Puerto Rico - San Juan Arrival & Sightseeing

SV Meshugga
Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Sat 25 Jan 2020 15:44
18:27.60N 66:05.62W

Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Fort - Castillo San Felipe del Morro, on the northern bank of the harbor entrance.

We anchored in the San Antonia Channel a few meters away from the Cruise Ship dock, where off-loading and loading of passengers happens. The ships generally arrive early morning, passengers disembark, a few hundred staff turn over the ship, and the new passengers embark in the afternoon, with the ship sailing early evening usually between 6 and 8 pm.

We woke the next morning with this ship very close to us.

The Club Nautico de San Juan were most kind and hospitable and had received a few parcels for us. We were also able to use their dinghy dock next to the fuel pump to get ashore.

We had hired a car for 5 days from Avis to do shopping/victually Meshugga at Costco, Walmart, Pueblos etc, and do sightseeing of some of the further afield sights. Once again, many thanks to Club Nautico de San Juan, who allowed us to park our vehicle in their security car park, and use their dock trolleys to off load our shopping.

The Guide books said the Top 5 things to do in Puerto Rico are;
1    Visit the La Cordillera Islands (which we did en-route)
2    Visit the Cueva Ventana - ‘Hole in the Wall’ Cave
3    Visit the Camuy Caves - ‘Underground Caves’
4    Visit the Arecibo Observatory
5    Visit the San Juan Old City (this is opposite where we anchored so decided to do on our bicycles)
Numbers 2,3 and 4 are all close to each other near Arecibo, some 80 miles west of Jan Juan, so we used our Rental Car to go out to Arecibo area.

First on our hit list was Cueva Ventana
We arrived to find the Caves run tours, so we paid our $20 each and waited for the next tour to start.

Up a path about 250m, we came to the meeting point, and we all had to don hard hats

Not the most glamorous hat

We walked a path with our guide stopping every 50 meters or so, describing the vegetation and history of the area

Our guide and the opening to the Cave

Walking through the cave was about 15 minutes using our torches, supplied, and we stopped numerous times to view stalactites, stalagmites, and bats hanging upside down sleeping.

At the end of our walk, we were rewarded with the amazing view through the ‘Hole in the Wall’ overlooking the valley below.

Our tour group

This Stalactite formation has the face of Christ in it - Can you see it?

The way out

Back in our Rental we googled the Camuy Caves for directions, only to find that they have been Closed since Hurricane Maria in 2017.........
Apparently the caves are similar to the South African Kango Caves, but with a trolly system to ride through the caves, but not as large/extensive as the Kango Caves. 

We then drove about an hour over winding roads up to the very top of a huge mountain to the Arecibo Observatory, having checked on google that this was still operational.
We arrived to find the gates Closed, with a sign saying that the Observatory was only open to the Public on Mondays from 10am-2pm........ WOW, would have been nice if they put that on their Website!

So back to Meshugga where we found another ship parked even closer to Meshugga. This one had a cruise ship behind it as well, hence so far forward and close to us.

Take care

Deidre Mace
SV Meshugga
E:  Deidre {CHANGE TO AT} Mace {DOT} co {DOT} za
C:  +1 754 213 7663
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