Being born and raised in NYC, I was bound to have some close Puerto Rican friends growing up. There’s a saying, there are more Puerto Ricans in New York than in Puerto Rico. I was exposed to the delicious foods, fast music and culture of family and love for dancing. My friends would always talk about how beautiful the island was with its lush rainforests, beautiful beaches and bioluminescent bays. I was privileged to travel there for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday and the island totally lived up to all expectations.
We landed and immediately headed straight to eat! My sister and best friend wanted mofongo while I was looking forward to arroz con pollo. I definitely had gained five pounds by the end of the trip!
That top pic was fried cheesecake with ice cream, yum!
We then went to explore Old San Juan. It was absolutely charming! Lots of history and you can see the confluence of cultures in the architecture. Loved all the pastel colored buildings, they make for a great backdrop for beautiful photos.
Hijab: Voile Chic https://voilechic.ca/
Top: Free People https://www.freepeople.com/
Pants: Boohoo http://us.boohoo.com/
Purse: Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00X5EZ2IS/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1505312566&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=straw+purse&dpPl=1&dpID=51zylQg79SL&ref=plSrch
After a little exploring, it was time for dinner. Our friends recommended verde mesa. We all loved the charming decor.
We were also learning that patience is needed with the service at most restaurants, we were on island time.
A few of us headed out to the El San Juan hotel. The lobby was gorgeous and had live salsa music. I really enjoyed watching the older couples dance with such elegance and grace. There was one woman in a wheelchair and someone was holding her hands and dancing. It was such a fun and festive and accepting atmosphere. http://curiocollection3.hilton.com/en/hotels/puerto-rico/el-san-juan-hotel-curio-collection-by-hilton-SJUCUQQ/index.html
The next day, we went on a hike through the national rainforest. It was quite beautiful, with a lot of exotic flora and fauna and of course the sounds of coqui were ubiquitous.
We had also visited the el morro fort, lot of picturesque views from there.
Hijab: Voile chic
One of the highlights of the trip was relaxing at our hotel. We stayed at the Condado Vanderbilt. It has a grand history and was the perfect place to just chill out. There was even an adults only area and pool. It was in a very central location and we felt very safe staying there. The service was excellent. It also has a beautiful infinity pool. We also enjoyed the only hammam in Puerto Rico. https://www.condadovanderbilt.com/
Hat and kimono: Amazon
I would highly recommend a trip to Puerto Rico. It was a perfect gateway to start exploring Latin culture.