Category Archives: Stay

Yarari places to stay

Join a Join: a different way to travel in Puerto Rico

The economy is not doing so good. It’s time to ditch the traditional hotel and stay local. What’s that? Well, staying local is literally staying at a local’s place. From renting out a spare bedroom in a home, to entire vacation houses, furnished and waiting for someone to come and stay there. Imagine topping that with a customized personal tour of an unknown place by a local.

Complicated you say? Well, not anymore. JoinaJoin.com is a brand new travel website featuring both places to stay and things to do. Through this platform locals post their properties or private tours for those adventurous travelers seeking a different experience. A beachfront villa in Vieques, a Golf Villa in Dorado, a surf shack in Rincón, a house in La Parguera… just about anything.

Launched in 2013, the site’s listings are growing fast and I suspect will continue to grow as users continue to leave reviews. I personally found an adorable set of houses in Isabela with a spectacular view!

If you’re looking to visit Puerto Rico and have a truly local experience, this website definitely has something to offer.

Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day)

Puerto Rico was a Catholic Spanish colony for over 400 years. Christian influence is everywhere inspiring most of our christmas traditions and customs. One such tradition is Three Kings Day. The three kings or magi were originally mentioned in Mathew 2 as wise men who followed the star of Bethlehem bringing gold, myrrh, and incense to the baby Jesus. Later the tradition became more elaborate naming the kings as three: Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltazar, who traveled on camels from different parts of the world.

A King on a Christmas Tree
A King on a Christmas Tree

In Puerto Rico young children gather grass on January 5th and leave it in a box for the camels to eat while the three kings come and leave their gifts under their bed or christmas tree. On the morning of January 6th they wake to find their gifts while the grass they gathered is gone and sometimes tossed about. The camels (or horses) are a bit messy.

This tradition is so strong a set of real life Magi, Los Reyes de Juana Díaz actually travel through various pueblos of the island spreading cheer, joy, and hope as they go. The Governor traditionally holds a special celebration where children receive gifts. In some households, Santa never arrives, only the Three Kings. Most families have some sort of celebration and many versions of the magi appear all over the Island. This year, the magi brought gifts and a small carriage to give the kids a ride. They loved it!

We ate, we sang, we drank, we joked, and just when we were about to leave… the Parranda arrived.

La Parranda
La Parranda