We chose Puerto Rico as our Honeymoon location because it was a cheap airfare and it held a fascination for both of us. The lure of Old San Juan, the Taino culture, the potential for amazing beaches to lay out on, and most definitely food! Oh… and apparently P.R. is the Hawaii of the Atlantic, boasting legendary surf spots (just not while I was there).
Perhaps Heather and I are spoiled from the unique, warm and inviting nature of the people in Thailand. We had a lovely time, but Puerto Rico didn’t quite live up to all we were expecting.
I suppose the trip can be divided into two. The first half was truly amazing. We stayed at the Gallery Inn. The picture to the left is taken there. The Gallery Inn is this old building in San Juan that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and both of San Juan’s forts. We had an incredible room. We also had an incredible rainstorm that woke us up suddenly when our old shuttered doors were blown open. Earlier that evening we were introduced to one of the worlds most delicious uses of garlic, plantains and butter; Mofongo! I am a huge fan of anything Cuban and Plantains, and this was truly amazing and we both highly recommend it.
The next day we went to one of the forts and explored and played and photographed. Then we headed out of San Juan in the direction of Luquillo on the Northeast tip of P.R. I was quite excited because I heard it had decent surf, and we were going to stay in an apartment in the El Yunque Rainforest.
Some of the highlights were:
- The waterfalls, they were everwhere.
- Sue’s Place. Our apartment, a twenty minute drive up a jungle mountain through small villages and chickens and dogs in the street, when you finally get there you walk on your deck that is surrounded by super dense green jungle and millions of tree frogs, called koqui, that sing to you at night.
- On a whim, Heather and I climbed through the jungle to the very most highest point of Puerto Rico.
- Surfing at La Selva. It was sloppy, mushy and small, but it had been almost two years since I’ve caught a wave. Plus, it was a cool mile long hike through the jungle to get there. (On the hike back I got stung by some kind of flying insect that made my arm swell up and turn red! Cool!)
We stayed in El Yunque for two days and loved it. When we left Luquillo is when our trip turned to the somewhat unpleasant second half. I think it was a combination of wanting to explore a lot of the island in a short time colliding with the slow island life pace of life. The best example was when we went to the Camuy Caves. I was told that it would only take a few hours to do, but it ended up being a four hour wait in line for a 45 minute guided tour. The caves were quite remarkable though, and I’m glad we went.
The restaurant we went to after though was a different story entirely. I won’t say much, other than it took an hour just for us to order.
One thing that shocked both of us is that while the plane flight was somewhat inexpensive, the hotels were at least one hundred dollars. Regardless of where you went, you were looking at dropping a Benjamen.
Our last night, tired from driving, tired from paying exorbitantly for meals, we ended up at a small South Beach style hotel. We figured it was going to be expensive no matter where we went in San Juan so we booked it. Talk about swank! We were offered complimentary room service drinks, and to top off our night we found our way out to the beach deck area the ultra comfy canopy beds in the sand. We cuddled up with each other and looked out to the lights dancing on the San Juan Harbor, drinking our Puerto Rican rum filled drinks and listening to the DJ spin some mellow house tracks and thinking about everything from the past few days and the long plane ride home the next day.