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.

Punta Santiago

Punta Santiago Puerto Rico
It’s nice to take a break from the drive and look out at this


El Combate

El Combate Puerto Rico
If you’re going to fence off a pier, at least make it colorful!


Tres Tubos Rainbow

Tres Tubos Rainbow in Puerto Rico
We really got lucky with a lot fo rainbows on this trip.


Touchdown

Touchdown
The sun finally touches the Caribbean Sea


Crash Boat Beach

Crash Boat Beach Puerto Rico
The famous crash boat beach – we enjoyed from a distance since it was a complete zoo down there.


Bubble Algae

Bubble Algae in Puerto Rico
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


Taking a Break

Taking a Break in Puerto Rico
We saw horses tethered everywhere for use as lawnmowers


Mofongo

Mofongo is a Puerto Rico specialty
A famous and classic Puerto Rico dish


Office With A View

Office With A View
Not a bad view for an office, even with the overcast skies.



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