Part 2: Caguas
Photo of Caguas at night; credit: Wikipedia
Before I went to San Juan from Fajardo, I made a week-long stop in central island, Caguas. Caguas is my favorite place to visit when I’m seeking less people and noise. The city of Caguas is very citified, but the Caguas Mountains is where peace is found. I have an aunt that lives in the mountains and I always make my way up there; it’s my second favorite place on the island and I’m surprised that more people don’t plan travel to this region. Here’s why.
About Caguas, Puerto Rico and My Time There
Photo of Caguas Valley; credit: Wikipedia
La Ciudad Del Turabo y Corazón de Borinquen (Turabo City and the Heart of Puerto Rico); is located in Puerto Rico’s largest valley. A lot of people don’t venture off into the central island region unless visiting El Yunque, but a visit is worth it. Caguas is home to lots of museums, outdoor parks, and nightlife.
Central Island may seem like a long journey but Caguas is less than 40 minutes from San Juan. Unlike other areas on the island, Caguas has services just like San Juan: rideshare, grocery delivery, and meal delivery to name a few. After experiencing the lack of these services in Fajardo, I was extremely thrilled to have a little normalcy back in my life.
I spent my first few days in the city, in a residential area, surrounded by mountains. The area was quiet, peaceful, and perfectly located. I was less than 10 minutes from the mall, there were restaurants within 5 minutes, and I could have whatever I wanted delivered! I was even able to utilize rideshare services with ease.
Instead of people, nature sounds filled the area. I was visited by hummingbirds, chickens, and iguanas daily. I watched the sun rise and set from behind mountains that seemed like they touched the clouds. The sounds of el coqui were sounds I didn’t have on the private island in Fajardo; it was magical to listen to as I drifted off into sleep each night.
Driving around the city, I was a little surprised at how developed it was because rumors said that Caguas is the country, rural, not much going on. My experience is usually at my aunts and it is a bit more rural up there but not much. Heck there are vegan restaurants in Caguas; what rural places in America have vegan restaurants?
My Time in the Caguas Mountains
Photo in central island; my aunt teaching me about cloning plants.
This wasn’t my first time experiencing the mountains in Caguas; as I mentioned earlier, my aunt lives up there and every time I visit Puerto Rico, I visit my aunt. Her place is zen to me. My aunt has the greenest of green thumbs and she grows so much of what I eat when I visit. She usually asks: “what do you want to eat?”, my response is always: “your yard!”.
It’s so quiet up there and the views of Puerto Rico from her yard/driveway/porch are phenomenal. Walking her yard is like walking the produce section; growing in her yard is/are: breadfruit, malanga, green bananas, burro bananas, pineapple, peppers, tomatoes, recao/culantro, papaya, and I’m sure I’m missing at least a handful of other fruits/vegetables. This doesn’t include the many flowers and plants she has all over. It’s truly a magical place.
There’s nothing like eating from her yard; no middle man and no transport. It’s literally from yard to table. The best pineapple I’ve ever had was the one grown in her yard. I’ll never forget that morning she asked if I wanted pineapple with my breakfast. When I said yes, she went into the yard to grab it; the sweetness was unmatched!
This was the perfect stop, before heading over to San Juan to finish my month of January on the island.
Photo of me standing in my aunts yard
Visit Caguas! Not everyone comes to Puerto Rico for parties and wild times. Those that seek a peaceful getaway will love it in central island. With a car, without a car, Caguas will be a great experience. I always enjoy my visits to the area. With or without my aunt living there, central island will always see me.
Written by: Veronica Castillo, the Traveling Cannabis Writer
Huge thank you to my stay in Puerto Rico sponsor for the month of January:
Sky Highw PEO; a woman owned, California based full-service employment organization that services the entire United States. Sky High PEO helps companies manage everything from employee benefits, to payroll processing, to workers compensation.