Puerto Rico Vacations
Find Your Caribbean Dream In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, a fascinating island that's easy to visit from the continental U.S., has a mesmerizing blend of cultures and attitudes. Spanish, African and Indian influences make for an intoxicating island destination. With its architecturally stunning old town of San Juan, its upbeat and hip-gyrating salsa culture and acres of natural beauty, including miles and miles of golden beaches and the El Junque National Park, a tropical rainforest with flora, fauna, waterfalls, wildlife and more - Puerto Rico is a wanderlust's panacea.
Many top chefs have moved to Puerto Rico to open restaurants, so the food scene here is on the rise. The beaches are great fun, and for a fascinating water adventure, take a nighttime kayaking tour through the Bioluminescent Bay, where water comes to life with glowing dinoflagellates that thrive in the largely unpolluted bay.
Puerto Rico Hotels
If you'd like to settle down in a fancy resort for your time in Puerto Rico, you may wish to stay at the Copamarina Beach Resort, a 20-acre tropical resort with two outdoor pools, a spa, hot tubs, tennis courts, fitness center, an alfresco cafe and a fancy restaurant. Rooms are only just over $150 per night and welcomes families. Kids and parents can enjoy many beach side activities including snorkeling, scuba diving and canoeing. This all-encompassing resort is situated two miles from the Guanica Dry Forest Reserve.
National Parks & Forests
The Guanica Forest Reserve is known as "El Pueblo de las Doce Calles" which translates to "land of the twelve streets." The term Guanica comes from a Taino Indian name meaning "here is a place with water." The reserve is the largest remaining tract of dry tropical coastal forest in the world and has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It's the perfect place for bird-watchers, boasting the largest amount of bird species in Puerto Rico.
Another National Park that all visitors to Puerto Rico must visit is the El Yunque National Forest. It happens to be the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System. Situated on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains. The trails here are easy to walk and well-paved. It's a major tourist hub but well worth the visit. Waterfalls, lizards, the coqui frog, and lush rainforest are some of the sights you'll see at El Yunque. Stay at the El Yunque Rainforest Inn for a cozy place to rest your weary head after all that hiking. It's more of a vacation rental experience if you're looking for something off the beaten high-rise hotel path.
In Old San Juan, treat yourself to dinner at Jose Enrique, a restaurant located close to La Placita, San Juan's bustling market square. The lovely restaurant is situated within a small art-deco space and the cuisine here is friendly and filling. On the menu you'll find empanadas, braised pork jowls, thinly sliced octopus, fried plantains and pork sausage. Jose Enrique is the perfect place to knock back a couple Medalla beers while diving deep into the local cuisine.
San Juan is the center for salsa music and dance. For a sexy night out, head to the Nuyorican Cafe, a quintessential salsa joint in old San Juan. Live salsa bands perform here all the time. It's located on an alleyway off of Old San Francisco Street. Bring your dancing shoes and allow the hip-gyrating rhythms to wash your cares away. If you're planning to get wild you may want to check into the cafe's neighboring hotel, Da House. It's a quirky music-themed hotel next to the cafe. The Nuyorican is the real deal as you'll see it's where the locals go to let off some steam.
Puerto Rico Culture
In Santurce, one of the districts of San Juan, you'll happen upon the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, a 130,000 square-foot museum that houses a 1,000 piece collection of artworks. Situated in a building that used to be the San Juan Municipal Hospital, this is one of the largest museums in the Caribbean. When you're done here, walk a few steps to the Puerto Rican Museum of Contemporary Art, where you'll find more pieces to inspire your artistic nature. The gritty but charming neighborhood of Santurce is an up and coming spot for music halls, art galleries and design studios. Check out Santurce to get off the beaten path a bit.
Puerto Rico Beaches
Puerto Rico is home to a treasure trove of long, sandy beaches, each with a unique flavor. Playa Mar Chiquita has a dramatically beautiful setting with two coral formations and protected tide pools. Take in the scenery here but don't expect to go scuba diving or snorkeling. This is a place to relax with a good book or meditate upon the wonders of mother nature. Playa Luquillo is a beach with activity. Nearly sixty vendors selling scrumptious Puerto Rican snacks lined the beach. Be sure to try the fried cornmeal and cheese sticks!
If you've never visited Puerto Rico, add it to your bucket list. And if you'd like to make a major life change, you may wish to consider moving here. It's a vast island that offers diverse culture, cosmopolitan activities, and accessible nature escapes.
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