I recently took a trip with my family to Puerto Rico, my 2nd trip to this wonderful county, a commonwealth of the United States the past 100 years or so. Puerto Rico is wonderful in so many ways – it’s a close flight from home, you don’t need your passport (although I took mine) and you don’t need to worry about changing currency.
But what’s more wonderful about Puerto Rico is the country itself and their people. The island of Puerto Rico has several regions, all different from one another. San Juan, the capital is rich with history, home of Bacardi Rum, lots of fancy resorts, restaurants and a port for all those cruising the Caribbean. Everyone speaks English, and there are several key neighborhoods worth exploring.
Eastern Puerto Rico, namely Fajardo and Rio Grande holds their rainforest El Yunque, as well as beach areas where snorkeling is amazing, as is the bioluminescent bay during a full moon. The locals are lively and friendly and it’s worth a visit no matter how short or long your PR trip is.
Central Puerto Rico, namely Utuado and Adjuntas is coffee country. The climate and vegetation here is very different from the rest of Puerto Rico. Here you’ll fid lush forests of bamboo taller than anything you could imagine, coffee trees, lechon stands everywhere and the people are AMAZING! My Spanish is limited – I took it in high school, although I did brush up on it prior to our trip. Twice when we stopped for lechon at one of the roadside stands I was invited to share a glass of wine & conversation with the locals – I felt special. One patron of a restaurant even invited me to dance salsa with him (my ballroom dancing lessons paid off!)
Western Puerto Rico is tranquil and peaceful and the people there are more laid back. There are lots of beaches and small towns and everyone is so incredibly friendly – I felt as if I’d known those people all my life. Mayaquez beaches were amazing, so was the food and the drinks.
When you meet another person for the first time – that first impression is key. I’m an extrovert, so I tend to talk with everyone I meet. I felt right at home in Puerto Rico where many of the people I met were just like that.