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.

old-san-juan san-juan-pr old-san-juan san-juan-pr old-san-juanmarriott puerto rico

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!

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Gene
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Gene

Just dont fall and break your leg or worse. NO MEDICAL CARE AVAILABLE.

Poltpoly
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Poltpoly

Quit the lies man!!! There are more than enough healthcare options…smh

I was in PR during the hurrricane snd things were def over exaggerated

JTP
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JTP

Puerto Rico. My hearts devotion.. let it sink back in the ocean.

DaninMCI
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DaninMCI

I like visiting PR. It’s part of the USA so your cell phone works in many places if you’re from the US. I love the old forts and historic sites. It’s also not a bad cruise ship port of call as they dock in downtown San Juan and you can just walk off the ship to many areas of interest. San Juan is very walkable downtown.

Wes
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Wes

Wow. Preachy and bossy. Great strategy to attract readership to a newly launched blog. Sheesh.

Alan Ellman
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Great travel story. No knock on you, Dom, but I would have had a problem staying in a luxury hotel and taking advantage of other amenities afforded to a financially secure American, knowing the pain so many of the residents have suffered and are still enduring. >Alan

Bella
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This is so helpful! I really need to spend some decent time learning more about metering and having a solid play because it’s an area of photography