11.17.2018 - 11.28.2018 85 °F
Why is the question:
1. Why did it take me so long to visit this beautiful island?
2. Why had I only booked 4 days here?
3. Why are all Uber drivers friendlier here than anywhere else?
4. Why is our government still not helping the people of Puerto Rico???
This place is magical with its beautiful beaches, the warm turquoise water (which is spectacular) and the delicious food (and yes, I’m biased because I grew up on this food). The people are so friendly and helpful that you feel welcomed and special. The island still shows damage from hurricane Maria but the resilience and hope I see in people is reassuring. Old San Juan has no beaches, no resort hotels, and not a lot of natural beauty, yet with their tropical color colonial architecture it is alluring and a must see. The day we spent there was crowded with both locals and tourist because of the Festival de Pascuas (Easter Festival). Without a doubt the festival is an excellent natural stop to start Christmas because, without Easter there is no Christmas. The festival consisted of typical Christmas food, handicrafts, agricultural markets and music. So, while the locals were dancing in the street enjoying their Sunday, the tourist were spending their money and enjoying the arts and crafts. When I say tourist, I mean those darn cruise ship people (and yes, I am one of them). The crowds were numerous, but the atmosphere was happy with a side of let’s party. 💃🏻🍻 That atmosphere lasted until it was time to go, oh, the traffic! Between the locals and the Uber drivers taking their passengers back to their ships, the traffic was literally a parking lot. I have no way of knowing how long it took to go the 2 miles out of Old San Juan (because I walked out) but I’m guessing at a minimum 2 hours if not more. Part of the problem is the government mishandling the event, but on this particular day, there were also 7 Cruise ships in port. SEVEN! That’s a lot of people that help the economy but oh the locals must have been miserable not to mention the tourist that had to get back to their ship on time. So, the moral of the story is just walk, it’s not that bad and the benefit is you get to enjoy your dessert without the guilt.
Our Airbnb was great but it wasn’t in the best neighborhood. Actually, if you stayed in the immediate area it was very safe, but if you walked a couple of blocks away from the beach it deteriorated quickly. An example was a school that looked more like a military compound with barbed wire and a rifle carrying guard at the entrance. We were told that it was to protect the kids from the drug traffickers. So, not everything in Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 is good, and like every state in the U.S., Puerto Rico has its share of problems too, but I loved our time here and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay in the same area.
Flag of the United States | Flag of Puerto Rico | Burgundy Cross Flag (Spanish military flag)
Old San Juan
The Forts of Old San Juan: Guardians of the Caribbean
Tunnels and staircases wind through the interior, leading back to the time when the fort provided the keystone to protection of the Spanish Empire that spread across the Caribbean.
The El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the national forest system. At nearly 29,000 acres, it is one of the smallest in size, yet one of the most biologically diverse of the national forests hosting hundreds of animal and plant species, some of which are found only here.
San Juan Holocaust Memorial spending a few minutes here to honor those that suffered and lost their lives during a horrendous period in our history.
Bacardi Factory - Not the best tour but the rum was good. 😁
Somewhere over the Atlantic #NoFilter