Puerto Rico Recap Part 1

I recently took a trip to Puerto Rico to photograph these ladies during a concert they gave at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. I had never been to the Caribbean before and so it was a great chance to visit a totally foreign place. Well, I say foreign, but it’s actually an extremely easy place to visit since it’s a US territory. No passports, no customs, most everyone speaks English and they use the US dollar. The trip was limited to the capital city of San Juan, but there is a lot to do and see there. I’d love to head back again sometime and see the rest of the island.

The first day there, I had some time to walk around and did a little Puerto Rican street photography that morning. What definitely stood out was the wide range of colors that you see everywhere and some pretty interesting art deco architecture sprinkled throughout the city.

Another amazing highlight of the trip (and a total coincidence) was seeing the David LaChapelle show at the Museo Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico. Amazing stuff and many of the photos were just huge! I didn’t get any photos of that, but I just happened upon the museum while out shooting these.

Near our hotel, there was a lot of street art around that was really well done. There were a lot more paste-ups than I think I’ve seen in other places, but this painted piece particularly caught my eye.

While walking around, I went in search of a restroom and ducked into a building. This was the courtyard that happened to be inside! I actually saw a lot of these around the city and they’re really beautiful spaces.

One place we definitely wanted to see in our limited time there was Old San Juan, the oldest part of the city first settled in 1508. It’s a vibrant part of the city which caters to tourists, but I definitely felt a love for it by the locals as well. A prominent feature of Old San Juan is the Fort San Felipe del Morro and the walls that surround the city. In fact, the San Juan National Historic Site is a World Heritage Site and is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are also many narrow, colorful city streets that sort of reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans.

We ate at a number of great restaurants and I was actually able to eat pretty well, being a vegan. I actually did a write-up about that on a vegan blog of mine if you’re interested. And, I have to mention the coffee . . . it’s probably the best I’ve ever had (and likely ever will).

More beautiful architecture! The heart of San Juan is an easy place to walk around and we had no problems while we were there. However, we heard many people talk about the increasing crime in the city due to drugs and gangs. It’s a terrible thing, because this is a really amazing city full of very kind people.

I’ll have some more scenic photos in the next post . . .