As a self proclaimed adrenalin junkie, I’m constantly seeking out new adventures in far-flung places. I’ve recently helicopter – snowboarded in Canada and lept off a 440 foot bungee jump in New Zealand. I’ve also been a frequent skydiver, scuba diver, mountain biker, and rock climber, and avid trekker – for 18 months, I traveled vagabond style through the South Pacific and S.E. Asia hiking up Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo and to the base camp of Mt. Everest.
However I don’t consider myself an extreme athlete or adventurer. It’s all relative – especially compared to all the characters I’ve encountered on my journeys. For the ten years I worked at various sports companies I was continually amazed at the boundaries athletes could push and the obstacles those with limitations could overcome. As a photojournalist I’ve had the good fortune to illustrate stories by pioneers of the adventure travel industry such as Tim Cahill, founder of Outside Magazine, who has spent a lifetime forging his own path.
So how would my experiences in Puerto Rico compare? I found an ideal balance between easily accessible adventures and authentic culture. It was an easy way to dip my toes into both worlds during my whirlwind week visit.
Here’s the photo and video highlights:
Toro Verde is a newly built ecological adventure destination with more miles of cable than any other park in the world. My highlight was “The Beast”, where I flew like a bird superman style on the world’s highest zip line (853 feet above the rainforest floor), for nearly a mile long (2nd longest in world at 4745 feet), and reached speeds of 55mph. This was best captured on video, and provided it’s own challenge wearing three video cameras. http://www.toroverdepr.com/index_eng.html
Only eight bioluminescent bays exist in the world and experiencing the unique spectacle of dinoflagellates that light up like fireflies in the water is only part of the adventure. Kayaking through a canal of mangroves into bio bay by starlight is the best low impact approach. While I wasn’t able to capture a clear photo of the blue-green light produced by these organisms as my kayak moved through the bay, their glimmer was visible on video with my new Nikon D4, a true test of low light capability. http://www.yokahukayaks.com/
Acampa Nature adventures offers private and group hiking and kayaking excursions to Caja de Merto, an island which is a combination of semi-arid dessert vegetation, white sand beaches, and limestone caves. We hiked through a a trail of green cactus forest to the highest point on the island, a 1887 Spanish lighthouse with expensive panoramic view of Puerto Rico, as the guides provided detail about the local flora and fauna.
After 10 years of exploring tropical waters by kayak, scuba diving, and snorkeling, I was finally able to experience a pod a dolphins close up when they approached our kayak within arms reach to peacefully feed at the surface. The island is abundant with marine life and coral reefs.
Here’s a link to my stock photography of Puerto Rico –