Wow! I almost don't know where to start! This was hands down one of my favorite (if not my most favorite trip) so far. Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico!
From using my broken spanish, eating amazing street food, riding horses, snorkeling with sea turtles, and traveling into the mountains of El Yunque --- this trip was simply AMAZING!
That said, I want to share some of my favorite highlights from the trip...
Visit Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
This was my favorite place to go and I think we visited it daily while on the island. It really gave me NOLA vibes! Live music, so many bars/food choices, and nice people - my type of place.
One thing I appreciated about PR was that finding good places to eat wasn't a hard thing to do. Majority of the food I ate no matter where I was was DELISSSSSH!!! :)
Tip #1: In Old San Juan, be careful of visiting La Perla -- known to be dangerous.
One great spot was La Verguenza -- it's a rooftop restaurant and bar that sits above the water - great music and great food! FYI: PR birth the famous Pina Colada -- so don't leave without trying it.
Take a trip to El Yunque National Rainforest
El Yunque National Rainforest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in Northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System. That said, we couldn't pass the opportunity of going up! SO we went on our way...
FYI: Puerto Rico is the only place that has a dry forest and a rainforest.
Tip #2 the forest is a huge deal and pretty much takes a whole day to explore, so prepare accordingly.
- Dress comfortably but remember to wear shoes with good grip
- Bring water and small snacks
- Bring shades/sunglasses
- Remember to put on sunblock.
As you may guess, there are alot of insects, so bring insect repellent. Besides that, you should be good to go. Here are a few pics from my time there!
Tip #3 Be sure to call El Yunque before visiting as Hurricane Maria damaged the forest tremendously and some of the entrances are closed for reconstruction or repairing.
Go Horseback Riding on a Puerto Rican Ranch
Tip #4 plan accordingly! Horseback riding was a last-minute decision for us on the island as we had to cancel other plans. Good decision, however! We did a 2.5-hour tour with a tour guide on a 2,000-acre ranch called Campo Rico Ranch.
My horse, whose name was Dynamite, was the last horse on the tour because as I was told the smartest horse is given to the best rider. LOL! Joking, but they did put the best-trained horse in the back and I rode him.
The scenery on the ranch went for miles upon miles of beautiful acres full of greenery, lakes, houses, animals, fresh fruit, and more.
Visit Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island Puerto Rico, Swim with Sea Turtles, Snorkel and Kayak the Caribbean
Each day, we did something different and each activity outdid one another. Culebra is a small island right off of Puerto Rico of just a few hundred people so the only transportation to and from the island is a ferry or plane.
We booked a package deal with a company that included the following:
- Ferry tickets
- Ride from airbnb (extra $25)
- Snorkeling in the caribbean with sea turtles, Jellyfish, and live cora
- Free time at Flamenco Beach (voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world)
That's me on the right. We couldn't touch the turtles but we could get really close to them and (not in this pic) but there were like two more swimming around us. Soooo beautiful and unreal!
To get to the turtles, we had to kayak to a certain area in the ocean....
After that, we got to see just how beautiful the beach really was.... check out how clear the water is and the beautiful green mountains in the background...
Visit Charco Azul, Vega Baja Puerto Rico
Now, this one really got me! Before going here, my friend told me about this "secret swimming hole" deep in the mountains of Puerto Rico. You really have to commit to going because its at the top of the mountain.
Tip #5 Get food in Guavete before visiting Charco Azul which is on the same mountain.
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see this place...
I hope these highlights from my trip inspire you to explore the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico.
A few additional things we did:
- Guavete - fresh Puerto Rican food
- Fajardo - Ferry to Culebra Island
- Jose Enrique's - famous restaurant that you have to visit
- El Morro - castle in Old San Juan
Thanks for reading. Have you been to Puerto Rico? What were some of your favorite things? I'd love to hear about them.