Puerto Rico

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vu and I have just come back from Puerto Rico and we have a lot to share with you!  It was our first time visiting a Caribbean island and what an amazing experience we had.  We were smitten with the lush green vegetation sweeping across the island and its beautiful coastline hemmed by turquoise water.  Without much further ado!

Old San Juan, the historic district, guarded by massive walls and forts El Morro and San Cristobal   

16th to 17th restored Spanish colonial buildings

Beautiful wooden doors found throughout Old San Juan

Blue cobblestone street

We lucked out and got to experience the San Sebastian Festival, a four day Mardi Gras-like celebration in honor of the island’s rich culture.  

We were packed in like sardines, among the thousands of attendants. 

Vieques Island, a short ferry from Fajardo

Old pier at Vieques Island

Random tree trunk, perfect for photo op

Found many floating coconuts during our walk

Fresh coconut straight from the tree

Sun Bay

Baby sea urchin

White sea urchin

Star fish

Another star fish

More star fish

Sunset at Vieques ferry terminal

El Yungue Rainforest was magnificent, filled with lush green vegetation

La Coca Fall

Every inch of the forest was covered with fern and moss

Yokahu Tower

The view from Yokahu Tower

See that peak?  We hiked up there!

We hiked to the top of El Yungue tower where you can see Luquillo Beach and Fajardo in the distance.  It took 3 hours but so rewarding.

We relaxed at Luquillo Beach after our hike.  Incredibly beautiful and unspoiled by tourists. This is at the top of my beach list!

The famous Caribbean blue green water.  

Rio Camuy Cave

Rock formation inside Rio Camuy Cave

Random fruits and vegetables found at roadside stands

We had a great time in Puerto Rico and couldn't be happier with all the adventures that we squeezed into our schedule.  Puerto Rico, you leave us yearning for that warm, turquoise Caribbean water!    

Proposed itinerary:

Day 1: exploring metro San Juan and Old San Juan
Day 2: hike at El Yungue Rainforest then relax at Luquillo Beach
Day 3: drive east to Fajardo and take the ferry to Vieques Island
Day 4: drive west to Rio Camuy Cave then end the day at Bicardi Distillery for a rum tour

Places we didn't get to explore: Culebra Island and Ponce 

Things we couldn't schedule: bioluminescent bay tour and coffee tour

Where we stayed: San Juan Beach Hotel in Condado Beach

Website we used to get info for the trip: seepuertorico

Tips for travel to PR: bring summer clothing, a swimsuit, sunscreen, bug spray, hiking shoes, and nausea/vomiting medication (if you're prone to motion sickness for those ferry rides)