Did I say I'd have tips?? Hardly. But I do have a couple more shots.We stayed two nights in Old San Juan, but really only had one full day to explore. The old colonial architecture and pastel painted buildings were as beautiful as I had heard, but sadly the parts of the neighborhood we walked around felt more like a touristy mall than the caribbean paradise we were hoping for. I would say 98% of the people we walked past were tourists, probably 75% of them had just gotten off one of the cruise ships docked up the street.
We ended up spending most of our time exploring the old forts & city walls lining the shoreline, and I'm glad we did. The buildings were really amazing - I had never seen that kind of Spanish Colonial Architecture in person and loved it! I felt like I was walking around the set of Bizet's Carmen. You would think that, because I liked it so much, I would have taken loads of pictures, right? Wrong. Mostly I just shot Ruth looking grumpy, and became kind of obsessed with this one look out room covered in modern, "I wuz here" style graffiti. It was the only part of the whole place that was defaced, but man did people go wild in there.After two nights, we took a small prop plane to the island of Culebra. You can also take a ferry, but we had heard the ride was REALLY rocky and I am so glad we opted for the flight. There were only 5 of us on the 6 seater (including the pilot) and the views were incredible. You could see all of San Juan as you left the main island and then, as we flew over the ocean, the water was so clear you could practically see the fish swimming under the surface. Someone we spoke to claimed he actually saw turtles from the window. It felt like the type of plane ride island tours I imagine millionaires take, but the tickets were pretty cheap and it was really very practical.
And then, the beach. Flamenco beach is advertised as one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches in the world, and it measured up pretty well. Unfortunately, R was not impressed. She was not really interested in the sand and the waves of the ocean totally freaked her out. The only thing that got us through the week was that she LOVED the pool back at the hotel. So, she's going to be one of those types of travelers. . . We should have just booked her on the cruise ship when we had a chance in Old San Juan.