I’m going to convince you that Puerto Rico is the best place in the world. Here it goes…
I don’t even know where to start, since this topic gives me ALL the feels. Being Puerto Rican has always made me really proud, but I think the more I travel, the more grateful I am to have been born there and the less I would ever change it for anywhere else in the world.
Alex, my boyfriend, and I arrived and after being picked up by my mom, our first stop was Café Puerto Rico, my favourite typical food restaurant in the island.
The next day we were on our way to Isabela, a gorgeous city on the northwest of the island. Three hours, a food shop, a clothes shop, and a coffee stop later, we arrived to Villas del Mar Hau. This is a really cute hotel type place where you can stay in a wooden house with a hammock in front of the ocean, I mean what could be better than that?
We spent three days there relaxing, enjoying life and soaking up the sun. Our next stop was Playa Buyé in Cabo Rojo, a city on the southwest of the island. Can you believe that this was my first visit ever to this beach??? 🙈 Yeah, me either. It’s gorgeous and definitely worth the day trip.
While in Buyé, we decided we couldn’t leave the west coast of the island without visiting La Parguera in Lajas. So we booked a hotel and off we went. After dinner that night, we went to see the Bioluminescent Bay. It was Alex’s first time seeing something of the sort, and it’s fair to say that he was speechless. (I couldn’t document the visit since taking pictures and using flash is frowned upon because it damages the specimen.)
The next day we rented a boat and went to Matalagata and Cayo Caracoles, also a first time visit for me! At this point is when I decided “Fiji schmiji, there’s no place like home” (although Fiji IS special, don’t get me wrong, and I’m NOT at all biased). The crystal clear waters just invite you to jump in the second you see them!
After our day out at sea, it was time to head back home to Old San Juan, but first we needed some dinner. My mom suggested we stop by Ponce, a city on the south of the island, where my grandfather was born. We went to this really cute restaurant, Asador, opened in an old colonial era house, with amazingly delicious food.
Then back to Old San Juan we went. I love it there because it has everything you need from cultural interests, to restaurants, to nightlife! My favourite places to go have some cocktails are: La Cubanita, Casa Melaza, and La Factoría. La Cubanita and La Factoría are amazing if you want to go dance salsa and, if you’re lucky, even see some salsa legends enjoying their night. Both also have hidden away bars in the back which are more intimate and have a great atmosphere. Casa Melaza is a rum boutique where you can go have Puerto Rican coffee or sample all of the rums of the island, and time flies when you’re having rum.
While in the metropolitan area, we visited more beaches, because yours truly needed her bronze suntan. We went to Ocean Park Beach, located in Condado a part of San Juan, and Aviones located in Loíza.
Then it was the east side’s turn. We went to Fajardo where we took a day trip to Culebra. This might have been one of my favourite parts of the trip! They took us to this Cay first called Melones, and then to one of the top 10 beaches of the world, Flamenco. Melones had this turquoise water that I hadn’t seen before in my island, I was absolutely mesmerised. I had been to Flamenco before, but it’s crystal clear water never ceases to amaze me.
Somedays we would stay in Old San Juan. We discovered this delicious ice cream place called Señor Paleta, and my mom took us on this beautiful walk behind El Morro fort all the way to the door of the walled city. We would also visit Casa Melaza to get our daily cocktail fix.
Alex left a week before me (reluctantly), so for his last meal on the island he wanted to go have brunch at La Bombonera, so I happily obliged. Afterwards, we went on a last little meander around the city and visited the gorgeous Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.
During my last week at home, I was spending quality time with my parents most of the time. I went to take ballet class with my favourite group of retired dancers a few times, saw a friend who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, and guess what? Went to the beach! This time it was right outside Old San Juan, called El Escambrón. From the sea you can see El Morro, which is pretty special.
My time in Puerto Rico made me realise that as cliché as it may sound there really is NO place like HOME. My little island always delivers, and my people are just so resilient and strong that I came back feeling so inspired, so refreshed and SO proud. Best country in the world. End of. Ñeta!
Until next time,