I recently got back from a spontaneous trip to Puerto Rico, and I am so excited to share details about my travel with you! My friend Sarah and I could not pass up the reasonable tickets we found online from Chicago to San Juan, so we left with nothing but the backpacks on our back for 9 amazing days. We immediately headed to the beach after checking into our hotel at ESJ Towers. After the long Wisconsin winter it felt fantastic to lay out in the sun during this vacation. While staying in San Juan we did some exploring and saw the famous historic site Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
After spending time in San Juan, we picked up our rental car and headed to Fajardo where I stayed in my very first hostel! After hearing about horror movies like “Hostel”, I was a little nervous when I saw how run down the area was around Moonlight Bay Hostel. But we decided to be brave and it ended up being one of our favorite experiences on the trip. We spend most of the night visiting with the three hosts who were from all different parts of the world. It was fun hearing their stories of how they each ended up in Puerto Rico.
After leaving the hostel we took the ferry across the street to the island of Culebra. We had no idea that this 2 hour ferry ride would be the craziest ride of our lives! The crew members were handing out paper bags to all the passengers as everyone got sick and we began to feel faint and nauseous. It was horrible, and I was so happy when we finally landed. We took a taxi to Flamenco Beach Campground where we slept in hammocks on the beach that night. It was like a dream to be sitting on the beach and looking out over the bright blue ocean and see small mountains in the distance. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate my 21st birthday- in Puerto Rico with a pina colada!
After how horrible the ferry to the island was I did not want to leave, but the way back was much better! Then we drove to Utuado where we had reservations to stay at the Casa Grande Mountain Retreat. We went to bed hearing the wildlife all around us. It was so peaceful! After leaving the mountain retreat we headed to Cueva Ventana and took a short hike to a cave. The cave led to an opening in the side of the mountain where you could overlook the mountains in the distance. It was beautiful!
I was sad to come back after such an amazing vacation, but I have a feeling I will be visiting Puerto Rico again soon! If you are questioning where to go on vacation, you should definitely consider Puerto Rico!