Podcast conversation with Anastasia Kitsul.

We squeezed a lot of Puerto Rico into our hour-long talk. Anastasia is a wealth of information about Puerto Rico. Combine that with my lens of how I look at trips – cultural, experiential, connecting with locals, active, a bit of adventure and above all FUN – we had a great conversation!

Puerto Rico’s recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Maria is a testament to their resilience and love for their island. It’s not a destination to go to where luxuriating on the beach is the only option. There is so much more – history, culture, food, rainforest, adventurous water and landsports, coffee plantations, spas and community revival.

Puerto Rico has Old San Juan, the El Yunque rainforest, beaches, mountains, caves, the islands of Vieques and Culebra, cayes and so much more.

When visiting Old San Juan a guided tour with an engaging, informative guide is highly recommended. Visit San Felipe el Morro (if you’re with kids, bring a kite or a picnic), walk the coastal paths nearby, see the revived neighborhood of La Perla (where the Despacito music video was filmed), visit Cuartel de Ballajá (similar to Plaza Mayor in Madrid), take salsa classes, visit a salsa club, explore a market, try piña coladas and look out for weddings.

Enjoy some of our favorite culinary options:

  • Cooking classes
  • Tasting tours of local dishes like mofongo, tostones and red snapper
  • Visit kioskos by the beach
  • Visit the bar known for creating the piña colada
  • Coffee and rum tastings
  • Bacardi factory tours
  • Visiting agricultural farms and coffee plantations

Take part in the nightlife:

  • La Placita – places to dance salsa
  • Calle San Sebastian in OSJ
  • La Verguenza

As you go further afield here are some active and adventurous activities to do:

  • Hike – rainforest, Forte Caprón
  • Beach yoga
  • Surfing
  • Ziplining
  • Exploring caves
  • Kayak, SUP
  • Visit a biobays
  • Kite surf, wingies
  • Jet ski
  • Snorkel, scuba
  • Fish for marlin, tuna, mahi mahi
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Cat charter to Icacos island
  • Horseback riding – beach or rainforest
  • Explore Culebra, Vieques

Remember to enjoy the magical sunsets!

And consider a few of our favorite hotels:

There are so many more – depending upon who is going and what they are looking for.

And consider OTT (over the top) ideas like:

  • Charting a yacht
  • Renting the RC Dorado 5BR villa
  • Taking a heli tour or to get from the mainland to Vieques
  • Dedicating a full week to learning to kiteboard

A few more of our favorite places:

  • Gelato – Anita la Mamma
  • Salsa dancing – Delavida
  • Bakery – Spiga
  • Coffee – Cafe Cola’o
  • Mofongo – Barachina, El Punto
  • Piña Colada – Barrachina
  • Fine dining – Marmalade
  • Sunsets – El Morro
  • Food trucks – Lote 23
  • Fine dining – Marmalade

TAKEAWAY TIPS

  • If you’d like to visit a biobay, don’t do it near a full moon.
  • If you are willing to help rescue puppies – send me a note and I’ll connect you with the organization.
  • Driving is easy and just like the US (other than in OSJ). Don’t be intimidated by a rental car if you’d like to explore more.
  • Several films have been made in Puerto Rico including Under Suspicion with Morgan Freeman, Pirates of the Caribbean and Assassins. Currently there are some in production including Black Panther 2.

 

 

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