A view from Castillo San Felipe del Morro of Old San Juan
Hello everyone, I have been ignoring this site for far too long and plan on catching you up on some adventures new and old.
With winter starting to take hold, a trip to warmer weather was exactly what I needed. Puerto Rico was the chosen destination and even though I am not a beach bum I was excited to visit the Caribbean for the first time.
A street in Old San Juan
When planning the trip, we had decided that it would be more interesting to stay in Old San Juan, the second oldest city in the Western Hemisphere, as opposed to the Miami Beach-esque Isla Verde. Our building, built in 1804 for a Spanish General, seemed as old, but also had a charm that no hotel could ever replicate. This old city charm was not limited to our residence and when we stepped out the door the remnants of colonialism were still felt all along the narrow cobblestone streets that were lined with bright yellow, aqua and blue buildings. Adding to the ancient feel were to two forts that have stood watch over the city for over five centuries.
Our first meal may have been one of favorite and definitely our most authentic experience. Taking the advice of our host, we walked down the street to a place called El Jibarito where our meal included Mofongo, pollo criolla, rice and beans and plenty of plantains. As good as the food was, the most memorable part of the meal was the sudden performance of four older men, highlighted by a trombone player, who all began walking through the restaurant playing and singing while the patrons clapped and sang along.
El Yunque Rainforrest
As amazing as Old San Juan was, our trip was not limited to just city. Midway through the trip we rented a car and made various day trips including ones to El Yunque Rainforest, the only national park in the United States that is a rainforest, a trip to Culebra (a later post to come on this adventure) and a day riding ATVs around the backcountry. We ended our trip by spending a couple days in a surfer town on the west coast of the island that showed us a whole new side of life in Puerto Rico.
This was the first time I have ever traveled for Christmas not to visit family and I was a bit unsure of how it would feel to celebrate in a non-traditional fashion, but I have to say that Puerto Rico exceeded expectations. With all its culture and unique geography, this island in the Carribean packs a big punch for its size and offers activities for both beach goers as well as adventure seekers.