Thank you to TODAY.com for publishing my article, “Family Fun in the Sun: Puerto Rico!”
Where can you take your family for Caribbean sunshine without leaving the United States? Puerto Rico!
I felt very comfortable taking a domestic flight where I could still use my cell phone plan and American dollars but bask in island vibes. When I worked on cruise ships many years ago, I used to sail out of San Juan and was able to explore the 500 year old forts of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristóbal. Walking in old San Juan feels like your history books have come to life!
When I went back this summer, I found brand new adventures to explore.
At the recently opened, Distrito T-Mobile, I went zip-lining at TOROVERDE Urban Park past the Sheraton Hotel, Aloft Hotel and landed at the Convention Center! There are several different zip-lines to try including the Sky Bull, with three zip-lines from 150 to 400 feet long and starts 90 feet high from the main tower and the Blazing Bull, with two zip-lines at 900 and 650 feet long. After climbing the stairs up and up, I glided from 120 feet high in a “Superman” position! If someone in your family has always wanted to be a superhero, this is a great adventure!
Inside, they have rock climbing at Pico del Toro. You do not have to have any previous experience and they have different levels of difficulty for every type of adventurer. You can also climb in the rafters—on the Bull Maze: which is the biggest string maze in America! Do you want to feel like you are an American Ninja Warrior? Test your physical prowess with the 40 obstacles.
Does your family love the movies?
I love to beat the afternoon heat with a great film. I went to Screen X at Caribbean Cinemas VIP in Distrito T-Mobile. They have laser projectors and a complete surround sound system so you will be fully immersed in your movie. I have seen 3D, 4D and 3D with 4D which I love, but Screen X felt very immersive with the 270 degree panoramic view and visuals on the sides of the walls. It felt like I was inside the film in a new way that I do not feel with other projections. While I do really enjoy a movie in 4D, at Screen X they have amazing luxury recliners with fantastic footrests and cup holders which feel like first class airline seats. Of course, you can reserve your seat in advance.
When I travel I love to learn about the local economy, Frutos del Guacabo is teaching farming and changing the food system of Puerto Rico! Efrén Robles and his family work with 200 chefs and restaurants providing food from 50 farmers. They work as a hub for distribution and teach techniques like hydroponic farming so that more people can grow food. In Puerto Rico, 80 to 90% of food is imported.
Frutos del Guacabo is a family business that began in 2010 as a small farm for the development of hydroponic products, now they also focus on the sustainability of products and processes. Their innovation includes the production and development of edible flowers, micro-sprouts, breeding-handling of animals especially goats to make cheese, and its certification as an agro-tourism farm so they can give tours and share their educational mission.
At Frutos del Guacabo, culinary agriculture is promoted through a “Farm to Table” experience. Chefs, waiters, diners, and students exchange their knowledge and experiences to continue developing the gastronomy of the island. On your tour, you can see their goats, rabbits and horses as well as taste the edible flowers, micro-greens and the goat cheese among many other tasty treats. We had a lovely lunch and tour. I highly recommend you visit and milk a goat like I did!
When I am traveling, I love to find a local beach. We visited Playa Mar Chiquita in Puerto Rico after our tour at Frutos del Guacabo and on our way to the Bacardi Factory for our Mixology Tour. It was a beautiful beach and I would love to go back!