As spring turns into summer, and the skies begin to clear up, the time-honored tradition of kite flying returns to occupy open spaces all around Puerto Rico. The most popular spot on the island for this type of activity is the wide, open field of El Morro. The area around the historical landmark contains all the necessary conditions for successful kite flying in a picturesque setting: the sprawling green lawn, the unobstructed airspace (no power lines or aircraft), and the constant, unrelenting trade winds. With these characteristics, it’s no wonder why kite flying in El Morro is something every Puerto Rican family tries at least once. Picnics are commonplace with parents and children participating in the event; the terrain strewed with blankets, chairs and coolers, the sky dotted with simple or fantastical chiringas – as the flying objects are locally known. Kite flying is such a beloved leisure activity that the National Park Service has an annual Kite Festival celebrating the tradition, as well as raising awareness about the environmental repercussions we can avoid by being mindful of our surroundings. In fact, kite safety and etiquette are things you should familiarize yourself with before setting out. With the knowledge at hand, you’ll be able to better enjoy the experience.
And what else do you need to enjoy the experience? A kite, of course! Kites are fairly simple to make right at home, so you can certainly turn your weekend into a full-fledged experience by making your own kite and proudly displaying your unique creation up in the sky. You can also bring your own store-bought flying sensation or buy one from the numerous street vendors (or the local pharmacy or toy store) lining the streets around El Morro and the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. Gayla is one of the most trusted brands for cheap yet incredibly sturdy and easy to assemble kites – and their classic designs like the ‘Baby Bat’ look great when displayed up above. Readily available in Old San Juan for less than five dollars, there is a lot of fun to be had on the cheap! Kite-flying season runs ostensibly from
Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest – one of the island’s most visited sites and a treasure trove of natural wonders – has qualified along with 260 other sites around the world to move into the second round of the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign. Following the success of The Official New 7 Wonders of the World campaign, which revealed the results of 100 million votes and included The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, and the Taj Mahal as its winners, the New7Wonders Foundation has begun tallying votes for the world’s most cherished nature sites in hopes of promoting preservation and responsible tourism.
Now officially on its second phase, the campaign is looking to whittle down the selection to the top 77 locales as voted by people through its website. We think that El Yunque deserves the recognition and we want you to help us by voting for it. If you’ve already visited the forest, then you don’t need us to tell you about its ecological and scientific significance, about the breathtaking vistas or the rich biodiversity on display.
Here’s a video we produced on how to vote:
However, if you’ve never been to El Yunque National Forest – Don’t worry! EyeTour has you covered. Below you will find information about the forest and its award-winning tourist information center, El Portal. Click on the pictures or links to watch videos for both sites and learn more about what makes El Yunque unique and worthy of being named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Oh, and don’t forget to vote afterwards!
El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque National Forest is located in
the Sierra de Luquillo Mountains, about 25 miles east of the San Juan area. A short ten-minute drive through the village of Palmer in Río Grande and up PR Road #191 will lead you to El Yunque. Covering over 28,000 acres of land, the forest derives its name from the Taíno word “Yuké” – meaning sacred or white lands. From its peaks, it offers visitors some of the most breathtaking vistas found in the Caribbean. Temperatures range from almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the lower parts of the forest to a cool 65 degrees in areas closer to 3,300 feet above sea level.
El Yunque’s biodiversity makes it unique among other forests in the United States National Forest System. Frequent rain showers generate close to 100 billion gallons of rainwater a year and conspire with Puerto Rico’s warm tropical climate to accommodate over 240 species of native trees, 50 species of orchids, and 150 species of ferns. Almost a third of the tree species are native to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and 10 percent of them are endemic to El Yunque and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The forest’s animal life is dominated by reptiles, amphibians, and birds, including the endangered ‘Higuaca’ or Puerto Rican Parrot. The forest attracts over a million visitors each year, who come to hike its more than 13 miles of trails while enjoying the lush scenery and fresh mountain air. Guided tours of these trails are available through the USDA Forest Service’s innovative “Forest Adventure Tours” and “Rent-A-Ranger” programs.
The core of El Yunque National Forest remains largely untouched to this day and has proven to be an exceptional asset to the world’s scientific community. It not only serves as a leading research site for numerous studies, but also provides a unique window to the past, when the original forest covered Puerto Rico in its entirety. VIEW VIDEO
El Portal Rain Forest Center
El Portal Rain Forest Center was established in 1996 to serve as a gateway into El Yunque National Forest and to provide various recreational and educational opportunities to the general public. Its award-winning design by local architecture firm Sierra Cardona y Ferrer leads visitors across an elevated walkway and into a rain forest introduction area and three pavilions. The pavilions are located on the building’s upper level and offer an opportunity to learn more about El Yunque and its relationship with other tropical rain forests in the world through exhibits and interactive displays. The unique structure also houses an information desk staffed with knowledgeable USDA Forest Service personnel, a theater that regularly screens a short film on El Yunque, and a book store-gift shop. El Portal Rain Forest Center is available for rent after regular operating hours and offers special events such as the ‘Noches de Artes y Música,’ presented on the last Friday of each month. VIEW VIDEO
Carried by Ivan Rodriguez‘stwo-home run night and 4 1/3 strong innings from starter Javier Vazquez, the Puerto Rican national team shutout the Panamanians 7-0 in their first game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Carlos Delgado homered off of Bruce Chen in the second inning to ignite the Puerto Rican offense and bring the raucous, sold-out crowd to a frenzy.
Puerto Rico looks to advance to the second round of the tournament with a win Monday versus the surprising Netherlands team
(who completed quite a shocker earlier in the day).
By Nelson Silverio and Mark Stevens-PGA TOUR March 4, 2009, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico — A sports fan’s dream is taking place in Puerto Rico next week as the world’s top athletes in golf and baseball converge on the Isle of Enchantment. On March 7-11, Puerto Rico will host four international teams as a first-round site for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. On Thursday, March 12, the day after the WBC bracket’s championship game, 132 of the world’s finest golfers from 16 countries will begin play in the PGA TOUR’s second annual Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular.The crack of the bat leads to the ball in the cup as the stars of the PGA TOUR will tackle the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico March 12-15. Puerto Rico’s greatest golfer Juan “Chi-Chi” Rodriguez, an eight-time winner on levitra versus viagra cialis the PGA TOUR, will return as tournament ambassador to hand out the trophy bearing his name. The economic impact of the Puerto Rico Open on the cialis and levitra taken together island is significant. The Puerto Rico Open will be broadcasted in over 589 million households, in 231 countries and translated into 35 languages. Additionally, the PGA TOUR players and their familiesinflatable halloween decorations, caddies and fans will be traveling to Puerto Rico to experience all the island has to offer, including El Yunque National Forest. 20mg cialis dosage Just across the street from Trump International Golf Club, El Yunque is currently in the running to become a New7Wonder of Nature.The Puerto Rico Open field has combined for more than 100 PGA TOUR victories, including six major championships. U.S Open runner-up Rocco Mediate, Ryder Cup star J.B. Holmes and 18-year-old Tadd Fujikawa will be among those players battling defending champion Greg Kraft. Mediate victoza canadian pharmacy was defeated by Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open in a Monday playoff. Despite the loss, Mediate gained a legion of fans from around the world for his role in what has been described in media circles as one of the great major championships of all time. Holmes, atwo-time PGA TOUR champion, played for the United States at last year’s Ryder Cup, and is considered one of the top young stars on the PGA TOUR.The teenager Fujikawa, a native of Hawaii, received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Puerto Rico Open. Earlier this year, Fujikawa thrilled his hometown fans at the Sony Open in Hawaii with a third-round 8-under 62 to jump into contention at the event. Fujikawa’s achievements on the
course are all the more impressive considering he was born three months premature and doctors gave him a 50-50 chance of survival. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces and was so small that he could fit in his grandfather’s palm. Fujikawa, along with Rodriguez, will be hosting a Junior Clinic on Tuesday for local youth.
Hispanic Presence in the FieldFour golfers from Puerto Rico who played in the 2008 Puerto Rico Open are scheduled to participate: Max Alverio, Rafael Campos (amateur), Wilfredo Morales and Miguel Suárez. Additionally, in an effort to showcase up-and-coming Latin American players, the tournament is extending exemptions to the winners of select Tour de Las Américas events. The four players receiving these exemptions are Manual Villegas, Antti Ahokas, Estanislao Goya and Felipe viagra 100mg street value Aguilar Schuler.Villegas won the 2008 Colombian and Argentinean Open, and is the brother of PGA TOUR professional Camilo Villegas, both from Colombia. Manuel who followed in Camilo’s footsteps by playing golf at the University of Florida will make his first start on the PGA TOUR. Ahokas, a member of the PGA European Tour, won the 103° Abierto VISA de la República presentado por Peugeot in Argentina as well as the ECCO Tour Championship in Denmark in 2008.Goya, a native of Argentina, won the 2008 Tour de las Americas Order of Merit. He posted a course record 61 at Bonaventure Country Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., besting Johnny Miller’s 32 year record score by one. He won twice more in 2008, at the 77 Abierto VISA del Centro Presentado por Personel, and the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final on the PGA European Tour’s Challenge Tour. Schuler, a native Chilean, won the 2008 Chilean Open and the 2008 Abierto del Golf Club de los Leones on the Tour de Las Américas before winning his first PGA European Tour event at the 2008 Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open.Proceeds from the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular will support Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, a charity that allows for the development of initiatives that are benefiting children and young adults who reside in the local community.Following last year’s inaugural event, the tournament donated more than $200,000 to the local Rio Grande chapter. The Puerto Rico Open is also taking the opportunity to raise awareness about environmental protection and responsibility. For more information or to buy tickets you may contact: 787-728-8500 or visit www.ticketpop.com.
Puerto Rico is host to many sporting events each year, but most are not as high profile as the World’s Best 10K marathon, which has become in recent years a cultural phenomenon. EyeTour decided to let its presence known in 2009′s event (you can see our EyeCandy photo gallery of the WB10K here) and sent our editorial team to follow two local runners ready to
cross the WB10K finish line. Our EyeTour.com ‘sponsored’ runners, Alexis Gómez (25 – Trujillo Alto, PR) and Daniel Blanco (27 – San Juan, PR), gave it their all – but in the end could not
out-pace this year’s winner, Sammy Kitawara from Kenya who ran an astounding 27:26 official time for the race. Both however, were able to compete the race admirably, with Danny coming in at 1056 with 52:54 total time and Alexis
placing 1919 with 59:42. We’d like to congratulate them both for reaching their individual goals and thank them for wearing our (super cool and ultra-limited edition) EyeTour.com logo shirts. Don’t worry guys, we’ll get ‘em next year!
On Saturday, February 21, EyeTour.com participated in the last outdoor screening of the season for Cinema Eventos‘s free biweekly movie events in the Parque Nacional Laguna del Condado Jaime Benítez, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The night’s screening featured Marcos Carnevale’s Elsa and Fred, a film beloved by many Puerto Ricans and famous for having a successful run at the local theaters that ended after 74 weeks. EyeTour.com videos of some of Puerto Rico’s public parks were screened for audiences on Cinema Eventos’s giant inflatable projection screen, including videos of Isla de Cabras, Balneario Seven Seas, and Boquerón.
The park proves to be the perfect outdoor setting at dusk, when the skies take on purplish and indigo tones – augmenting a magnificent view of the skyline across the waters of the Condado Lagoon. The event was sponsored by the Compañía de Parques Nacionales de Puerto Rico, which hosts a variety of events across many of the island’s public parks, beaches, and camping sites.
Cinema Eventos’s outdoor movie screenings – which feature classics, modern classics, family friendly films, as well as some premieres – began late last year and have consistently convinced hundreds of people to come out and enjoy the night outdoors in the company of their neighbors and loved ones. Popcorn and refreshments are also served for free (although donations are greatly appreciated) – you only need to bring your own chair or picnic blanket! This first run of screenings has been a great success inspiring many to come out and spend time in our public parks. We hope
to provide EyeTour.com visitors with more information about future screenings soon!