Nobody wants a good vacation to come to an end, especially when it means leaving the tropics and heading back to a much cooler climate! I was so glad I eked out every last ounce of our trip by scheduling a tour in San Juan before our flight home to Chicago!
Our excursion was to the Bacardi Rum Factory, but our driver took us through the streets of Old San Juan first, pointing out famous sites and entertaining us with colorful stories! Founded in 1521 by Juan Ponce de León, Old San Juan is the oldest city under U.S. jurisdiction. The thick, stone walls surrounding the city were built nearly 400 years ago to protect against pirates and foreign invaders.
A more recent historical note, the Piña Colada was invented at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in 1963, and that leads us to our tour of Casa Bacardí and the rum distillery!
Bacardi was founded in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Cuba, when he revolutionized the rum-making process through a special filtration and aging process. In 1936 Bacardi opened the facility in Puerto Rico— by 1958 it became largest premium rum distillery in the world! The bat symbol? The brainchild of Don Facundo's wife Amalia, who noticed fruit bats flying from the rafters of the new distillery in Cuba. She suggested that the bat become the symbol of Bacardi Rum - in folklore, bats represent good fortune and health! Bacardi is still a family owned and operated company.
Our tour ended with a complimentary drink (of course) and the best Mojito I've ever tasted!
A special thanks to our Driver/Tour Guide Rafael and his delightful stories! A wonderful accompaniment to our exceptional refreshments!
As I head back to work, I'm already planning my next adventure! ¡Salud!