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About Stinger-pr

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Puerto Rico
  • Interests
    Photography, cars, snorkeling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. The vegetation around the cave did suffer during hurricane Maria but the caves are intact. They have since cleared the area of debris and tours are ongoing on a daily basis.
  2. Yes... and tons of ares with natural shade as well. $9 for a chair under a palm tree or a beach almond tree and you're all set. Sapphire is one of our favorite beaches on St. Thomas.
  3. Budget has an office about 10 minutes walk from the Crown Bay pier. I have not booked trough that particular office but I have rented from them at the airport with no problems. Any place that you decide to rent from, make sure you make a thorough walk-around the vehicle previous to leaving the lot. My experience renting multiple times (Avis and Budget) is that the cars are a bit beat up, especially around the bumpers. My experience has only been with mid-size and compact cars. I don't know about other models. I always walk around video documenting every detail I can find and have never gone through any phantom charges for damage. If a representative from the agency can actually see you recording, even better!
  4. The term "public" is being used as a way to differentiate those restrooms inside any type of establishment as opposed to a stand alone structure, specifically designed and used as restrooms. The only place in San Juan with that type of facility, NOT attached to any other structure is the specific one being referenced in the post. There is literally nothing with restroom facilities around that area. You'd have to walk over to a restaurant located a few minutes from them to find restrooms. In this case "public" means it's open to everyone, not just patrons. Once inside, it's as private as you'd expect a restroom to be.
  5. Thanks for the advice. I might skip the natural pool anyway. I've read that it's always a bit crowded no matter what time you visit and we have a natural pool here in Puerto Rico as well so it's not like it's a "must-see before I die" thing for us. Is there any undertow or currents I should be weary about at Mangel Halto?
  6. Stinger-pr

    La Perla

    I have a serious question for you guys: Why do people want to go into La Perla for? Locals that have nothing to do with La Perla don't even go there! I know the "Despacito" music video put it into the mainstream but that place is NOT the cultural melting pot or hip spot that the video portrays. And I have seen travel bloggers film in La Perla but enevr understood why. Just yesterday, Feb. 14, a tourist was mobbed and robbed of a few bucks and a GoPro camera. Yes. Crime is everywhere you walk. Be it in Puerto Rico, on any of the other islands, even where everyone might happen to live. You have to have common sense and be aware of your surroundings. But walking into places like La Perla is just rolling the dice on your safety. Again, this is NOT a tourist area. This is NOT an area for locals. La Perla is it's own little world. I live in PR. I have been to almost every corner of Old San Juan. But there's nothing that can drive me to say "you know what? I've never been down there. I'll just go and see what's it all about".
  7. A lot of taxis in and around the tourist zones and piers are large passenger vans that take up to 7 passengers. Fares are fixed per zone up to 5 persons with the 6 and 7th passenger add about $2 to the base fare each. It should take you about 10 minutes to reach Old San Juan.
  8. Thank you for including your review here. While we were ready to skip going to the natural pool due to being warned by the crew at HS Rentals about the buggy not being able to make it due to road conditions, I looked at some videos for those type of buggies online and noticed the low speed the reached and the apparently horrible ride they have. We didn't want to end up with screwed up backs on our first stop of the cruise. We ended up going a bit more expensive and booked and UTV. We're still undecided on starting the trek from north to south ending with a snorkel swim at Mangel Halto or doing it south to north and just relax for a while at Eagle Beach. Can you give any pointers for snorkeling at Mangel Halto?
  9. Kim, I have yet to snorkel at Escambron but I hear it's a bit lackluster for snorkeling. Diving on the other hand seems to be good. The only problem I see from a bunch of videos I've seen is the murkiness of the water and, depending on the time of year and wind, the surf can also be a big factor. I'll link to a YT search for videos about diving there. Seems like there's basically one company that provides "dive shop" services in the area so I can't be any more specific here. YT videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=escambron+scuba About walking, it's roughly two miles one-way. So figure about a 30-40 minute walk. You'd have to walks towards Castillo San Cristobal fort and walk east on that sidewalk along the outer wall, past the capitol building until you reach the beach entrance. The dive area is on the far side of where the entrance is located. There's no places to get food at Escambron but you'll find two options along the way: KFC and El Hamburger <-😉 If you'd rather go to the Condado lagoon it's almost 3 miles. It's an ok place for snorkeling, especially on the Condado Plaza side of the bridge since it's right besides one of the main water inlets from sea.. But the manatee sightings (which are very common) have happened over on the lagoon side, on the other side of the bridge. If you go for kayak or SUP rental, I think you'd be better off with a taxi or contacting the company that runs the kayak shop to see if they provide pick up/drop off service (do a search for "Condado lagoon kayak").
  10. During port calls, 99% of the ships dock at the Old San Juan pier. The exception would be a VERY congested port in which all 6 available berths in Old San Juan are occupied, then they move the remaining ship to the Pan Am pier. This is very, very rare for port calls. Some Sundays on high (winter) season might have a full house on the bay with 3-4 ships sailing from OSJ with a few others just visiting. But if just stopping by, you'll most likely be docking in OSJ.
  11. Well, technically you could you do your tour of El Yunque on that schedule. But I'd suggest you rent a car for it. There's a rental company that has an office at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. I'd be off the ship as soon as that gangway hits the pier and head to get the car. You guys have driven in PR so it'll be easier for you to get re-acquainted with roads and signage. You'd also beat all the cruise ship tours so you'll have the place almost to yourselves for a while. The upper trails of the forest have yet to re-open but you can get to La Coca falls and to the Yokahu Tower for sightseeing and if you want to take a dip in the cold water, the Juan Diego Falls trail is a very short hike to the falls or you can head back down to the Puente Roto area. If you're in the car by 8am and assuming you have to be back before 2:30pm, you should have 3.5 hours to explore the forest (allotting 1:15 return drive time from Juan Diego fall or about 50 minutes from Puente Roto). It's about an hour drive to the La Coca falls and you should encounter very little traffic along the way on a mostly highway (with two tolls) drive. Me? I'd end the trip with a dip at the Puente Roto area and be on the car, ready to go at 1pm. It can be hectic but you get you El Yunque visit and do something new in PR!
  12. They opened an entrance that you access from the base of the fort just past the roundabout where thee path used to end. The path was extended a bit in order to connect with this new access.
  13. Oh Young Grasshopper... I've already gone up and down your list, made quite a few notes and marked a bunch of places on Google Maps in order to later download the map to use it offline on the island.So thank you for your write-ups. As usual, your recommendations have been useful for us. We'll have a long 12 hour stop in Aruba so we'll have ample time. I'm in the process of figuring out a route in order to maximize time and check all the boxes there. The only hiccup we have encountered with the buggies is that we were informed outright that we could not take them on the road leading to the natural pool due to "deteriorates conditions" of the dirt road. An ATV/UTV was a bit out of our budget so we opted for the buggy, So, we'll see how that goes!
  14. You know Kim, Your question moved me to ask around about this and found out that the lady (or sometimes a guy) stopped charging a few years ago due to complaints from locals (go figure!!) about the small charge. I'm not sure how they go about it now but the restrooms are still operational and they still control entry to them, free of charge.
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