I am well aware I started this in May and am just posting it two, almost three months, later. With working during one of the wildest travel times and it just being our busy season, I have been extremely absent from most things. However, I do have this post and one more coming out over the weekend.
“Nothing is better for your soul than to visit Puerto Rico.”
― Lin-Manuel Miranda
I mostly had to work (ah yes, the joys of working wherever there is wifi) but we did end up heading the beach that evening. Luquillo Beach was everything you imagine a tropical island beach to be. Palm trees, sunset, mountains in the distance, and very calm waters. I ended up snorkeling and attempted to teach my mother how. She wasn’t having it, but I enjoyed watching various fish swim by. Plus, the shells to be found on the seafloor! As someone who spent most of their life in the north to mid Atlantic region on the east coast, being able to see where I am walking when in the water is amazing.
Once the surf started to get a little rough, we headed to the Kioskos de Luquillo for dinner. Don’t attempt going on the weekend, parking is a nightmare. All of these individually owned kiosks offer shopping, nightlife, and a variety of food options. We popped into one called the Rainforest Cafe (no not that one). I noticed a woman drinking a drink from a literal pineapple and was sold. The drinks were fantastic, but the food was spectacular.
I can’t wait to eat there again when Alex and I go in a few months. It was that good. The food was fresh and had incredible flavor. There’s other food options along the strip too so I definitely want to take some time to walk around.
After realizing that between mom needing support while handling grandfather’s affairs and how much Puerto Rico had to offer, I ended up just taking the rest of the week off. We took off along the southern coast and ended up stopping at the most unassuming little restaurant off the beaten path. It sat right on the Caribbean and offered multiple sangria flavors that you could buy by the bottle for $15. The lady who took our order must have thought we were starving ourselves, but in reality, we didn’t realize the size of the pasteles. These were basically overgrown empanadas. We absolutely could have shared, but no we ordered two each like a couple of asses.
Honestly, even though the southern coastline is a bit more rugged with mountains meeting the sea I preferred it. It made for some beautiful sightseeing.
You don’t realize how diverse this little island is until you spend time driving around it. Like the fact that there are parts of the island with a more arid climate similar to California blew my mind. I didn’t expect a desert like landscape in the Caribbean. Or when you get up into the mountains the temperatures drop dramatically. We were marking the temps at 70 when the coast 80+.
Definitely going to need a part three for this because there’s still two more days! I do have one post in between this and the next chapter. We took a four day weekend in West Virginia and I cannot wait to tell you about it! Also, if you want to see more of our adventures without reading through it, follow us on TikTok @travelinfoodies. As usual, travel safe and travel often.