Puerto Rico, June 2016

by Liis Aruvali March. 29, 2017 1677 views

After having a fairly quiet May we were looking forward to make our way to the airport again. This time heading in the direction of Puerto Rico! The aim of the trip was to reunite with friends, relax with a couple  (...well a lot) of cocktails and also help organize operation "sandals". We were going from Vancouver and rest of our group came from NYC, Spain and Saudi Arabia. We stayed in the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa which was about a 45 minute drive from the airport in San Juan. 

Walk on the beach close to the resort

The beach was literally just a couple of steps away and the resort had everything we needed. We chose an Italian restaurant "Palio" for the first nights dinner. The food was awesome (also super expensive so was not sure if we should be delighted with the good food or crying because we just spent a small fortune). The following day we were still short 1 man so we filled the waiting time with cocktails, sunbathing, a lot of swimming and bar food. 

5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar

When we had the whole group together we decided to go and explore El Yunkue rain forest. We walked a trail which brought us to La Mina Falls in the middle of the jungle. 

Jungle trail

La Mina Falls

Beauty of wildness

La Coca Falls

We were obviously due another lazy day of taking in the sun and multiple dips in the ocean to cool down. Exploring the other side of the beach and looking for sand dollars.

Coconutterly beautiful day

Underneath the palm tree

First sand dollar found

We received a recommendation to go and have dinner in a close by Puerto Rican restaurant called Don Pepe. Honestly the best part of the dinner was the wine! Majority of the dishes we ordered were deep fried and a little disappointing. So the next recommendation we took, we were quite skeptical. It was Richies cafe not far from the resort and we were offered a free lift up and back. The food was pretty good and the view was stunning. As soon as the sun went down the whole place was swarmed with mosquitoes so we ended up having Puerto Rican rum and coke instead in our rooms playing Pandemic for the rest of the night enjoying every bit of it.

Richies Cafe

We booked night kayaking for the following evening in Bio Bay. During the day we decided to drive out of the local area and picked a random direction (west). Followed the road and ended up in Playa Mar Chiquita ( I think..) 

Playa Mar Chiquita??

the picture frame

In the evening we aimed to have dinner on the way over to the Bio Bay before the kayaking. We picked a place in Fajardo called Calizo Seafood Restaurant. What a gem! The food was delicious and the atmosphere was awesome!

The Gang (-1)

Calizo Seafood Restaurant

The kayaking was an awesome experience. All kayaks were for two people and we started our tour paddling trough a completely dark jungle river occasionally crashing into mangroves. At the end of the jungle river we reached the Bio Bay which was filled with billions of bio-luminescent organisms. Small movement of the water left a trail of blue sparkles in the darkness of the night.

Chasing sparkles

The next day it was time for operation "sandals". We booked a snorkeling trip to Culebra islands and we're ready to hop on the catamaran early the following morning.

Spread Eagle II

Fish vs Man

Walk on the beach


Operation " sandals"

And operation "sandals" was a total success with our dear friends Abe and Susan getting engaged on a beautiful Puerto Rican island surrounded by white sands and crystal clear blue Caribbean  sea. On the final day we soaked in the last bit of sun, sharing the pool side with the resorts iguanas.


The time flew by and that was the end of an awesome group holiday in the Caribbean. Until next time friends! :)

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