As I sit here, waiting to hopefully make our flight as standby passengers who missed their morning flight, I reminisce on all of my memories I made, all the new friends I bonded with, and all the lessons I learned.
Let me start out by saying it is so beautiful in San Juan Puerto Rico. My favorite part had to have been the art painted on the walls by the artists in the nearby school of art. I’m not known to be creative, in fact I am a very left brain person. However, I absolutely love colors and paintings. That’s why, if you were to run into me, I’m usually wearing some bright-colored or tie dyed shirt. The houses were all kinds of colors, bright pink, green, yellow, turquoise… and many of the businesses were painted with pictures. Just walking down the streets definitely made my heart happy.
For the most part, it was pretty easy to communicate. I would suggest refreshing your Spanish, because surprisingly, a lot of locals didn’t know English. Also, we got around with Uber, which is much cheaper than a cab.
There are some perilous parts of Puerto Rico, I guess that’s wherever you go really. I found myself roaming through the streets of La Perla, after being told it probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but I had to venture down to see this city for myself. This area is known for a lot of gangs and drug activities, so, if you find yourself venturing down to this city, make sure you leave all your valuables at the hotel. As you can see in the pictures, it’s a very poor, rundown city. Actually, the original video of Despacito was filmed down here and at the bar near by called La Factoria. I found this to be astonishing information and exciting to get to it with my own eyes.
Old San Juan Puerto Rico was beautiful. We spent a lot of time down here eating, shopping and sight-seeing. It’s very touristy, so it is more expensive to eat and shop, but still very cheap compared to Seattle prices. The streets down here are astonishing, and they have kept most of the buildings the same. Apparently, if you own a building down here it’s actually illegal to change it. That’s what one of the locals told me. There is a very good restaurant down here called La Bombonara, not only good food but wonderful service and easy on the wallet.
Now, my favorite restaurant and a MUST was the chocolate restaurant called Casa Cortés. They have pretty much everything a chocolate lover could want, from grilled cheese with chocolate to chocolate alcohol and the best chocolate milkshake I have ever tasted. We had to go twice while exploring Puerto Rico. It was simply that amazing.
Castillo San Cristóbal was one of the sites we went to see. It was built-in 1783 by Spain to protect against land attacks. It had some breath-taking views and only cost $5.00 to visit. It has a lot of history behind it, but telling you would only spoil it, so go find out yourself.
We also visited The Catedral Metropolitana Basílica de San Juan Bautista, in English, Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist. Apparently this is one of the oldest and in my opinion most beautiful buildings in San Juan. It was stunning inside and I recommend venturing in, at no cost. They do still hold church services, so be respectful when entering.
We ventured to two different beaches, one was right out the back door of my brothers Condo we were staying at. It’s called Ashford beach and it’s located in Condado Puerto Rico. It’s a pretty relaxed quiet beach, not much activity. Perfect if you’re looking for a beach to just relax on.
The second beach was called Isle Verde located in Carolina, Puerto Rico. This was a pleasant beach to see if you plan to do more than just sunbathe. It is busier than the other beach we went to. They have a beach tennis court, you have to be a member of the tennis team to play, but because we went to this beach with one of the locals, we got to get a little competitive with the athletes, yes they kicked my ass. It was harder than regular tennis in my opinion. If you get hungry, located down the beach was a restaurant/ bar, unfortunately I have forgotten the name of it, but very good food but pricey.
La Placita de Santurce is a block party that they have every thursday to sunday (they can party) with music and of course lots of alcohol and food. This was a blast, although I may have drank too much. We met some other tourist there we chatted a bit and took a few shots with them before moving on. Of course Puerto Rico is full of beautiful women and it wouldn’t have been an awesome trip if I wouldn’t have met one. Right? We left La Placita around 1 am and she took me to some local gay bars and ventured around San Juan in her jeep, the city was beautiful to see at night. If you like drinking and women, La Placita should be high on your to do list.
Unfortunately, we went during storm season and there was so much more planned we didn’t get to do. Like the El Yunque rainforest, the zipline tour, and crash boat beach. But I’ll be back to finish for sure.