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Puerto Rico

4.6 / 5 90 votes

Country rank: 10 out of 23 Places To Visit In Usa

Sub-Region: Caribbean Sea


Weather:

Ideal duration: 3 days

Best time: April to June (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Las Palmas (Check Flights)

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"Caribbean Paradise"

Puerto Rico Tourism

Puerto Rico is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting places you are ever going to visit. The beautiful Caribbean beaches, the amazing island landscapes, the underwater experiences, and the rich Caribbean culture is the perfect cocktail of the most memorable vacation you'll ever have!

Though Puerto Rico is technically a territory of the United States, the atmosphere of the Caribbean is abundant all over the island. The lively environment in the capital city of San Juan coupled with the ultimate soothing experiences in the islands nearby makes it the perfect combination of all things good. Indulge in the delightful local food and shop for some memorable souvenirs to take back home, because you're going to need a memento to take back from this island. There are some things in Puerto Rico that will just be too good to be true. To give an example, the Bioluminescent Bay will leave spellbound, and the Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island is perhaps the best beach you'll ever visit. The El Yunque rainforest's extensive lands and greenery provide you with literally unlimited activities. From thrilling treks and ziplining to chilling in the cold water of the pools and rivers. Head out in the evenings for walks in Old San Juan to witness the vibrant culture, with tons of people out and about with their own things. Check out the forts of the "Walled City" in Old San Juan, a brilliant insight into the colonial history. And of course, who can ever undermine the Caribbean party culture. With beaches and hotels both, Puerto Rico will not leave you disappointed, and do get a bit of that rum! Puerto Rico is most definitely going to leave you speechless, with its immense beauty and attractions and heritage, and make you want to stay for longer. The perfect break from your bustling, busy lives!

Hotels in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico has a very long history of Spanish colonisation, seen very evidently in the culture of the island. Before Columbus arrived in 1493, the island was home to the Taino Indian. The Spanish king then gave the order to expand the Spanish colony into Puerto Rico by whatever means required. Columbus gave the name San Juan Bautista to the island, but later when trading and settlements expanded, the island was named Puerto Rico and the main trading and shipping port San Juan. The Tainos were forced into labour and were finally emancipated when slave labour came in from African colonies. Spanish colonies globally started deckling during that period, so they then began to improve their defence structures in their American colonies. The 16th century was when San Juan was heavily fortified with structures like La Fortaleza, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, and Castillo San Crist„bal. More and more attention was being paid to these areas, and Puerto Rico began to develop. Several wars in the Caribbean made Puerto Rico important to the Spanish empire, and in 1809 it gained recognition as a province of Spain. The citizens subsequently gained rights to the Spanish parliament in Cadiz. 19th century saw independence uprising on the island, though the leaders were caught and then imprisoned. The Spanish empire then moved in to strengthen its hold on Puerto Rico and Cuba, its final two colonies. Deteriorating economic conditions led to another rebellion in 1868 called "Grito de Lares" but was subdued soon after. This rebellion was highly influential, however, and slavery was abolished in 1873. The next movement took place in Yauco in 1897, called Intentona de Yauco. The so called national flag of the country was raised in this revolution which was adopted as the national flag after independence the next year. The 1898 Spanish - American war saw the Spanish beaten convincingly and Puerto Rico was ceded to the USA. The two had a special relationship, where most of the public systems of governance were based on the US model. Bilateral citizenship was given 1917, and after several movements and struggles the first Puerto Rican governor was appointed by President Truman in 1946. Subsequently, in 1947 the right to democratically elect their governor was given to Puerto Rican citizens and Luis Munoz Marin became the first governor. It finally became an unincorporated territory of the US in 1952, and there have been several attempts to change the political status to full statehood ever since but none to a result.

Most of the nightlife in Puerto Rico is based in San Juan. For the best of the energetic nightlife, you should check out the city's top hotels. The lobbies of the hotels have brilliant bars and music, and most of the hotels also have casinos. The Old San Juan area is more for the chilled out Caribbean nightlife, with Reggae music and a relaxed vibe. Beaches on Vieques are also quite lively during weekends, and Luquillo is a popular nightlife hub as well!

As like the nightlife, San Juan is the best place to shop. In particular for all things Puerto Rico, check out the Old San Juan area. Visit Paseo la Princesa, the most famous street of the district for a wide variety of shops and stores. You will find over here a collection of luxury brands, as well as locally made goods and souvenirs. In the modern area of the capital there are several big shopping malls and some of the top most luxury brands of the world. Also, do remember to pick up some signature Caribbean rum on your way out! Throughout the commercial areas on the major cities like Ponce and Luquillo are also fairly good if you're looking to do some local shopping.

US Dollar is the only currency accepted. As is with all places in the US, cards are usually accepted at most places. ATMs are also located conveniently except for remote places in the smaller towns and islands.

There are many points for exchanging currency in Puerto Rico. The Banco Popular is the only bank in Puerto Rico which has a currency exchange department. These are available in all it's branches throughout. There are a few options in the commercial area of Old San Juan and San Juan as well. ATMs are also an easy way to exchange currency. Enquire your bank about international transaction costs.

Puerto Rico is not overly expensive, however for a complete experience of the island you'll have to dish out a lot of cash. Some guided tours such as those of the Cueva de Indio and scuba diving are a bit expensive. That being said, you can save money on public transport like buses and publicos, and also traditional restaurants serving up some delicious local food. Budget travel : USD 70 - 80 Comfortable travel : USD 130 - 180 Luxury travel : USD 200 - 250

Christianity

As a popular holiday destination, clothing in Puerto Rico isn't an issue whatsoever. However, it's always sensible to cover yourself over your swimsuit when you're not at the beach or the pool. There are no strict customs as such for behaviour on the island. Tipping is mostly the same as the mainland US. 15% of the restaurant bill, or give and take a few based on the quality of service. USD 1 or 2 at the bar per drink and for the porter per bag should suffice.

The two main languages of Puerto Rico are English and Spanish. Since English is widely spoken, and by mostly all tour guides and at tourist places, you will hardly have any problems in your travels.

For any food lover, Puerto Rico is just an amazing place to be. The local food on the island is full of flavour, using all kinds of sea foods and meats. The fine dining restaurants of the city have seen an influx of European and American chefs, which has lead to the creation of some amazing vibrant dishes. Restaurants like Pikayo and Aquaviva in San Juan are a good example of this. The Puerto Rican food gets most of its flavours from a blend of herbs, called abodo and sofrito, and most of their most popular foods are friends and savoury. There are also severa types of stews, and beef is used frequently in dishes. That being said, Arroz con pollo is a chicken dish you should definitely try.


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