Every morning on my recent vacation to Puerto Rico, I would take a stroll to Park la Ventana. This is a park that means “window to the sea,” and it is an absolutely gorgeous setting. To watch the sunrise or set here was special indeed, but most of the time I’d walk down here around 6 a.m. Before the “hustle and bustle” of being in a major cosmopolitan and urban area, you can find a sense of tranquility here, and it reminds you of your Caribbean surroundings. Sure, the Cartier and Louis Vuitton stores are across the street, so you do have to get closer to the ocean side of the park. Its located right in the heart of the Condado District, which is the upscale hotel part of San Juan.
The best part about getting here early, is you can hear the coqui frog’s making noise, and see an iguana or two. I didn’t see any huge ones here, but a few smaller green ones, were almost emerald in color. Truly amazing to see up close, although they will run away as you get around three feet or so from them. There’s a large retaining wall over the ocean, where there’s a lot of jagged rocks, and you will see a lot of crabs. While this might not sound exciting, these are not your normal blue or red ones, that you can see all over the world. The ones here are covered in speckles of color, and since they pretty much “chill out on the rocks,” you’ll be able to get a picture of them.
This wall does have a sad memory attached to it. If you stand at this wall, and look a mile out to see, you’ll see where Roberto Clemente’s plane crashed in the 1970’s. A security officer showed me the location, and how it broke her heart, as he was enroute to Nicaragua to deliver relief supplies after an earthquake there. For such a serene looking ocean, it will sent a chill down your spine, to think that such a place could be a backdrop to a tragedy. As for the security staff, there are a whole bunch of them, and all are unarmed. This is due to the area being very safe, so they are more of a physical presence, and are very helpful in providing directions, suggestions to eat, and know a lot about Puerto Rican history.
I love the palm trees that are all over this park. They are beautifully manicured, and the beach area just to the East is among the best on the island. It is here where you’ll find some rip currents, that will allow you the opportunity to surf. On the weekends, it is not uncommon to find festivals at this park. I was fortunate enough to atttend a free jazz event on a Saturday, and the music was excellent, along with the vendors who were selling authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Its free to visit here, and open 24 hours a day, although its best to visit it during hours when the sun is up. Feel free to stop by it at 1054 Ave Dr Ashford San Juan, PR 00907.