Lights Out in Puerto Rico
So for my best friend's birthday, a group of friends and I decided to travel to PR. Just a few hours before I boarded my flight, my friends went crazy in group chat because they've learned that Puerto Rico's power is out. And we're talking island-wide outage. I thought it was a joke, but it turned out to be true. Regardless of the terrible news, it didn't stop us from having a good time. I mean there were plenty of beaches, the El Yunque Rainforest and so much more. Not to mention, the Zika virus was at an all-time high. I guess we were just ready to start our vacay and live in the moment. Haha.
When we arrived, it wasn't THAT bad. I mean the power was out, but several locations had electricity through backup generators. By Friday evening, most of the power in Condado, the neighborhood in which we stayed, had restored power.
One of the greatest things I thought happened was just being able to interact and engage with the natives. We honestly thought that due to the outage, more people came out of their houses and into town to find things to do or festivities to attend. And because of that, we were so thankful to meet some locals who not only knew fluent English, but gave us the 411 on things to do and visit. As far as the rundown, we did so much and had fun. Here are some highlights of our trip!
- While waiting for our hotel rooms to get ready, we decided to grab some food at a nearby bar. For those staying in Condado, go to Stop n' Go. Their tacos, first of all, are the bomb and cheap. We basically spent our whole day there which was fine because we were all exhausted...also due to the power. Sigh.
- By this time, power has been restored in several places. And Bacardi Factory was one of them. For those unfamiliar with this attraction, Puerto Rico's Casa Bacardi offers a Mixology Tour and Rum Tasting Tour. You get to walk around the distillery and stop by the museum of how the drinks are made. I really enjoyed the drinks during the Mixology one. Beware...you will get tipsy.
- The night before at Stop n' Go, all the locals told us to go to this place called La Placita. It was really the gig to go to every Friday evening, and we were ready to party so this was the perfect place. This place reminded me of U Street in D.C. but with a more mardi gras New Orleans feel because everyone was just out in the streets partying. Puerto Ricans really know how to party. That night was too funny. If you were watching my SnapChat...I apologize. #GirlsJustWannaHaveFun
- ATV riding! I found this nearby place in Carolina, Puerto Rico. It's very close to the San Juan area called Campo Rico and they do a variety of outdoor activities including the zip lining and hike trailing, but we just did the ATVs. It was about 2-3 hours. At first, you will have to get used to controlling the ATV because it's kinda confusing. Pushing the gas and braking. I had so much fun, towards the end I was pro.
- For dinner, we ate at the La Barrachina in Old San Juan. It was recommended by our hotel connoisseur. This was apparently where the first Pina Colada was ever created. The food was amazing.
- Sunday was really honestly the highlight of my trip. It was the second to last day before we left and we did a lot of outdoor activities. Started our day with a local tour guide. His name was Ernie aka Uncle Ernie, haha. He was the sweetest person ever and was just a regular guy making a living showing tourists all around Puerto Rico. He definitely gave us a tour to the local places. We visited El Yunque and then went to a beach and chilled and tanned for about two hours in Luquillo. We then went to this mom and pop place that had the best monfongo ever. Look it up, lol.
- Our night was hilarious because we thought were just going on a boat ride, but it turned out to be kayaks. We also thought we were just kayaking around the shore, but instead sailed off into this lagoon rainforest AT NIGHT IN THE FREAKING DARK. Definitely take the time to come out there. It was called the Laguna Grande and basically the water was flourished in bioluminescient organisms that glow in the dark. It was theeee most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Seriously.
If you ever do plan a trip to PR, please do some research in advance especially if you are going as a group that way you can split costs. We winged most of our activities because of the power outage, we decided to be on standby mode. But either way, just do your research. I had so much fun and will never ever forget this trip. I am definitely going to come back...one day.