SAN JUAN

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - Adventure Seekers Take To Alaska’s Invigorating Wa -

HUR­RI­CANE MARIA’S 150 MPH WINDS and 18-plus inches of rain were the worst ex­pe­ri­enced by the is­land since the San Felipe Se­gundo hur­ri­cane of 1928. Al­though Puerto Rico is the Caribbean’s third largest is­land and has more than 3.4 mil­lion res­i­dents, ev­ery­one on the is­land was im­pacted. Most of the is­land lost pub­lic ser­vices in­clud­ing wa­ter, sewer, elec­tric­ity, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The old city area of San Juan, near where cruise ships dock, had most of these ser­vices re­stored by De­cem­ber 1, and ships re­sumed their reg­u­lar sched­ule of vis­its in De­cem­ber.

Cruise visi­tors who use their time in old San Juan to ex­plore the San Juan Na­tional His­toric Site shouldn’t no­tice much storm dam­age. Roofs and win­dows were re­paired, veg­e­ta­tion re­planted, and shops, bars, and restau­rants re­opened. The his­toric build­ings of Castillo San Cristóbal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro be­gan ac­cept­ing tourists in De­cem­ber.

Other ar­eas of Puerto Rico will take much longer to re­cover. The El Yunque Na­tional For­est is a great place to zi­pline, hike, and ex­plore, and it’s the only trop­i­cal rain­for­est in the United States na­tional for­est sys­tem. How­ever, El Yunque was dec­i­mated by the hur­ri­cane. Af­ter Hur­ri­cane Hugo struck in 1989, the for­est even­tu­ally re­cov­ered, so most ex­perts be­lieve the rain­for­est will re­turn this time, too, al­though the dam­age is more widespread.

La Rog­a­tiva Statue, Old San Juan

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