2017 has been off to a rather spontaneous start. I just got back from five amazing days in beautiful Puerto Rico!  @LifesJules and I decided one week prior to the trip that it was time for a bestie getaway, and this was probably one of the best last-minute decisions I’ve ever made.

This was not my first time in the Caribbean, and we jam-packed our short time there with so many experiences, both tried and new. Below are some things I definitely recommend you check out if you’re planning a visit to Puerto Rico.

DAY 1

Go on a snorkeling and kayaking excursion in Culebra. This beautiful island spot is about a 1-hour ferry ride (or 25 minute plane ride) from the east coast of Puerto Rico’s main island. You can choose to scout out spots yourself, or go with a guides who will take you to all of the prime snorkeling spots.

Kayaking Puerto Rico has excellent tours that involve kayaking and snorkeling. We saw quite a few green turtles, beautiful coral, and communities of colorful fish. A little Remora even tried to attach itself to me and hitch a ride. What a lazy little dude.

DAY 2

Soak up the sun on one of the many beautiful beaches that line Puerto Rico. One of my favorites was Playa Aviones, just a few miles east of our hotel in San Juan.

We parked on the side of the road and walked through some trees towards the sound of waves. The trees opened up to a breathtaking view of the crystal-clear blue Caribbean.

The orange sand was so soft beneath our feet, and we spent a few hours lounging around, waiting for the sun to set.

DAY 3

Horseback riding on the beach has always been on my bucket list, and I finally checked it off on this trip! The views throughout our ride were absolutely gorgeous. We waded through the aquamarine-colored ocean and through the ocean-side forest.

Horses were one of the first animals I became absolutely obsessed with as a kid. We did a guided ride with Tropical Trail Rides in Isabela, located on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico. It’s roughly an hour and a half by car from San Juan where we stayed, but the drive was totally worth it. All of the locals confirmed that Tropical Trail Rides is the best one on the mainland island!

My horse’s name was Hershey. She was so sweet and super responsive, making for an easy and relaxing ride.

The farm also had a couple of cute German Shepherds and kitties that I just had to stop, pet, and snap some photos of.

Our trail guide took us to Survival Beach right around sunset, which made for some gorgeous photographs. There are quite a few gnarly rocks that provide great vantage points of the ocean. I climbed one of these to the dismay of my bare feet… pro tip: wear shoes when climbing rocks.

Also, PLEASE load up on fruit and acai bowls while you’re in Puerto Rico. Seriously. Especially on a hot humid day, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a refreshingly delicious combination of sweet, tart, and healthy.

You can find these pretty much anywhere on the island, but our favorite spot was Da’Bowls near Aguedilla.

DAY 4

Go on a guided Rainforest Adventure! Our tour with Rocaliza Adventure Tours was amazing. Our guides picked us up from our hotel in San Juan in the morning and were more than helpful on our first day excursion. The tour we selected included a half day of ziplining, hiking, rock climbing rivers and waterfalls.

After the tour, the guides provided a home-cooked lunch: chicken, beans and rice, potatoes, and flan for dessert. Also, you’ll notice when you’re in Puerto Rico that you’re surrounded by fruitful tropical plants and trees! I found this bunch of bananas that I must have weighed over 60 lb.

DAY 5

Explore Old San Juan. These historic streets, clad with color and character, make for the perfect photoshoot backdrops.

Julia and I spent a few hours wandering the blue cobblestone roads, following the stray cats around, and snapping photos left and right. Make a dinner reservation at Marmalade if you want to stick around the area for some fine dining. Their white bean soup is to die for!

That’s about all we had time for this trip. Next time I’m back, I’ll definitely be making it a point to see Cabo Rojo and Vieques. I’ll also (hopefully) but scuba certified then, so more aquatic adventures await!

Until then, Puerto Rico.