Puerto Rico is often dubbed the ‘Island of Enchantment’ and rightly so. Occupying just about 3,500 square miles of the Caribbean Sea, the island usually takes travelers by surprise with the plethora of unique experiences it offers, all the way from its delightful culinary scene to exciting adventures on the island’s natural wonders. Puerto Rico’s year-round fine weather and moderate temperatures brighten up the mood of anyone who sets foot on its land. Here are five of the many impressive qualities of the extraordinary Caribbean destination that’ll make you want to drop what you are doing and catch the next plane there.
The fascinating culture
One of the best parts of traveling is seeing different cultures in their authentic forms through your own eyes. Old San Juan is a place in Puerto Rico that will not only teach you its history spanning an incredible 500 years, but will also make you fall in love with it. Take a stroll along the streets and marvel at the intriguing colonial architecture, colorful homes each with stories of their own and age-old canons still sitting in place as if they were protecting the city. Although dainty, there are many places to visit in this part of Puerto Rico.
The breathtaking beaches
A trip to Puerto Rico would not be complete without a dip in its breathtaking beaches. With a stunning coastline stretching over 270 miles, there are many on the island. Situated in the dazzling Culebra Island, the Flamenco Beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Its soft white sands, crystal blue waters and surrounding lush mountains attract sun-worshippers like a siren call. Besides swimming, you can snorkel and scuba dive in the ocean teeming with colorful fish. Don’t forget to visit other amazing beaches in Puerto Rico. Playa Tortuga is one of the many picturesque beaches on the island that is home to nesting turtles and sea-bound humans alike.
The stunning natural wonders
Puerto Rico has abundant natural wonders. The Camuy Caves, one of the world’s largest cave systems, is nature’s work of art. Take an exhilarating trolly ride down the mountainous terrain then walk along a trail to discover an impressive 17-foot-high stalagmite, a mystical sinkhole and ancient rock formations among other astonishing phenomena unique to the caves. The Mosquito Bay is another magical place in Puerto Rico that offers a truly unparalleled experience. Filled with microorganisms that light up when touched, you’ll have an ethereal trail of bright blue streaks following you as you kayak in its waters.
The delectable cuisine
With influences from Spain, Africa and the United States, the Puerto Rican cuisine is a treat to all five of your senses. When you visit the island, you must try the national dish lechón asado (meaning ‘grilled pork’) that’s served best at roadside stands. Made from pork shoulder, the succulent dish is generously seasoned before being slow roasted until its skin turns crisp and crackly. There are also many fantastic restaurants including Jose Enrique and Cocina Abierta right in the heart of the island where you can taste all the local flavors. With so many choices to indulge in, Puerto Rico will make its way to your heart through your tummy.
The world-famous rum
Puerto Rico certainly lives up to its name as the ‘Rum Capital of the World’. As one of the largest producers of rum, you can find everything from Bacardi to Ron Llave on the island. Head over to Casa Don Q, a rum museum in Old San Juan, and learn about the history and the different types of the spirit on an informative tour after which you can taste a rum of your choice. You can also attend a rum tasting tour in Casa Melaza Rum Boutique and sample all the amazing Puerto Rican rums.
Where to stay in Puerto Rico?
Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or with friends and family, Puerto Rico is sure to meet all your accommodation needs. You will find hotels surrounded by the rich history of the island with popular attractions, intriguing art galleries and amazing restaurants and bars within walking distance. You will also find the perfect beach retreats complete with ocean-facing rooms, attractive swimming pools and spa. With plenty of hotels and resorts throughout the island, you will definitely be spoilt for choice.
We’re sure the enchanting Puerto Rico will win your heart and make you want to breathe its fresh air a little longer than you initially intended. Make sure to plan a trip to the gorgeous island soon and before you fly there, look at fellow Travelbookers’ holiday pictures and experiences in Puerto Rico for inspiration!