As the last travel post I decided to list 10 things I liked about Puerto Rico and what I managed to see/do during the two week stay there. Hope you find it useful when you plan on visiting this wonderful small country yourself! So here goes:
1. Paradise Beaches - Puerto Rico is full of too many beautiful beaches to visit with one stay and they all look different. Some are wild, some looks like postcards from paradise, some have light blue sea while others have darker and each coast has its own landscape that makes the beaches look drastically different aswell. Our favourites were the ones on the east coast as they had really light sand and turquise water. Surprisingly, beaches are never full of people, so you can often enjoy complete privacy. Oh and also the beaches in Isla Verde were amazing aswell and had those fun high waves.
2. Rainforest - The only tropical rainforest in the US forest system. We visited the El Yunque Rainforest hiking trails and I loved it soo much! I've never obviously been to a rainforest and the hiking trails had a lot of sights. My favourites were the La Mina waterfalls where me and J took a swim in and also the tower where you could see all the mountains covered with that huuuge rainforest. Truly an amazing sight to see. Make sure to listen to all the noises there and pay attention to the tiny details in the forest.
3. Food - We genuinely found our hand down favourite restaurant there - Olive Garden. It's from the US of course, but me and J and our travel buddies have never experienced such high quality service, fantastic Italian kitchen food and appetizers. We went there literally everyday to have lunch or dinner, because we just couldn't resist the delicious pasta they had. Makes my mouth water just by talking about it. Also another place I really liked was The Cheesecake Factory.
4. Different Places - Puerto Rico is really different on every side. South coast has desert beaches, west coast has caves and rocky veaches, north coast has typical sandy beaches and San Juan and the east coast looks like a paradise and there's a huge rainforest in the middle of the island. Talk about colourful huh? So the best thing to do is to rent a car as we did and go see and experience all this (especially my favourites - waterfalls yaay). Driving a car is pretty awful there because of the traffic and the holes, but really reallly fun nevertheless! Me and Kristi also fell in love with the Puerto RIcan radio stations that had reggaeton and latin pop al day long haha! We even found our current favourite songs from there!
5. Culture - Well we experinced a lot of local culture there surprisingly, because we went out of the tourist zones many times and got to see things we've never seen anywhere else before, cool and weird. Would definitely recommend keeping your eyes open when driving around, but make sure not to walk into dangerous areas, especially at night time.
6. Shopping - Ooooh my I could've shopped all day everyday there! First you have the designer outlet, then the Plaza where you had all your favourite US designers and brands alll in one place and then there was San Juan Mall that had more high end brands. The malls were both in San Juan CIty Centre and the outlet was in Barceloneta.
7. Islands - You also have the chance to visit the bigger islands Puerto Rico has - Visques and Culebra. The ferry takes you to both and I'm telling you, you have to visit at least one! We went to Culebra and it's a literal paradise island one can imagine. You can go surfing, snorkelling, fishing or whatever you want to do. It's really small so it takes 2 minutes to reach another beach. We went to Flamenco beach for some amazing views (the beach with a tank in the water)and tanning and to another closeby one for snorkeling. As aI said in another previous post, that was my favourite part!
8. Nature - Also have a close look at everything outside the rainforest aswell, as the island is really really beautiful and has interesting things to see. My favourites were the huge iguanas that lounged by the poolside whom I fed and petted there. Such funny creatures haha. I also really enjoyed the singing frogs in the evenings. Heard they are the national animals in Puerto Rico and they had pictures of these frogs everywhere. Couldn't see them though.
9. Old Town San Juan - The old town is reaaaally cute looking. It's small, but ypu can really get lost between these streets there. The houses are colourful with some of them looking like doll houses and the old town is surrounded with walls and two forts on both sides you can also visit. I recommend visiting the fort at the end of the town during the sunset around 5pm. Amazing view! Old town is where all the nice restaurants, clubs and different boutiques are.
10. So Many Things To Do - So what made us feel sad about this vacation was that we weren't able to do everything we wanted and planned, because there is just too much to do there. They have the largest zip line in the Caribbean wheer you can swing over the rainforest for one mile. Then they have of course all the stuff you can do in the ocean, so for example, J wasn't able to go on a fishing trip that disappointed him a bit haha. Because of all the different activities, I recommend you to ask for an actvity map from hotel or car rental place that has everything on it from the island. Makes it easier to notice everything and make a plan. We were passed out asleep 8-9pm every evening basically, because the days were really tiring unless we stayed at the local beach or pool all day.