Nate & I spent a week in Puerto Rico with his family. We stayed in two separate parts of the island & drove & saw a lot more. Highlight number one was the El Yunque National Park Rainforest. Highlight number two was the ocean. Low-light was the amount of sweat that came off of my body. #sohot
Photo memory commence now:
We arrive in PR SUPER early, 4.30 am early. We sat in the airport [read: nate watched a movie & I slept on my backpack] until around 7am & then took a taxi into town to get coffee. We live #onmission for coffee. & we were so happy with this place. We chatted with the barista & he gave us some tips on other shops around the island. I think my favorite thing about traveling to other cities is seeing the pace at which they live life. Life in PR is SLOW. Which is great, but also can be a struggle. Anyways.. Cafe Con Ce is 10/10.
Our first few days we stayed at the El Conquistador, which I enjoyed. Like I mentioned above, slower pace of life was definitely evident here, but it was a good stay. We took the ferry over to the island to go to the beach one day, and it was so lovely. We got on early which I was thankful for, we got great spots on the beach & stayed basically the whole day. I love floating in the ocean more than almost anything else. I was so happy. Nate & I also hiked up to the top of the hill on the island & it was magical up there. also incredibly hot.
Ok! Like I said, the Rainforest was one of the best things we did. We hiked [for what felt like forever, but really wasn't that long] down until we got to this waterfall. Nate & I jumped in the back-side, to try and avoid all these people. It was chilly, but so worth it! La Mina Falls was the one we stopped at & then hiked back up the other side. & that cool building up there ^^ that's the visitors center. *heart eyes*
The next day we had planned on taking the ferry over to Vieques for two days, but long story short, we got #touristed & didn't make it on the ferry. Or any of the ferries for that matter, which was incredibly frustrating, but we learned that locals know the secrets & we do not. MOVING ON. We ended up driving to Ponce, which was about two hours on the Western side of the Island. We stopped at the Faro de Punta Tuna [say that three times out loud. ha!] Lighthouse & it was stunning. They also had a bathroom *travel tips*
Nothing but pretty streets & photos from Ponce. moving on!
The next day we stayed up closer to San Juan. I knew San Juan was going to be the best part, but it really surprised me. It was incredibly beautiful. Nate & I started the day at a coffee shop in downtown San Juan, called Baraka. It was suggested to us by the barista at Cafe Con Ce & it was located in a cute little shared space called Santruce Pop. I bought a ring from one of the other vendors in the space & I was just so happy.
The owner of Baraka sent us to our next destination, El Patio De Solé, which we LOVED. It was so mom & pop & the sweet lady wanted to take a photo of Nate & I, and truthfully, she crushed it. Considering I had probably sweat my body weight walking around, we don't look dead. *praise report*. We made our way into Old San Juan & just walked around looking at all the beautiful buildings. It is very commercialized as that's where the cruise ships drop off tourists, but it's still kept that old charm. I loved it.
After walking around for a while we met the rest of Nate's family at Castillo de San Cristóbal which was absolutely stunning & had great views of the city.
We walked over to the other fort for sunset & it was so nice to just sit & enjoy the view.
By the end of the trip I had decided that I loved Puerto Rico, but it was just a tropical, Spanish speaking extension of the US. Which was great & convenient, but really hard for me to fully wrap my head around. Also it was so hot. all the time.
I left incredibly thankful to see it there & spend a week with Nate's whole family. I am so glad I married into a family with a sense of adventure.