Puerto Rico was not super high on my bucket list. They have quality pointbreaks and great weather but windy conditions, and mass tourism could be a buzz kill? In September, Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. The most hectic storm in 85 years! An influx of relief efforts have helped revive Puerto Rico and it made me more motivated than ever to add the island to the bucket list. And the more research I do, the more reasons I find to book a ticket to Miami and San Juan. (More about Miami soon)
I could make myself at home at Olive Boutique Hotel, and explore San Juan. With a 500-year-old city center that’s flanked by golden beaches, modern condos, and mega-shopping centers, the old world meets new in Puerto Rico’s capital city.
After a night or two, I would consider driving the 4×4 to Isabela and Rincon, but not before I pamper the love of my life with a quick visit to the spa at Dorado Beach. And hire some gear at Goodwinds Kitesurf.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve is as good as it gets but has a matching price tag. Still, I can highly recommend checking some of the pictures, it doesn’t hurt to daydream. It’s picture perfect for a fashion photo shoot with the Hasselblad. I’ll pack some extra rolls of film. Maybe they’ll let me stay a few extra days. I doubt it. But I’m pretty sure this is where Kelly Slater would stay.
Back to earth. Situated in the heart of Rincon, this air-conditioned apartment is a surfers dream. Casa Verde looks like a great alternative and has a hot bar & a cool pool. When exploring the rest of the island I plan to have lunch at La Jamaca in Lajas. Located close to Bioluminescent Bay and Bahía de Fosforescente.
400 restored buildings from the 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial period, San Juan is steeped in history with an old-world European charm.
Sleepy Vieques is a popular weekend getaway from San Juan. Mass tourism has not yet touched this island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, where wild horses roam free and there are no traffic lights. By day, visitors head to the nearly deserted beaches or hit the water for snorkeling, swimming, diving, kayaking and fishing excursions. On nights when there’s little or no moon, kayak on Bioluminescent Bay, where the water glitters with the glow of a billion tiny dinoflagellates. Set aside a few hours to poke your head into the quirky shops and low-key bars of the two tiny towns, Isabel II and Esperanza. Sounds like a plan?
The Santurce neighborhood is a hipster haven with a thriving art scene, while the Hato Rey financial district is where you’ll find Luis Muñoz Marin Park and Plaza Las Americas, the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean. Read more