Things have been quite eventful this month already. One week ago I celebrated my birthday in the Caribbean. It was my first trip ever to that part of the world and I had been looking forward to making it for a very long time already. Puerto Rico seemed like the easiest country to travel to flight-wise since you have great direct connections from the New York, which only take 3 ½ hours (or less, depending on wind and weather).
While Puerto Rico is part of the exotic Caribbean, it’s incredibly easy for Americans to fly there due to it being a US Territory. It also carries the green US dollars as currency, which seems a bit bizarre in a country that seems so different from the rest of America. The Rich Port was an amazing country to visit and I enjoyed the 4 short days I was there immensely.
The first stop was San Juan, where I managed to stay in a guesthouse for the duration of three nights.
From here, I mostly booked day-long bus tours to various destinations. On my first full day, I go to see the beautiful island of Culebra and snorkel around deserted reefs, which are considered a national reserve in some parts. Snorkeling for almost 3 hours altogether in two different locations took its toll on my back because I had a vicious sun burn at the end of the day. So on my second full day, I was happy to cover up and hike around El Yunque, the only rainforest that is part of the US. El Yunque was quite a sight and in typical manner of a rainforest it actually rained quite a bit while walking on some steep trails. At the end of our journey, we were allowed to dive into an ice cold waterfall, which was refreshing and soothing all at once.
Another exciting event was seeing one of PR’s three magnificent bioluminescent bays. And what better way to take advantage of it than kayaking through it in the pitch black after sunset? Needless to say, there were lots of lost kayaks on our way back but it was all part of the adventure.
Last but not least, I got to see one of the oldest Bacardi factories while visiting the Bacardi Rum Tour in San Juan. After getting quite tipsy off of 4 self-mixed drinks (mixology certificate included), I was ready to explore the old town of San Juan in an even better way.
Yes, overall I can say that my 28th birthday trip to the Caribbean was a full-on blast, only slightly overshadowed by the fact that I got sick with a cold on the last day of my vacation.
The following posts will highlight some of the daytrips I went on and hopefully draw you closer to San Juan and Puerto Rico’s culture in general.
But among all of this, let’s not forget the beautifully diverse people I got to meet while traveling and staying close to the travel community. Because without some help from a Dutch and a Taiwanese, my birthday night would have not turned out to be quite as exciting as it ended up being. Kudos to the world and finding unity in its diversity!