a great time at the falls swimming in the water and jumping off the cliff face. Overall I probably enjoyed this stop the most because we spent a total of about 25.00 and had a great day of activity. We had even been considering staying on the boat after hearing other peoples reports of the place. There is a lot of pressure to buy things there and having someone that speaks Spanish along helps a lot. Prices are negotiable.