Puerto Rico was hands down one of the most incredible vacations I’ve been on. Lush with the El Yunque rainforest and the beautiful beaches of San Juan, along with the rich history of Old San Juan, the island is something I would recommend to anyone.
So it started off on a rainy Valentine’s Day when I was fourteen and my parents were shipping out to Puerto Rico that weekend for a week and a half long vacation. They had told my brother and I that we weren’t allowed to come because my dad would be working half of the time and they didn’t want to buy two extra flights. But on that day I opened my card and there sat a plane ticket to Puerto Rico for the same dates as my parents. I was going!
We stayed at the La Concha Renaissance Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was located on its own guest-access only strip of the white sandy beach and crystal blue waters. I had never seen something so beautiful and elaborate in my life. There was a floating restaurant in the water, and also a rock wall jutting into the ocean that you could climb and walk out on. I must have taken a million pictures on those rocks that week.
The El Yunque rainforest had this beautiful, big waterfall that you could swim under and around and it was so much fun. There were rocks that my mom was able to sit on and watch as we all swam under the waterfall. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
You could snorkel in the water because it is so clear. They had different tours going on for that but I didn’t participate.
Old San Juan is the oldest city and historic landmarks in Puerto Rico. Different military forts are available to walk around in and the view of the ocean is spectacular.
There were souvenir shops, restaurants, and boutiques littering downtown San Juan by the hotels. Some shops sold hand woven and handmade items that were really neat to see. Everything was so bright and colorful and the people there were to.
The only negative part of the trip was the fact that there were so many homeless people around. It was a very stark contrast to the hotel district and the riches seen there while there were people suffering on the streets. It made me sad as a kid and it still makes me sad to this day, but I was able to help one homeless man and create a week long friendship. We saw him digging through he trash at a burger king so my mom bought him a whole meal and I’ve never seen a more grateful or happy person. The whole rest of the week he spoke to us whenever we were walking down the street and introduced us to his peers and friends if they were around. It made the week extra memorable. I hope he still thinks of us as we think of him.
All in all Puerto Rico was an amazing trip and one you should think about taking if you like tropical destinations and warm weather. I hope I am able to make it back to that beautiful place again. Another great perk, if you don’t have a passport you don’t need to get one because it’s a US territory! Happy Traveling!