Last year my girlfriend Betty and I visited Puerto Rico for a long vacation. We always had a general interest in visiting the island, but this time I chose Puerto Rico for a very specific and personal reason.
The trip ended up over-delivering by leaps and bounds. We never expected it to be as enjoyable as it was and, unfortunately, I think many Americans share the same sentiment.
Though points and miles were a part of our stay, I want this post to focus on Puerto Rico itself — the culture, food, and beauty.
Flying into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport will afford you some stunning views and is a true comparison of the best part of the island…and all that plagues it. On one side you have the rich, vibrant sea colored a with a light blue hue and on the other side, you have despair and poverty.
But all that is bad about Puerto Rico makes it great. Puerto Ricans are genuinely happy people, always willing to lend a helping hand.
We stayed at the gorgeous La Concha resort (in the Condado area of San Juan) based on trusted recommendations from friends and colleagues and it didn’t disappoint. I was able to book an oceanfront suite using Marriott points and the views were to die for.
Like every place in the world, Puerto Rico is flawed. No doubt about it. Though in a place so seemingly vulnerable, Puerto Ricans are strong and maintain an enthusiasm that we should all envy.
The food. Oh man, the food. You’ll never go hungry in Puerto Rico. Churrasco and mofongo, what could go wrong?
A few places I recommend you visit:
Beautiful sights and sounds
There really aren’t many words to describe Puerto Rico — especially Old San Juan. You just have to go experience it for yourself. The vibe on the streets is very real. People out and about having a good time eating, drinking, and dancing.
It broke my heart to see the island so devastated by Hurricane Maria last year. I couldn’t help but think about the great people that waited on us at the La Concha hotel from the bartenders to the housekeepers, to the chair attendants on the beach.
Thankfully, since the La Concha hotel is a major source of revenue, many resources were poured into getting it back up and running. Unfortunately for those still in the rural parts of the island, life will never be the same.
From everything I’ve seen and read, San Juan and Old San Juan are back and running and tourism is on the rise once again. I see perfection in all of the island’s flaws, as poetic as that may sound. The people are genuinely kind-hearted and their positive attitudes are infectious. I look forward to my next visit and hope to see you there!