Our final thoughts on Puerto Rico – it is worth a real visit, or just hitting Old San Juan on a cruise ship visit?
Mainland Puerto Rico (we didn’t hit the eastern “Spanish Virgin Islands” Vieques or Culebra) is a range of contrasts – sandy beaches to lush forested mountains, mildew covered shimmy shacks to 35 million dollar gated palaces.
Colette put it very eloquently, although my quote of exactly what she said may be somewhat suspect – Puerto Rico is like a very pretty girl who just doesn’t take the time to doll up before going out in public.
So much untapped potential, but is the effort expended worth the return?
Hurricane Maria did a ton of damage to the island. Some places have recovered, some places haven’t.
The affluent areas have obviously recovered well, while those without funding have languished.
Dorado. 36 million bucks for a palace. La Guancha in Ponce. Can’t even fix the waterfront boardwalk.
I’m sure that there a lot of smart minds working amongst the tourism boards, city councils, government and businesses to try to address the issues preventing more tourism dollars.
Our guess is that the revenue from the pharmaceutical companies down here combined with the cruise ship tourism keeps the pretty face on the girl where the tourists will see her, while everything else is swept under the rug and kept hidden.
There’s lots of potential here, but it will be a long time before the makeup goes back on.
If you’re a must-go-see-do explorer like we are, it is definitely on the must-do list. If you’re an Instagram-highlight-move-along-to-the-next, Old San Juan from a cruise ship gets you enough highlights to say been-there done-that.
We’ll see how our perspective changes once we hit the Spanish Virgin Islands in a future winter trip.
Tres Tubos Rainbow
Crash Boat Beach
Massive bubble algae, the size of golf balls. Pretty cool to find these all over due to the increased wave action from this last storm. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valonia_ventricosa