Puerto Rico: El Yunique Rain Forest

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System and the United States Forest Service.

This forest is commonly known as El Yunque, which may be attributed to either a Spanish approximation of the aboriginal Taínoword yu-ke which means “white lands”, or the word “anvil,” which is yunque in Spanish. The second-tallest mountain within El Yunque is also named El Yunque.

 

El Yunque National Rainforest is located on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains, encompassing 28,000 acres (43.753 mi.  of land, making it the largest block of public land in Puerto Rico.

 

The highest mountain peak in the forest rises 3,494 feet (1,065 m) above sea level. Ample rainfall (over 20 feet a year in some areas) creates a jungle-like setting — lush foliage, crags, waterfalls, and rivers are a prevalent sight. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory’s flora and fauna can be appreciated. El Yunque is also renowned for its unique Taínopetroglyphs. Indigenous people believed that El Yunque was the throne of their chief god Yúcahu, so that it is the Caribbean equivalent to Mount Olympus.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

 

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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Puerto Rico: Christmas in San Juan

Photography by Gary Wonning

How do you celebrate Christmas in Puerto Rico? The answer is simple. You relax and enjoy the important things in life – food, drink, music, dancing, beauty, and laughter – and, most importantly, you share them with the people you love. If you love Christmas, you will love celebrating it in Puerto Rico.

The celebrations start in early December, or even in late November with Thanksgiving, and they continue through to about mid-January, when the San Sebastian Festival, or SanSe, is held in Old San Juan and brings the festivities to a close.

Christmas in San Juan

Almost every municipality will have a holiday festival where people gather in the plaza to enjoy food, drink, music, dancing, and each other’s good cheer. Occasionally, the municipality will provide a holiday meal, such as a pig roast. People will travel across the island at this time to join in the different festivities. The unofficial closing festival of San Sebastian is an enormous event throughout Old San Juan. This four-day event features food and drink and music, as well as many vendors and artists. When most of these festivals were started, they had a religious orientation, but many have lost that facet while they continue to celebrate the beauty of life.

Christmas tree in Puerto Rico

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico: View From San Cristobal

Photography by Gary Wonning

Castillo San Cristóbal, also known as Fort San Cristóbal, is a fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was built by Spain to protect against land based attacks on the city of San Juan. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site.

Castillo San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal’s double gates. After close to one hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city.

Click on the photos to see more photos of  Puerto Rico

Looking east from the fort

Looking east with part of the fort in the fore ground

A cruise ship in port

Looking north towards the Atlantic Ocean

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

San Juan Puerto Rico: San Cristobal

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

Click on the photos to see more beautiful photos.

Castillo San Cristobal,also known as Fort San Cristobal, is a fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was built by Spain to protect against land based attacks on the city of San Juan. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site.

Castillo San Cristobal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristobal’s double gates. After close to one hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification (about a third) was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city.

This fortress was built on a hill originally known as the Cerro de la Horca or the Cerro del Quemadero, which was changed to Cerro de San Cristóbal in celebration of the Spanish victories ejecting English and Dutch interlopers from the island of this name in the Lesser Antilles, then forming part of the insular territorial glacis of Puerto Rico.

View from San Cristobal

Castillo de San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristóbal) also contains five cisterns that were used for the storage of water during the ages of the Spanish Colony. They are extremely large (24ft tall, 17ft wide and 57ft long) and were used as bomb shelters during World War II. They could be used for a future war again with some refurbishments.

Sunset from El Morro

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

More interesting books about   San cristobal

Puerto Rico El Morro

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

Click on the photos for more pictures of El Morro.

The sun sets behind El Morro, the old fort that has protected San Juan from invaders for centuries.

Sunset in San Juan

Picturesque monument at the entrance to the fort.

El Morro

A view from the front

Storm clouds gather over the fort

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Saint Kitts : Caribbean Island

Photography by Gary Wonning

St. Kitts is the larger of the 2 Caribbean islands that comprise the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. It’s known for rainforested mountains and beaches of white, gray, and black sands. On its southwestern coast is the capital, Basseterre, and Georgian buildings from the colonial era. Anchoring Basseterre is the Circus, a plaza modeled after London’s Piccadilly Circus, complete with Victorian-style clock tower.

To see more photos, please click on the photographs below.

Beautiful South Caribbean Island

Saint Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Saint Kitts and the neighboring island of Nevis constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis are separated by a shallow 2 mile channel known as “The Narrows”.

Saint Kitts became home to the first Caribbean British and French colonies in the mid-1620s. Along with the island nation of Nevis, Saint Kitts was a member of the British West Indies until gaining independence on September 19, 1983.

The island is one of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated about 2,100 km (1,300 mi) southeast of Miami, Florida. The land area of St. Kitts is about 168 km (65 sq mi), being approximately 29 km (18 mi) long and on average about 8 km (5.0 mi) across.

Saint Kitts has a population of around 40,000, the majority of whom are mainly of African descent. The primary language is English, with a literacy rate of approximately 98%. Residents call themselves Kittitians.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

San Juan Puerto Rico: Castillo San Felipe del Morro

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

El Morro Fort, or officially Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, stands guard at the entrance to San Juan harbor as a reminder of a by-gone era when invading countries would attempt sea attacks to take this prized city and harbor.

El Morro Lookout

This beautiful 6-level fort was named in honor of Spain’s King Philip II. The Fort wasn’t initially built as the huge structure that you see today. It has gone through many enlargements and modifications, from the time it was first constructed by Spain through the time that it was occupied by the US Army.

Sunset at El Morro

The garitas, or sentry boxes, are located all around the outer walls of the fort. There are a number of them that you can go into. These garitas have become a cultural symbol of Puerto Rico – you will see their images on many things, from license plates to shot glasses to tee shirts. These make wonderful pictures.

 

In 1493, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in Spanish) “discovered” Puerto Rico and claimed it for Spain. A little known fact is that Columbus called the whole island San Juan, in honor of Saint John the Baptist. Puerto Rico (puerto = “port” and rico = “rich”) was the name given to what is known today as the Old San Juan area. It was only later that the names were reversed and the whole island became known as Puerto Rico.

Sunset San Juan

The San Juan harbor is naturally deep and safe, and Puerto Rico is in a strategic location, so it seemed that everyone wanted to call San Juan their own. After Spain claimed the island and started colonizing it, many pirates and privateers tried to invade to get the island and some of Spain’s riches! So Spain always had to fight to keep claim to the island.

After the original fort Fortaleza (now the Governor’s mansion) was deemed to be inadequate protection for the harbor, it was decided that a fort was needed in a better location. So they built a small structure at the north-west tip of Old San Juan, at the entrance to the harbor, on the current site of El Morro. Built between 1539-1540, it was a small fort that held a few men and only 4 cannons.

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.