From beautiful beaches and tropical forests, to biolumiscent bays and vibrant local life, I fell in love with the sounds, sights and smells of Puerto Rico.
The tenacity of Puerto Rico in Hurricane Maria’s devastating aftermath is incredible.
Hurricane Maria was a humanitarian crisis on American soil, claiming more than 1,000 lives and creating the longest blackout in our country’s history. Basic, essential, modern-day services are still not fully available across underserved areas.
Puerto Ricans continue to exhibit resilience, creativity and ingenuity. Tourism is a key element for the island’s prosperity moving forward. Though some areas are still damaged, San Juan and other major parts of the island have functional infrastructure and are ready for tourism.
Here are some highlights of my time in Puerto Rico, pre hurricane.
Cueva Ventana, or “window cave,” in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The view overlooks the Rio Grande de Arecibo valley.
Biologists on staff provide a guided 45 minute trek of the natural cave, which contains insects, snakes and bats. Tour guides discuss plants on site, some of which are near extinction, and the history of the original Taino Indians.
El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System. Its jungle-like habitat makes lush foliage, waterfalls, and rivers a prevalent sight. Indigenous people believed that El Yunque was the throne of their chief god Yúcahu, so it’s essentially the Caribbean equivalent to Mount Olympus.
Balneario De Carolina & Luquillo Beach were the two beaches we visited, though you’re sure to find many more across the island. Research the vibe of the beach ahead of time to find one that fits your mood.
If you’re someone who appreciates flavor and texture in food (and if you’re not, then WHY) Puerto Rico’s food is some of the best you could ask for. From seafood to the local favorite mofongo, the island is ripe with eats that are sure to please even the pickiest of palettes.
Santa Maria de Pazzis Cemetery
Tour the distillery and discover the history and the craft of making the world’s most awarded rum and become a honorary Bacardí mixologist.
Tiny organisms make the water glow at night. Stir the water and sparkles activate, glowing trails swirl in the water.
Laguna Grande bio bay in Fajardo is nothing short of magic.
Pictures (literally) can not do this experience justice as even the light from the phone can disrupt the visibility of the organisms. Available by kayak or boat, Puerto Rico is one of the few spots in the world you can see this phenomenal occurrence.
While these are my pre-hurricane explorations, I strongly advise doing your due diligence in researching your itinerary ahead of time to align your visit with options that are accessible and safest.
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Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments regarding my trip to Puerto Rico!