Impressive natural landscapes, incredible sites loaded with history and an unmissable mix of cultures, the archipelago that integrates Puerto Rico and other small islands is one of the most attractive tourist sites in the North Caribbean. Useful and attractive facts of this American island
Full of history and extremely impressive natural landscapes, this island has, despite its size, a great diversity of ecosystems with dry and rainy forests, karst reliefs, seven mountainous areas, coastal marine ecosystems and lakes as colorful as useful for water sports.
The particular history of Puerto Rico has direct consequences for those who want to visit the country: since 1898 the territory of Puerto Rico is American. To get to the Caribbean island, the same visa and the same immigration laws procedures are required, which, according to each country, are requested to step on American soil.
The temperature ranges all year round between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, which means that it is always a good time to visit the island. However, the best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April to June, just after the winter season and just before the rainy summer.
In spring it is also very nice, barely exceeding 26 degrees every day. The island has its best winter weather, which is why this is the most expensive time to visit. From December to April they are the quietest months and with the lowest rates.
Natural landscapes and excellent trips to destroy them all tastes
In terms of landscapes, the island is a tourist paradise. Crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, vegetation, heat and relaxation are the elements that reign in Puerto Rico. Being an archipelago, there is a wide range of coastal options to enjoy. In fact, it has more than 400 kilometers of beaches.
While most of Puerto Rico is inhabited by locals and occasionally invaded by tourists, it has a “wild west coast” that supposedly has some of the best surfing and diving sites in the Caribbean. Shacks Beach is excellent for snorkeling, Whale Bay to see sea turtles and Punta Las Marías in San Juan, is excellent for surfing.
Outside the capital, there are attractions such as Palomino and Palominito Island: the first, full of coral sands and turquoise water, is accessed by catamaran and the second is reached by kayak from the first, in just 10 minutes, to visit the beaches where some of the images of one of the Pirates of the Caribbean sagas were shot.
On Palomino Island is the bioluminescent bay of Fajardo, one of the only five existing in the world and of which Puerto Rico has three. Bioluminescence, which is also found in Mosquito Bay (on the island of Vieques), is a phenomenon caused by organisms – dinoflagellates – that shine when water is removed and achieve an impressive effect at night, if the moon is not too bright.
Exuberant and delicious cuisine
Puerto Rican cuisine is the most vivid manifestation of the island’s culture, which combines influences from the Taínos (pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas), indigenous, African, Spanish and Hispanic. On the street you can get a good meal for a few dollars and there is something for everyone.
The mofongo, the tostones, the sucker on the stick, and the rice with beans are the main recipes of the island and the Pique hot sauce is a homemade preparation native to the region. On the other hand, in Puerto Rico you can also taste some of the best coffees in the world in dozens of bars throughout the city.
Puerto Rico, which is going through a period of economic crisis, understood that gastronomy is a pillar to grow the island and boost tourism, so excellent bars and restaurants can be found everywhere.
In Puerto Rico’s capital you can find Puerto Rican history locked in Old San Juan, historic district of San Juan, a World Heritage Site according to Unesco. From the Morro de San Felipe (a construction of the early fifteenth century that, according to urban legend, is one of the angles of the Bermuda Triangle) to the entrance door of the city that has the Latin phrase “Blessed the that comes in the name of the Lord “and that leads directly to the city church, history is present all the time.
The streets of Old San Juan are absolutely picturesque since they are paved with bricks brought from the north of England, because they contained a special mineral that made them more absorbent in times of abundant rains and gives them a characteristic bluish tone. In that area you can see the vestiges of the colonial era with a succession of facades painted with striking colors.
Built in the 1530s, the Church of San José in Old San Juan is the second oldest church in the Western Hemisphere and a wonderful example of Spanish Gothic architecture. More famous is the Cathedral of San Juan, which is a short walk from Cristo Street.
As the most important religious landmark in Puerto Rico, the cathedral was originally built in the 1520s, but was the victim of two hurricanes and numerous attacks and looting. The Cathedral also has an interesting tour that includes the remains of Ponce de León.
Puerto Ricans, like most Latinos love the party: salsa and merengue occupy a very important place in local life. With Spanish, African and Caribbean influences, among others, dances are also a great attraction for tourists and liven up the night of Puerto Rico.
In this nightlife, rum is the protagonist. As the island’s main export, it is the basic ingredient in many of the best cocktails in Puerto Rico. It is even the only rum producer in the world that maintains a minimum aging law for its rum. Unlike the United States, the age to drink alcohol is 18 years.