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I tell you what! This Midwestern gal loves a good adventure. And I’ve seen a LOT of places and have had a LOT of adventures. Anyone who wants an amazing Caribbean adventure should definitely go to Puerto Rico. Not only are there amazing winding backwood mountain roads, there are beaches: lush and beautiful, on each side of the island. On the north eastern side you see the Atlantic Ocean with huge crashing waves carving the rock and stone. To the southwest you have the beautiful calm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea in Guanica and Ponce.

Forget your GPS. Our paper maps didn’t even work consistently. But isn’t getting lost half of the fun? It was for my rainforest mountain beach adventure in Puerto Rico. The first day we counted 14 rainbows. I knew I was in paradise.

Downtown Old San Juan is so beautiful with its hundreds-of-years-old brightly colored buildings and homes. The cobblestone streets covered in moss and the gorgeous patios are such a treat. Other than Old Town Alexandria (Virginia, that is, where I spent much of my childhood wandering and dreaming) Old Town San Juan might just be my new favorite place to take architectural photogs.

Mofongo is the national dish made with plantain and all kinds of other ingredients like crab or pork. I hadn’t eaten pork in nearly 15 years and I had to try the pork mofongo. Holy cow (pig?) it was good! Back in the States, I still don’t eat pork but I do dream about that mofongo.

Perhaps the most memorable part of my adventure in Puerto Rico was the midnight kayaking: under a new moon, through a mangrove forest. If that’s not magical enough for you, read on!

I drove into what seemed like uncharted areas (uncharted on our maps) east of El Yunque Rainforest. Into the twisty winding roads past tons of roadside food stands (coconut water is a must!) going deeper and deeper into a little mountain town near Fajardo to see the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico. These waters were so magical! If you ever wanted to believe in magic, the bioluminescent bays of PR is where you will see it. When you touch the water, it glows like blue fire. If you splash your body, you are suddenly covered in blue diamonds! This is all from little single-celled organisms (algae) that bioluminese when touched. Think of fireflies in the summer. Except blue. Gorgeous deep blue fire light. No exaggeration. It’s science. In fact, our kayak tour was led by marine biologists who study the organisms. It was so amazing. What’s more, my Spanish came back to me! Now that’s real magic!!

Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? What was your favorite place?

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