Puerto Rico Travel Guide
Located in the northeast Caribbean and enjoying tropical temperatures as well as two ocean playgrounds, Puerto Rico makes for a phenomenal vacation destination. As a territory of the United States, citizens do not need a passport to visit the island and the American dollar is the currency, making it unnecessary to exchange any money. Puerto Rico’s tourism is alive and well, thanks to the many vacationers who travel there every year, taking in the glorious beaches, crystal blue waters and many attractions.
The capital San Juan is steeped in history as is evidenced in the many fortresses that now make for interesting tourist attractions. El Morro was built to defend the island and has 6 levels of ramps along with a dungeon, barracks, turrets and a network of tunnels not to mention the stunning views. The Castillo de San Cristobal is also a historic base that is set on 27 acres and comprises a series of forts. Tourists to Puerto Rico can explore these old forts and see what life was like for the many men who called them home as well as learning of some of the history of the area in stunning grounds and surroundings.
Those tourists looking for culture of another kind will like the Bacardi Rum Plant, the largest rum distillery in the world. Here you can watch videos, learn about early distillation procedures, see pictures and documents pertaining to the Bacardi family and learn how to make rum-based drinks. Samples are also included on this informative and free tour.
Puerto Rico is filled with glorious beaches and plenty of water sports, so those traveling to San Juan may enjoy the calm, sheltered Condado Lagoon, located between Old San Juan and Condado. There are no waves, making it a great place to swim and try your hand at paddle boarding or kayaking on the smooth waters.
The El Yunque Rainforest is the only rainforest in the entire U.S. National Forest system and it greets travelers to Puerto Rico with its magnificent mountains, lush foliage and cooling waterfalls and pools. There are many trails to hike, the chance to see wildlife and exotic plants and plenty of educational opportunities to learn about the ecosystem within the park in the El Portal Visitor’s Center. At 28,000 acres, the rainforest offers tourists the freedom of camping (with a permit) or staying at one of the many lodges that are located near the entrance so that you can stay and explore more of the park and its many wonders.
Over in Culebra is the world famous Flamenco Beach which is located in a sheltered cove that offers a vast array of marine life that come right up near the shore. The crystal clear waters make this beach a must for anyone who likes to swim with fish or snorkel amid the surrounding reefs.
Fajardo offers Puerto Rico tourists a once-in-a-lifetime nighttime excursion into Bioluminescent Bay, where millions of tiny algae light up the waters at the slightest ripple. Visitors go by kayak through a series of mangroves into the bay to witness this phenomenon up close but you don’t have to be a master of the kayak to enjoy this adventure. Take your time and enjoy, but don’t forget the bug spray!
Puerto Rican travelers who venture to Arecibo can witness the La Cueva del Indio caves, with many rock formations, blowholes, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean to boot. Traveling down into the cave via a wooden ladder, tourists can see ancient Taino petroglyphs, stunning arches and exquisite formations that make up the site.
For those tourists to Puerto Rico who go for the water activities, you will not be disappointed. While there are many places to dive, one of the best places just may be La Parguera. In this world class diving area, you can see fallen rock, Efra’s Wall, Black Wall and lots of different corals and marine life as you explore the depths that include a drop off as well as many interesting rock formations. Travelers to Puerto Rico may also be tempted to visit Mona Island. This uninhabited area offers amazing scuba opportunities as well as caves to explore (on land and in the sea) where you can see ancient coral and other fossils preserved for all time in the rocks. It is also a glorious place to swim, catch some rays or just relax amid the tranquil beauty.
Getting to Puerto Rico is easy; you can fly or take any one of a number of cruises that include the island in their itineraries. With many different lines departing year round from numerous American ports, cruising to Puerto Rico makes for an amazing vacation. Puerto Rico also offers cruises that start from their ports and travel to points around the world.
Puerto Rico offers something for everyone, whether you like the adventure of the island or want to relax and do nothing at all in the sun.