It has been almost exactly 4 years since my last post, but not because I’ve been being lazy! Atticus turns 4 this week and my daughter, Isla, is two-and-a-half (and we’re starting potty training)! Having 2 kids and going back and forth between Arkansas and Puerto Rico while maintaining full-time jobs leaves little time for blogging- yet here I am, attempting to get it going again. 🙂
Lately, my world has revolved around the question “what can we do with our kids this weekend” and it’s been thrilling to discover so many new secrets la Isla del Encanto offers us! Having lived in Puerto Rico the past 8 years, I don’t think there’s a beach on this island we haven’t explored, and thankfully my kids are really starting to love the ocean and sand. However, it’s always such a chore to load up the chairs, ice chests, snacks, toys, floaties, towels, sunscreen, etc and by the time we get to the perfect destination, it’s almost naptime! I will eventually do a post about my favorite kid-friendly beaches on the island, but this post is dedicated to all the amazing places we’ve found that are NOT a beach- and they’re honestly just as fun and way less work.
One of my all time favorite beaches in Puerto Rico is Playa “La Selva”, a hidden paradise far away from traffic, trash & almost every other person on the island. You can only get there by walking approximately 40 minutes east from Playa “La Pared” or having a 4×4 SUV that you don’t mind getting dirty and possibly damaged. There drive to the beach is treacherous- with giant rocks, branches and occasionally flooded creeks blocking the trail. My husband swears his late model Land Cruiser can travel through anything though, and so far we haven’t had a problem.
La Selva is located in the middle of a nature reserve (the Northeast Ecological Corridor) and is the most important turtle nesting site in the Caribbean! Although we’ve never actually seen any, we often come across areas of sand marked with flags that are known to have turtle eggs buried beneath. (Maybe one day we’ll get lucky!)
Now that decisions have been made to visit the east side of Puerto Rico and the Island of Vieques, specific details can be planned on where to stay, eat and do.
My cousins will land Saturday and take a taxi to (our) condo in Condado. Saturday night it will be fun to visit Lote 23 in Santurce- the perfect place for a group of all ages and with different culinary tastes. Lote is an outdoor food park with a vibe like no other. Your options range from delicious tacos to noodle bowls to southern fried chicken, a rare find in Puerto Rico, but the creativity behind this festive experience is makes it a must visit for all.
One of the absolute best things about living in Puerto Rico is that every weekend is a new vacation. Broc and I made a deal when we moved here– I won’t complain about his work schedule (I just created my own that’s just as gruelling) but on weekends, we travel. We’ve so far been to at least the top 20 places on the island as well as a few hidden jewels that not many tourists even know about. I’ve been a decent reviewer on Yelp and Airbnb but that seems like a lot of work for people to hunt down. So I decided to use this blog as a Puerto Rico travel guide for when friends and family come visit.