Chris and Ch’nese Pittman’s first trip to Puerto Rico is one they will never forget. After spending a holiday on the island in April of 2021, the duo, with a background in tourism and hospitality, fell in love. “We were inspired by the culture; the hospitality and loving nature from the natives,” the couple tells EBONY. “We enjoyed the awesome food and, of course, the weather.”
Like with many of their vacations, the Pittman’s did not want to leave. But instead of wishfully thinking about their return, the couple started planning their next trip. A month later, they were back in PR, soaking up the amazing weather and beautiful sites. It was on that trip in May that the duo decided to move to the island.
“Puerto Rico felt like home,” they say. “It seemed to be such a great fit for our family.” After brainstorming Chris and Ch’nese decided to start a tour company as a means of income in their new home. It made sense given their collective 25 years of hospitality and customer service experience. They agreed that exploring and touring “the Enchanted Island” was the best way to spend their days. After what they describe as “many long hours and sleepless nights,” the couple launched Fiesta Tour PR in July of 2021. Below they share their journey with EBONY.
EBONY: There are several tour companies in Puerto Rico. What makes Fiesta Tour unique?
Chris and Cheese Pittman: Fiesta Tour PR is amongst many great companies, and we believe each company is unique in its own perspective. What makes Fiesta Tour PR unique is the personalization and distinguishing care that we give each and every guest. We ask specific questions to figure out your interests and we cater each experience to your personal needs. We do not simply tour strangers; we give friends an unforgettable experience. No tour is the exact same, because no guest is the same. We do not operate a “one size fits all” model.
What is your most popular travel excursion for Black travelers?
Our Black travelers enjoy the night life experience. When you come on vacation, you want to party. Puerto Rico has a lot to offer, wonderful beaches and great nature trails, not to mention the food. But sometimes, you want to let your hair down and fiesta! We provide a tailored night time tour where we allow you to be yourself and not worry about a designated driver. Not to mention, some of our groups have enjoyed adding salsa or bomba classes to their experience.
Puerto Rico, with a Black lens, is not something often talked about. How are you amplifying fellow Black businesses through your tours?
One thing we can agree on is that “it takes a village.” We are so honored to be part of such a Black community, where we lift one another up. We grab empanadas from our neighbor’s shop, and we grab authentic juices from another small local business. When we are contacted about a tour, we often refer out to other Black businesses, such as travel agencies and we recommend eating at locally Black-owned here on the island. Included in some of our tours, we visit the Afro-Latino communities where we buy and support Black. In another tour, we visit La Perla and give back to the community by purchasing and supporting. As a new business we are still looking for ways to improve our connections, and we look forward to working with more of our Black communities in the future.
What is your favorite tour, and why?
We both love the waterfall in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. We travel about an hour to the west coast, which is an opportunity to get away from the speed of San Juan. Quiet and full of nature, we walk about 30 minutes in water, sand and hike over a few rocks. Once we reach the waterfall, you can swim, climb a rock and jump, or simply take it all in and relax. This is a good tour for all ages and all adventure levels. Plus, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Following the waterfall, we drive 20 minutes to Cueva del Indio, where it is an awesome opportunity to see some of the contributions made by the island's Taino Indians.