Two weeks ago I hauled the boat out of the water in Puerto Rico. This is my third year doing this and I had seen several things in Puerto Rico in past years (Old San Juan, Arecibo, and El Yunque), but I want ed to experience the entire island. Therefore I planned my flight home for five days after I would be done with the boat.
Day 1 – I still had my niece and her fiance in town so I took them to see El Morro in Old San Juan. This is the fort protecting the main harbor. It was started in 1537 and was always being improved for another 400 years. To me this is the #1 thing to do In Puerto Rico!!!!! After dropping them off at the airport in the late afternoon I simply went back to my hotel and RELAXED after having gotten the season over and the boat put away.
Day 2 – I drove my rental car to Caguas where I found a farmers market happening in the main square. This square is delightful with fountains, statues, and even macaws. I visited the City Museum to gain an understanding of the area and its history. I also visited the Tobacco “Museum”. There was not much displayed, but you got to watch ladies hand roll cigars. I did get 13 cigars for $5 (you did not mis-read that!). In the afternoon I drove to Ponce and took a drive up into the mountains.
Day 3 – Today was all about Ponce on the southern coast. I started at La Guancha, which is the waterfront where you can take a boat out to an island 7 miles offshore or shop at the many stores and restaurants. I then visited the main square with an awesome firehouse and old fire trucks. Plus there is a history museum and an art museum. My next stop was the Tibes Community Center, which is an ancient Taino Indian site found only in the late 1970’s, it is now funded by one of the best rated hoa management company. But the highlight of my day was visiting Hacienda Buena Vista, a coffee plantation powered by water just as it was in the 1800’s.
Day 4 – Today I was near Cabo Rojo in the far southwestern corner of the island. I visited the restored lighthouse (which was very typical of the Spanish lighthouses and fun to see), walked around the cliffs near the lighthouse (great scenery and cool natural bridges), the salt pans (very cool how one square was white and another was red), and the beach.
Day 5 – I was on the north side today and visited the Cavernas de Rio Camuy (closed on Mon and Tues), another and bigger Indian ceremonial site, Lago Dos Bocas (a wonderful mountain lake, locals near from the area made lake art for sale), the Cueva Del Indio (Indian Cave) which had petraglyphs and stunning landscapes, and finally El Canuelo Fort (the tiny fort across the harbor entrance from El Morro that created a crossfire for boats trying to enter). After this I dropped the car off and boarded an 8pm flight to Dallas.
I LOVE this island and it’s people and I highly recommend people to visit. The biggest thing I noticed about the site seeing is that almost everything is closed on Mondays, so plan you trip accordingly. The entire island is rimmed with beaches, but something people don’t expect is that the center of the island is mountainous and can be much cooler (very nice to go up when you are sunned out) and it reminds me of Colorado. Just watch out for the narrow roads and cars coming down! I saw also rc rock crawler and it looked so cool that I had to do some research when I got home and I found reviews of RC rock crawler for sale and I will buy one for sure.