1 After a very strange flight schedule that had us arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 3:30am, we checked into Casa del Caribe B&B.
2 Our little room at Casa del Caribe, and our home base for our Puerto Rican weekend!
3 A whimsical fountain at a park near our B&B.
4 After checking in, we set out to San Juan's National Historic Site- the Castillo San Cristobal fort overlooking the ocean's edge.
5 The fort's ruined walls surround a lovely park and San Juan's Old Town.
6 The fort overlooking the Atlantic.
7 Fort seflie!
8 Overlooking the ocean.
9 San Juan's famous turreted walls.
10 Selfie #2!
11 A walk along the fort's edge leads to this beautiful park, El Morro, filled with kite flyers.
12 The National Park sign to El Morro!
13 Kites and ocean breezes :)
14 Walking out to the edge of the ocean bluff at El Morro.
15 The amazing view from the end of El Morro
16 A closeup of the old graveyard bordering the ocean
17 Hangin' on the fort walls :)
18 A wider shot of the Atlantic on the left, and Old Town on the right
19 Lovely Spanish colonial buildings border El Morro Park.
20 After El Morro, we explored the alleyways of Old Town.
21 Enjoying rum in a typical San Juan outdoor cafe :)
22 The lovely wrought iron balconies, vibrant colors, and cobblestone streets of Old San Juan.
23 Lunch at a classic San Juan restaurant includes El Presidente cerveza.
24 A local recommended this place to us when we asked for a good, cheap, authentic local diner. Despite its deliciousness and cheapness, we were the only diners!
25 MMMMMMMofongo (plaintains stuffed with meat).......
26 And, of course, Cuba Libres. Viva Puerto Rico!
27 After lunch, we boarded a ferry for the 15-minute ride to Catano, to the Bacardi Rum Factory!
28 Docking in Catano, and heading off for some rum samples.
29 Our Lonely Planet guide advised us not to waste $5 on a cab ride to the Bacardi Factory- it was a "short 15-minute walk." Lonely Planet lied. It was over an hour. So we flagged down an ice cream truck to sustain our hungry, rum-less selves.
30 After a long, hot hour of walking, we arrived at the Bacardi Factory!
31 Yay for free tours and free booze!
32 The strange design of the factory: Behind Matt is the open-air bar.
33 Inside the bar, and stockin' up on free rum!
34 Me and 500 of my closest friends
35 He'll take one of everything, thanks
36 The Art Deco-style Bacardi factory building
37 Wheeee RUM!
38 After the Bacardi Tour, we headed back to Old San Juan to watch the sun set over Old Town.
39 San Juan's Paseo de la Princesa, a lovely oceanfront promenade along the city's walls.
40 Sculptures line the promenade.
41 The fountains on the waterfront.
42 Enjoying a late afternoon walk....
43 The sun setting over Old San Juan's turreted fort, which is a symbol of the city.
44 Our afternoon stroll.
45 Watching people watching the sun set :)
46 One of the many lovely sitting areas on the promenade, ringed by the Old Town walls and banyan trees.
48 More beautiful Caribbean color in Old Town.
49 As we headed back to our B&B, the light was perfect on the colonial buildings outside Old Town.
50 The entryway up to the old fort.
51 Entry selfie!
52 That night, we searched for a cheap, authentic meal in Condado, the Miami Beach of San Juan. We found an empty, divey place and walked in...only to find that the diners were in the back, at tables hanging over the ocean. This is my (and my drink's) late evening view.
53 The next day, we rented a car and set out to visit El Yunque National Park.
54 El Yunque's La Coca Falls Viewing Area!
55 The lovely waterfalls- not huge, but pretty nonetheless.
56 El Yunque waterfall selfie!
57 El Yunque is the only rainforest in the US Parks System. On the 20-minute drive to the park, the temperature went from 90F to 70F, and from sunny blue sky to pouring rain.
58 A lovely pond (man-made, but still! Pretty!) at El Yunque.
59 After the rainforest, we headed 15 minutes farther east to Luquillo Beach.
60 Luquillo is known as the Riveria of Puerto Rico. And given that it was a Monday during the offseason, the normally crowded beach was wonderfully empty.
61 The setting was like a movie set: Blue water, palm trees ringing the beach, and El Yunque hovering the background.
62 Caribbean beach awesomeness!
63 Heading out for a swim...
64 Playing in the ocean...
65 Action shot!
66 I think I have this photo of Matt in at least 5 countries :)
67 Our afternoon's view.
68 I couldn't resist taking a photo of Matt while he slept in paradise. :)
69 A long shot of the picture-perfect Luquillo Beach.
70 Apparently Matt borrowed my camera when I played in the water.
71 Stolen photo #2
72 Stolen photo #3
73 After a long day of rainforests, waterfalls, and beaches, we deserve 2 rum punches in Old Town!!
74 For our final dinner, we went to Cafe Puerto Rico on a picturesque plaza in Old Town.
75 Mmmm....more mofongo, strip steak, and octopus salad for me (after just 2 days, I needed VEGETABLES).