Entertainment

Puerto Rico’s Airbnbs And Experienced Will Take Your Vacation To The Next Level

Mark / Airbnb

Aside from just straight donating to charities, visiting Puerto Rico is one of the best ways to help the island continue its recovery from the damages of Hurricane Maria. The island has a long history of relying on tourism to boost its economy, and it’s for good reason: es bellísima. 

Learn to rappel down a waterfall | $135

CREDIT: Diego / Airbnb

If you came to Puerto Rico for the waterfalls, then climbing several small waterfalls with Diego to reach the top of El Salta Waterfall is for you. He’ll teach you how to rappel down the 80 foot waterfall and then zipline out of the forest. Plus, reviewers say that Diego’s family accommodated their vegan dietary needs for a home-cooked meal afterward!

Tree House | $62 p/night

CREDIT: Enrique / Airbnb

I see you outdoorsy people. Enjoy a stay in a five star rated modest treehouse in Utuado, close to rivers, lakes beaches and caves. One reviewer raves, “A magic, romantic and private place for anyone who like wilderness and peace. Much better than i expected. Crazy for going back there. And centric for whoever visit and is planning to adventure the whole island.”

Culebra Snorkeling Getaway | $115

CREDIT: East Island / Airbnb

This sold out experience gets you six hours of Caribbean Sea views, both above board and under water. Enjoy Culebra’s beautiful beaches and coral reefs at your leisure, along with a lunch buffet and all snorkeling gear included.

Pool House with Underground Jacuzzi Grotto | $850 p/night

CREDIT: Max / Airbnb

If you’re swimming in dough or have a big group of friends, you’ll enjoy this 8-bedroom mansion complete with an underground jacuzzi. The home itself is a piece of history, complete with private pools and unique features.

Rainforest Water Slide Tour | $89

CREDIT: Chris / Airbnb

This is Airbnb’s #1 adventure tour in Puerto Rico for a reason. You’ll get to go to remote giant rainforest water slides and jump off of 30 foot cliffs into crystal clear water.

Body Rafting™ & Caving ∙Nature Reserve | $110

CREDIT: Mimi / Airbnb

Mimi is a scientist who has spent 7 years surveying the geo hydrology of Tanamá caves. She takes adventurers in life vests to float downstream and get a nature tour of the caves she studies so intimately.

Horseback Ride on Luquillo Beach | $99

CREDIT: Alejandro / Airbnb

You guys. Bring your boo to “traverse the crystal clear waters of the Mameyes River to finally reach Luquillo’s Gold Coast” on horseback. Then, relax on the beach, have a drink and enjoy the breeze.

Casablanca | $79

CREDIT: CasaBlanca / Airbnb

Rent out your own air conditioned space just blocks from Ocean Park beach in San Juan. When you’re not taking in San Juan, you can relax on your own hammock in a tropical private garden.

Condado City Lights – LED Night Paddle | $49

CREDIT: mark / Airbnb

If your idea of enjoying San Juan’s nightlife is from an LED lit paddle board, then Mark has you covered. The glow face paint is included. ; )

Sail San Juan Bay | $75

CREDIT: Ivan / Airbnb

Spend a couple hours with Ivan on a romantic sunset sail on San Juan Bay. His complimentary drinks really hit home with reviewers, along with his excellent photography skills. Get that couples’ shot with flying manta rays. This is your vacay.

Mofongos! Mofongos! Mofongos! | $29

CREDIT: cristian / Airbnb

You haven’t been to Puerto Rico until you’ve drooled while eating its famous mofongo. Join Cristian and his family in learning how to make the dish, offered to meet your dietary needs.

Entire Condominium in San Juan | $115 p/night

CREDIT: Annet and Andrés / Airbnb

A recent guest says it all about this gem: “A rare piece of history and beauty. An incredible opportunity to see, hear, and experience Old San Juan from the most premier location. The Victorian doors and windows were stunning. The open balconies on the interior was fascinating and incredible – facilitating a constant warm ocean breeze when the louvers and shutters were open. A roof porch in the center of town. Great views of the lively colors of the city. Thanks to Lourdes for her kindness, recommendations, and welcomeness. Kind neighbors downstairs. Muchas gracias!”

Go Paddleboarding in a scenic lagoon with Julio for $25

CREDIT: Juilo / Airbnb

Check out Puerto Rico’s manatees, sea turtles and sting rays in a beautiful lagoon adjacent to the city of San Juan. His staff are all certified by the American Canoe Association to give you the best experience possible of the Condado Lagoon.

Surfing with Local Brian Ramos! | $70

CREDIT: Brian / Airbnb

Brian promises to take you to uncrowded spots where beginners are able to get 10+ waves in a short two hour lesson. If you’ve never surfed before, trust that this is huge.

Experience Tropical Camping at a Cabin Close to the Ocean | $95 p/night

CREDIT: Francis / Airbnb

Call this glamping, complete with post-modern minimalist decor, AC and a nearby beach. Reviewers truly *rave* about their host: “We loved staying at Francis’ place. It was immaculate and furnished with great attention to detail. There was a nice bottle of red wine and chocolates. Francis was very hospitable and easy to talk to, and he gave us two fresh coconuts and straws to drink from. What makes this Airbnb special is the beach nearby and the local friendliness in the area. The beach is right across the street and through a little trail. It is very private besides a few surfers in the morning. The sand is soft and the waves are beautiful. We spent a lot of time collecting sea shells and swimming. We will definitely be back!”

Exotic Flower Farm Stay | $39 p/night

CREDIT: Britton / Airbnb

Yup. You can stay in a cabana on a tropical fruit and flower farm with ocean views. Grab a mango from the garden and head to the beach for some good surf, all at a very reasonable price.

Barefoot Studio Sanctuary Prime Location Surf Yoga | $50 p/night

CREDIT: Joy / Airbnb

The best part about this studio, complete with a king bed and private garden filled with tropical flowers for your picking, is how integrated other activities are with your stay. You can walk to the beach, take surf and yoga lessons offered by the same company.

Eco-Chalet up in the mountains | $100 p/night

CREDIT: Juan Carlos / Airbnb

Enjoy your stay at the only Puerto Rican eco-lodge listed on Airbnb. The house is on 144 acres of private tropical rainforest. The only electricity in the house comes from solar energy, and you can expect to be completely unplugged from the internet. This place has 100 five star reviews.

Cave Tubing and Ziplining Adventure | $75

CREDIT: Noel / Airbnb

It’s the lazy river for not so lazy people. This trip into the Arecibo area includes a 250 foot biplane, rafting into caves, and hikes through the famous El Yunque rainforest.

El Yunque Rainforest River Trail! | $89

CREDIT: Safuan / Airbnb

Safuan offers transportation to and from the famous El Yunque rainforest. From there, you’ll embark on a short hike to a less traversed swimming hole, complete with a swinging rope, a natural stone slide, and local beach.

READ: 22 Amazing Airbnb Listings For Your Next Trip to Latin America

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

READ:

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

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