When was the last time you took a vacation where you did little to no planning and you had no expectations?!?!
Have you ever taken a trip like that before?
This type of an adventure was a first for me. I usually enjoy planning. You could say I’m a planner; someone who knows the good places to eat, the things to see, the activities to partake in. I usually don’t go into a trip without expectations but Mapless Adventures is about the unknown adventures of life. So taking a trip with my friend-workers, where I hardly knew the final destination, wasn’t something I was going to say no too. Plus, it was an opportunity to escape the rock for a few days.
This “No Expectation” Mapless Adventure took us back to Puerto Rico. I understand this isn’t my first trip to PR, but it did take me and my travel mates to two brand new locations. Both of these locations were west of San Juan and you all know how much I love adventure.
Our first stop on this weekend excursion took us about 1.5 hours east of San Juan to Arecibo, PR. We were originally going to try and go all the way to Rincón, our destination, but when we started mapping out the journey we realized it would have taken too long. Landing at 5:30 PM really doesn’t support a 3.5 hour road trip and let be serious, why waste a perfectly good road trip at night?!? You can’t see things at night. Another fact, the small research I did do told me that Arecibo is the gateway to the CAVES.
You read that right, I said CAVES. Though, these caves are a little different than what you’re picturing. But, again, a cave is a cave. There are a few caves located new Arecibo, but we didn’t have too much “free” time to spend, so we settled on La Cueva del Indio. Granted, I may have “pushed” a little to go see these caves before leaving and I’m blessed with amazing travel buddies who a gracious in our plans. I also believe they enjoyed the cave adventure.
Let me briefly describe this cave. First, this “cave” is located RIGHT on the ocean. Seriously, the entire cave and rock formation are off a cliff with waves consistently crashing against them. The wind on this particular day was pretty intense and there were sections of this cave/rock formation that even I wasn’t willing to risk trying to climb down…via slippery stairs. It was still an unbelievably spectacular sight…minus the HUGE wave that completely drenched me from head to toe. But let’s be real….it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! I was in nature heaven. This was ONLY the first day of our trip.
Once we had our cave fulfillment, we loaded back up in our car and ventured further west to the town of Rincón. Here is what I knew prior to the arrival: Rincón is a surfer town. People who venture to this location are usually escaping the big city to get their surfing fix. It also had a very similar vibe to Costa Rica, from what I was told. (I haven’t been yet) but I got a little Nicaraguan vibe too. One of my travel buddies actually was the one who got us looking into Rincón in the first place.
We arrived in the late afternoon and one thing was an absolute…we needed COFFEE and thankfully we knew exactly where to go! According to our travel guide, a.k.a. my friend’s sister-in-law, who visited a few weeks prior to us, she mentioned a local shop, Cafe 2 Go.
Alright…I’m a coffee drinker and this coffee was not only delicious, it was intensely strong. I like strong coffee and I’ve been told multiple times, Puerto Ricans love strong coffee, but the cold brew was too strong for me…but didn’t stop me from consuming the entire cup. You don’t waste good coffee.
From there, it was simply a wander, shop, find dinner, and explore kind of afternoon early evening, which led u to a hidden beach at sunset roaming the sand with the waves crashing. But let’s pause for a second and discuss the dinner/food aspect.
Oh. My. Goodness. The Food. Holy smokes…the food. This was my favorite aspect of the town of Rincón. Of everything we saw…did…explored…the food was phenomenal. From the fresh coconuts we drank, to the tacos, to the fresh yogurt bowls, to the salads, to the breakfasts, to the cookie…every single food item I ate was “muy perfecto”. Much of the food we ate over the few days was locally grown. My favorite was probably a local food truck Carte Buena, which even had a small garden on the back part of the lot. I secretly wish I would have taken more pictures of the food. Some of the other places we ventured too with an amazing selection of local and foreign cuisine included La Cambija (I recommend the fish tacos and their homemade hot sauce), Green Thumb Grill (amazing cocktails and Asian twist cuisine), Jack’s Shack (vegan chocolate chip cookies are to die for as were the tacos), and The Beach House (amazing place for sunset and cocktails). I cannot speak more highly of these places!
Back to adventures…
We didn’t do much night life in Rincón because we knew we were going to be doing quite a bit of exploring, which turned into beach hopping and checking out the local surf spots. Our first was the famous Dome Beach, which plays host to surfers. Oh Surfers. I probably could have stayed all day watching those surfers. It was so peaceful just relaxing in the shade, drinking strong Puerto Rican cold-brew coffee, waves crashing and surfers catching waves. Bliss. Pure Bliss We Unfortunately, because of the wind and swell level, Sandy Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches, was untouchable and we didn’t last long standing on the end overlooking the extreme high tide.
After a quick lunch, it was off to another beach, Almendros Beach. This beach seems to be a little touristy, however it was still beautiful. Until, the rain came and this happened…
All said and done, even if the weather wasn’t on our side for the afternoon, it was still food for the soul sitting in the sand listening to the waves crashing.
Plus, it wasn’t our last beach adventure for the trip. Our condo we rented was overlooking a beautiful beach, as many of them were. So for one final sunset, we sat together, danced a little, laughed A LOT, and reflected on another successful Mapless Adventure (minus the 3.5 hour road trip back to San Juan for our flight home).
Until next time, keep your head up, heart open, and continue on your own Mapless Adventures!!