Puerto Rico, January 2022

The COVID Omicron wave peaked just as we arrived, so our 3 week trip to Puerto Rico ended up being very different than we had hoped. Everything had to close by midnight, restaurants and bars were at 50%, and no gatherings of more than 250 people. So needless to say the big San Sebastian Festival that we came for was cancelled, as well has New Year’s Eve festivities. So we ended up reading, watching Netflix and HBO, and sleeping a lot.

Here are a few random things about Puerto Rico that surprised me, probably just due to my ignorance:

  • More cats, and fewer chickens than the other Caribbean places I’ve visited (Jamaica, Granda, Belize, Cuba, coastal Columbia, etc.)
  • Most prices are about the same as the stateside, but Ubers were much cheaper. Usually around $7 to get across town. Rental cars were insanely cheap too at around $15/day.
  • PR has very strict COVID protocols everywhere! Most everyone wore masks, even outside, on hiking trails, riding bikes, etc., even tho the mask mandate was just indoors. And 100% if the restaurants we went to made you show a vaccine card to get in, even in the countryside.
  • PR has very loud frogs all night long!
  • Puerto Ricans love fried food!
  • The island has a lot more flat areas than I expected. San Juan is quite flat overall, which makes it a great city to get around by electric scooter. Bring a helmet.
  • PR cant seem to decide if they are metric or not. Gasoline is sold by the liter, speed limit signs are in MPH, and temperature is in Fahrenheit. Go figure.
  • Everywhere felt very safe, and we saw very very few homeless or beggars.
  • Watch out for Iguana roadkill everywhere.
  • PR is more Americanized than I expected, and seems to have every big US chain store. I’m told that only 15% of the population is truly bi-lingual, but it seems like everyone we encountered spoke English well.

We heard many horror stories about Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico 2.5 years ago. Sounds like most everyone had no cell phone or internet for a month, and no water or power for 3 (and in some cases up to 15) months. It’s hard to imagine going that long without power.

One thing that we did that we don’t really recommend was the Ron del Barrilito Tasting Tour, which lets you taste an $800 bottle of rum. We found the tour good, but the rum very unexceptional.

Full set of photos are here.

View of Old San Juan. Our apartment is just hidden on the left.
On the ‘pork highway’.
its a match!

Posted by travel_b1p6zj

Leave a Reply