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Spotlight: Puerto Rico

February 24, 2011

Before arriving in Puerto Rico for 7 days of vacation, I was a bit nervous.  Some of my co-workers described it as dirty & boring, among other choice words.  So, when my husband, 4 friends & myself pulled up to our resort, we were quite relieved.  The resort was squeezed between the beach & the rainforest…how could that be boring?

    

It wasn’t.  We stayed in Rio Mar, which is about 45 min outside of San Juan.  Far enough from the city yet close enough to make a day trip.  The beach was quiet, the ocean a beautiful turquoise blue and the mountains provided a nice picturesque background.  It really was perfect. 

 

Our activities included the following:  beach lounging, eating at local Puerto Rican restaurants, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, hiking, touring Old San Juan and maybe a little drinking.  Unfortunately, the evening we planned to visit the Bioluminescent Bay was replaced with our moonlight beachside BBQ…a tradeoff I would make any day.  My favorite activity was hiking in El Yunque rainforest.  We went one morning as a group, & I enjoyed it so much that I dragged my husband there another day.  With so many waterfalls and such a lush green peaceful landscape, it was easy to be captivated in the moment.  We searched for the Puerto Rican parrot, but later learned only 6o remain in the wild (because they took flight prior to Hurricane Hugo, or so we were told). 

Fort San Cristóbal was also quite breathtaking.  It is located in Old San Juan & was built to protect the city from land attacks.  It seems quite massive & worth seeing for the incredible view.  And, right down the road is the Parrot Club, a little restaurant on the ‘must visit’ list for its inviting ambience & inventive fruity drinks (Hello, Passion Parrot & Passion Mojito).

It would not be a vacation (or a real post) without some discussion of the food.  We sought out authentic Puerto Rican restaurants (which I think we found) & really enjoyed everything we ate.  Through copious servings of plantains (from chips to mofongo to fried tostadas) to endless amounts of seafood, through food we felt as though we fully absorbed ourselves into Puerto Rican culture (whether we actually did is another discussion).  For me, that made the trip a real vacation…

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