Archive | May, 2009

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EyeCandy: Taste of Rum Festival @ Old San Juan

Posted on 27 May 2009 by EyeFred

Get a glimpse of what the inaugural Taste of Rum Festival in

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Old San Juan had to offer: good food, lively music, great people, and the finest rums in the Caribbean. Also included are some awesome pictures from the High Flair Bartender Entertainment stage. Get started by clicking on the EyeCandy gallery below!

To learn more about rum in Puerto Rico click here. To learn more about the Taste of Rum event click here.

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EyeTour Weekly Twitter Updates for May 2009

Posted on 25 May 2009 by EyeFred

EyeTour Weekly Twitter Updates for 2009-05-18

EyeTour Weekly Twitter Updates for 2009-05-11

EyeTour Weekly Twitter Updates for 2009-05-04

  • @Boriken WEEEEEEEPAAAAAAAAA! in reply to Boriken #
  • We are planning a DVD release of EyeTour video library so people can buy as memento and watch full-res on their television sets. Interested? #
  • I just joined the twittericans Twitter Group http://tgr.me/g/twittericans so stop by and see us. #twittericans #
  • Calle 13 in concert tonight at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. Watch it at home via live feed at 8pm! Details: http://lacalle13.com/ #
  • Hope you guys caught the Calle 13 concert online last night. If not, enjoy the video for their song, ‘La Perla’: http://bit.ly/Q9V3I #

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EyeTour.com Wins Big @ SME WebAD Awards!

Posted on 15 May 2009 by EyeFred

EyeTour.com won the award for Best Website at this year’s WebAD Awards hosted by kentucky board of pharmacy SME (Asociación de Ejecutivos de Ventas y Mercadeo en Puerto Rico) at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ceremony took place at the association’s yearly Puerto Rico Internet Forum, where the island’s top marketing and sales executives gathered for presentations on the medium’s ‘Social & Search Revolutions’.bounce houses

Justin Levy, General Maneger at New Marketing Labs, centered his presentation on ‘Social Media Marketing’ – giving an overview on the benefits of exploiting social media as marketing tools and spending time discussing media darling services like

Facebook and Twitter. David Hughes, CEO at The Search Agency, and David Rahmel, Chief Research Officer and Executive Vice President at SEO, discussed the importance of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing as tactics to help grow a business by increasing brand visibility and traffics.

Facing some tough competition by some of Puerto Rico’s most visible brands and skilled media agencies, EyeTour.com won the Best Website category against Toyota’s ‘La Increible Máquina de Ahorra Gasolina‘, developed by Nobox Marketing Group, and the pharmacy onlinePostcards from the Stars‘ website, developed by a group of local noted entrepreneurs (including Pedro Juan Hernández asian woman in viagra commercial of Futuroe.com and Mr. Rafo Muñiz) in partnership with The Ricky Martin Foundation. canada meds online pharmacy Other winners at the event included JWT for Best Internet Integration (Phone Star – Centennial) and Creative Media Communications for their work in the Rogelio 2008 political campaign.

Why EyeTour.com?

EyeTour has evolved from the initial vision shared by three young entrepreneurs who found inspiration several years ago in Apple’s release of the first video iPod, into a full-fledged production company in charge of Puerto Rico’s Premier Online Video Guide, on the constant lookout for new technologies and Internet innovations with which to promote our precious Isla del Encanto.

EyeTour.com has become a feature-rich website experience unlike any other in the Caribbean that allows visitors to explore the island’s best attractions – historical sites, beaches, nature reserves, museums, restaurants, and more – through high-quality videos, detailed travel articles, and thousands of photographs. Visitors can download EyeTour videos into their iPod, iPhone, or other personal video player and fulfill the promise of our company’s slogan: BE YOUR OWN GUIDE!

We have created EyeTour.com and much more – our blog covers major events and expands on our video content, we’ve established direct communication with our users via new Internet technologies such as Facebook and Twitter (@EyeTourPR), and we’ve expanded our reach through modern distribution methods such as iTunes, YouTube, and RSS feeds. EyeTour was also iPhone-ready well before the celebrated phone was made available in Puerto Rico. The company has poured its heart into showing off what Puerto Rico is and what Puerto Ricans can do – and we hope it shows!

Any award accepted by EyeTour.com is a recognition given to the independent spirit, to entrepreneurial drive in times of economic hardship, to the Davids of the world up against powerful but never almighty Goliaths, and to those that dare dream big and wake up – pen in hand – ready to commit those ideas to paper and share them with the rest of the world. We’ve only just begun.

The EyeTour Team accepts the award for Best Website.

The EyeTour Team accepts the award for Best Website.

Congratulations to the whole EyeTour production and web development team:

José Martí, Juan Agustín Márquez, Alfredo Richner, Pablo López, Adrián Richner, Gabriel buy viagra online Sánchez, Andrés Richner, Sherman Wildman, Danette Hudoba, Jacob Serlen, and Gerardo Rodriguez.

Thank you for all the hard work, odd hours, rush jobs, labours of love, bickering, hugs, and most of all, your passion! We also wish to thank all of our friends and supporters (you know who you are). This project would not exist without each of your contributions.

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Beginner's Guide to Photography in Old San Juan

Posted on 13 May 2009 by jose

As a resident of Old San Juan with over 50 video and photography productions on location for EyeTour.com under the belt, it’s with much pride and joy that I share with you now my favorite spots to photograph in the historic city. Since I live close to the piers that make up the San Juan Marina on the southern end of the city, for me it’s always a treat to hike up the city streets like San Justo St. and Cruz St. while enjoying the views that open up as one moves towards higher ground, always taking advantage of the casual encounters that the city provides the avid photographer. So if you have the chance to explore the city and its many photo opportunities, keep your head up and your camera securely on hand because in Old San Juan the potential for a great shot lies around every corner.

Fuerte San Cristóbal

Recognized as the largest fortification in the Americas, El Fuerte San Cristóbal is full of unique photo opportunities and is the best spot for panoramic views of the city and for photos of Spanish architecture of centuries back, with its tunnels and barracks that once served as part of the city’s defense system. Explore all the different levels of the fort in search of the perfect panoramic shot, especially, the highest level of San Cristóbal, known as the Caballero, on which one may observe the entire city of Old San Juan and its bay.

Best Time For Photography: In the mornings if you want to take pics of El Morro and the northern end of the city towards the Atlantic. For great wide photographs of El Capitolio, which houses Puerto Rico’s Senate and House of Representatives, to the East – you’ll get a better shot after 1pm or at sunset. Plaza Colón can be seen from the south western side of the fort and makes for great shots too.

Fuerte San Felipe del Morro

The second oldest fortification making up San Juan’s defense system, El Morro is a sight to behold. From the gravel path that leads visitors to the fort there are good photo opportunities for panoramic views of Isla de Cabra and the Bacardi Factory across the San Juan Bay. If you look behind you as you walk the path to El Morro, you’ll also find good shots of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas, and of the Cementerio de San Juan to the East. Once inside the fortress you’ll find yourself bombarded with opportunities for great shots: there’s an ancient (renovated) lighthouse, soldier barracks, a dungeon, cannons, and the iconic Garitas (sentry box) from where soldiers kept watch of the seas. Be sure to make your way to the main platform of the “Santa Barbara Battery” – a good vantage point for views – and get a couple of shots from there. This is a fun place to wander around and simply explore all the different angles to the magnificent architecture.

Best Time For Photography: For a better view of the bay, visit the fortress during the morning. For spectacular high-contrast shots of El Morro, get yourself to its adjacent field as the sun is coming down (get there around 6pm to be on the safe side and have some time to set up).

Cementerio de San Juan

The cementery is a great place to explore and take photographs of the marble mausoleums and tombs, nestled between the fortified walls of the city and the waters of the Atlantic. There are also some good wide shots you can take of the cemetery from above, either standing on the fortified wall you can access by walking on the field adjacent to El Morro or all the way back from the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. Be careful as you walk down the small path that leads to the cemetery since it is a two way road and cars pass through occasionally. Also, be wary of exploring this (and any other) cementery at night, as there is no security around.

Best Time for Photography:
Anytime of the day – just don’t go there at night. Your shots will probably focus on the numerous marble sculptures, but in clear and sunny days you can shoot them against the blue hues of the Atlantic and make them really stand out in your compositions. Add a Puerto Rican flag into your frame for a nice touch of red.

La Muralla de la Ciudad

There is a winding path (favorite among joggers) that begins at La Puerta de San Juan, the last of three doors that were closed at night in order to protect the city and its residents. The path follows the outer side of the city walls around the San Juan Bay and the Atlantic, giving photographers an unique perspective on the majesty of these fortifications that shoot up hundreds of feet into the sky. If you walk to the end of the path (it will take you a good 20-30min depending on your pace) you’ll find yourself looking at El Morro from below.

The Garitas make for great shots from this point so aim at them too.

Best Time for Photography: Anytime during the day if the weather is fine. Bring water (and a snack) for the walk. This is also an excellent spot for pictures of a San Juan sunset since you’ll be able to see it clearly across the bay.

Plazuela De La Rogativa

La Plazuela de la Rogativa is a hidden gem of a spot between La Fortaleza and Casa Rosa that offers a spectacular view of the San Juan Bay – a must stop for photographers! This is THE perfect place for a panoramic photo out into the bay, a picture of the historic Puerta de San Juan from above, some shots of Garitas, and plenty of opportunities to capture the beautiful Rogativa Statue at the center of this small plaza.

Best Time For Photography: During the morning if you want the sun to work in your favor as you aim towards the view of the bay. The later during the day, the higher the contrast you will get from the sun. You can also get nice vanilla and purple skies during sunsets.

View from Casa Rosa

To the north of the Plazuela de la Rogativa, Casa Rosa also offers a splendid view of the San Juan Bay – additionally, from this point of view you have an extraordinary shot of La Fortaleza (the Governor’s estate) and the city wall. Get close to the Garita in front of Casa Rosa and you might also shoot some interesting photos from that vantage point.

Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico

This is a place that might go undetected by some tourists and locals alike but the historical building that houses the Instituto de Cultura is a great example of the Spanish Colonial Architecture at its finest. Feel free to explore its interior patios, walk its spacious halls and photograph all the colour and splendor that this place has to offer. This is a good place to take pictures of the columns and arcs that characterize much of the architecture in Old San Juan.  The Instituto de Cultura is open from 9:30am to 5pm and its is closed on Mondays.

Calle San Sebastián

San Sebastián street is the perfect place to mingle with locals. The colorful colonial houses and the laid-back atmosphere makes it the right spot to get lost walking the cobblestone street and wonder around. At the western end of the street you will find El Parque de la Beneficencia and Casa Blanca, both recommended places for further exploration and photography. During the night this is one of the main streets in Old San Juan for people to hang out in bars and restaurants.

El Arsenal

Located near the Plaza de la Dársena at the west end of the San Juan Marina, El Arsenal is a colorful place ideal for taking pictures of the interior patios and architecture. Also you might find on its premises a small chapel, old Spanish canons, and a wide view of the bay. El Arsenal’s interior space is also dedicated to galleries which often feature exhibits of local artists. It opens Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.

El Capitolio

The Capitol Building is an interesting place for photography. Located a short walk away from the San Cristóbal fortress and in front of a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. You are allowed to take pictures inside the building, so make sure you take advantage of this opportunity, as you will find inside the original document for the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well as several mosaics on the ceiling. Visiting hours are Monday to Fridays from 9am to 4pm.

Below are some links you might find useful:

Lose yourself within the city and its historic streets and be ready for casual encounters with Puerto Rican culture, colors, and flavors.  Be creative. Explore. Your curiosity will be rewarded with great photo opportunities!

Travel Photography Tips: From National Geographic , From Kodak , From Picture Correct

Composition: 4 Rules of Composition for Landscape Photography , Rule of Thirds

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Taste of Rum: An International Rum & Food Festival

Posted on 12 May 2009 by EyeFred

EyeTour.com is one of the media sponsors for the inaugural edition of the Taste of Rum International Rum & Food Festival to be held next Sunday May 24th, 2009 at El Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan.  Join us for a day of Caribbean music, culinary treats, and of course, the best rums in the world!  Prepare for the event by reading our featured article on Puerto Rican rum here.  We’ll be covering the event and will feature it on an EyeCandy Photo Gallery update on our blog soon after, so check back for updates!

Some information from the event website:

Location: Paseo La Princesa, Viejo San Juan
Date: Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th, 2009

Taste of Rum 2009 features a chance to experience a wide variety of Caribbean rums, great food from our neighboring islands, live music, and, last but not least, a feast of Puerto Rican joyful energy, culinary and musical richness, and culture!

The Puerto Rico International Rum Competition
Features the unique experience of rum tasting with international and local rums, to be judged by a panel of rum experts and celebrities. The event will be held May 23rd & 24th at Hotel Casa Herencia.

Day Event: Doors Open 12pm

– Closed @ 5pm (Tickets will be available until 4pm)

  • Sampling Cover Charge $10.00 Plus Tax. / Includes 2 Rum Samples & 1 Typical Food Sample Tickets
  • Premium Cover Charge $30.00 Plus Tax. / Includes 14 Rum Sample Tickets & 6 Typical Food Sample Tickets

Night Event: Doors Open 7pm – Closed @ 11pm

  • El Catador Cover Charge $45.00 Plus Tax. / Included Unlimited Rum & Food Sample
  • To benefit SAPIENTIS, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of Puerto Rico’s public education system
  • Learn about the organization at www.sapientis.org

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Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Posted on 12 May 2009 by GSV

Puerto Rico is famous for many things but it is probably best known for producing some of the world’s finest rums.  With that in mind, here’s a brief primer about everything you might want to know about rum (but were afraid to ask) including: cocktails, brands, history and culture.

I’m willing to bet most visitors to Puerto Rico come for the beaches, the weather, the historical sites and the natural wonders.  But in the back of their minds they’re probably thinking “Hmm, I’ve heard they make some good rum down there on the island.  I think I’ll try some when I’m there”.  So, even though they don’t come exclusively FOR the spirit, it’s undoubtedly a persuasive attraction.  And, really, who can blame them.  Puerto Ricans do not take it for granted that they live on an island that produces high-quality product, we consume it without prejudice.  It’s not a stretch to consider it an intrinsic part of our culture – and of the Caribbean’s as a whole – as much as wine is part of the French way of life, or vodka in Eastern Europe.  Rum serves as a link to our past, both the mythical and the real; from the decks of pirate ships to the sugarcane fields of the centrales azucareras.

Although antecedents of rum production can be traced back to centuries before the European arrival into the New World, the beginnings of what we now know as rum are a direct effect of the colonization process of the Americas.  The world-wide demand for sugar led to an expansion of the mono-culture of sugarcane all along the Caribbean islands and places like Brazil.  Molasses, the by-product from the refinement of sugar, was so readily available it began to be fermented and distilled; thus, rum was born.  Cheap and intoxicating, the spirit’s appeal was widespread, and what was once boot-legged and illegal became a money-making venture.  By mid-19th century, the Bacardi company and the Serralles family were already producing high-quality rum and continue to do so to this day.  If you find yourself in the southern city of Ponce, be sure to check out Castillo Serralles – a 20th century mansion that was the family home and now serves as a museum and cultural landmark.

Museo Castillo Serrallés

Museo Castillo Serrallés

So, now you know a bit about rum’s origins, it’s history. Now, you want to try some.  The two most popular rums are made on the island:  Bacardi – the world leader

in rum sales – has a plant in the city of Cataño, just across the bay from Old San Juan, that gives guests regular tours of the facilities (trust me, it’s a nice day trip if you can squeeze it into your schedule).  In Old San Juan you can find Casa Don Q, a museum dedicated to the Serralles family and its flagship product, Ron Don Q – the island’s top-selling rum.  Also, the Rums of Puerto Rico Tasting Bar, located in the same building, offers visitors a chance to try several cocktails made from the wide variety of products available. Try any combination of drinks from Cuba Libre, Piña Colada, Daiquiris, Mojitos and anything else you can think of, don’t be shy, the first drink is complimentary and it’s a fine way to learn what to order whenever you go to another bar.  Though Bacardi and Don Q are the most popular potent potables, they are by no means the only ones available: Ron Barrilito (in two or three star varieties) is a classic gold rum perfect for sipping on the rocks or with a mixer, Palo Viejo and Ron Llave are also popular options.

Festivals, such as the Taste of Rum inaugural festival and competition, are a perfect way of relishing the pleasures of rum to the maximum.  The Taste of Rum will be held during Memorial Day weekend at Paseo La Princesa in Old San Juan and is a unique chance to experience everything the island has to offer: great food, great crowds, and, of course, great rum.

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Walking Tour: Old San Juan Part 3/4

Posted on 04 May 2009 by GSV

For Part 1 of the

Old San Juan Walking Tour, click here.

For Part 2 of the Old San Juan Walking Tour, click here.

After experiencing Old San Juan’s beauty through sites such as Paseo De La Princesa, La Rogativa and El Morro, you might ask yourself: “What else is there to see in Old San Juan?”. But the answer is simple: there’s plenty more for you to discover so keep on reading below! On this leg of the tour we will continue to explore the northern section of the city and begin our descent through Del Cristo Street. So, let’s not waste anymore time and continue with part three.

The Third Time’s the Charm (Leg 3 of 4)

After enjoying everything Calle San Sebastián has to offer we retrace our steps a bit, heading north on Del Cristo Street, past Iglesia San José, towards the Convento de los Dominicos (Walking Tour site #19). Located on Norzagaray Street, the structure dates back to the 1500′s when it served as a convent for . Through restoration efforts, the building maintains the characteristics of period Spanish architecture and serves as a space for art exhibits and a score of other cultural events.

19. Convento de los Dominicos

19. Convento de los Dominicos

Although we’ve seen it from afar and walked alongside it, we still haven’t explored Plaza del Quinto Centenario (#20), located to the west of Convento de los Dominicos. The different levels of the plaza commemorate the 500 years since European contact with the New World. The fountain at the lower level not only adorns but also offers passers-by, especially children, a refreshing soak against the daytime heat. Going up the two flights of stairs we find the Totem Telurico, a 40-foot tall structure that stands at the city’s highest point and looks out towards El Morro and the Atlantic Ocean.

20. Plaza del Quinto Centenario

20. Plaza del Quinto Centenario

Continuing Norzagaray Street to the west, directly adjacent to Quincentennial Plaza, is the Cuartel de Ballaja, which contains our next two attractions: Museo de las Américas (#21) and Museo del Indio (#22). The three-storied building, which used to serve as barracks for Spanish soldiers, features an impressive interior plaza – a typical trait of Spanish architecture in the city. On the first floor of the building we find the Museo de las Américas. Boasting several exhibits focused on New World art, the museum is also home to a vast collection of “santos” – a Latin American tradition of carving saints out of wood and other materials. The second floor houses the Museo del Indio, which includes an extensive collection of artifacts pertaining to the Taíno culture and other pre-columbian inhabitants of the island and abroad.

21. Museo de las Américas

21. Museo de las Américas

22. Museo del Indio

22. Museo del Indio

Further west on Norzagaray and across the street from the Plaza is the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (#23). Constructed in the late 19th century, the two-storied building now serves as headquarters for the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP), the main government agency for promoting the arts on the island.

23. Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña

23. Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña

Walking south along Morro Street, with the ICP on the right-hand side, you will reach Parque de la Beneficencia (#24). A small, breezy plaza, you will normally see groups of local art students taking a break from their classes or skaters honing their skills on the steps and rails of the park. You may rest here and watch them practice or continue southward towards our next destination.

24. Parque de la Beneficencia

24. Parque de la Beneficencia

On the southwest corner of Parque de la Beneficencia we find the iron gate leading into Casa Blanca (#25). This residence would have been Juan Ponce de Leon‘s home, but he ended up a casualty – getting shot by an arrow – while searching for the Fountain of Youth in Florida before construction was completed. Instead, his lineage lived in the mansion for centuries after. The courtyard and gardens are incredibly well kept and serve as a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life; the foliage casts shadows that cool the area while the trickling harmony of the fountains adds to the serene and otherworldly atmosphere. Admission to the gardens is free of charge and you only have to pay a small fee if you want to browse around the refurbished mansion.

25. Casa Blanca

25. Casa Blanca

With a sense of rejuvenation, we leave Casa Blanca and head east on Calle San Sebastián until we reach Plaza San José once again. This time we head south, down Del Cristo Street. To your left you will find bars and restaurants, including one of our favorite dining places, El Burén. Further south is a lovely, small plaza with

benches, a huge tree providing shade and several strange and unique sculptures. This plaza, known as Plazuela or Caleta de Las Monjas, is surrounded by our next three sites.

Located at the intersection of Del Cristo with Calle Las Monjas is El Gran Hotel El Convento (#26). Formerly a Carmelite nun convent, the majestic building is now a first-rate hotel, attracting guests from all over the world. El Picoteo, located in the hotel, is a fine dining option.

26. Gran Hotel El Convento

26. Gran Hotel El Convento

Museo del Niño (#27) is situated on a three-story building to the west of Caleta de Las Monjas. The museum features interactive exhibits presented in a dynamic way, where children can have fun and learn with the very friendly staff. If a child is participating in this walking tour, the museum is a can’t-miss spot.

27. Museo del Niño

27. Museo del Niño

Directly in front of Museo del Niño – it’s kind of hard to miss – stands one of the island’s most significant religious structures, the Catedral de San Juan (#28). Construction of this imposing building began during the 16th century and some of its original components remain to this day. The cathedral’s main attraction is the marble tomb of explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.

28. Catedral de San Juan

28. Catedral de San Juan

As you walk down the cathedral steps, head north on Del Cristo St., we’re going to make a quick detour. Make a right at the first corner and walk towards San José Street. Right behind the cathedral is the Corralón de San José (#29). One of Puerto Rico’s oldest theatres, the historic site was recently re-opened after several years in disrepair. Continue to head south on San José Street to arrive at this leg’s final destination.

29. Corralón de San José

29. Corralón de San José

La Plaza de Armas (#30) is the expansive plaza located between San Francisco and Fortaleza Streets. Adorned with statues, fountains, benches and gazebos, the promenade is an popular meeting place because of its centric orientation in the city. Lots of pigeons meet here too. Across the street to the north of the plaza is San Juan’s City Hall, also an important historic building.

30. Plaza de Armas

30. Plaza de Armas

Wow, 30 sites and still more to go. There’s a lot of walking left and Part 4 promises to be memorable. So save up some energy for our final stroll and let’s meet up again for the conclusion to our walking tour of Old San Juan.

On to Part 4 of EyeTour.com’s Old San Juan Walking Tour.

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