Our first day was spent at the Hilton Caribe. First off the hotel is in need of some renovation. The hilton did have a nice garden where we took a few pics. We were tired from the plane flight over and didn't follow our plan. We just grabbed dinner at the hotel at the Morton's of chicago there. We should have done someting else it was just an average steak for too much money.
This is a picture of Daidra from the Gardens at the Hilton Caribe.
We walked from the Hilton Caribe to Old San Juan and the El Morro Fort. This is one of the more interesting things we did. I am not a fan of walking all over the place with no purpose but I never got bored and found many interesting things. We are taking lessons to become better photographers. Some of the photos below are a part of our assignment that I felt like sharing.
Here is a pic of me at the El Morro with the Old San Juan coast line in the background.
This pic is part of the assignment to find contrast and color. This is a window on the lighthouse at El Morro.
I really like the looks of this casa in old san juan. Interesting colors and palm trees on the top of the house.
On of the awesome courtyards in the old san juan district.
Towards the south end of old san juan was a plaza with these chairs sitting in them, cool huh?
Daidra doing what she does best! Shopping in the shops of old san juan. She liked this little dress so much we ended up purchasing it. Plus everywhere women in Puerto Rico wear short dresses. Just an FYI.
That night we went to the highly recommended Metropol restaurant. VERY GOOD. I recommend the cuban chicken. And be careful, it seemed like everything in Puerto Rico was fried two or three times. Not the healthiest eating we found. But the beans and rice, no matter where you get them are AWESOME.
We checked into the Embassy Suites Hotel and Casino for the rest of our stay! I just want everyone to know, I don't know why anyone would stay anywhere else, EVER. They give you Free (cooked to order) breakfast and from 5pm to 7pm free drinks! We always get our money worth. They always give you a suite with a living room and the rooms were in better shape than the Hilton!
We made the mistake of sleeping in on our day to Veiques. There are a couple of things you should know. Finding the ferry isn't easy and it takes 1 hour to get to the ferry from San Juan. Once you get there, you can expect to wait unless you timed it perfect. The ferry runs on a schedule but it is 1.5 hours between each trip.
MOST IMPORTANT IS THE FERRY IS DISGUSTING!! I don't think the seats have ever been cleaned? But we stuck it out and sat on our towels. Once we got to Veiques we rented a scooter (u can't take your car) and set off to find a great beach. Our rental guy recommended "Red Beach" on the south of the island. After driving down dirt roads with wild horses all around and thinking the guy sent us here to get mugged...We came upon a really great, and empty beach. There may have been a total of 6 people on the whole beach. It was awesome.
We did find a couple there also and agreed to exchange taking photos so that we actually had some of us together!
The last ferry from Veiques to Farado (main island) is at 6PM so we only got a few hours in Veiques. But it was fun and very pretty. A lesson learned.
We felt like we didn't get enough sun for in Vieques due to the short stay, so we scratched our plans and just stayed at the hotel and laid out by the pool at the Embassy. It was a great idea and I even got a little too much sun but no worries.
Later we headed to the Plaza Americas and did a little shopping. Not anything of note because it is sooo much like US Malls. Nothing new or interesting that we found.
After another great day of sleeping in, we did the Barcardi tour. This was pretty neat mostly because they gave us two free drinks and the bottles of rum were pretty darn cheap!
Then we jumped in the car and headed back to Farado to Kayak to the glowing lagoon. I don't want to ruin it for anyone. This was supper neat. But I have to agree with some others that have said it probably would have been better if they still allowed people to swim in it. Definitely worth it if you have never seen it before.
We are wondering if Hurricane Dean is going to cut our vacation short but it doesn't look like it so far! We decided to do an ATV tour through the rainforest considering we couldn't book the ONE THING we were so looking forward to, the adventure tour! Word to the wise, book in advance, they fill up fast. No worries though the ATV tour was fun and a little on the timid side for me but my wife loved it! I was looking for either more mud or mud holes when riding a 4-wheeler!
This was taken in the El Yunque rainforest at one of the swimming pools in the river we stopped and took a dip!
After changing cloths we hiked to the big tree waterfall in the rainforest. We stopped to take a couple of pics along the way.
More pics from the rainforest.
The Big Tree Waterfall. The place was packed! It took 30-45 minutes of a serious hike to get to it and once we did, it was packed with people. Would have been better if it wasn't so busy but the hike was awesome. Especially since we needed to work off all that fried puertorican food.
It was a great trip. I will some it up with a few things that I thought were "Best of" categories..
Best Place to stay - EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL AND CASINO
Best Meal - BLT Steakhouse in the Ritz Carrolton
Best Authentic meal - METROPOL
Coolest thing we did - Would have been the adventure but since we didn't get it booked, I would say Old San Juan.
Best Club - Brava in the El San Juan hotel. Place was very nice
Best Casino - EL SAN JUAN HOTEL AND CASINO
Best Beans and Rice - ANYWHERE IN PUERTO RICO!!
Best Beach - Red Beach on Vieques
BY THE WAY...PUERTO RICO STANDS FOR "PULL OUT IN FRONT OF YOU"!! CAREFUL WHILE DRIVING HERE!