Saturday, November 8, 2014


Puerto Rico has proclaimed itself the Isla del Encanto (Island of Enchantment), and this is no empty boast. Despite a number of social problems, as elsewhere, this eastern Caribbean island is a country of stunning landscapes, spectacular beaches and generous people.

The license plate tells the tale.
What one will remember most is the unexpected kindness of total strangers - such as the motorist who gave his own brand-new road map to lost travelers, and the lady who got out of her car to give directions and then said "follow me", leading one to one's destination.

Certain sights, smells and tastes will also linger: images of the hills in the distance, the scent of sweet, fried plantains (or plátanos amarillos, guaranteed to bring on the salivation), and the taste of mofongo, the typical dish of mashed plantains filled with meat or seafood.

Traveling around the island, away from the frenetic atmosphere of San Juan, means passing through postcard-type scenery, evocative of other Caribbean countries, but still somehow unique. Waterfalls, mountain views, historic towns and colourful bird-life make sight-seeing a true pleasure. And one mustn't forget to visit the markets, where heaps of fruit such as papayas, pineapples and guineps are displayed like art installations.

Below, Tasshon offers a photo essay on this singular island, whose Spanish, Caribbean, African and American parts make up a fascinating whole. , let the enchantment begin. 

Tired of flying? Walk like an egret.
Some of the biggest papayas you'll ever see.
Water massage, anyone?
They call me "el chango".
Mind the falling coconuts.
The charming pueblo of San Germán.
A quiet day in San Germán, after the weekend bustle.
The beach in Condado, San Juan. Be careful of the undertow.
The hills are ... everywhere.

(Text and photos, copyright McK-DeC, with thanks to L. Collins Klobah)