Lush nature and an alluring community – these are just some of the ways I can describe how totally magical Puerto Rico is. Everything I saw and experienced simply reinforced my already dreamy view of this land. And how truly dreamy it was! White sands, tropical weather, gorgeous and kind people, and breathtaking sites welcomed my arrival. Nothing could be more perfect than that.
Utterly stunning, the Castillo San Felipe del Morro blew my mind with its old charm and rich history. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Morro Castle is a study of strength and endurance. The castle used to serve as a defensive fortification. So much of its past is still so much a part of, and so beautifully preserved in the present castle. Numerous restoration projects were done to maintain the structure’s form. The Morro Castle, with its abundance of authentic Puerto Rican history, attracts so many visitors to San Juan every year.
Camuy River Cave Park
The Camuy River Cave Park is a gorgeous network of caves located in North western Puerto Rico. Around 220 known caves make up this very fascinating cave park. However, that is only a small portion of the whole expanse of these caves. Supposedly, there are still approximately a whopping 800 more caves that have yet to be explored. Traversing these caverns was such a thrilling and exciting activity. Exploring such underground beauties was a very memorable experience for me. Being bathed in darkness forces you to let go of all other unnecessary baggages and concerns, and focuses all your senses to the here and now. It was actually very calming and soothing.
San Juan Cemetery
The Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery or more conveniently known as the San Juan Cemetery, located in Old San Juan, is beautiful cemetery that has attracted many a tourist to Puerto Rico every year. It’s actually one of Puerto Rico’s most famous attractions. The San Juan Cemetery’s appeal may be attributed to the numerous notable Puerto Rican personalities who have laid rest in this place. Not to mention that this cemetery, just outside the walls of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, overlooks a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean.
La Fortaleza, or the Santa Catalina’s Palace, is the residence of the present Puerto Rican governor. In the past, it used to be (as its moniker implies) a fortress to – the first defensive fortress of the city of San Juan. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Fortress is a stunning architectural beauty, even in its old age.
El Yunque National Forest
The El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the whole United States National Forest System. Thanks to Puerto Rico’s tropical weather and abundant rain falls, the El Yunque is superbly rich in natural wonders. I was overwhelmed by the lushness of El Yunque’s natural paradise. So many waterfalls, rivers, greeneries and animals co-exist in this beautiful forest. The experience of trekking even just a little part of the vast forest was memory I will cherish forever.
Photo by lukeredmond on Flickr