For those who are unfamiliar, the lovely people over at Bacardi Rum put on an event this Halloween featuring three days of endless pool parties, incredible drinks and a concert with Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamar, and Calvin Harris. Having taken place at the gorgeous El Conquistador resort in Puerto Rico, the affair was aptly named “The Bacardi Triangle”. Traveling with Joe’s Daily, I was one of only 1,862 people lucky enough to experience the unforgettable weekend.
When we first arrived at the hotel Thursday night we were surprised to find the resort was as large as it was. We were staying down in the Marina so getting to the room required a bit of walking, a couple of elevator trips, as well as a pretty cool tram ride. Though getting to the room was a little involved, once we saw the view in the morning light, we counted ourselves lucky. Gorgeous.
Halloween couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. After finishing brunch the hardest thing we had to do was decide on which pool to hang out at. I know, rough. Each was set up with its own DJ, multiple bars, and unique views of the island and surrounding ocean. There was no wrong choice. So, we grabbed some Piña Coladas and posted up for a few hours.
When the afternoon rolled around we attended a mixology class taught by one of Bacardi’s master mixologists. Here we learned how to make a couple local island specialties. Immediately you knew what you made was going to be amazing because our teacher was so persnickety. If you happened to pour an ingredient in the wrong order, or mix it together incorrectly, you would be made to start completely over. There were no complaints once we were finished though. The man was particular, but he was no amateur. Those drinks were ridiculously good. This concoction is called Swizzle Stick Rum Punch. It consists of rum, lime, pineapple, ginger, sugar and bitters.
After the mixology class, we found out that, of only five in the world, Puerto Rico is home to two places where you can witness bioluminescent plankton. Though bioluminescence is quite common in nature, what makes this particular kind so special is the size of its host. Because the plankton are so small, it actually looks like the glow is coming from the water itself. So, as soon as it was dark, a small group of us hopped on a bus and headed for the water. The boat ride to the lagoon was pretty cool by itself; the path through the water was a sinuous one, winding through endless trees inhabited by numerous huge iguanas. After about a 5-10 minute ride our path suddenly opened up to a dazzling expanse of water and stars.
Immediately our guide handed each of us light wooden poles to agitate the water with, this is what prompts the plankton to gleam. We were warned not to get into the water as the oils from our bodies and chemicals from our sunscreen and bug spray would be harmful. At first when we dipped our sticks in the water it was difficult to tell if we were seeing what we were supposed to or not. The moon was extremely bright that night and I personally began to worry that it would drown out the light we came to see. Then, just as you were convincing yourself that you were happy with the boat ride alone, a slight glimmer began to come from the water. Slowly but surely it became more and more brilliant as we headed deeper into the lagoon, until the water looked like it was made of the goo inside of a glow stick. By far the coolest part of the experience was when the nearby fish darted away from our approaching boat. The sudden movement left long trails of a glowing blue behind. I wasn’t able to get any pictures, as the camera I had didn’t have an option for long exposure, but this is exactly what it looked like.
After we got back from witnessing the world’s most enchanting plankton it was time for the Halloween party. The bash took place at the water park just next to the Marina, which was crazy convenient for us. The various bars were serving special twists on your typical rum drinks. All inspired by, and just as awesome as, the three artists that would be playing the following night. Absolutely everyone showed up for the party, so there were definitely some interesting things to be seen. It was clear to see that everyone was having a ridiculously fun time. After a while we decided to retire back our balcony for people watching while we dove into some pizza and the bottle of Bacardi 8 that had greeted us the day we arrived. (By the way, if you tend to be more of a whisky person, you definitely need to give that rum a try.) It may sound a bit boring, but for me it was the perfect way to end a pretty uncommon Halloween.
The next day looked about the same as the day before. A bountiful brunch followed by pool-hopping and piña coladas. We wanted to be careful not to overexert ourselves so we could thoroughly enjoy the epic evening we had ahead (jokes…).
Just after dinner it was time to head over to the island to see Ellie, Kendrick, and Calvin perform. Even as the shuttling boat approached land it was clear that the night was going to be crazy. Upon stepping off, the first thing you saw was a troop of incredibly talented fire dancers and jugglers. The rest of the island was set up with various bars and food stands supporting a rustic island theme, all connected by torch-lit pathways.
The concert itself was absolutely amazing. Bacardi had set up a stage continuing the triangle theme, outfitted with lights that created a stunning display. This, coupled with the fact that there wasn’t a bad seat in the house couldn’t have resulted in a more perfect environment to see our favorite artists in. We enjoyed ourselves in that incredible atmosphere until well into the A.M.
So that’s it. The next morning we grabbed one last brunch and headed for home. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next year, but one thing’s for certain: Bacardi made my Halloween 2014 the best that I’ve ever had!!