The Jardín de la Princesa park in Old San Juan was opened to the public in October 2014. It features five bronze sculptures by Jose Buscaglia representing the Source of the Heritage of the Americas. There is a small garden, and a playground for the kids. It along Paseo de la Princesa, not far from the cruise ship piers … so it’s an easy stop on your tour of Old San Juan.
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Fairs, Kings, Paso Fino Horses, and the biggest street party this side of New Orleans. There are lots of activities going on in Puerto Rico in January 2015. Here are some of the more noteworthy events.
Coffee-infused Puerto Rican rum is a tasty treat that is quick and easy to make. It can be used in other recipes as a substitute for Kahlúa, added to coffee, or enjoyed as a shot or on the rocks. Make a bunch of bottles to give away as gifts, and be sure to keep one for yourself!
Do you know someone who loves amusement parks or carnivals? Then La Feria – The Park will be right up their alley. This annual carnival runs from Late November or Early December through the end of the first week of January. This family-friendly fair is full of amusement park rides and games, food and refreshments, live music and shows, holiday light displays and even a petting zoo.
The town of Loiza has a long and interesting history. The African heritage of the area is seen all around town — in the music, dance and art. The Loizeno people are proud of their ancestry, and the local artisans often use it as a primary theme in their artwork. If you really want to take home a meaningful and authentic hand-crafted souvenir from Puerto Rico, skip the Made in China stuff that you’ll find at the airport. Instead, take a short trip to Loiza where you can learn a little history, and buy directly from the artists.
If you are looking for something to do on Vieques other than go to beaches, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has made 3 new hiking trails. Called Vereda Cerro Playuela, they opened these trails in mid-2013. The trails offer the experience of going through a few different types of forests, great views, and remote beaches that are so beautiful you will be so happy for this diversion.
Archaeologists have found evidence of pre-Taino people living in what is now Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo. They have uncovered human skeletons, bones, shells, tools, and clay pots that date back to 300-600AD. But now, this historical site is at risk of being lost due to actions of the waves and wind, and the rise in sea level. It is a race against time to save the remains – and they need your help!
Vieques is known for it’s beautiful, white-sand beaches with calm, sparkling blue water that are perfect for sunbathing and swimming. There are other beaches on the island that have rugged beauty and seem to go on for miles. Playa Grande is that kind of beach. It’s perfect for long walks, sunbathing, and countless photo ops.
What do you do when you’ve had too much sun or are simply tired of lounging around on beautiful beaches? You take a road trip! Even though Vieques is known for it’s beautiful beaches, there are still some non-beachy things you can do to pass the time. Here is a list of things you can do on the north side of Vieques that don’t involve a beach blanket.
Moonshine, White Lightning, Hooch, Tennessee White Whiskey — call it what you will. Here in Puerto Rico, alcohol made in your backyard is called Pitorro or Cañita. Destilería Cruz produces a brand of legal Pitorro, called PitoRico, that is available plain or in various local fruit flavors. Their factory is in Jayuya, and the public is welcome to stop by to see them making it, have a taste of local moonshine, and pick up a few bottles to take back home.
Vieques is a small island located in the Caribbean. And guess what? It is loaded with beaches! And not just any beaches – some really amazing beaches. They come in all shapes, sizes and sand colors. I bet everyone that visits Vieques has a few that stand out for them as favorites. With so many beaches to choose from, it is hard to choose which one is the best!
Maria de la Cruz cave in Loiza is a historical monument that contained evidence of some of the earliest inhabitants of Puerto Rico. This small, historically significant cave is a short drive from Isla Verde, and is worth a quick visit if you happen to be in the area.
Puerto Rico is full of natural beauty, from the beaches and coastline, to the mountains, rivers, and forests. These can really be appreciated when you are able to visit some of the most remote and unspoiled parts of the island, and immerse yourself in the wonders that abound. Kalichi Adventures offers an amazing canyoning tour that puts you right in the middle of what we think is the most beautiful part of the island.
I love old, historic buildings and rum, so of course I had to make a point to visit Hacienda Santa Ana – the home of Ron del Barrilito, one of the local Puerto Rican rum producers. Their rum is made and aged here, on the family’s property, which used to be an old sugar hacienda. Though they don’t offer a factory tour, nor offer rum samples, it’s a quick stop where you can get some good photos of a historic site.
We recently went on a tasting tour at Café Gran Batey in Utuado, and we fell in love. We got to see coffee growing in their fields, and how they process the coffee at every step … all the way up to bagging the freshly-roasted, warm beans for sale. This is not to be missed if you are in the area and have a couple hours to spare.