Let's Just Stay in Puerto Rico!

Back to the cruise!

I absolutely loved Puerto Rico. It's the perfect mix of modern luxury and old world charm, plus beautiful beaches and friendly locals all wrapped into one little island that you don't even need a passport to visit!

We knew that there would be a lot to tour in San Juan so as soon as we got off the ship. We found a tour company outside the dock to take us around the island. The tour was about two hours and a great way to see old and new San Juan.

The boat dock is in the older part of San Juan, so we started our tour with a visit to the Capital building.

 Part of the building is under renovation.

Across the street from the Capital is a row of statues of all the U.S. Presidents who have visited Puerto Rico during their tenure. Branch had to get a picture with his main man Barry, of course :)

The interior of the building was beautiful. It was floor to ceiling marble, and had amazing carvings and insets everywhere you looked. We could have spent an hour in the lobby trying to take everything in. Alas, we only had 15 minutes.

We hopped back on the bus and headed towards the newer part of San Juan. That side of the island is full of tall condo buildings, luxury shops, and hotels.

We stopped at a beautiful park to take in the views.

This is one of my favorite stories from Puerto Rico. A huge park runs between old and new San Juan. Back in the 60's, the woman shown in the mural below had SNOW flown in from the U.S. and put in the park so the children of San Juan could have a snow day! It was the first time many had seen snow!

Not only was she kind and generous, but she looks totally fabulous!

The tour bus headed back towards Old San Juan and the colorful Spanish Colonial buildings began to appear. Apparently, in Old San Juan, the government is in charge of painting the exterior of the buildings. There is a ton of variety and, surprisingly, all were very well maintained!

Many people tour the old forts when visiting San Juan but unfortunately, our time on the island didn't allow it. Those tours take another 2-4 hours. Definitely next time!

The tour guide dropped us off in the heart of downtown and gave us some recommendations for lunch. 

We settled on Cafe Puerto Rico, which had a beautiful shaded outdoor patio right on the city square. 

We had no idea what to get so we left it up to our server to treat us to something local. We both had mofongo, one with chicken and the other with shrimp, which is basically meat and a complimentary sauce in a bowl made of potatoes. Delicious!

There was an artists' festival in the square across from the cafe. We headed there after we were done with lunch to pick up some souvenirs for our loved ones back at home :)

Interesting story about the bricks that lined the streets: when the Spanish first arrived in Puerto Rico centuries ago, they obviously came by boat. The bottom of the ships were filled with these bricks to keep the ship upright in stormy seas. When they came to Puerto Rico, they left these bricks and took back gold bars in their place. Seems like PR got the rotten end of that deal, huh?

We're always Nervous Ninnys about missing the boat so we try and make it back with an hour or so to spare. It also means that we could grab our books and slipped into our bathing suits to take in the views of San Juan from the pool deck before departing for Grand Turk!

Love y'all!


  1. Beautiful! Isn't Puerto Rico the best? We rang in my 30th birthday there and of all our vacations, it's the one I'd most like to repeat. Love that y'all took a tour and got to see so much of it!


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