Puerto Rico – History, Charm and Fun in the Sun
Historic sites and tropical beaches fronted by warm Caribbean waters aptly describe the atmosphere of Puerto Rico. Your first glimpse of San Juan and those sun-kissed sands may just make you forget you’re in the United States, but you are! Puerto Rico runs on Atlantic Standard Time year-round. English is widely spoken, but you’re more than welcome to try out your Spanish! Here, the American Dollar is legal tender, even though it’s sometimes called a peso.
San Juan, Capital City
Spanish, Afro-Caribbean, Taino and Anglo cultures combine in San Juan. Founded in 1521, the city is home to El Morro, the oldest Spanish fort in the Americas and part of La Forteleza, a UNESCO National Historic Site. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Old Town, lined with boldly colored homes dating back to Colonial times. Head over to the Mall of San Juan, in the newer part of town, for some serious shopping adventures. Located on San Juan’s northern end, the trendy Condado beckons (and it’s filled with nightclubs, casinos, bars, shops and restaurants calling our name).
Off the Beaten Path
El Yunque National Forest
Located on the eastern end of Puerto Rico, the El Yunque National Forest is a nature lover’s dream. The El Portal Visitor Center is a good introduction to this wildlife’s rich, 29,000-acre tropical forest. For a more easy-going hike, check out the Trail at El Portal, a short path starting at the center. For the more ambitious outing; Caimitillo Trail, is a looped route featuring picnic shelters along the way. Swim at the foot of picturesque La Coca Falls and take in the tropical flowers, as well as the colorful parrots and hummingbirds. Check out Mt. Britton Tower, at 3,088-feet it gives you an overview of the entire forest… be sure to bring your camera and capture every moment of these incredible views!
Jet off on a commuter plane out of San Juan or a ferry out of Fajardo for a day trip to Culebra, a tiny islet just east of Puerto Rico. Stroll on uncrowded Flamenco Beach, often listed as one of the best strips of sand on the planet, then snorkel among some of the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean. Paddle a kayak or just sit back and enjoy paradise on this lightly populated Puerto Rican treasure.
Fajardo, in eastern Puerto Rico, is a haven for water sport lovers and explorers. The Puerto del Ray Marina is the perfect spot to charter a boat, book a scuba diving tour or catch a ferry to Puerto Rico’s offshore islands. Take a stroll on Seven Seas Beach; indulge in some near-shore snorkeling or just soak in the sunshine.
Home Away From Home
You’ll have no problem finding an exquisite “room with a view” –
Credited as the birthplace of the Pina Colada, the Caribe Hilton San Juan sits between Old Town and the more modern Condado area. Enjoy eight restaurants and bars, stroll the secluded beach, or explore the onsite bird sanctuary and tropical gardens at this 17-acre property.
Contemporary art paired with stunning architecture, Gran Melia Puerto Rico Golf Resort, located on a stunning peninsula, makes for the perfect getaway. Enjoy special rates at two neighboring world-class championship golf courses or indulge in the luxurious YHI Spa.
The luxurious beachfront Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, boasts over a 1 mile stretch of beach. Relax in a hammock poolside, enjoy a drink at the 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar, then try your luck at the Rio Mar Casino!
From mountain landscapes to stunning waterfalls, Puerto Rico offers rich history and truly scenic views. Pack your bags and jet off to this unique island!