Saturday, March 3, 2012

Great Places of Puerto Rico

I have never really talked about how much I love Puerto Rico.  I have lived there in the past and would love to visit again soon, but like everywhere else it has it's problems.  I do not think I will ever live there again, but Puerto Rico has such natural beauty, it can bring any person to tears.  I thought I would share some of my favorite spots in Puerto Rico and tell you a little bit about each place.  I have included pictures so you can picture yourself there.  Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, so when you visit you do not need to go through customs, you do not need a passport, and U.S. currency is used.  You can also send mail via the Postal Service, making it convenient and cheaper than international travel.

El Morro

El Morro, or 'The Fort', is located in Old San Juan.  It was built to protect San Juan bay from pirates and invading forces.  It no longer serves that purpose, and is recognized as a national park by the Department of the Interior.  It is open to guided or self-guided tours.  It is at the northern-most tip of Old San Juan and before reaching the actual fort, there is an enormous meadow that is popular with picnickers and anyone who just wants to sit in the spacious grass and enjoy the wind coming over the cliffs from the Atlantic Ocean.  It is also the scene of the annual Festival of the Kites.

El Yunque

 Although I never had the pleasure to visit this place, El Yunque is like paradise on Earth.  El Yunque is the only rainforest in the US National Forest System, located on the east side of the island near the town of Fajardo.  It is home to countless plants, animals, and waterfalls.  Despite being a tropical location, temperatures deep in the rainforest can dip down into the 50s, keeping you cool on long hikes.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande (The Big House) is located deep in the interior of Puerto Rico in the town of Utuado.  It is an eco-friendly bed and breakfast.  By eco-friendly, I mean it is not a typical hotel or bed and breakfast.  The rooms do not have TVs or radios or alarm clocks.  There are showers and fans to help keep you cool.  Each little room is separate from another and each one has a hammock on the porch.  The one you see in the photo is the one we stayed in.  It was located right in front of their beautiful pool.  Each morning, the resort offers yoga classes and for added fees, you can go horseback riding, tubing, or check-out for the day and go explore the plethora of caves in the area.  This place was so relaxing and romantic, we conceived our first child here.  But you didn't want to know that.  Don't let me tell you about it, experience it for yourself.  Visit their website at  You won't regret it.  The prices are the same for a mediocre room in San Juan, but the experience is much nicer and the scenery is unbeatable.

La Poza de las Mujeres

La Poza de las Mujeres, or Women's Well is a little known local secret.  When you come here, you hardly ever see tourists unless they came with family who lives on the island.  It is a beautiful secluded beach with a little something for everyone.  Want to lay in the sand?  You got it.  Want to float in calm crystal blue waters? You got it.  As you can see in the middle photo, there are two accesses to the ocean.  The one of the right is very calm, no waves and is blocked from the open sea by a low natural wall.  The side on the right opens to the sea and is much deeper with waves for surfing.  We took my oldest daughter to the calm side when she turned one year old and did her dedication and blessing in the Old Ways.  This beach is definitely worth the trip.

El Conquistador and Bioluminescence Bay

The picture on the top is El Conquistador Resort.  Owned by a former employer of mine, the Wyndham Hotels, I was able to visit this incredibly posh and expensive resort for the employee price of only $25 a night and let me tell you, I felt so out of place, like POOR was written all over my face.  The resort is now owned by the Waldorf Astoria chain and regular prices start at $279 a night.  I was very lucky to visit when I did.  We swam in the pool and enjoyed our balcony, which overlooked a golf-course and El Yunque in the distance.  The second picture is an actual photograph taken at Bioluminescence Bay, just below the cliffs of El Conquistador.  The glow is caused by organisms in the water that glow when touched.  I never had the chance, but this would have been a magical experience.

Lastly, my next sharing is not a place, but an animal.  This animal thrives in Puerto Rico and has since made its way to Hawaii, but the species never fairs well outside the island.  They are called Coqui, and their song is heard everywhere in Puerto Rico at night and after rain.  Here is some audio for your listening pleasure:   When we moved back to the mainland, we bought a CD that features the sounds of the coqui taken from El Yunque and we play it every night while we sleep.  Some people are annoyed by it, but I love the sound and the legend behind it, but I will leave you to do that research for yourselves.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour.
Enjoy and good journey!



  1. You DO NOT have permission to use my copyrighted image of El Yunque (the flowers and waterfall). Kindly remove it. You are breaking the law by infringing on my copyright.

    Thomas R. Fletcher

  2. Forgive me Thomas. I acquire most of my images from the internet and I did not intend any infringement. I will remove it at once.