What To Expect & Experience In San Juan

I recently had a conversation with Ruby Escalona who is an avid traveller like myself. Ruby is originally from the Philippines and currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband. She works for a multinational bank and when not working travels the world and blogs on her site A Journey We Love which is about Financial Independence & Travel. So far she’s been to 27 countries and is heading to her 28th/29th to Ireland and Canada in the next few months. You can follow Ruby and her journeys on Facebook & Instagram.


In the past few months I visited San Juan in Puerto Rico but didn’t have much time to explore. From what I saw, I loved the city of San Juan. The people are very friendly, there’s so much history to discover, and the beaches are beautiful. I asked Ruby to tell me more about her experience in San Juan so the next time I visit, I will know where to go and what to see when I have more time. Ruby stayed for 4 days in the San Juan area and did a day trip to El Yunque and Bio-Bay when she visited.

Ruby visiting one of the old forts in San Juan (photo credit: Ruby Escalona)


What to expect: Ruby says what you can expect there is that it’s almost like America except they mainly speak Spanish. “They’re Americans, just like people from the mainland, but their culture is more influenced with the Spanish. The Puerto Ricans are very friendly and definitely helped with showing us around.”

What items to bring: For Puerto Rico, definitely bring a waterproof camera, sunscreen, your swimsuit, and if you’re planning to hike in the rainforest, bug spray.

Where to stay: You can stay in Old San Juan if you want a historical setting. Or if you want to stay by the beach, stay in the Condado Area.

Ruby on the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan (photo credit: Ruby Escalona)


Ruby’s favourite excursion was the Bio Bay tour – you go out on a tandem kayak when the sun is setting and you end up in a mangrove river like area paddling while it’s super dark, with only a reflector light from the other kayaks in front of you to guide you and your guides telling you to bank left or right as there are roots that may hinder your paddling. It’s something that she’d never done before – kayaking in the dark. Once you get to the bay itself, the guides will ask you to dip your paddle in the water (or your hand) and you’ll see the water glow an eerie blue because of the organisms that live in the water. It’s best to do the experience as close to a full moon as possible. They went on an almost full moon and could see the bay illuminated by the moon and the bioluminescent creatures.


The Bio Bay tour can be included with an El Yunque tour – where you do a short hike to a waterfall and are shown around the rainforest. Both El Yunque and Bio Bay are around an hour and a half or so away from San Juan so it’s very easy to do as a day trip. Ruby and her husband booked with a tour company so all they had to do was show up and everything else was arranged for them so they had more time to explore instead of planning the logistics.

Ruby at the waterfalls of El Yunque (photo credit: Ruby Escalona)

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