After travelling through the Caribbean for just over a week, we landed at the beautiful Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Stepping off the boat, I felt like I was in Europe all over again.Streets were paved with cobblestone and surrounded by pastel painted homes. There were quaint restaurants around every corner and locals peering out of their flower boxed windows. Although still part of the United States, the Spanish culture of San Juan was undeniable.
Here is a video I compiled from the whole Caribbean trip!
We stayed at the Hilton (thanks to a friend who works there) in the hub of Puerto Rico. Sadly, I would not be recommending here. The hotel was beautiful and staff were lovely, but location not so ideal. I knew Puerto Rico was a city, but it really is a big… city! And for a tourist wanting to see some culture, this is not an ideal area.
If you do stay in the city hub, the city Bus costs .75c to ride, and you can even get it to Old San Juan. I would recommend to stay near or in Old San Juan, simply because it is beautiful.
Our favourite place was Barrachina in Old San Juan – founder of the PINA COLADA! And they really lived up to it. The food was so affordable and they gave large meals.
Feeling desert? Always! We ate at Casa Cortés ChocoBar and tried the Churros and Hot Chocolate – never fails.
We hired a car and drove two hours West of the island to visit some caves and go on a day adventure. It always gives me so much happiness when we hire a car, it adds a completely different element to the trip… and I feel I gain 10 times more by the end of it. So I highly recommend doing this.
There were a few options for where we wanted to go, but given it was only a day trip we had to narrow it down. We opted out of a Catamaran Cruise because we had already done two whilst throughout the Caribbean.
This is a large cave on top of a limestone cliff in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, overlooking the Río Grande de Arecibo valley. Warning: You have NO reception out here! And the address online pretty much wound us up at a drug lords residence. But if you just follow the highway you will see signs (we pulled off road before we got that far).
Walking into a pitch black cave to come out and see a sight as beautiful as the valley was indescribable. It seemed like a painting, and the photos I took just don’t do it enough justice.
Head to Jobos Beach another hour from Cueva Ventana. The drive is nice and you get to see a few small towns on the way. There’s a parking lot with a restaurant and bar, and beach filled with locals drinking and music blaring. If you walk up past the beach towards to cliffs, this is where you will see the pit cave.
With a huge fall, I’m surprised I could get up there for the money shot. The waves take intervals of crashing as high as we were standing. It was a beautiful sight, and we even managed to get a swim in before returning back for the day.
IN A NUTSHELL
Stay in Old San Juan and make sure you hire a car while you’re there. Puerto Rico has more to offer than we were able to see, and it’s best when you can take the reigns.