WILLIAM MANN PHOTOGRAPHY | Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

January 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

It was time to leave Fajardo and head back to San Juan but not before stopping at El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s National Forest Reserve and rain forest!!  El Yunque takes up a big chunk of north-eastern Puerto Rico between Fajardo and San Juan.  You can see a lot of it by driving or hiking.  We did a bit of both.  First we drove around a bit, stopping at a roadside waterfall where someone was having a dance photo shoot.  We then found an observation tower that you could climb and get a great view of the forest.

Manns On A Mission - behind the scenes

Finally we found a hiking trail that promised a huge waterfall.  So we set off.  Within a few minutes, it started pouring (as it does in a rain forest) and we embraced it and played in the rain.  We hiked through huge ferns, palm trees, and a variety of jungle flora.  It was wild.  And then, the waterfall.  Huge, powerful, majestic and, sadly, full of tourists.  After a brief stop, we kept hiking and enjoying the scenery.

We had spent most of the morning and a good part of the afternoon in the rainforest and it was time to move on once again.  The drive from El Yunque was quick and easy.  We pulled up to a nondescript street in the Condado area of San Juan handed over our car to the valet and were ushered into THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTEL I’ve ever been to, O:live Boutique Hotel.  Our room was not quite ready so we dropped off our bags and were given a little tour of the property culminating at the rooftop pool and bar.  We ordered mojitos and set ourselves up at the pool, which we had all to ourselves.  The sun was hot, the water was refreshing, the drinks kept coming and everything was good in the world.  I was so content that when it was time to go to the room, I didn’t want to budge.  But the Mann insisted, so I dragged myself off my dais and followed him downstairs.

You guys, my mouth dropped when I walked in the door.  We’ve stayed in some lovely places, but this was just beyond.  Our suite featured a living area, frosted glass bathroom and a bedroom that opened up on two sides to the surrounding patio.  And the patio!  Every nook and cranny was photo shoot-worthy.  The decor, the details, all of it was perfectly curated from the outdoor living room and lounge to the stone tub and shower.  I was torn… now I didn’t want to leave the room to go back to the pool, let alone anywhere off property.


We loved this hotel so much that we wound up going back a few months later for a quick weekend away in paradise.  On our second trip, we had another gorgeous room with a sexy see-through shower and a veranda that looked over the lagoon.  We also spent more time on the rooftop just hanging out at the pool and watching the sunset.

Next up: Old San Juan adventures…


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