Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which makes traveling to the island less of a hassle than traveling to any of the other Caribbean nations because no passport is required for U.S. citizens. However, easy travel is not the only reason to visit Puerto Rico. Strong Hispanic heritage, natural beauty, and numerous attractions are a few reasons why Puerto Rico is a great place to visit.
Puerto Rico was chosen by readers of Caribbean Travel + Life as the best overall destination in the Caribbean in their "Best of the Caribbean" Readers Choice Awards" in 2011. The island also won honorable mention in the shopping, best natural attraction or park, best medium-sized hotel (W Retreat and Spa - Vieques Islands), and best megaresort (Caribe Hilton) categories. Then, in 2013, one of the outlying islands, Culebra, was ranked as one of the "World's Best Islands" by Travel + Leisure. As an over-all destination, Puerto Rico was listed as one of the top Spring Break destinations for the spring of 2014.
Puerto Rico is rectangular in shape, and the smallest of the Greater Antilles Islands at 3,515 square miles in land area. This number includes several smaller islands that are a part of the Commonwealth. Puerto Rico is comprised of volcanic rock, and previous seismic activity has caused the island to be mostly mountainous, featuring many areas of high elevation.
Cooler than most Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico's temperatures average at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, though the number drops up to ten degrees the further up the mountains you go. The archipelago sees about 59 to 60 inches of rain each year, though rainfall does not seem to effect change in the average daily temperatures.
Puerto Rico's vacationers will not want to miss out on exploring the breath-taking scenery. The El Yunque Rain Forest is especially lush with tropical vegetation and over 400 species of animals that roam the land. Of particular interest is the Coqui frog, the national mascot known for the unique call from which it got its name. True nature lovers will enjoy a boat ride to Mona Island, which is known as the Galapagos of the Caribbean and is home to many endangered and rare animals and plants. The Vieques Biobay, Camuy Caves, and the Punta Ballena Reserve are a sampling of the many other natural sites that shouldn’t be missed. Click here to read about nature in Puerto Rico.
Cultural Attractions abound in Puerto Rico. There are nearly 100 museums and cultural centers, as well as numerous historic homes, plantations, and other structures. You could spend a month in Puerto Rico and still not visit all of these significant sites. If you can visit only one such attraction, choose Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, one of the largest Spanish forts in the Caribbean. A stroll through Old San Juan will guide you through a wonderfully restored cityscape loaded with historical sites, quaint shops, open-air park areas and inviting cafes.
For something a little more modern, tourists don't have to look very far. Golf courses, shopping malls, spas, casinos, and nightlife are all available. Local craft shops offer an array of trinkets and art pieces that provide travelers with a charming insight to Puerto Rican culture while supplying plenty of souvenir ideas like hand-rolled cigars, festive masks and popular guayabera men’s shirts. If you’re looking for the best places to party, head to San Juan, which is often acclaimed as the nightlife capital of the Caribbean.
Finally, the reason most people visit the Caribbean: the beaches. It is no surprise that Puerto Rico's beaches are amazing, but you may not know that they are quite diverse. Within the stretches of Puerto Rico’s beaches, travelers will find both highly-developed and seemingly untouched areas for sunbathing and water sports. Beaches on the eastern and southern shores tend to be calm, perfect for a day of snorkeling and swimming with young children. San Juan has the most popular and crowded beaches, a great place to go if ocean safety is of primary concern. The western waters tend to be a bit more rough and draw experienced surfers; Puerto Rico is known as the surfing headquarters of the Caribbean islands.
...Puerto Rico has an attraction for every day of the year.
After spending a day exploring everything that Puerto Rico has to offer, vacationers are sure to build up a hefty appetite. With options ranging from local fare to international cuisine, the many restaurants on the island are sure to provide something to please every traveler’s tastes. If you’re interested in getting a taste of local flavor, sample Criolla food, which is a fusion of Spanish, African and Taíno culinary styles. Favorite island dishes include fried green plantains, cod fritters, meat empanadas and more. Guests of the island are encouraged to try the island’s famous black coffee, and of course their renown selection of rum. Click here to read more about the culinary styles of Puerto Rico.
Choosing an ideal lodging facility will ensure that you have a comfortable retreat after a day spent soaking up the sun. Accommodations on the island come in a wide variety of forms, ensuring that there is an option ideal for every traveler’s lifestyle. Those seeking a glamorous vacation will be thrilled by the many mega-resorts like the all inclusive Copamarina Beach Resort that promises to pamper you in luxury. More affordable hotels and rental properties offer great options for those traveling on a budget. Nature lovers will enjoy the plentiful camping that allows vacationers to get a true taste of Puerto Rico’s natural splendor. No matter what choice you make, the accommodations on Puerto Rico are sure to satisfy.
Puerto Rico makes it easier for every traveler to have a great vacation. Not only is it easy to enter the country, but it is likewise easy to find enjoyable ways to spend each day you are there. Whether snorkeling in shallow eastern waters, exploring historic plantations, or hiking through the rain forest, Puerto Rico has an attraction for every day of the year. Travelers of every lifestyle will find that this enchanting Caribbean island has something to offer for everyone seeking a tropical getaway.
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