I visited Puerto Rico before it was devastated by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. These hurricanes were devastating to the island in a number of ways. A large part of the Puerto Rican economy is tourism, and tourists have not been visiting recently due to the damage done by the hurricanes. It should be a great time to visit Puerto Rico for two reasons: you can be a boost to an economy that desperately needs it, and you can get some great deals.
What I did:
Castillo San Felipe del Morro-
The Castillo San Felipe de Morro is located on the San Juan National Historic Site in Old San Juan. It is a fortress that was built on the waterfront in the 16th century. It was built as a way to defend San Juan Bay from people trying to attack from the ocean. The six story fortress has a variety of things to explore such as ancient dungeons, cannons, ramps, and towers. It also offers some great views.
The Bacardi Rum Factory is in San Juan. They offers tours of the facility and rum tastings. They also sell rum bottles and blends that can be personalized and only purchased directly at the factory.
Condado Beach was a nice place to relax a bit and kick a soccer ball around.
Where I ate and drank:
La Cueva del Mar-
La Cueva del Mar is a nice, authentic, local restaurant in San Juan.
Bebo's is another authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in San Juan. The food and the prices were both very good.
La Fonda del Jibarito-
I visited El Jibarito on the recommendation of a local Uber driver, and I was not disappointed. The restaurant gets its name from a type of sandwich made from plantains. The authentic Puerto Rican food there was very good, and the portions sizes were generous.
Cocina Abierta serves excellent, high quality food. However, it is somewhat expensive, and the portions are relatively small. If you don't mind spending a bit of money, Cocina Abierta is a great option.
Where I stayed:
My stay at Mango Mansion was very nice, but I unfortunately did not have my time to spend in Puerto Rico. Located in Condado, it is close to the main sites and a short walk to some great restaurants. And of course they had mangos (my favorite fruit) as part of their free breakfast.
How I got around:
While in San Juan I walked to get around for most of my time there. I also used Uber at times, especially when traveling slightly longer distances when with a couple other people.
My favorite thing:
I really enjoyed the laid back culture in Puerto Rico, similar to much of the Caribbean. The people I met there were extremely friendly.
My least favorite thing:
Unfortunately due to time constraints I was only able to spend a couple days in San Juan. I would have liked to have spent more than that limited time there.
For next time:
Next time I visit the San Juan area, I would like to visit their bioluminescent waters. At nights, the water in some areas appears to glow. I haven't had the chance to experience something like that before, and would really like the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, last year's hurricanes may have irreparably damaged the bay.
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