Part 12:  Fajardo to San Juan, Puerto Rico


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The Trip

Our on-site discovery of the El Conquistador hotel was a great find and the stay was nice.  Some photos below will tell that story.  After enjoying a nice (but pricey) birthday dinner at the hotel, we locked-and-loaded for our return to San Juan in preparation for returning to San Diego.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The El Conquistador is an awesome place: 500 acres of grounds, a private island and a world-class golf course.

There is a private marina and a catamaran that goes over to the private island.

We did not go into the pool on the upper level, but it was nicely kept.

The upper garden was visible from the front door to our suite.

The main pool was situated just below the entrance to the hotel.

It was early in the morning, but it was hot.  But, Kathleen insisted on a photo anyway.

To get from the upper level of the hotel to the marina you have to take the funicular tram.  It is a car that rides on the rails like an elevator.

There were some nice boats in the marina.

While inspecting the boats, we spotted this fellow.  Note the claws on the rear left leg.  There are at least 5 segments to its middle toe and a huge claw on the end.

From the marina the upper portion of the hotel was visible.  The lower dwellings are a mixture of private condos and casitas that are rented by the week.

From the El Conquistador we headed toward the San Juan area.  Along the way we passed the Yunque rain forest park so we decided to check it out.  We headed up the highway to the interior of the rain forest and along the way we had a view of the Caribbean sea below.

The view point had a nice set of giant ferns.

There were a set of interesting epiphytes on the nearby trees.  The blooms were purple, but the leaves of the succulents were translucent pink.

This bread fruit is about the size of a giant grapefruit.

Further up the road we came to a waterfall beside the road.

On the other side of the road, the stream disappeared into the dense jungle.

The brush was so thick that visibility was limited to just a few feet.  Vines were hanging everywhere.

Kathleen spotted this leaf that had been penetrated by another plant growing.

On one of the highest hills there was a stone lookout tower.

The nearby peaks in the Yunque rainforest were shrouded in clouds.

As we were walking around and exploring things we spotted these flowers in bloom.

Nearby there were some interesting red blossoms.

The forest was very thick and the spots that we could see anything but the nearfield brush were few.  But, we did get to a spot that we could see off the ridge.

The upper portion of the road ended in a observation tower that provided a commanding view of the northeastern portion of Puerto Rico.

The tower allowed us to see the town of Luquillo in the distance.

Further to the east was Fajardo and the El Conquistador.

To the south of the tower were large limestone cliffs.

From Yunque we continued on to Isla Verde.  Our hotel turned out to be the airport Marriott, but the room had a great view of the beach.

While I was taking photos of the beach, a helicopter flew past our room.

Our 12th floor balcony provided a good view of the aircraft leaving the international airport in San Juan.

We greatly enjoyed El Conquistador and would anxiously return there again.  El Yunque rain forest was very cool and it would be nice to be able to explore it further if we had more time.  Tomorrow we will likely return back to Old San Juan and then we board a flight back to San Diego.

The Caribbean as awesome; we have been there a number of times and it is still a favorite destination.  We will return soon.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.