A highlight from AT#826 - Travel to Puerto Rico
Amateur traveler episode 826. Today, the amateur traveler talks about beaches and bioluminescence and Boracay, history and hurricanes, rainforest, and rum. As we go to the island of Puerto Rico, this is Chris Christensen from amateur traveler, let's talk about Puerto Rico. I'd like to welcome the show Jessica from dining traveler dot com who's come to talk to us about Puerto Rico, Jessica, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Chris. I wanted to do a show on Puerto RICO and everybody kept asking me when the show was going to come out because many of the people who follow me on social media know that I was just in Puerto Rico because I thought it would be really good to go down for a hurricane, which wasn't my original plans. But I didn't get out of San Juan. there was no way I was going to do a show without someone who knew this country better than me. What's your connection with Puerto Rico? So I grew up in Puerto Rico and a town called guayama, which is in the southern coast of the island, literally a few get on the highway from San Juan straight south. You end up in my hometown. And I moved to the mainland for high school, but I've always had that link to Puerto Rico with my family, Friends. So I traveled there often during my college years, I moved to Puerto Rico for a bit. And it's just my happy place. After all these years, it's just a place. I love to go back to and my home. Excellent. And why should someone go to Puerto Rico? So one of the things that I love about Puerto Rico. And I think that's something that even Puerto Ricans have in our DNA is so mixed. There's so much versatility there for the size. It's a 110 miles long and 35 miles wide. And in that you have all these micro climates you have the rainforest and in June gay, you have a dry forest in guanica. You have this range of mountains that goes east to west that are just emerald green. It's just such a mix like the West Coast is like surfers, east coast, white sand beaches, and nice fancy resorts. So there's just a little bit for everybody. And that reflects also on the people of Puerto Rico. There's just all these little subcultures that exist on such a tiny island, which it makes it so fascinating. And beyond the beaches, we as people think initially, oh, I'm going to go to Puerto Rico so I can go to the beach and have a beach holiday, but beyond the beaches you have these mountains and you have rivers and waterfalls and lakes and for somebody who loves nature and loves the outdoors Puerto Rico is such an amazing destination. Well, I would add as somebody who loves history, you've got a fair amount of it more than as a colonial city more than I think everything in a city but one in the Americas, north and south both quite a lot of history there as well for a history buff like me. Excellent kind of itinerary you're going to recommend where are we going to start? Even though there's two other airports, most people fly into San Juan. And San Juan, I love because it's such a dynamic city. You were just there so you probably know as well, great restaurants. But I'm not in love with the beaches and actually one of my favorite beaches, ocean park has been really affected by climate change that an issue. So a lot of it is eroding. So I love renting a car. I always recommend to people rent a car when you get to Puerto Rico. It's not crazier than driving in D.C. or New York City or anything like that. Even though there's a lot of traffic. How easy are the driving in New York City? Yeah, there's typical rush hour traffic, but aside from that, just rent a car and go and explore the island. I use Google Maps when I'm there. It's never led me astray. And there's some great beaches along the coast. You have probably like 300 beaches to choose from. If you're there just for the beaches, try to do those on a weekday just because on weekends, that's what Puerto Ricans like to do is the whole family goes to the beach. So if you're looking for more like some quiet time on the beach, definitely recommend the weekdays and what I love is that every coast kind of has a feel to it, right? So the northern coast is the Atlantic. So the waters are a bit rougher. However, you have these little, they call them fossils. Like these little ponds that are created from The Rock formation, so it almost turns into these swimming pools. So there are several of them like mar chiquita in town called manati. There's super interesting because you have this almost like a swimming pool and then you have the rocks and then you have this other beach where people are just surfing. You have these crazy waves and then you have this very tranquil piece and little kids can swim in. The West Coast is surfing, rincon, but then you go to the southwest, took our Rojo, which is like the most southern point of Puerto Rico. And those beaches pretty much look like swimming pools. Super calm, barely any waves. That's I have a 6 year old's last time we were in Puerto Rico this summer.