San Juan, Puerto Rico

Have you ever been to a place you finally had your first culture shock experience? This was the first place I had my first culture shock experience, which I will share with you later on in the story. When my husband and I took our first cruise this was one of our stops. I was uncertain as to how it was going to be because I heard various things about San Juan, Puerto Rico. Most people I talked to either loved it or disliked it, very few were in between about how they felt about the city and area. When we arrived this place was much bigger than the other places that we had been. Before I went there I thought that San Juan was going to be a very tiny island much like all the others. When we arrived to the island the cruise ship anchored at the dock and we were able to get off the ship and explore. We walked through a small part of the town to meet a tour guide and other fellow travelers for our excursion.

My husband and I had a rainforest drive excursion planned for this port. The rainforest drive would take us by a small bus through the city and up into the rainforest. The drive took us about 40 minutes to get to the rain forest, also known as the El Yunque Rain Forest. We would make many different stops on the way up to the highest point we could go. On the way there we noticed a car driving backwards on the highway in the median because he missed his exit. The tour bus lady said that was normal driving for that area. I was very shocked but realized people in the United States would probably do the same thing if cops were not around. Our first stop was to the visitors center where we could walk around for a few minutes, go to the gift shop, use the bathroom or whatever we would like to do. We missed the guided tour of the place but we got back on the bus at the right time to go to our next stop.

Our second stop took us to a water fall in the rainforest. Many people decided to climb the water fall or just admire it from afar. My husband and I walked around near the water fall, took some pictures and got back on the bus. This was one of my favorite stops we made because the water fall was beautiful. This was the highest point that they could take us to, so we descended back down the mountain. We made one of our last stops at a creek where we could walk around freely and explore for a bit. We walked around, took pictures around the creek and met some other fellow travelers from different parts of the world. After this stop we left to go back into town and stop at another place where we could get something to eat, gifts and go to the bathroom. After awhile we went back to where we met. I was disheartened to learn not too long around that this rainforest received significant damage from the hurricanes that hit this year. This was one of the most beautiful places in San Juan, Puerto Rico and it was destroyed.

When we got back to downtown San Juan, my husband and I decided to walk around and explore. We went in a few shops, found a park that had Christmas decorations set up and saw a pirate ship. We met some of our new found cruise friends and joined them on their adventures in exploring San Juan. The mother of the 3 of them had coupons for a free drink at a bar, so we went to try that. The shot they gave us was really good but really small, so we realized why they were free. We encountered a guy walking around downtown that came up to us and asked us all if we spoke English. We all told him yes, he then proceeded to tell us an elaborate story about someone in the hospital and he was begging for all the money that we had. This was when I received my first dose of culture shock. I have never encountered someone walking up to me telling me a long story to ask for money in the end. I was completely in shock by this and did not know how to feel after we walked away. The family and my husband explained that things like this happen all the time in foreign countries. After awhile of walking around downtown, we went back to where we had to show our IDs to get back onto the cruise ship. After about an hour we sailed off to our next destination for the cruise.

I enjoyed every bit of my time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Even when encountering something different, I did not let it affect how I felt about the island. There is a lot to do and see in San Juan and I would love to go back to see more of the island. I would love to go back and see the part people call old San Juan. I am sad and disheartened about the effects it endured with the hurricanes this year. I am glad to know that many people are working tirelessly to help get the island back in order. I am excited to go back next December to go on another cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I definitely recommend this place while cruising or even going on a vacation.

Stay tuned this week to learn about Arkansas, USA and self care. I have a special series about self care lined up and I am so excited to share why I believe it is very important. Do you practice self care? See you next week.



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  1. Your excursion certainly looked beautiful and full of fun experiences. How funny that there was a vehicle driving backwards on the highway!

    1. It definitely was. And that was the craziest thing I have ever seen and to hear it was normal down there was even crazier!

  2. Seems like you guys had a nice time! No wonder – with all this beautiful nature and activities:)

    1. We definitely did have a wonderful time. It is so pretty there. I just wonder what it really looks like after the hurricane.

  3. This sounds like a great place to visit. I love that they decorated the ship for Christmas. That must of been amazing to see.

    1. It was so neat to see the ship decorated at Christmas. It is a beautiful place to visit.

  4. What a gorgeous place to visit! I would love to see Puerto Rico one day. What you encountered was not really a “cultural difference”, in big populated cities or capitals, or any place that is full of tourists there are always people who try to scam others, that is so even in the US.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. Never experienced in the US. Just took me by surprise but thanks.

  5. It is sad that a beautiful place like San Juan was affected by a devastating hurricane. These pictures are beautiful and it seems you had a great time!

    1. It definitely is! I hope they can recover from it. Thank you! I did have a wonderful time!

  6. I have know idea why I haven’t traveled to PR yet, My father was born in Ponce, I have a ton of family there that I’ve yet to meet. This post just makes me itch to be on the sandy beaches.

    1. You should definitely go sometime. That’s so neat you have family there. This definitely makes me want to go to a beach as well. I could live on a beach forever! 😊

  7. San Juan sounds like a nice place to visit. Car traveling backwards is indeed shocking but you are right, people might do the same anywhere if cops are not around…haha. Self care series sounds so great, looking forward to it.

    1. It really is a beautiful place. Sad to hear the hurricane destroyed some of it. That was so crazy about the car, I couldn’t believe it. 🙈 And the self care series was great, you should check it out. It’s already up on the blog. 😊

  8. Beautiful place to visit… hope they recover from their disaster

    1. It really was a beautiful place to visit. I hope they recover as well.

  9. This seems like such a fun trip. I would love to visit Puerto Rico, will be adding to my bucket list.

    1. It was an amazing trip by cruise. I love how they give you a “taste” of each place. Puerto Rico is beautiful, I hope they recover from the hurricanes.

  10. I have always wanted to go to San Juan for vacation! From what I have seem, the resorts and islands are beautiful!

    1. They truly are! I was amazed at how beautiful it is there. We are heading back in December next year and I am excited to go.

  11. It looks like an awesome place to visit. I ever wanted to visit Puerto Rico this 2018. I really love to travel in different places. Seems that you really enjoy your travel visit here.

    1. It really is an amazing place to go, I’m actually headed back in December of 2018. I am excited to see more of it. That’s amazing that you love to travel to different places. What has been your favorite place?

  12. Wow…such a beautiful place …I love beaches & ever ready to visit beaches….wanna visit here soon !!

    1. This place is definitely amazing. I’ve heard the beaches are beautiful, I know the water is a beautiful blue color! I hope you make it here one day. 😊

  13. The places, the culture, the people and everything about Puerto Rico is so invited

    1. It truly is! I loved every minute of my time there, even if there was a mishap. I am excited to go back next year and explore more of it.

  14. Cruising sounds like such fun! San Juan looks super tropical and lush. Would love, love to go!

    1. Cruising is the best way to travel in my mind. If you ever get the chance to go on one I definitely suggest it. San Juan is definitely tropical and lush, I hope you get the chance to go one day!

  15. Sure you have a great experience. I haven’t been here yet, but I really like the waterfall. Will save the post to my submission!

    1. The waterfall was amazing and beautiful, it started my love for waterfalls! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, I really appreciate it!

  16. Looks like an amazing place to visit. <3 I really need to get out and start traveling more to see the beauty of the world.

    1. It truly is! I’m headed back next year and couldn’t be more excited to go. Traveling is definitely a wonderful passion of mine. The world is yours to explore. 😊 I hope you do get the chance to go and explore the world

  17. I have just put it on my list of places to visit. I’m in South Africa so this sound absolutely awesome for us…

    1. That’s so neat that you are in South Africa. Which part? I’ve always thought about visiting there, just never knew the best place to go. This place is definitely recommended by me, I enjoyed it so much.

  18. Sounds like fun! How beautiful it must have been to see the waterfall and the rainforest in person! Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place to visit.

    1. This was an amazing time! The waterfall and rainforest were beautiful. It sure was a beautiful place to visit, I can’t wait to go back next year.

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