Cruising San Juan & Grand Turk
by Lizzie Perez on Nov 22, 2019
Being Cuban, I was probably closer to home in San Juan than any other part of the trip. There, we took a long bus ride into the mountains to go ziplining in Toro Verde Adventure Park. It’s home to an infamous 2.5km zipline known as El Monstro (the Monster). Afterwards, our travel friends shared some absolutely delectable mofongo (seriously, the best mofongo I’ve ever had) with us from a highly recommended restaurant called Raíces.
San Juan is a proverbial old Spanish city, guarded by long standing forts that were once used to shield the ports from the fearsome pirates that sailed the Spanish Main. While I personally did not get to visit the forts on this trip, I highly recommend them. It is an easy walking tour (self guided or not), and is a crucial part of Puerto Rico’s rich history, as well as the development of the New World. It is a grand adventure of the mind for visitors of all ages, to look out from the walls of the fort at open seas and imagine the proud masts of galleons or man o’ wars returning from their adventures. If you can't do both I recommend the forts for the historians, and for the outdoorsmen I recommend exploring all the thrilling wonders of Puerto Rican rainforests. If you’re lucky, you just might hear the coquis.
Grand Turk, the final stop...I don’t know if it was my favorite because it looks very much like Bimini (automatically giving it a seat close to my heart) or that the allure of such a beautiful place immediately held me captive. This tiny island’s history revolves around the salt trade, and still has wild horses and donkeys roaming around. I’ve mentioned before my connection to the islands; Grand Turk’s azure and turquoise waters prove no different. It is exactly the small and friendly island that every traveler romanticizes. Absolutely perfect for relaxation, whether you’re spending the day on the beach or riding through the old salinas. There was no need for bus or taxi rides at this stop on the cruise, the beach was hardly a five minute walk from the dock. My only recommendation would be to reserve beach chairs before embarking. That way once your feet hit the sand there is nothing to worry about except for how much sunscreen you’ll need!
There is something magical about knowing exactly how far the land reaches, and an endless ocean. I always think of those that have never seen the sea, and I try to imagine what life would be like. The ocean has a piece of my soul; she’s constantly changing. She’s unpredictable, and no one can tell her no. I strive to be like her: forging my own path and forever making an impression.