5 Places you can’t miss in Puerto Rico (and if they are safe to visit after Hurricane Maria)
Let me preface by saying: Puerto Rico needs YOU!
Puerto Rico was hit with one of if not the most catastrophic and horrific hurricanes during which 200 mph winds plowed through the island, destroying homes and business and infrastructure. Contrary to popular belief, Puerto rico is ready for you to come visit and the best thing that you can do to support this beautiful island is to support its economy. Tourism is an important source of revenue for Puerto Rico and it took a big hit after the hurricane. Here are a few common questions that I received and my answers are quite simple.
Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? Yes!
Did hotels and businesses re-open to the public? Not all, but most already did and many will by the end of 2018
Is there electricity? Yes!
Are the beaches safe for swimming? Yes!
You see, the media continues to show Puerto Rico as a destructed piece of land with no electricity, houses with no roofs, and fallen trees. While many parts in the inland of the island still have visible damage, there are a plethora of areas that are re-opened for tourists and they are better than ever! I strongly encourage you to rent a car, even for just one day, and see the incredible sights the island has to offer. I promise you, you’ll need at least a week to see them all! Here are some of my favorites.
About an hour away from San Juan is a stunning natural reserve: massive cliffs, arches, caves and waves crashing against them. It is perfect for a small hike to see unparalleled with views of the area.
2. Black Sand Beach
Puerto Rico has a few black sand beaches. Three on the island itself and one on the neighboring island of Vieques. This beach is about 40 minutes west of San Juan in an area called Barceloneta. You can’t swim there because of the strong rip current, but it is perfect to walk around, tan, have a picnic and take a few photos.
The area around the beach is completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. In the pictures that follow you can see the broken down houses, wooden doors and walls along the shore, and the palm trees bowing in despair. Despite the latter, the locals were warm and welcoming and the beach truly is beautiful. Even though the area was brutally beaten, it remains so beautiful and unbothered. It is absolutely worth the visit.
“The Blue Pool” is one of the most incredible places I’ve seen! Large rock formations formed over turquoise water where you can swim, dive and relax. Although the area received social media attention, it still remains widely a local attraction not a tourist one. The hike to it is about 30 minutes and to get there follow the simple instructions from Puerto Rico Day Trips(I couldn’t have made them easier myself!)
One of if not the most beautiful and serene beaches is Isla Verde Beach with well kept white sands, calm crystal clear waters and beautiful palm trees. In the area, stop by Sirena at the Courtyard by Marriott for their mind blowing Ahi Tuna!
5. Las Salinas, Cabo Rojas
Just when you thought that Puerto Rico has it all … there is more! The pink salt flats are arguably the most underrated attraction that Puerto Rico has to offer. Perhaps it is widely overlooked because it is almost 3 hours away from San Juan, the more popular tourist hub. However, if you rent a car you should certainly pay it a visit and make many stops along the way because trust me, there is a lot to see.