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Piñones: the beach bum's paradise in Puerto Rico (with 2 HD videos)
One of Piñones' endless beaches
Piñones has something for everyone
Piñones (pronounced pee-NYO-naze) is an iconic beach community just outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Miles of sun-dappled beaches, trails, and snack shacks called friquitines in the local Spanish, Piñones is a premier destination for locals and visitors alike. Whether you are into surfing and parasailing, biking or just chilling on the beach with a good book, Piñones is for you. Be sure to go all the way to the bottom of this Hub for the videos we made!
Pouring a bacalaito on the fire
An assortment of treats
What is a 'friquitín?'
In Puerto Rico, everyone knows that Piñones is the place to get the famous treats that the Island is known around the world for. These include bacalaitos, which are bits of cod fish fried in delicious dough; pinchos, which are meats roasted on a skewer, sometimes with vegetables or bread; alcapurrias, which are a fried treat that looks something like corn dogs but are stuffed with various meats; piononos, which are balls of sweet plantains stuffed with meat and Swiss cheese; and of course various roasted meats such as lechón, which is Puerto Rico's iconic roasted pork. The drinks flow liberally as well. In Puerto Rico, which is one of the world's largest producer of rum, top brands like Don Q and Bacardí come cheap and are turned into drinks like piña colada, made from locally-grown pineapple. Another local favorite is Medalla beer, a light, refreshing brew with a relatively low alcohol content. There are also nonalcoholic fresh juices, coconut water, and other treats.
The friquitines are small, informal roadside shacks, where the food is cooked over wood fires. Time passes slowly and people move from shack to shack, trying a pincho here and a piña colada there.
Traditional "Bomba y Plena"
Whole families dance and sing
Piñones and Christmas
For many Puerto Ricans, Piñones and Christmas go hand in hand. Joyous families crowd into the beaches and friquitines of Piñones during the holiday season. Many times families who have left to go to other countries will reunite over a pincho and a festive drink in Piñones. For this reason, many people think that piña coladas are a Christmas drink, or that bacalaitos are a Christmas food. The truth is that they are year-round treats, but since many people with Puerto Rican roots only can visit the Island during Christmas, that is when they get them.
For many Puerto Ricans who have had to leave the Island during these tough economic times, Piñones represents some of their fondest memories of the Isla del Encanto.
My wife and I put together two videos to show the beauty of Piñones. Though they are meant specifically for Puerto Ricans who long to return to Piñones for Christmas, they are great for anyone who wants to get an idea of the beauty of this unforgettable area.