Puerto Rico, my favorite little island of tropical beauty. I got a last minute invite from my best friend Mary to join her and her husband, and I jumped on that. One great thing about a last minute vacation, is a small count down until blast off. I have been to P.R. over 5 times, and this is because it feels like home being there. Booked tickets and head to Logan Airport and wait for my flight, the flight is about 6 hours total with a layover in Miami. The first time that I flew to P.R. and we landed, the entire plane claps and goes crazy. So now every time that I land anywhere, I clap, if not in P.R. then I am usually the only clapper. So join in when traveling to paradise.
Once again, me and my co-captain Pat are going on our summer adventure in P.R. The weather this time of the year is hot, sunny and humid. Avoid any layers, and wear cotton and over dose on sunblock or your body will pay for it, quickly. Being an Irish& Finish girly- I used baby 100 proof of sunblock and managed to come back to Boston with a tan & no burns. The sun is so strong here, USE SUNBLOCK!! Water is key to survival. My best friend grew up in P.R. and knows the best places to eat, shop,sun tan and snorkel. She is the best tour guide. First night we have a traditional dinner and P.R.’s world famous “Orgasmo” … Get some rest, for the next beach day adventure.
Traveling with two locals, is better than any trip guide. My friends showed us beaches that are secretly hidden. P.R. has some of the best beaches for surfing, surfers can pretty much catch waves all along the coastal regions. P.R. is the surf capital of the Caribbean. Whether you are an experienced surfer or just starting out, a paddleboarder, long board rider or just like me, an average boogie board rider, P.R. will have the perfect spot for you to enjoy. There are plenty of places to surf around the world, Portugal, Hawaii, Indonesia and America just to name a few, but do to economics P.R. is the best place to surf on your pocket$, no need for passport and there are direct flights from Boston. Caribbean surfing means warm, clear water, with sea turtles, coral, and tropical fish to enjoy and some of the best sunsets any where. If you are planning a trip to this island, bring your snorkel gear and boogie boards and prepare for the best waves. You can rent a surf board and get an hour lesson, for about $20 an hour, in most spots.
Western Puerto Rico is nicknamed Porta del Sol or the gateway to the sun. Staying hydrated and skin protected, will make your trip more enjoyable. I can not stress the importance of water and sun block!!! Stay in shady areas on the beach and keep cool. The sun is strong, and will sneak up on you. This is the perfect warm destination for me this summer.
Puerto Rico has the freshest fruits and vegetables and the meat is steroid free. I enjoy driving up and don the coasts trying out different food from kiosks that line the streets and highways, be sure to taste everything. Drink anything that you can find with fruit to replenish your body. I tend not to drink as much alcohol here, to keep my trip fun and so I do not miss anything. Make sure you get plenty of rest, each night, so you wake up ready to see the beauty of this tropical paradise. Use as much Spanish that you know, although most islanders speak English. Try and pack as light as possible. I have a recommended list of items, that you should bring along on your trip.
TOP TEN LIST OF TRAVEL ITEMS:
1. Light weight clothes, shorts and cotton t-shirts, swim suits and sun dresses
2. Sandals and water shoes and bring a good pair of walking sneakers
3. Sunglasses that have a UV rated or above
4. SUNBLOCK- tropical sun, will show no mercy
5. Aloe Vera Lotion or gel
6. Beach bag and towel and light sheet
7. Light weight jacket or sweater- the airplanes are cold
8. Toiletries and medicines- insect repellent, anti-itch cream
9. Camera and if you have a water proof GoPro Hero 3(www.gopro.com)
10. Id/Passport/ATM Bank Card/Cash
Puerto Rico sits in a prime location for surfing. A few main areas that are the most popular for surfing include San Juan, on the northeast coast, Aquadilla along the northwest corner, and Rincon located on the western coast. Each one of these prime surfing areas offer unique surfing experiences. The best thing about surfing here, is the dinner after. There are so many special places to get the freshest seafood and ripest vegetables and fruits. You must try a coconut and drink the water. It will make you feel like a million bucks, after the sun has drained you.
Top Puerto Rico Surfing Spots
Playa de Jobos located in the town of Isabela. The town of Isabela is located about 2 hours from San Juan. Isabela offers the best surfing in P.R. and have many professional surfing events held there every year. Located in the north-west part of the island with a stretch of sand that offers surfing, beach bars and a little exploration around the rocky coastline. Depending on the weather and surf conditions, there may be a shallow area where you can cool off, but be very aware that there are extremely dangerous rip currents at this beach. One of the things that you’ll find there is Pozo Jacinto(Jacinto’s Well)- a rock formation that has a legend attached to it. Playa Jobos is not a swimming beach- so you’ll have to be content with sun and fun on the beach. Before entering the water find out if there is a rip current, and if there is, find out where it is. Many surfers risk their lives each year in trying to help save simmers. More people drown here, than any other beach in P.R. and in fact Jorge almost drowned there when he was a teenager. No life guards on duty. Week days are less crowded. Take a walk and see the Pozo de Jacinto, it is like a large hole in the rocks where, when there are large waves, the seawater shoots up and out of the rocks. If you venture on the rocks, be careful and stay away from the edge. The rocks are rough and sharp, hard-soled shoes a must.
Luquilla Beach which is my favorite place to visit in P.R. Luquillo is where I feel like home. The scenery on this beach is absolutely gorgeous, sunset will be the best from here, guaranteed. There are to beaches in Luquillo, the second beach is Luquillo Monserrate Balneario which is more for swimmers and families with kids. Balneario has a life guard on duty, but only a few, You can buy a beer for$1.50 and and pina colada with 151 for about$4.00. This beach has chairs and umbrellas to rent and a bathroom to take showers in. The Balneario has many kiosks with the freshest fruits and Bacardi 150 Rum and pinchos and food from the culture. I like to hang out at the Balneario, during the heat of the day and towards sunset time, I will go to Luquillo beach to have a drink and get the best dinner at my favorite place called El Rincon Del Saber located at Calle Fernandez Garcia#263 Luquillo PR 00773 and to make a reservation call the owner at 787-556-9760 and try his world famous, “moonshine”. I have been to PR over 5 times and this is, the one place that I will not miss. The owner named Luis, will make you feel like a special VIP person and this is with every one. All of the food is made by his wife with love and more love, fresh and natural, fish caught that day. After stay in an awesome hotel, located on the water called Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn(www.luquillosunriseinn) and to make reservation call 787-889-1713 and wake up to the best breakfast in Luquillo. The waves here at Luquillo are epic. I tried boogie boarding here for the first time and was able to catch the perfect wave, and I will never forget that moment ever- that is off my “bucket list”. I am always sad to leave this peaceful place, where the people are truly the best in the world. Please stop by El Rincon Del Saber and say “hi” to the best guy Luis ever. In October the waves here get very dangerous and the native surfers will tell you.
Gas Chambers located at Crash Boat Beach in Aquadilla, the Gas Chambers surf spot has huge northwest swells and some of Puerto Rico’s finest tubes. This is an area where you’ll find the most advanced surfers in the world. If you do not know what you are doing at this location then you will crash and burn over and over again. There is a shallow reef and a cliff near the takeoff zone, be very mindful as it can be tricky to take off. This beach will be an adrenaline rush to the extreme.