Puerto Rico, known as Isla del Encanto, is a small Caribbean island 100 x 35 miles that can be traveled from north to south in an hour and a half and from east to west in about three hours. It is one of the favorite vacation destinations for tourists coming from the United States because the island is one of its territories, the US dollar is used, you can speak English or Spanish, plus there are tons of other things to do in Puerto Rico!
Puerto Rico is very well known for its majestic beaches, but if you want to enjoy the Island, both its beaches and other cultural destinations that you treasure, we present things to do in Puerto Rico’s main five areas: north, south, East, west and center.
1) North Area
Viejo San Juan In the north area of the Island is one of teh main things to do in Puerto Rico. Here you can admire the best preserved historical site of the island during times of Spanish domination. Old San Juan is an island where you can see Spanish colonial architecture, cobbled streets, beautiful squares, ancient churches, museums and the spectacular forts of San Felipe del Morro Castle and San Cristobal Castle, the oldest and largest of the Antilles.
Old San Juan was declared in 1983 by the United Nations as a treasure trove of humanity. The island was fortified by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to protect both it and the other Spanish possessions of the Caribbean from attacks by privateers and pirates. A great wall protected the city and was entered to it by four enormous doors of which one of them is conserved. Some Hollywood films like Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Amistad were filmed in the Spanish Forts. The entrance to both forts is $ 5.00 adults and free for children up to 16 years.
2) South Area (Caribbean Port)
In the southern area of the city stands the Ponce Art Museum, located in the city of the same name. To get to Ponce, take highway # 52 from San Juan. Ponce, known as the City of Master, has one of the world’s most recognized art museums as a center of European art in America. The museum, founded in 1959 by art collector, businessman and politician, Hon. Luis A. Ferré, preserves an art collection of 4,500 pieces of which 820 pieces are exhibited.
The galleries of the museum cover a period of 30 centuries of works from Europe, America and Africa, the three cultures present in the history of Puerto Rico. In 2010 the Museum reopened its doors with an enlarged building and a new museography that presents the collection in a thematic way and not geographically or chronologically as previously exhibited. The Museum has one of the best collections of Spanish painting in Latin America, which includes works by painters such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Murillo and Goya.
The cost of admission to the Museum is $ 6.00 for adults, children, seniors and students with ID $ 3.00 and free entry for Museum members. The Museum’s schedule is from Wednesday to Monday from 10:00 a.m. At 6:00 p.m. And is closed on Tuesdays. Daily guided tours are offered in English and Spanish at 11:00 a.m. And 2:00 p.m. You can visit the Museum store to buy art, books or souvenirs from the Museum with your prepaid card.
3) West Area (Porta del Sol)
The western area of the island is famous for its beaches. One of the paradisaical destinations in this area is a mangrove cay known Gilligan Island, on the coast of the town of Guánica. This small island of mangrove swamps and crystalline beaches is ideal for children because it has areas of plain water and also has several gazebos. To get to the island you have to take a boat in a five-minute drive or you can arrive in your own kayak. The cost of the boat is $ 7.50 per person and $ 5.00 for each refrigerator or package with wheels. You can bring your own food or order lunch at the pier restaurant to take it to the islita. In summer season (June-July) it is very busy so it is advisable to arrive early (before 6:30 a.m.) as it limits the number of visitors to 200 people. You will enjoy the landscape and the turquoise blue of the waters, as well as the marine life that lives in the roots of the mangroves.
4) Central Area
The central area of the island is dominated by the Cordillera Central where the highest mountains of Puerto Rico are found and the panoramic route from where you can see the north coast and the south coast of the Island. In the central area you can escape To enjoy one of the lakes of the Island and one of the caves in the mountains of the Karst region. This is the Cave Ventana in the town of Arecibo and Lake Two mouths in the town of Utuado. To get there, take Highway 22 from San Juan and then Highway # 10.
La Cueva Ventana, is a cave at the top of a mountain from which you can see a spectacular view of the river and the valley of the area that will steal your breath. Visiting the cave has a cost of $ 5.00 per person. Upon leaving Ventana Cave continuing along Highway # 10 you can reach Lake Dos Bocas, a magnificent recreation place and good restaurants during the weekends. There is a ferry service that offers a free tour of the lake as well as different boats that transport to the five restaurants bordering the lake.
5) East Area
In the eastern area you will find the island of Culebra, one of the most natural treasures and most relaxing destinations in Puerto Rico. The island of Culebra, a 7 mile x 4 mile island classified as a Wildlife Refuge, offers a variety of water activities and nature exploration. Flamenco Beach, north of Culebra, has been listed among the five most beautiful beaches in the world, due to its impressive white sand, crystal clear water and facilities for bathers. In Flamenco there are also facilities for camping (with reservation, 787 742-0700) at a cost of $ 20.00 per night.
Tamarindo Beach, on the west side, is part of the Luis Peña Canal Nature Reserve, where you can discover underwater life and coral reefs inhabited by colorful fish, lobsters, manta rays and sea turtles. Tamarindo Beach is the best place to spend time collecting snails and snorkeling. You can reach Culebra by boat or by plane from Fajardo. You can also arrive by plane from Luis Muñoz Marín Airport or Isla Grande Airport in San Juan. If you are interested you can stay in one of the small hotels or guest houses in Culebra and rent an ATV or scooter to explore the island.
In Puerto Rico there is a tropical climate all year round, the hottest temperatures between 90 and 95 ° F are experienced in the months of April to September. In the months of October to March the temperatures are cooler between 72 to 89 º in the coasts.. Go prepared to enjoy the tropical climate and have a great time on the Shinning Star of the Caribbean!
- PUERTO RICO'S HISTORY - BRIEF Boriquén, as the island was initially called, was inhabited by several indigenous groups, including the Taínos, before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the island during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. The island was named San Juan (San Juan Bautista is…