Puerto Rico // Day 1: La Cueva del Indio and Cueva Ventana

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted but I felt inspired to keep blogging about my life and my adventures.

I recently took a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend, Sharon. We were only there a few days (May 4th-8th) but the experience was unforgettable. We didn’t get to explore everything that we wanted to but I left satisfied, refreshed, blessed and very burnt…. haha.

Day 1, Sharon and I left early to go explore Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) but little did we know that on our way there we would take a wrong turn and this is what we would find…

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This view is called Lagos Dos Bocas (Dos Bocas Lake). We didn’t get to do this but there is a boat ride on the lake that provides lunch!

Once we stopped admiring the view, we headed back on the highway to Cueva Ventana. When we arrived at 8 AM, we were a little disappointed to find out that they don’t open until 10 AM!!!! Truthfully, it was my fault, I should have done more research. But I did not let that ruin out trip. I started searching for places near by and this is what I found…

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This was 30 minutes away from Cueva Ventana. This awesome place is called La Cueva del Indio and I highly recommend it. It’s not well known but I wanted to share with you all this hidden treasure. The views were completely different from every angle, it was breathtaking.

Two hours later we were back on the road to Cueva Ventana! The whole morning did not go as planned but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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We began our tour at noon and it took about 1.5 hours. You are provided with a helmet and a flashlight. (I suggest you bring hiking shoes as some of the areas are slippery.)

I do not recommend this tour if you fear the following:

  • The dark
  • Caves
  • Bats
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • Slippery rocks
  • The unknown…

But if you are totally cool with it, then go for it! I highly enjoyed myself. There was a moment when the tour guide asked us to turn off our flashlights and at that moment I closed my eyes and a wave of gratitude came over me. But I heard some others squeal in fear..

To end Day 1, we had to explore some of Old San Juan! Below are pictures of the beautiful city!

Lastly, we went to dinner at The Locals on Calle Loiza. While we were there we ran into this cool wall. It’s basically a library, you can take a book as long as you replace it with another book!

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And that folks was Day 1  in Puerto Rico. I fell in love with the island the moment I stepped off the plane! If you are ever in PR, please check out these places, you will not regret it!

I am sending you huge amounts of love from this side of the screen.

If you’d like to check out more photos about my trip follow my travel Instagram account @thewanderersbucketlist

I hiked to Mount Tallac Summit and survived!

About two weeks ago I traveled to California for my cousin’s wedding. I booked my trip for a week and I made sure to squeeze in a couple of days to visit Lake Tahoe and I am happy that I did. Those two days were amazing but I would have to say my favorite part was the hike to Mount Tallac.

When I booked my trip, I was looking for a few things to do and people recommended that one should always try a hike that is difficult. I decided to stay near South Lake Tahoe and when I was searching what hikes I should go on, Mt. Tallac presented itself.

I have never really gone on a hike before, so I made sure to do as much research as possible. Just a couple of months before the trip I purchased my first pair of hiking shoes. I also purchased a Hydro Flask bottle, some sunscreen, bug spray, hiking socks, and a portable charger for my iPhone. I would say I was set to go!

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While I was reading some more about this hike, part of me was ready to take on the challenge and the other part of me was a bit nervous. The hike to Mt. Tallac Summit is 4.8 miles, about 10 miles round trip and it takes about 6-7 hours. There are two paths, one is the easier route which is longer, and the difficult route which is shorter but is slightly more dangerous.

As my trip was nearing, I was getting more and more nervous about doing this hike alone. I told a couple of my friends I was going to send them my locations, just in case something happened to me. But it’s funny how life works though. God and the universe had other plans for me, I wasn’t meant to do this hike on my own.

Earlier this year I met Jake and his brother Lenny in Florida. They are from California and were only in town for a couple of weeks. They love traveling and going on adventures as much as I do! Any way, these two were going to be in Lake Tahoe the same time I was. Crazy, right? I asked them if they wanted to join me on the hike and they said YES, which I am so thankful for!

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The hike up to the summit took us a little under 3 hours. I was following Matt, Lenny, and Jake and they were booking it. There were times I could hear them but I could not see them; they keep me motivated to keeping moving. I didn’t have time to think, be scared or be nervous, I just had time to hike and keep hiking. I did stop a few times to take a breather and of course observe the incredible views and be thankful for the opportunity to hike this mountain!

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On the way up, I saw the sun rising (one of the best views I have ever seen, well after I was able to actually catch my breath), I saw different type of animals, I drank from a small spring with a straw, and I feed chipmunks, it was great!

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The best part of starting the hike at 5:45 AM was the fact that we were the first ones at the top of Mount Tallac!!! The view was breath-taking. I had to sit there for a moment and realized that I just hiked about 5 miles in 3 hours uphill the whole entire time. My legs were burning, my heart was racing, my body was dry from the air, my lips were chapped and I was already getting sun burnt but it was all worth it. Every single ache, every time I felt a bit scared looking over at the edge, it didn’t matter it was worth the feeling of being unstoppable.

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At an elevation of 9,738 feet, I was in awe and proud of myself for accomplishing what I wanted to do. My first hike and my first summit were finally checked off my bucket list. We spent about 45 minutes, looking at the view, talking, laughing, taking pictures, feeding chipmunks, and being grateful.

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The feeling of being up there was something I have never felt. My heart felt like it was about to burst, I wanted to cry, scream, laugh, all at the same time. It was like I was on cloud nine, it was one of the best feelings in the world.

I thought the hike up was difficult but I would say the hike down was. I am a scardy cat at times, and I was pretty terrified going down as quickly as we were. There were times I missed a few steps, times I almost slipped and busted my ass and times where I thought I almost twisted my ankle. I usually never cursed but I probably said the word “shit” about 100+ times on the way down. I may have had weak knees, the dirtiest hiking shoes I’ve seen, and blisters on my feet BUT I made it! I survived.

If you are ever in South Lake Tahoe, I recommend that you hike to Mt. Tallac Summit. I suggest you go with people, they make it more fun and entertaining! Haha.

Seriously though, I am beyond grateful for this experience. This hike changed my view on life, it made me fall in love with nature and the world around me, it made me feel like I was on top of the world. All I want to do is go on more hikes now and be outdoors!

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I hope this post inspires you to go outside, go on adventures that you’ve been wanting to go on and to start checking things off of your bucket list!

I love you all!