When, Where, Why:
Sometimes life working in an office does not 100% satisfy – so I book cheap tickets to wherever. As a going-away trip, my DC colleague Chelsea and I took a four-day vacation to the Caribbean in summer 2012. We rented a car and drove every inch of the island, getting by on our combined 24 words of Spanish. My knowledge of “la regla” was only too helpful.
In under 50 words:
America meets Latin America with an Afro-Caribbean twist.
Puerto Rico is best known for its beaches, which are many and beautiful. The south offers the best (personal opinion, graciously provided by our hosts). Gilligan’s Island is worth the 4am ticket line. El Yunqué Rainforest gives stunning views of the entire island. The biobays off the islands of Culebra and Vieques will teach lessons on the greater mysteries of life. Lastly, the caves reveal an oft-unseen piece of Puerto Rican wonder.
Food & Drink:
Puerto Rican cuisine is a blend of the dozens of cultures that clashed on its shores over the years. Today, popular food and drink seem to consist of whatever tourists will consume en masse. Chelsea and I ate as much Filipino fare as we did local, making us even stranger than normal.
Canapés are sold on the roadsides for a few bucks per bunch. Rum cocktails are delicious and widely available. Find some good mofongo (fried plantain) to pair with your meat dish – local foods are almost entirely meat based.