Tag Archives: travel to Puerto Rico

Spotlight City: Cabo Rojo

Don’t Miss Cabo Rojo!

If you are considering traveling to Puerto Rico, are new to the island, or just need a diversion from your daily routine in the metropolitan area, head to Cabo Rojo! Cabo Rojo, located on the very Southwestern tip of the island, is a small community that offers big time views. Those views, and much more, make Cabo Rojo a must-see despite its distance from San Juan.

Although a trip to Cabo Rojo and back can be completed in a day, it’s a long day of driving so most people make a weekend of it, staying in one of the many small hotels or paradors in the area. Grand Bahía Ocean View Hotel, one of these hotels, is sandwiched between the salt flats and the mangroves, providing a secluded area from which to watch the sun set. The chefs and wait staff at the on-site restaurant, Agua al Cuello, never fail to give you an unforgettable dining experience of fresh seafood and delectable desserts.

From the pool deck of Grand Bahía Ocean View Hotel you can see the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse off to the left. This is an ideal place for photographers and travel enthusiasts. El Faro Los Morillos (as it is called in Spanish) was constructed in 1882 to help sailors through the Mona Passage. Today it is one of Puerto Rico’s most picturesque sights. Set high above the Caribbean waters atop limestone cliffs, the Cabo Rojo lighthouse stands as a beacon summoning visitors and residents alike. Be sure to bring your camera because these are images you won’t want to forget. And keep children near you at all times since there are no guardrails to protect them.

On the other side of the lighthouse is Playa Sucia, a secluded beach for a refreshing dip after climbing the hill to the lighthouse. This inlet in the Caribbean Ocean is a favorite among locals, but can be a challenge to get to if you have kids or lots to carry. Our recommendation would be to pack light because the path is not always accessible via automobile. That way you can truly relax beachfront and enjoy the incredible view and warm sunshine.

For nature enthusiasts, the area also features the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. Those up for a good hike will witness native birds and plants while wandering through the subtropical dry forest. In and around the Interpretive Center (open Thursday through Sunday) you can get more details about the history of the area, including the salt flats, as well as the birds that frequent the area. Guides are also available for a fee. Be sure to bring your sunscreen, bug spray, and water and wear appropriate clothing for hiking! The trails are not long, but the sun is hot!

As you can see, for rest and relaxation, Cabo Rojo is where it’s at! Make sure to include it on your Puerto Rican bucket list!

Watch for other Spotlight City posts from around Puerto Rico courtesy of your Relocation Specialist in Puerto Rico, Global Perceptions!

 

 

 

Puerto Rico Events 2013: Mark your calendars!

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2013 is already here! As we bring in the new year, I’d like to call your attention to some of the upcoming events taking place in Puerto Rico this year. Make plans to attend one or all! These events are sure to please!

 

Festival de  la Calle de San Sebastian

This street festival takes place in Old San Juan and marks the official end of the Christmas holiday season. During the day attendees visit the booths of artisans selling their crafts while vejigantes wander the streets in their brightly colored costumes and masks. At night the area comes alive with bands of all kinds. Dancing

and partying until the morning hours can be expected. This is a very popular festival, which means that getting into the area can be difficult. Taking public transportation from one of the designated park and ride areas is advised.

Carnaval

Every year the city of Ponce shines with the celebration of Carnaval. This week-long celebration begins February 6th and lasts until the 12th, welcoming the season of Lent. Although other towns also have celebrations, Ponce’s festival is said to be the most authentic display of Puerto Rican culture. Vejigantes walk through the town on stilts to the tunes of bomba and plena music. Their costumes include papier mache horned-masks and cow bladders that they use as noisemakers. Kids and adults will enjoy the enthusiasm of this cultural experience!

 

World Baseball Classic

It’s back for the first time in five years! The World Baseball Classic Tournament will kick off with a series of games here in San Juan. Games are slated for March 7th-10th at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium near Plaza Las Americas. Competitors include: the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Spain, and hometown favorite, Puerto Rico. Many major leaguers come out to play for their respective home countries so this is a great chance to see top players in a local venue. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketpop centers or on their website.

International Salsa Congress

If your new year’s resolutions include getting in shape, this would be a great time to start taking salsa lessons. By the time the International Salsa Congress comes at the end of July, you’ll be a professional! This event brings together salsa dancers of all ages from around the world to participate in competitions and generally enjoy dancing salsa. The San Juan Hotel and Casino will play host again this year from July 23rd-27th. Even if you would prefer watching to dancing, come on out! You’ll meet people from around the world and witness amazing acts while hearing some of the top salsa bands.

Many more events also take place throughout the island during the year. These include the Puerto Rico Open Golf Tournament, the Heineken Jazz Fest, and the many local patron saints festivals. Check back to see dates for these and other events as details are confirmed.

 

This information is brought to you by Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico. Read more of our articles at www.relocationspecialistpuertorico.com. For more information about our services, visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: Part II

The latest installment in our Relocation, Relocation, Relocation series is here! Count on Global Perceptions to provide you with the tips and advice you need to facilitate your international relocation process in Puerto Rico. Read on to find out what to expect in terms of weather, food, clothing styles, and holiday celebrations.

Weather: Puerto Rico is an island located in the Caribbean Sea where the temperature fluctuates between 80 and 95 degrees during most of the year. The sun shines for a good part of the year while rain takes over at other times. There is little that can be done to prepare yourself for drastic temperature changes other than to purchase lightweight clothing. Air conditioning will be your best friend for awhile, but watch out as electric bills can be very high if the AC runs often. Because of its location, Puerto Rico is also prone to hurricanes. Hurricanes can be scary, but with our tips, you’ll be ready!

Dress: People in Puerto Rico are very conscious of their appearance. Whereas some cultures are laid back in their approach to clothing or hair styles, Puerto Ricans prefer to make positive statements through the use of designer clothing and accessories, paired with fresh haircuts and manicures. Women often dress up and apply make-up to run errands. Men also pay attention to their image. They buff their shoes, starch their shirts, and do a considerable amount of “man-scaping.” If you are ever confused about what to wear to an event, it is recommended to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed.

Food: One of the best things about living in a new culture is trying the different foods. Use this opportunity to try local seafood, plantain side dishes, rum drinks, and custard desserts. Stop at a roadside stand for alcapurrias, bacalaitos, empanadas, or piononos. If you’d rather fill up on fruits than fried foods, there are plenty to choose from as well. Mangos, papayas, pineapple, and guava are widely available depending on the time of year and make great fruit smoothies. Desserts range from flan (vanilla, cheese, guava, among others) to tres leches (3-milk cake) to arroz con dulce (sweet rice). Be adventurous! Try them all!

Holidays: Celebrations are rampant. Anything, small or large, can cause people to gather and toss back a few. If, however, you’re celebrating a major event, months worth of planning may take place prior to the big day. Such celebrations include: your baby’s first birthday and christening, your daughter’s 15th birthday (quinceañera), or a wedding. Such grandiose celebrations can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Some may see this as a waste of money, but in Puerto Rico such lavish parties are commonplace. Of course not everyone has the money for events like this but for those who do, giving their child the best party ever is paramount on their minds.

 

For more tips and advice on relocation in Puerto Rico, keep reading our blog! More relocation tips are soon to follow! We share what we know to help you through each step of the relocation process.  Feel free to comment and to share your experiences as well! We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t forget that we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS for Spanish lessons for both adults and children until September 15, 2012. Contact Global Perceptions TODAY for an appointment! Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764. 

 

Are You Hurricane Ready? Five Tips to Help You Prepare

If you have never experienced a hurricane before, the first announcement that one is headed toward you can be unnerving. If you were in that situation, would you know what to do? Those new to the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico in particular, should prepare themselves and their family members for such cases. Here are some tips and advice to help your family be ready.

1.      Prepare your outer home

In the event of a hurricane, you want to begin preparations to your home as soon as possible. Bring in all objects that could become flying hazards such as patio furniture,
garbage cans, potted plants, and grills
. If you have no place to put them indoors, make sure they are tied down.

Check the gas supply for your generator. If you are fortunate enough to have a generator, contact your gas supplier early in the season and keep the tank full. Suppliers may run out or not be able to visit for several days due to the high call volume if you wait until the last
minute.

Check your windows. Invest in storm shutters if possible. If not, have wood and nails on hand to board them up.

Contact the authorities if you have trees near power lines. Ask for them to be cut down or removed to prevent lines from falling on your property. If you have issues like this, call the electric company early and often to get someone there before the hurricane season really kicks up.

Clean out drains near your home to allow for proper drainage. Heavy rains can cause rapid flooding, but if the drains are clear, this will help.

Consider harvesting fruits from the trees on your property as they too can become dangerous projectiles.

2.      Prepare your inner home

Most people run to the supermarket within seconds of hearing that a hurricane is coming. Bottled water and canned goods will run out quickly. Your best option, assuming you have the space to do so, is to keep such products on hand year-round. Stock bottled water, canned fruits and vegetables, nuts, juices, powdered milk, snacks, and granola bars.

Take a good look at what’s in your refrigerator and freezer. If the power goes out, how much will you lose? If you can cook things ahead of time, you’ll be able to store them longer on ice, causing you to lose less.

Keep battery operated flashlights and radios on hand as well as candles, matches, and extra batteries. Fill your propane tanks too so that you can cook.

Make a hurricane first aid kit with: bandages, antiseptic sprays, peroxide, anti-itch cream, anti-inflammatory products, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, ice packs, stomach relief medicines, bug spray, and any prescription medications.

Wash clothes before the storm hits to ensure that you have clean clothes in case the water goes out. Encourage your family members to bathe before the storm really hits for the same reason. Invest in wet wipes and facial cleansing cloths to use if you have no water.

Purchase cleaning products ahead of time. Bleach cloths, antiseptic soaps, and sanitizers can keep bacteria from growing in the humid climates.

Be sure that cellular phones and computers are charged. Limit the amount of time you use them in the event that you need them for an emergency.

Unplug major appliances to prevent severe shocks and damage.

3.      Prepare your children

Children will likely be out of school for several days in the case of a strong hurricane. Without electricity, water, or cable, they become bored quickly. Make sure you have games, puzzles, books, and activities on hand to keep them occupied.

Keep children’s medicines handy. Be certain that asthma inhalers and other medications are in full supply. Don’t wait until the last minute to fill prescriptions.

If your children are afraid of the storm, be strong and positive in front of them. Look for the benefits and opportunities to help them stay positive too. Create flashlight games, cook s’mores, or tell stories to keep their minds off the negative.

4.      Prepare your pets

Pets need food and water too. Make sure that you have plenty of both on hand for them. Any medications that they take should also be filled regularly.

Many pets become anxious during storms. If this is your case, opt for a calming collar sold at many pet stores. Scents like lavender help soothe their anxieties.

Dogs and cats who are accustomed to doing their business outside, may not be able to go out if the storm is really bad. For this reason, you may want to purchase pet diapers or pads so that they have a place to go indoors.

5.      Prepare your car

Throughout hurricane season, it is wise to keep your tank at half full or better. When hurricanes approach, gas stations run out of gas quickly, leaving you with few options of
where to go and what price to pay. Some stations will also take advantage of customers’ needs by increasing prices. Don’t leave yourself in that situation.

If at all possible, find a place to store your vehicle during a storm. Falling debris can wreak havoc, costing you a lot of money and time in insurance claims.

This week residents of Puerto Rico were spared for the most part from the wrath of Hurricane Isaac, but the season is not yet over. If you have not done the above-listed things to prepare your family and property, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the next hurricane arrives to start!

If you have other tips for newcomers to Puerto Rico, please consider sharing them by commenting on this article here at our blog or at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico.

These tips are another service provided by your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist, Global Perceptions. Contact us for additional services by calling 787.455.7764 or by visiting our website www.globalperceptions.net.

 

 

Cross-cultural trainers in Puerto Rico

Is your company searching for cultural training programs in Puerto Rico? Look no further! Global Perceptions provides multinational corporations, universities, hospitals, military personnel, and non-profit volunteers with the information and skills to adapt effectively in the Isla del Encanto.

Relocating to Puerto Rico is not an easy task, even for those coming from the United States. People from all across the world experience adaptation highs and lows no matter where they move to, which can impact their professional and personal lives in both positive and negative ways. This is one reason why having competent, experienced intercultural trainers at the ready is so crucial.

At Global Perceptions we welcome all those making the move to Puerto Rico by providing them with intercultural training programs specific to their needs. Custom-designed programs developed with each client in mind include information to facilitate daily living, negotiate business deals, and generally acclimate to the host culture. Because we recognize the need for the whole family to be comfortable, pre and/or post-departure orientation programs, as well as on-going coaching services, are available for both adults and school age children. This approach stresses the challenges that each member of the family faces and helps them work through any difficulties with experienced professionals.

Global Perceptions staff have adjusted to life in a variety of cultures resulting in compassionate, understanding trainers who can address client needs in either English or Spanish. Staff have also received coaching from Dr. Julie Parenteau, the relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, making them uniquely qualified to serve as intercultural trainers. Perhaps most importantly, they have successfully adapted to living and working in Puerto Rico and are excited to share their experiences with newcomers.

At Global Perceptions we understand the relocation process and the toll it can take on people. That is why we make sure that we address the concerns of all family members, while helping them feel more comfortable in their new home. As a result, program participants develop the confidence needed to navigate their own adaptation process in Puerto Rico. Your company will most definitely benefit from working with our experienced intercultural trainers for your employee’s relocation needs.

To find out more about our intercultural training programs or to request a proposal, please contact our office at 787.455.7764 or visit www.globalperceptions.net.

 

 

 

 

 

Should I move to Puerto Rico?

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Are you considering relocating to Puerto Rico? Not sure if it’s the place for you? Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, has some ideas for you. Whether you want to retire,study, start over, or are on assignment from a major corporation, Puerto Rico has something to offer everyone. Here are a few reasons to answer the question of “Should I move to Puerto Rico” with a resounding, “YES!

The weather

Located in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico’s climate is warm year-round. Temperatures usually range from 80 to 95 degrees depending on the time of year and municipality. The humidity serves as a warm blanket the second you exit the airport, enveloping you in the culture and customs of this magnificent island. If you are tired of shoveling snow or have an illness aggravated by the cold, Puerto Rico is a good option for you.

The scenery                                                         

Puerto Rico offers a tremendous variety of beautiful sights. Whether beaches or mountains, rain forests or deserts, golf courses or coffee plantations are your choice, the Isla del Encanto has it all. Amazing beaches line the coasts, attracting surfers, sailors, and tourists to their crystal blue waters. World-class resorts and golf courses cater to celebrities and locals alike. Come and see the sights for yourself!

The food

All across the island you can find incredible local delicacies, as well as restaurants that serve dishes representing the palates of the world. Although rice and beans are staples, they can be prepared in many ways and accompany everything from churrasco to pork and chicken to seafood. Side dishes made of plantain or yuca like mofongo, tostones, or arañitas are also popular. Thick soups and scrumptious desserts are sure to please everyone so go ahead and try them!

The activities

It’s hard to be bored in Puerto Rico with the host of activities available across the island. Outdoor activities include: hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing, fishing, golfing, hanging out on the beach, attending outdoor concerts, strolling through Old San Juan, visiting places like Piñones or Guavate, flying kites near El Morro, and much more. If you prefer being indoors, visit one of the many museums, go to a play or concert, wander through one of the shopping centers, catch a movie, gather friends for a game of dominos, watch a boxing match, go salsa dancing, or try cooking local foods. There’s always something to do no matter your age!

The people

Puerto Ricans are a truly unique group of people full of contradictions and intense passion for their families and their country. They are generally humble people who welcome the opportunity to share their culture with foreigners. If you are open to listening and learning from them, you will be welcomed by them and thought of as part of their family. Work on speaking Spanish like them, and you will be welcomed even more!

The culture

Influenced by Spanish, North American, African, and native Taíno customs, Puerto Rico has developed a unique culture. Today the culture is a mixture of all of these people and their customs. Politics is sport, boxers and Miss Universe competitors are celebrated like gods, and the flag reigns over all. Puerto Ricans are incredibly proud of their culture and work hard to keep it alive all over the world. They await the chance to share that pride with you!

From the small coastal towns to the metropolis of San Juan, you can smell lechon cooking on the spit, see the beautiful flamboyanes in bloom, hear the waves of the ocean crashing, taste the rich flavors of sofrito, and receive kisses from everyone you meet. Puerto Rico truly provides something to please all your senses whether you are 5, 25, or 65. If you are considering moving to Puerto Rico, we hope you that this article helps you see how much the Isla del Encanto offers.

 

For more information on relocating to Puerto Rico, please visit your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist at www.globalperceptions.net or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico.

 

Supermarket alternatives in Puerto Rico

One comment that Global Perceptions staff often hear from clients who have relocated to Puerto Rico is that they prefer the grocery stores back home. Usually this is due to what they perceive to be a lack of selection. Those accustomed to shopping at World Market or Trader Joe’s will not find that type of store here. Remember, this is an island in the middle of the Caribbean where the intense humidity makes food spoil much more quickly than in cooler climates, preventing people from buying in bulk. If you don’t want to give up high quality, fresh, or even organic foods, there are a number of alternatives. Read on for details on meat markets, organic food stores, and farmer’s markets across Puerto Rico.

Meat Markets

To purchase high quality cuts of meat, visit La Hacienda Meat Center. Their selection includes chicken, ground beef, churrasco, pork, steak, fish, lamb, and more. They also carry fresh fruits and vegetables and offer a nice selection of foreign foods including Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products like hummus and tabouli. Juices and wines from across the world are also available.

La Hacienda Meat Center has 3 locations: one on Ave. De Diego near Logan’s Pub in Cupey, another in the Garden Hills Shopping Center on Carretera 19 in Guaynabo, and a third store in Dorado on Carretera 693 between the Walgreen’s and CVS Pharmacy.

You can also find quality cuts of meat and fresh produce in bulk at Cost-co and Sam’s Club stores throughout the island.

Organic Stores

FreshmarT was founded in 1995, establishing itself early in the race to provide natural foods in Puerto Rico. With 5 stores across the island (Aguadilla,Caguas,Carolina, Hato Rey, and Manatí), it’s easy to find healthy substitutes that may not be available in major grocery stores. Whether you’re looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free, they have it. FreshmarT stores also offer a variety of baby food products, bath and body products, vitamins, supplements, snacks, beverages, and even pet products.

Many smaller stores also exist across the island some of which include restaurants where they serve vegetarian and/or vegan meals. For a list of these stores and their locations, click http://www.happycow.net/north_america/caribbean/puerto_rico/.

Farmer’s Markets

Río Piedras is well-known for its market in the center of town. All types of local products including: yuca, plantains, pineapples, mangoes, yautía, ñame, avocados, fresh fish, chicken, and much more line the booths of the kiosks. The incredible variety of products can be overwhelming, but the overall experience can be more than overwhelming for those who are not accustomed to such a sight or don’t speak much Spanish. For those who are adventurous, it’s definitely a great place to learn more about the Puerto Rican culture and its foods.

In La Placita in Santurce there is also a market much like that in Río Piedras, but smaller. For those in the Condado, Isla Verde, or Santurce areas, that one is closer.

Those who prefer to stay in tourist areas where more English may be spoken, should consider the different Farmer’s Markets that take place during the month. On Saturday mornings in Old San Juan, make your way to the Mercado Agrícola Natural at 150 Calle Norzgaray in the Museo de San Juan. There you can find organic foods, plants, homemade cards, and other local specialties.

The first and third Sundays of the month showcase organically-grown foods at the Placita Roosevelt in Hato Rey. Additionally, Plaza las Américas has nearly 100 vendors selling foods, cheeses, honey, soaps, salsas, plants, breads, and candies the last Thursday-Sunday of each month. Go to the third floor near the JCPenney entrance.

 

As you can see, there are several alternatives to the chain supermarkets in Puerto Rico. Many more vegetarian restaurants and stores are popping up all the time so be sure to visit them and try all the delicacies that Puerto Rico has to offer!

 

For more information on the products and services offered by Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, please visit www.globalperceptions.net