Puerto Rico may have been ravaged by the worst hurricane it’s seen in over 85 years but it’s people are strong, the relief efforts effective, and it’s doors are once again open to travelers. The beaches are safe for swimming, electricity is up, and most hotels and businesses are ready for you to visit. If you’re American, you don’t need a passport and you can feel good knowing your dollars are helping rebuild the island. If you’re wondering where to go and what to see post-storm, read below for some enticing highlights from Elona, a travel blogger and influencer who was also a fantastic guest on our podcast, listen here to hear her story and details of her travel adventures.
This area is a stunning natural reserve with massive cliffs, arches, caves and waves crashing against them. It’s a short hike that yields unparalleled views. A definite must-see.
One of a few black sand beaches, this one is called Barceloneta. It’s not open for swimming because of the strong rip currants but is absolutely perfect for strolling, picnicking, sunbathing, and taking beautiful pictures. The area around the beach was completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Despite some broken-down homes and fences, the locals are warm and welcoming it remains so beautiful it’s absolutely worth the visit.
Elona describes this spot as one of the most incredible places she’s ever seen and from her pictures, we believe her! Its about a 30 minute hike through the quiet rainforest to reach the top of large rock formations formed over turquoise water. You can cliff dive, swim, or just relax. It’s a sweet spot for a picnic and a good book.
Perhaps the most gorgeous and serene beach. It was voted #1 Best Urban Beach 2016 by USA Travel Readers. It’s complete with clean white sands, calm crystal clear waters and beautiful palm trees. Make sure to stop by Sirena at the Courtyard by Marriott for their mind blowing Ahi Tuna!
You definitely don’t want to miss these pink salt flats. The aboriginal Araucos people began extracting salts from the salt flats in AD 700! The Spanish took over in the 16th century using the local Tainos people for slave labor. Today, both a wildlife refuge and a public park, the site includes a visitor center with interpretive displays and a small network of hiking and mountain-biking trails that lead to expanses of wide open beaches that alternate with patches of mangrove forest. The site is 3 hours from San Juan which is maybe why it’s often overlooked but definitely worth the rental car and drive. There are also many stops along the way worth seeing.
Thinking of planning a trip to Puerto Rico? For maps and trip details, visit the full post on Elona’s site. You’ll enjoy checking out details on the other places she’s visited.