San Juan, PR: Lush Rainforests and The Old City

San Juan, PR: Lush Rainforests and The Old City

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Again, just as in Bermuda, I was taken aback by how stunning the island looked while still onboard the ship getting ready to disembark.  The ship provided us with impeccable views of San Juan’s skyline on this clear and sunny day.  Big white puffy clouds were in perfect position for the picture.  Notice the other cruise ship in the picture below; surprisingly, I didn’t find San Juan to be congested.  This was either due to the abundance and variety of activities on the island, or the fact that I’m from New York which is highly congested year-round.  Either or, probably a combination of both.

The ship also gave us amazing views of the harbor, right where we got off.  I love that yellow building- although I’m not completely sure what it’s used for.  I see balconies, so I’m guessing apartments- I could move there right now, look at that water and all the greenery!!!

El Yunque was our main attraction of the day, San Juan’s lush mountain rainforest.  We boarded a bus with about 10 others, and what felt like a long while later and major bumps in the road [or just reckless driving on the tour guides part], we were finally there.  We then set out on our adventure of the rainforest.

It was surprisingly very calm upon its rugged topography; I was expecting louder sounds and more movement of its creatures.  I also expected to see more wildlife, the few lizards we saw were kind of disappointing.  I was expecting to see monkeys swinging from tree to tree and large snakes slithering on the rainforest floor- what was I thinking??!! I think I had a jungle in mind.  Now I’ll be more prepared next time I walk through a rainforest!

However, El Yunque was full of surprises: waterfalls, pools to swim in, unique plant species, and no poisonous snakes!  That was nice to hear.  We chose a novice trail and stayed on the paved path while following our tour guide- getting lost and thus returning to the cruise ship late was not a possibility for us beginners. And the mere fact that we didn’t have cell service and most likely could not pitch a tent altogether if we ever had to made our decision rather easy.  We are not so much the adventurous type, unfortunately.

Pretty remarkable in my perspective.

The hike wasn’t too strenuous.. as you can tell from the picture my sister and I were wearing flip flops.

Look how many acres the forest spans.

family <3

It’s hard to provide an accurate view of El Yunque in only a few shots.  The abundance of flora create different scenes in all directions, so capturing what the  rainforest has to offer is a rather difficult task.

The waterfall the trail led us to was simply amazing- the rock formation being so grand with the water running down so abruptly.  La Coca Falls to be exact.  My dad was gutsy enough to climb the rocks to get the base of the falls, I would have tried, but since I was in flip flops, I decided that was not a good idea.

We were then led to Yokahu Tower, where we climbed the steps to the top of the building.  Climbing the stairs was definitely worth it to see the great views of the rainforest from high up.

 

After flattening out our hair (the rainforest was so extremely humid and misty), we set out to Old San Juan for a bite to eat and to walk around the cute little shops nearby, as well as those unaffordable ones.  I bought myself a souvenir at Coach 🙂 I couldn’t resist!
After heading back to the cruise ship for a much needed dinner, we set back out to Puerto Rico to have some drinks at Senor Frogs.  The place was anything but “family friendly”, but we managed get a few laughs at all those “spring breakers” being completely ridiculous [yes it was summer, but you know what I mean!!!]  I forgot the exact drink I ordered, but anything put in a yard-sized cup would do it for me!

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