Wonderful article from a lovely lady Mary Hyatt who spent some time in Puerto Rico and tells it like it is. Don’t visit us because we say so, listen to people that have visited and had a wonderful experience, like Mary. The experience at El Canario Lagoon Hotel will be similar. When you stay with us, you are family!
Why Do I Love Puerto Rico? Let Me Tell You!
My Second Visit To Puerto Rico
This is my second visit to Puerto Rico. I love this place! I have been living in a Bed And Breakfast owned by a lovely young lady named Josmary. I did a lot of research on the Internet to find a place to rent here. I intended to stay in Puerto Rico for three months. I wanted a place that was comfortable and within walking distance to stores. Her place has been perfect for me. There is a movie theater about a block away which I have enjoyed.
The Countryside Of Puerto Rico
The Neighborhood Movie Theater
Some Of The Reasons I Love Puerto Rico
The weather: average year round is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Very few homes have airconditioning, including where I am staying. There is always a nice breeze coming through the windows. At this time of year it doesn’t rain too often. Sometimes we get a litte shower in the early morning, but by the time we load up our rental car to go off to a big adventure for the day the sun will come out, and it will be a beautiful day after all.
The Time: Atlantic Standard. Never have to set your clocks back and forth! I like that. I don’t know why the United States can’t do that. I get so tired of setting my clocks and appliances forward and back.
They use U. S. Currency. That’s a BIG plus for me. When I went to Costa Rica that was a big minus for me. I never did learn their monetary system. I felt lilke I was paying $25.00 for a hamburger there because of the money exchange.
The language: Spanish and English. I don’t speak Spanish, , but that has not been a big problem because most of the people speak both languages. It was a little bit of a challenge when we rented a car. We couldn’t read the road signs. We just had to guess at it. Their main highways are like our interstates They are in very good condition. They do have a lot of toll roads: maybe that’s why the main roads are in such good repair.
The streets in San Juan are in very good condition. There are no potholes. When you walk on their sidewalks, you don’t have to watch out for cracks or holes. I couldn’t help but notice the late model white vans that are taxis parked all along the street waiting for a fare. I asked a driver about that, and he told me that they have to renew their licenses every two years and upgrade their cabs. No beat up yellow cabs here.
The people are very polite. Cashiers in the stores always greet you with a smile, then they say “thank you” or “gracias” when they finish ringing up your purchase.
The women are quite beautiful. When they go shopping (even for groceries) they dress in nice fitting Jeans, with high heeled shoes. I saw two mothers pushing their babies in strollers in the Mall one day. They wore tight jeans and four inch heels!
Clean Streets Of San Juan, Puerto Rico
I don’t think the women leave home without their makeup. I think they would still be beautiful even without makeup.
I’ve seen the children coming home from school. They wear school uniforms. You can tell they are well fed and cared for.
Unlike some countries I’ve visited, the children don’t beg.
Men are clean shaven. The men’s hair doesn’t touch their collar. No hippies here!
Drivers are very polite. There can be bumper to bumper traffic, but drivers will let you in front of them if you need to change lanes. You just signal, and they let you in. At home if you tried that, the driver in back would loudly blow their horn at you. Drivers stop for you to walk across the street, too.
I have been so impressed by the fact that the people are very polite. No one would ever get in line in front of you. Wish I could say that for the people at home.
They seem to have a lot of pride in their homes. Some are painted pretty pastel colors. They have wrought iron fences. The front yard is like a courtyard and seems to be reserved for grass and flowers.
The houses are built of concrete (maybe it’s stucco). I haven’t seen any wooden houses. Josmary told me they are hurricane proof. She has been through hurricanes unafraid. I think that might be because of their strict building code.
I have seen very little litter in the streets.
A Beautiful House In Puerto Rico
The Street Vendors
The Street Vendor comes around almost every day. His truck is loaded down with fresh fruits and vegetables. He sings a song over a loudspeaker to let everyone know he is coming.
The Street Vendor Selling His Fruits and Vegetables
Papa Yuca Batata Song of the Street Vendor
Pretty Flowers Everywhere In Puerto Rico
Beautiful Flowers In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Has Many Beautiful Beaches
When you look at Puerto Rico on a map, you realize that is an island, which means there are beaches all around the island. Some of the beaches have white fine sand, and some have brown course sand. We went to one beach called Marchiquita that had these unusual big dark grey rocks. The ocean would rush in between these rocks. It was a beautiful sight. I am told that this rock is called Aeolianite (cemented sand dune). I am also told that the cross is erected because someone was killed in that spot, and the family is asking for prayers for that person. I think that is SO touching.
Some Other Reasons I Love Puerto Rico
Gambling is legal (not that I care), but Casinos are in all the major hotels. You don’t see slot machines in stores, though.
Seniors like myself: ride the city buses free! Senior citizens enjoy discounts for movies. Regular price for general admission is only $4.00. I paid $3.00 to see the movie.
Seniors over 75 years old get in National Parks and Attractions FREE! I really lliked that.
They don’t seem to have ANY INSECTS (Or at least not many) after four weeks, I have not seen even a common house fly. I have not seen ANY mosquitoes. I’m told they only come out in June, the rainy season. I saw one little lizard on the patio one day.
The grass they use for lawns doesn’t grow up, it stays pretty flat. It does not have to be cut often. I wish I could grow this kind of grass. I’ll have to investigate that some more.
We went to the local WalMart. It was huge. It had a two story parking garage. I checked out the price of groceries, and they compared to what I pay at home. Gasoline is about the same price as we pay in Florida. They sell gasoline by the liter (don’t ask me why). I asked a worker at a Texaco how much that would cost in gallons, and he told me.
Puerto Ricans love to sing and dance.
They have Festivals year round. They don’t have to have a reason.
Puerto Ricans Love Horses
At the entrance of Old San Juan, we saw many horses. We knew something was going on, but just didn’t know what. Someone told us they were having a horse festival that day. Sure enough about 200 horses lined up and began to parade. They were Paso Fino horses. We were not expecting to see a horse festival, so that was a fun surprise.
The Locals Having A Great Time In Guavate
Lechon (Pig On A Spit) Ready To Eat In Guavate
A Favorite Place Of The Locals, Guavate
Everyone walks around with their cell phone attached to their ears (just like at home). My Puerto Rican friend talks on 3 phones at once. (Honestly)
I haven’t seen anyone smoking in public.
They drive late model cars, especially Toyotas.
Excellent TV reception. You have a choice of English or Spanish speaking channels.
Excellent cell phone reception. (Better than I have at home in the U.S.)
They love to eat, but you see very few overweight people. Maybe that’s because they eat chicken, beef, and lots of fruits and veggies.
Rice and Red beans are a staple, but it doesn’t seem to put weight on them We went to a little town called Guavate. The locals go there on Friday nights to play their music, dance and eat pig roasted on a spit. It was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.
Lovely Puerto Rican Lady Shopping At Walmart
Many Familiar Stores
I felt right at home when I saw the fast food places like Burger King, MacDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is a large Home Depot near our house.
JosMary invited me to go along with her to do her shopping at Walmart. It was a huge store with a 2 story parking garage. I was amazed at all the women shopping in their high heeled shoes and dress clothes. Here at home people go to Walmart dressed in their shorts and halter tops!
A Familiar Sight in Puerto Rico
Cruceta del Vigia
This beautiful concrete structure stands 100 feet tall. It has a Tourist Center at the base. We rode up the 10 story glass elevator. What a sight that was. The view from up there was incredible! If you go to Ponce, don’t miss this.
Cruceta del Vigia, Puerto Rico
Have I Convinced You Puerto Rico Is A Wonderful Place?
I should be a “good will” ambassador for Puerto Rico. I am seriously considering becoming a permanent resident here. I think I could be happy living here. I’d sure like to give it a try. South Florida isn’t that far away, it’s only a two hour flight. I could always go home if I wanted to, right?
Puerto Rico Is Indeed An Enchanted Island
Puerto Rico is one of those places you visit once and you just have to go back.You realize there are places you haven’t been, and sights you haven’t seen. It is an island that has so many diverse natural wonders: from mountains to the rain forests.
Two of my daughters and I spent a six day vacation in Puerto Rico. There was not enough time to visit all the wonders of Puerto Rico, but we had a wonderful time. I invite you to come along with us on our vacation day by day by following the links I have provided.
It is called the Enchanted Island for good reason.
Day One Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- San Juan, Old San Juan: In Puerto Rico
This is Day One of my six day vacation in Puerto Rico. This day we go to downtown San Juan and to the historic city of Old San Juan to see the Forts.
Day Two Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- Horseback Riding In The El Yunque National Park, Vieques Island, And The Bioluminescent Bay In Puert
Today we go horseback riding in the El Yunque National Park and to the Island of Vieques to see the natural wonder of the Bioluminescent Bay. We see millions of microscopic dino flagellates that light up when disturbed.
- Old San Juan, Puerto Rico: Forts El Morro and San Cristobal, Photos
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; visit to the city and Forts: El Morro and Fort San Cristobal. I stepped back in time when I walked on the blue cobblestone streets.
Day Four Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- The Arecibo Observatory And The Rio Camuy Caves In Puerto Rico
Today we will tour the Arecibo Observatory that was featured in the movie Golden Eye. It is the world’s largest single aperture telescope. We also will tour the Camuy Caves today.
Day Five Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- Hiking And Ziplining In The El Yunque National Park: Puerto Rico
This is Day Five of our six day vacation in Puerto Rico. Today we will go on an exciting all day tour that will include hiking and zip lining in the El Yungue National Forest.
Day Six Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- A Scenic Drive To The Marchiquita Beach And The Towns Of Aguadilla, Rincon And Ponce: In Puerto Rico
This is Day Six, the last day of our Six Day Vacation in Puerto Rico. We have had a wonderful time here, and we hope to return another time. We know now why Puerto Rico is called the Enchanted Island.
Thank you Mary for such a great perspective of our little big island of Puerto Rico. We hope you can visit us again soon and write more about your real in depth experiences.