Why You Need To Visit Puerto Rico This Year
Puerto Rico has never gotten the love it deserves, and 2016 is the year we are going to change that.
Growing up in the United States, we always hear of Puerto Rico, and see amazing pictures of the beautiful people, beaches and culture, but unfortunately few ever take the chance to spend their holiday time on this little gem of an island.
Officially an annexation of the USA, Puerto Rico has more flavor and a lust for life than all 50 US states combined – and as soon as you visit, you’ll know exactly why. From the food to the history, sights, sounds and especially the people Puerto Rico is a must for us to visit in 2016 as a perfect place for another traveling couple adventure.
I was lucky enough to visit Puerto Rico waaaaaaay back when I was about 13 years old, and it blew my tiny little mind. I never knew somewhere so exciting and different was so close to my boring life in suburban Washington, DC and I couldn’t get enough. My first memory of Puerto Rico, unfortunately, was hearing the Titanic theme song everywhere we went, but I blame the whole world for that one, not just Puerto Rico – 1997 was an interesting year.
Anyway, fast forward nearly 20 year and I am dying to head back to this island paradise and bring Anne along for the ride, and its not hard to see why.
The old city of San Juan dates back all the way to 1508, and the history is everywhere from the old cobblestone streets to the architecture at every turn but what makes it all the more fascinating is the Caribbean vibe and flavor at every turn. Sure, walking around old Boston is cool, but where is the flair? The dancing? The cocktails? The palm trees?
The views overlooking the sea are incredible and you really get a sense of what this amazing little island was like hundreds of years ago when it was first settled. There are endless walking tours around the old town which explain the fascinating history of the last few hundred years which we would absolutely not miss.
If you read this blog and follow the What Doesn’t Suck? youtube channel, you’ll know we LOVE getting lost by foot in nearly every single city we visit, and this is no exception.
Don’t know what “lechon” is? Think of Hawaii when you think of pig roasts? Its time you think again, because like much of their food and drink, they do it better than anyone else. Think of driving the back roads of Puerto Rico and stumbling on spit after spit on the roadside, dripping with incredibly tasty, slow cooked pork. We live in Dubai, where pork is a big no-no, so talking anymore about this will make us cry.
Anne is French, which means she loves her food, and not just any food. Good, healthy, badass food, so thank god Puerto Rico has this covered with some of the most memorable dishes around.
How about their most famous dish, mofongo? Haven’t tried it? Can’t imagine what it is? Just think about crispy pork (ohh god, we’re talking about pork again) mixed with grilled chicken, beef and seafood, mashed together with plantains and served with beans and rice in a garlic fueled broth – thats right, this is food coma territory.
Enough about the food, we know you’re convinced, let’s head to the beach to show off that beach bod before you get too fat.
I distinctly remember the amazing beaches of Puerto Rico and cannot wait to get back to explore. But you know what is better than white sandy beaches stretching for miles, lined with palm trees and crystal clear turquoise water? These same incredible beaches at night when they are lit up by the bioluminescent plankton. Just look at the picture below, aren’t convinced yet? You’re insane, but we’ll go on…
El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the United States, yup you read that right. Think you’ll find a tropical rainforest in Florida, Main or Seattle? Not a chance, but head just a bit south of the boarder and an entire new world will open up to you, and if you are a couple even better yet, what better way to finally get a bit out of your comfort zone and explore a whole new world so close to home.
Coming from over seas to check out the states and think that road trip from NYC, through Dalles to Los Angeles is highlighting all the US has to offer? Think again buddy.
The El Yunque National Forest will blow your mind, as it did mine from an early age, and as Anne and I love hiking, we’ll head straight there to explore to walk off all that pork, you better believe it.
You didn’t think we’d dream about a visit to Puerto Rico without talking about partying right? Well, luckily, the nightlife is insane. I remember being 13 and peeking into bars and down alley’s around the island and being so jealous I wasn’t cool enough to be here solo and enjoying all the vibrant island had to offer.
Not only will you stay awake until the sun rises dancing in the streets to traditional Spanish music, you’ll drink some incredible cocktails – you know Puerto Rico produces the best rum on Earth right? – but you’ll surely make friends with the incredibly friendly locals along the way. Think you have to speak Spanish to get by? Think again – what fuels Puerto Rico is not just a language, it is a feeling, a special vibe, a way of life, no speaking required and I cannot wait to get Anne there to figure it all out for herself.
This post is brought to you by the Puerto Rico Tourism board who was kind enough to prove us with official video content.