As Puerto Rico continues to rebuild after Hurricane Maria, the territory is working hard to bounce back for residents and visitors. Shuneca (@DivaDaysTravel) tells Travel Noire what visitors can expect during a trip to the island post-Hurricane Maria.
Travel Noire: Why did you decide to visit Puerto Rico?
Shuneca: Chasing passport stamps around the world the last few years has been amazing but honestly a bit exhausting. So this year I decided to spend more time exploring the beautiful destinations right in my own backyard. Puerto Rico was at the top of my list.
Travel Noire: Were you nervous about visiting the island after the storm?
Shuneca: Initially, I was nervous about what the experience would be like after Hurricane Maria, but once I learned that several luxury cruise lines had already added San Juan back to their sailing itineraries, I felt complete comfort knowing that those renowned brands had enough confidence to bring thousands of travelers to the island. I made plans for a long weekend in Puerto Rico followed by a Caribbean yacht cruise sailing from the Old San Juan port.
Travel Noire: Where did you stay?
Shuneca: I stayed in the heart of Condado in San Juan and absolutely loved it. While there is still rebuilding to be done in Puerto Rico, evidence of the devastation from the storm is hard to find in San Juan. The city, beaches, and accommodations were absolutely beautiful but the hospitality really stole the show. It felt like the island rolled out the red carpet just for me.
Travel Noire: What surprised you the most about Puerto Rico?
Shuneca: On an island still rebuilding from the wreckage of such a damaging storm I was surprised by the overwhelming spirit of resilience in San Juan. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I prepared myself for despair but joyful energy seems to vibrate throughout the island. It feels good being in paradise and it’s even better knowing that the choice to travel there plays a small part in the rebuilding efforts.
Travel Noire: What are some things you did while you were there?
Shuneca: There are so many things to do in Puerto Rico. I loved exploring the beaches of Condado and wandering the streets of Old San Juan, filled with color, music, food, and art. The city is buzzing day and night. After dark, the lounge, casino, and bar scenes come alive. Since Puerto Rico is known for creating the pina colada and the best rums in the world, a night of tasting at the famous, Barrachina Bar was a must on my itinerary and it did not disappoint.
Travel Noire: What advice do you have for those that are unsure about visiting the island?
Shuneca: I’d advise anyone that is unsure about visiting the island to read about the vast amount of businesses, hotels, and restaurants that are rebuilt and reopened in San Juan. Puerto Rico is ready and waiting.
Travel Noire: Would you return?
Shuneca: From Atlanta, San Juan is a short and direct flight. You can sign me up to go back right now!