Have you been dreaming of leaving all of it behind and jetting off to the Caribbean however preserve pushing aside that passport renewal? Luckily, Americans can expertise the sweetness and attraction of the Caribbean with no passport!
In reality, Americans can expertise the very best of the Caribbean with no passport, with out exchanging cash, with no long-haul flight, and with out coping with the trouble of worldwide cell service limitations.
Take It From Me, Puerto Rico Is The Most Accessible Caribbean Destination
When the chance to journey to Puerto Rico this fall introduced itself, I jumped on it instantly. Having lived elsewhere within the Caribbean since July, I used to be to see how various things have been in San Juan. As an American, I knew I might journey to Puerto Rico with no passport. However, it didn’t register how actually straightforward it was to go to till I flew to San Juan.
The flight was a breeze! A beautiful 2.5 hours from Miami with beautiful climate, so the view from above turned the world beneath right into a portray.
Having by no means been to Puerto Rico, I nonetheless felt like I used to be touring to a different nation exterior of the States. With Puerto Rico being a U.S. territory nonetheless, flying into San Juan was like another home flight. When I landed and took my telephone off airplane mode, I had implausible cell service. Once deplaned, a small a part of me felt like I wanted to undergo customs.
Instead, I used to be exterior the airport and ready for my floor transport in about 5 minutes! The drive to my lodge, The Sheraton, was clean and brief, which felt out of the norm for the Caribbean. If you’ve frequented a lot of the Caribbean, you in all probability understand how tough the roads can get!
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Not The Puerto Rico I Was Expecting
As everyone knows, the media usually tends to magnify. As my departure date inched nearer, I watched two hurricanes make landfall in Puerto Rico. First Fiona, after which Ian. Friends and household saved asking me if I deliberate to cancel my journey. I by no means had any intention of doing so, however did surprise what issues can be like once I arrived.
By no means am I discounting the impression Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian had on residents of Puerto Rico, significantly these within the south. Still, whereas exploring San Juan, I noticed no proof of storm harm and no areas with out energy, save the occasional site visitors mild. Everything appeared to be working enterprise as common.
Speaking with my driver on the best way to the lodge, he recounted his experiences all through numerous hurricanes. He instructed me how a lot his life modified throughout Hurricane Maria, one of many worst to ever hit the island. Fiona and Ian have been no comparability, not less than for him.
Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, later knowledgeable us at a press convention that Hurricane Fiona barely impacted vacationers’ plans to come back to the island for trip. Less than 10% canceled their journey, and in Dean’s phrases, Hurricane Fiona was “a setback, not a reset.” Indeed, most of Puerto Rico was and nonetheless is totally open and protected for journey.
One Of The Best Ways To Give Back
It could seem counterintuitive, however the most effective methods to assist the native economic system of Puerto Rico, even after a hurricane, is thru journey and tourism. Even one thing so simple as grabbing a fast chunk at an area brewery provides up and helps the locals who work there.
During my keep, I had the pleasure of speaking to quite a few locals working within the tourism sector. Each of them echoed this sentiment, touring to Puerto Rico and having fun with native actions is among the finest methods you may assist.
An Immense Cultural Experience
Since it was my first time in Puerto Rico, I didn’t know what to anticipate. My typical go-to locations are principally European, and I’ve a deep-rooted love for the previous. Marveling at the fantastic thing about St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, strolling amongst historical Viking burial mounds in Mølen, and exploring Blarney fortress in Ireland are recollections solidified in my mind. Not due to their visible attraction, however due to the connection I felt to the historical past and tradition of these experiences.
Puerto Rico now has a spot amongst this particular set of recollections, and I can’t wait to return. Walking by the historic district of Old San Juan confirmed me that Americans don’t should journey far to see a singular mix of historical past. Old San Juan is the oldest metropolis within the U.S. and its territories. Visitors can see beautiful buildings displaying Baroque, Neoclassical, Gothic, and Spanish Colonial structure — all inside strolling distance of one another. On the western facet of Old San Juan, some buildings date again to the 1500s — the historical past lover in me felt proper at house.
A Unique Take On History
I explored Old San Juan in a singular method that I extremely suggest to anybody visiting the realm. Rather than merely strolling round and exploring independently, I went on the Old San Juan Walk & Taste Tour with The Spoon Experience. This tour wasn’t only a guided stroll amongst lovely buildings and experiencing native meals and drinks. While that was actually a part of it, what made the tour unforgettable was the huge quantity of historical past eloquently expressed by our unbelievable information.
In just some hours, I sampled probably the most genuine native meals out there whereas studying every meal’s historic and cultural significance. In between our meals stops, our information talked about Old San Juan’s wealthy historical past. From the apparent particulars like its strategically defensible place, to the not-so-obvious incontrovertible fact that the limitless shade supplied by San Juan’s structure solely exists on account of a poor compass studying in the course of the metropolis’s planning. There was a lot unbelievable historical past shared, and I can’t wait to return and do it once more to be taught extra!
Top 6 Reasons I’ll Be Going Back To Puerto Rico
- It’s So Easy – Visiting Puerto Rico was like taking every part nice in regards to the Caribbean and packaging it with straightforward home flying. My flight from Miami was solely 2.5 hours, and getting by the airport and to my lodge was a breeze. If I lived in Miami, I’d go to Puerto Rico on each out there lengthy weekend.
- For More Of Old San Juan – I fell in love with Old San Juan the second I noticed it. The structure, the charming little retailers, and the immense cultural expertise have cemented this lovely metropolis in my thoughts.
- For The Adventure – My journey was spent in San Juan, however subsequent time I head to Puerto Rico, I plan to take a look at extra off-the-beaten-path sights. Some that I take into account embrace El Yunque National Forest and Laguna Grande, a bio bay the place guests can expertise the fantastic thing about bioluminescence within the water.
- For More Beach Time – I didn’t spend a lot time on the seashores, however positively will sooner or later! From the beautiful El Escambrón in San Juan to the gorgeous Pelícano Beach in Ponce, I’ll be scoping out Puerto Rico’s seashores throughout my future journeys.
- For The Art – I had the pleasure of collaborating in a strolling artwork tour in Santurce, a municipality in San Juan identified for its vibrant artwork scene and thrilling nightlife. Just just like the culinary tour, it was a historical past lesson in disguise. I realized extra about Puerto Rico and its individuals in the course of the tour than I ever had at school. This was fully on account of our unbelievable information from theartwalkpr.