Although Puerto Rico offers an array of beautiful beaches, it also offers travellers the chance to participate in some pretty adventurous activities. Kristen from Hopscotch the Globe shares her Top 5 Must-Do's with us:
Escaping the Canadian winter is a popular choice. As soon as one is required to turn in their summer clothing in exchange for a parka, it’s not uncommon to start daydreaming of some tropical paradise. However, a vacation from winter isn’t just about travelling to another country to lie on the beach and sip daiquiris all day; it’s also about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. The beautiful island of Puerto Rico offers travellers the chance to participate in some adventurous activities. During a recent visit to the island, I checked off quite a few items from my bucket list. After some hard consideration, I present you with my Top 5 Activities to Try in Puerto Rico:
There’s nothing quite like the experience of hang gliding. If you’ve ever wanted to fly like a bird, this is a great way to fulfill that desire. Bob and Keisha, owners of Team Spirit Hang Gliding and Paragliding Puerto Rico, hold the highest rated license and have over 20 years of flight experience. It was my first time trying hang gliding and the entire experience was just incredible. Bob and Keishya are both very professional and make the whole experience very enjoyable. They will not let you fly if they feel that you will, or could be, in danger due to the weather. It’s absolutely not an option or risk they will take. The experience of soaring over the island is like no other. It’s a great way to experience Puerto Rico from an entirely different view.
If you dreamt about being an astronaut as a kid and have a fascination for underwater exploration, give sea trekking a go! I booked my sea trekking trip with Aqua Adventures and it was a great experience. One of the great aspects of sea trekking is you don’t need any prior training like you do with scuba diving. You literally put on a masK and go! Well, you will also have a guide and oxygen tank to follow you.
Sea trekking in Puerto Rico was also another first for me. I’ve been scuba diving before, but this experience was quite different. It was a very interesting experience walking on the bottom of the ocean with a massive helmet on that allowed me to breathe normally. The sea life may be used to seeing scuba divers, but sea trekkers are an entire new set of species. No wonder why I received some odd looks from the fish.
Yes, I mean SNUBA and not SCUBA diving. Snuba is a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling. The swimmer uses a diving mask, swim fins, weights, and a diving regulator as in scuba diving. However, the oxygen isn’t strapped to the divers back but instead comes from a long hose that is attached to a tank on pontoon raft that follows the diver on the surface. The training also only takes approximately 30 minutes as opposed to days required for scuba diving. A great place to try snuba is also with Aqua Adventures.
I really enjoyed my snuba diving experience. I actually had never heard about this sport until I was in Puerto Rico. It seemed to be quite the popular activity for both foreigners and locals. It’s a lot cheaper than scuba and is great for those who don’t have the time to put into getting their scuba diving certification.
Underground Salsa and Bomba Dancing
Want to get a true taste of Puerto Rican culture? There is no better way to do this then at an underground salsa club. Here, you can sway your hips and shake your butt to some great music with the locals. I wanted to get away from the touristy areas of Puerto Rico and get a taste of the real culture of the island. Luckily a friend of mine had a met a local who told her about an underground dance club called El Balcon del Zumbador that we should check out. Of course, there was no way I would miss an opportunity like this. The live music was excellent and the dancing was sensational. I was able to meet some really interesting characters and practice my Spanish with some of the locals. If you’re interested in learning Puerto Rican salsa, this is the best way to do it.
Cooking Puerto Rican Cuisine
It’s one thing to go to a local restaurant and have someone cook for you. It is however, a whole different experience to help the chef cook your meal. For all of you foodies out there, Puerto Rican cuisine is quite tasty. What better way to impress your friends upon your return home than to cook them a homemade Puerto Rican dish you learned to make on your travels. I love cooking and learning new international recipes. The staff at the San Juan Marriott’s La Vista Bar and Grill didn’t hesitate to let me jump in the kitchen when I asked if I could assist the chef cook a typical Puerto Rican dish. It was a fantastic and quite easy dish I learned to make called Mofongo. Mofono is typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a pilón (which is a wooden mortar and pestle), with garlic, broth, olive oil and bit of bacon. It is often filled with chicken, crab, shrimp, beef or vegetables and served with friend meat. Delicioso!
As you can see, a trip to Puerto Rico doesn’t just have to be about soaking up the sun on the beach. If you’re still not convinced, check out my video I shot on my recent visit:
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