Puerto Rico Blog

If you never visited Puerto Rico, this island is one of the must see destinations because it is full of life and lots to do. Puerto Rico is an American territory but main language is Spanish and English is second language. We all heard the stories about the pirates and this is where all started. Puerto Rico is known for its Rum. The world known Rum company Bacardi is located in Puerto Rico. Before you pack your suitcases and get all excited to visit Puerto Rico here are things that you need to know.

Visa

Applying for Visa can be hard because you are basically visiting a US territory. Once that is taken care then call it a success because I will mention another surprise for you in the end of this blog. If you are a US citizen, you do not need a passport, you only need a photo ID. I recommend you carry your passport in case you want to jump to neighbouring islands.

Rent a car

If you want to move around in the Island, it is better to rent a car. It may look like a small island but moving around paying for taxi can be costly. The downside of renting a car is finding a parking space if you are staying in Old San Juan. Here are the reasons why I recommend renting a car:

  1. Old San Juan to El Yunque Rain Forest- 1Hr drive
  2. Old San Juan to the Ferry-ship- 1.5 Hr drive
  3. Old San Juan to the Longest Zipline on the other side of the island- 2 Hr Drive
  4. Weather is unstable, so imagine taking a cab and then it starts raining. Hard luck!

Old San Juan

I highly recommend staying in Old San Juan. The area is full with hotels, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping and all tourist attractions. It is very nice and safer than other areas in Puerto Rico. You can walk around or hop in a cab for another attractions such as the casino, or the fortress San Cristobal. Old San Juan is full of life at night. Lots of bars and clubs for dancing depending on your choice. Old San Juan has beautiful architecture. Lot of colors and nice building with graffiti on the walls. You can relate the city to the Spanish history.

El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque rain forest is about one hour drive from old San Juan. The forest might seem small on the map, but do not be fooled. You will need a whole day to hike depending on the weather conditions. The forest is known to be safe from any wild animal and rarely you will find snakes. You can drive inside the forest, and find parking on a week day. Also there are maps for the trails provided if you decided to hike. The trails are muddy so a special shoes and ponchos are a must. There are some waterfalls inside the forest and some people like to to swim. Another cool activity that I did was ziplining inside the forest. Check the weather in advance because sometimes they close due to heavy rain.

Vieques or Culebra

There are two neighbouring islands that are about 45 minutes ferry ride. This part is tricky when it comes to seeing these islands. These are the things that you need to know about visiting these amazing islands. Vieques is known to have great activities. Culebra is known for the best top ten beaches in the world.

  1. Check the weather before you go
  2. You have to be at least 2 hrs in line waiting for the ride and you maybe lucky to find a place on the ferry.
  3. Once you buy the tickets, stand in line, and do not leave. Local people have the priority, so purchasing the ticket does not mean you have a secure place on the ferry.
  4. Book a hotel with transportation in advance because you will be lucky to find any.
  5. Depending on which island you are going, they have different times of leaving and returning.
  6. The other way to get to these islands is by plane.

Night Life

I love music and dancing, and Puerto Rico is the place to be. We all know Mark Anthony, J Lo, and famous “Despacito” song by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. All from Puerto Rico. If you are ready to get down, you have to practice on some moves.

Food

Puerto Rico has many different types of cuisines but they are famous for their Mofongo. They have nice breakfast places in Old San Juan. You can also hit some nice restaurant on the weekend depending on your mood.

Surprise

Once you get the visa to Puerto rico, it does not hurt to jump to the Virgin Islands-St. Thomas- check out my blog “Surrounded by water”– It is with no doubt heaven on earth. Flights are so cheap from Old San Juan to Charlotte Amalie is about $140 round trip and 45 minutes flight. ENJOY PARADISE.

Conclusion

I had great time in Puerto Rico, check the weather forecast before you travel to that amazing island. People are very nice and friendly. The island has so much to offer and lots of beautiful scenery. I highly recommend visiting.

Bonus Tip

If you are from the US, T-Mobile phones work good without any extra charges. ATT has better connection in the caribbean islands.

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ALUX Restaurant

Perhaps one of the most amazing restaurants I have ever experienced was ALUX in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We were a group celebrating a friend’s birthday where we decided to pick a nice restaurant and ALUX came through. I have to say our minds were blown up after we left. It is very hard to find restaurants with a unique experiences that combines nature, experience, and food all at once.

Entrance

We were welcomed by two Mayans as soon as we walked in the gate. They were reciting some rituals “I HAVE NO CLUE”, and playing some instruments. According to what I heard something has to do with Sacrificing a Virgin. I might be wrong but again it was very cool to experience such warm welcoming. As soon as you walk in, the stairs for the restaurant is on your right. Entrance was nicely designed, although it will not occur to you that you are walking inside a huge cave.

Dining

Atmosphere, ambience, lighting, and setup are all very nice and well designed. We were sat next to a falling water from the limestones next to a small spring. It was very soothing and relaxing. I loved every single moment of it.

Menu

The menu is in two languages, English and Spanish. I love restaurants that have the courtesy to make it easier for their customers. I believe it is very important since management know that people from all over the world would come and visit. They serve appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, and Steaks. The variety is there so no worries when it comes to selections. Wine selections are from all over the world, ask your waiter/waitress to take you inside the “CAVA”.

Recommendations

I would recommend to take your time, do not rush if you are visiting ALUX. It is not only a restaurant but more of an excursion, and great experience. If you are planning to go after party, call and reserve early. It is highly recommended for couples and special occasions. Garden salad, Portobello mushroom, and Bone ribeye steak are delicious. If you are looking for cool dessert, as for the flamin coffee.

BON APPETIT!!

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Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey-Tropical Storm

Houston August 25, 2017

Here is what you need to know about Hurricane Harvey,

  1. 2 million people will be affected with this Hurricane.
  2.  Harvey started as a category 3 and will grow bigger with winds up to 125 mph by Friday night.
  3. 34 inches of rain, flooding, and a force to make serious damages to houses and public areas in addition to uprooting the trees.
  4. It will hit the gulf coast from Corpus Christi, Texas  to New Orleans, Louisiana.
  5. Estimated 5 billion in damages.

Are you ready for this ?

Many people have been preparing to face Hurricane harvey for couple of days. Here are some tips:

  1. 3 gallon of water per person for cooking, drinking and oral hygiene.
  2. Freeze some water in a or ziploc bag, and fill coolers with ice last minute (you don’t want ice to melt).
  3. Buy canned food such as meat, fruits, vegetables, juices and check the expiration dates.
  4. Buy boxed milk
  5. Cereal, soup, oatmeal and granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter, jelly, beef jerky, bread, crackers, cookies, fresh fruit and protein bars are all good to have in case of emergency.
  6. Don’t forget to buy baby food if you have one, also pet food.
  7. Flashlight with extra batteries, car charger and bank for mobile phone, battery operated digital TV with car charger adapter.
  8. Grill with extra propane and charcoal.
  9. Place matches and lighters in waterproof container.
  10. Manual can and bottle opener.
  11. Cleaning supplies, heavy duty gloves, duct tape, heavy duty outdoor extension cords, waterproof tarps, plastic sheeting, rope, basic tool kit, smoke detectors, and carbon-monoxide detectors.
  12. Battery 2 way radio in case cellphones don’t work.
  13. Fire Extinguisher
  14. Place all your important documents, such as medical papers, insurance, bank statements, social security, passports, jewelry and expensive personal items in a waterproof container.
  15. First aid kit, enough supply for prescription drugs, vitamins, pain reliever, antibacterial soap, toilet paper, tooth paste, shampoo, mosquito repellent, lotion, and antibacterial wipes.
  16. Buy a generator
  17. Secure your windows, and doors.
  18. Remove all your items from the backyard and place them inside the garage.
  19. Fill up your gas tank.
  20. Cut the extensions of trees around your house to minimize damage.
  21. If you are in a flood zone, buy sandbags and place them on the doors to minimize the water coming in.
  22. Clean your drains from all the debris and tree leaves to ensure proper water drainage.
  23. Stay in and don’t walk or drive when the hurricane is in full effect.
  24. In case of flooded areas, DO NOT walk around especially next to bayou areas because many could have snakes, and alligators which can be harmful.

Don’t Panic

For many who like to evacuate, it is better to start acting early before it is too late. Back in 2005, Hurricane Rita caused a mass evacuation estimated around 3 million people. Between 90-120 people died in this evacuation. I remember it took me 6 hours to leave from Houston Downtown area to the woodlands which is 20 miles. On the way I witnessed the burning of a bus, people suffocating from heat, others as a result of hyperthermia in their cars and many more tragic incidents.

If you are planning on evacuating, follow these steps:

  1. Fill up your tank
  2.  Check your tires, make sure you have a spare one.
  3. Buy some food, water, and personal items incase you had to stay in a hotel, or be stuck in traffic.
  4. Turn off your car if you see the traffic is not moving, and keep windows open.
  5. Check the traffic, roads safety, and make sure it is safe to take that route.
  6. Don’t drive in the HOV lane, as many people were stuck due to traffic after hours, they run out of gas.

Stay safe and hope Hurricane Harvey will pass with no damages. Remember safety and preparation comes first.

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Isla Mujeres Cancun Mexico

Cancun  is full of many activities. Best advice I would give you is to plan what you want to do before you get there. Buy your packages from legit agents-never online- because it is 3 times more expensive.  This is one of the cool activities that must do to experience one of the best reefs in the world. As you see the sculptures, Musa is amazing. It is very friendly activity for singles, families, and couples.

This is my video from my trip to Mexico snorkeling in Cancun near Isla Mujeres .. Watch this full video of me snorkeling on my youtube channel.

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Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, Mexico

Most of you, of course, have been to Cancun Mexico, but many people fall into these things that if known in advance, it will save you money and time. Here are the things that you do and don’t do in Cancun once you land.

  1. Don’t take 1st offer as final.

As soon as you get your luggage, you will see people approaching you to offer a cab with jacked up prices. Depending on where you going it should be no more than $25-$30 going from airport to downtown area. Also it is better to arrange your pick up through the hotel, it will be way cheaper.

  1. Double check on menu prices before you eat in restaurant tourist areas.

Speaking of service, Can I say Horrible? YESSS!! I ordered 3 mini-tacos and 1 drink for $17. Now am not cheap but that was very expensive comparing Mexico VS USA with price and portion, also took 30 minutes to deliver dish from time of taking order. And not to be mean, tacos were horrible, I got charged extra for cheese.

  1. Do not buy tour packages online.

If you are looking to buy tour packages online, prices are triple what you can pay if you walk around and purchase from a legit agent in a kiosk that has a business card, cellphone and location. I wanted to buy tour for 4 activities online, price was $365 vs $60 with the same tour. $305 is lots of money to do with in Mexico. Coconut water was $10 in Cancun VS $4 in Puerto Rico. That is a rip off.

  1. Keep your immigration paper entrance.

When you go through customs, they give you a red paper that has a number once you enter the country. DO NOT THROW IT IN TRASH! I had to pay $30 to get another one because I didn’t know I had to keep it, and of course NO ONE TOLD ME. DUH!

  1. Airport Terminals

Read you tickets carefully and make sure you will be dropped off in the right terminal. My ticket said Air-Mexico and in small letters beneath said operated by Delta airline. My taxi driver dropped me on a terminal where Air Mexico operates but wrong terminal, so I had to pay $15 for another cab to drive me from one terminal to my actual terminal so I won’t miss my plane. Luckily I made it on time. I guess my mistake but I was PISSED!

  1. Drones

Do not use drones in tourist areas like I DID!! I had to run away once I got caught. HEHE!! Watch videos below

Click >> Drone Video Click >> RUN AWAY

  1. Do not drink tap water, buy sunscreen from the where you coming from as sunscreen is triple what you pay for in Mexico. Keep cash money at all times. You will need Pesos. Make sure that when you exchange currency, the rates are good. Also buy OFF spray to keep mosquitos away. OH BOY!! those bites are no fun. Hydrate at all times, because the sun will get you.

Cancun was a great experience. There is so much to do there. Tulum, Coba, Cenote, Snorkeling, Museum under water and Cancun beach are small portion that I got to do in 3 days. Do not waste your time in clubs and drinking, I mean you can drink but not excessively because it will drain your energy and you will miss the real fun adventure. JUST SAYING!

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Cuba Libre!

Cuba Libre!

2016-03-22-1458681390-6092959-cuba_tourism_photo_of_a_street

The minute I found out about the restrictions for all US citizens from traveling to Cuba, I was very disappointed. Main reason was I had planned to visit Cuba and explore the island with their unique culture, food, music, dancing and history. Coming from a person who loves traveling and adventures, I had to sit back and think why would president Trump would take such a decision?

I want to eliminate the fact that some people think Trump is reversing everything Obama administration did. Also take out the fact  Trump wanted to build a wall between USA and Mexico. Without any bias, I asked myself the very good question that any person with brain would think about.

For most of us who heard him say that he did that because he doesn’t want to support the military of Cuba. Hmmm! OK!! Let’s agree with him on that one. One reason is not enough to convince half the nation to make such decision. In any situation when making a major decision in life, people with common sense they create a list of pros and cons. So let’s put these and see which are more and based on that we can make that decision and agree.

Pros

  1. This act means no more support to the military and the Cuban government.
  2. Support the human rights for the Cuban people against the regime.
  3. By giving them “appeasement” the Trump administration argues that this act is giving the Cuban government more power, it must be reversed.

Cons

  1. Cutting off the people of Cuba from resources coming from outside.
  2. Business owners in Cuba already have hard time making a living, by diminishing tourism, their income decreases.
  3. Cubans’ main income is from nowhere except the island itself, their additional income from from tourists.
  4. Many Cubans had their homes as a place to stay for tourists. Their income comes from renting space, cooking food and also dance lessons. 3 incomes from one visit.
  5. Americans will look for other ways of traveling to Cuba, either through Canada or Mexico.
  6. This ban will create more conflicts between 2 countries.
  7. Communist countries will take advantage of this act and give the Cuban government a better reason to keep doing what they are doing.
  8. American airlines will lose their route to Cuba, and some revenue will be lost.
  9. Average family income in Cuba is $25/month. Tourists will help those families survive for 4 month if they spend $100. Imagine!!!
  10. By this decision, we created a wall restricting Americans to have the freedom of travel which is against our values, with some exceptions.

The good news is that you can still travel to Cuba under certain rules and regulations. But it is more difficult than before. To find out more click here.

I believe deep down that these restrictions are for long term personal business interests. Who knows? Time will tell. You be the judge. Viva CUBA!!

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Santorini Curse! Is it REAL?

Santorini Curse! Is it Real?

For many of you who visited Santorini, Greece are very lucky to witness such an amazing and beautiful Island. The minute you land, you will notice the blue and white colors from long distance.

My experience was awesome! Fira was our first stop because we had to wait to check-in. After eating breakfast around 9 am, we had all the time in the word to walk till 3 pm. We decided to explore around and for some reason end up hiking, then went down to the bottom of the island, and all sudden we witnessed a beautiful view and took some photos. I can’t describe how beautiful is Santorini. I would ruin it for ya!! Food was delicious, healthy, and decent price if you are on a budget. It is clean, organized, stunning, and magical. People are very nice and welcoming. This is why traveling to that island is a must experience yourself. Believe me it is WORTH IT!!

The Santorini Curse! Is i real? I heard that Santorini has its own witchcraft spell.Sounds Funny!! It might be true, or maybe not. A local resident born and raised for 48 years who works at a local bar, told me that Santorini is not meant for couples that are still dating. He mentioned that only singles or married couple when they visit Santorini will stay together and live happily ever. I was shocked!! Of course I gave him that weird and I said to him “Yeah Right.” Maybe you should fool someone else with that bull. HA!! He told me based on his experiences with many couples breaking up after visiting Santorini and the stories that people tell him. Hmmm! I couldn’t believe what he was saying but then I noticed something after two days. Most of the people on that island, are either married with their kids, or singles!! I know this sound bizarre, but it could it be true? I am hoping that man is wrong, because it is a beautiful place to be with someone special.

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