Photos From My Favorite Island

I have said often that I love Puerto Rico. This is an island that one has to visit many times and let its charm grow on you. I have been going to Puerto Rico since 1989… muchos años ago.

From 1989 to 2019, 31 of my visits were mostly for work. My work sent me there for many, many weeks or months some times. Other visits were shorter to speak at conferences, to conduct training, and to do site inspections. For the shorter visits, I extended a few of them for a week and invited my husband to join me.

On all these visits, some of which were very hard, long, and challenging…

… I got to know many locals and the island well and have made many friends. I found the true Puertorriqueños to be warm, charming, friendly, and quite hospitable as long as you show respect. Respect for their island, the culture, the ways of life, and the language. Too many mainland gringos have ruined it for the rest of us. Some (not all, but too many) refuse to speak the local language, Spanish, and treat the locals as natives from a third-world country.

The Capital, San Juan, is like any other world-class major city. It has a state-of-the-art airport, world-class hotels & resorts, a large cruise ship terminal, great restaurants, and all of the amenities that tourists want. The area of “old San Juan,” dating back to the 1400s, is truly a sight to see (once), especially the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a U.S. National Park.

I shun the tourist traps. Throngs of flip-flopped people wander the streets and make the city and this national park difficult to bear. I admit, however, I have never enjoyed urban centers (even at home in the DC area), so I look for less congested, more authentic, peaceful and quiet alternatives.

I have been on all parts of the island and after so many visits, I have become particularly fond of the west coast. I have friends at whose house I can stay, and “house-sit” while they are away (usually for business). This part of the island is far away from San Juan and the west coast middle-to-southern shores have few visiting mainlanders. (The municipality of Rincón excepted; gringos have taken it over, made it expensive, and in my opinion, ruined it.) The municipalities of Mayagüez and Cabo Rojo have become my favorite places to stay, visit, and enjoy.

I am particularly fond of the beach at Boquerón. This is where I brought my husband for the first time he visited in 1995, then again when we visited in 2020, 25 years later. The Caribbean Sea at this beach is very calm, with no waves. Some mornings, the ocean is as smooth as glass.

My husband did not learn how to swim, so he was reluctant to get into the ocean. However, this beach is special. The water is crystal clear so you can see that there are no sea creatures and where your feet are. The water is so calm, I was able to have my husband relax on my arms and float. This is why he asked me to scatter his ashes here, because, in his words, “this is the only ocean I can swim in.”

Following are a sampling of photos that I took on my recent trip. Enjoy…

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About BHD

I am an average middle-aged biker who lives in the greater suburban sprawl of the Maryland suburbs north and west of Washington, DC, USA.

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