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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Hurricane Harvey

latest


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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