Puerto Rico is a vacation destination for many people in the US. It’s actually an archipelago with several islands you can explore. It is a territory of the United States so they use the dollar as currency and English and Spanish are the national languages.
The history is interesting, Puerto Rico was inhabited by the Taino people but then was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain. The French, Dutch, and British tried to invade but the Spanish was able to hold onto it. Unfortunately, the Spanish used African captives, and Canarian and Andalusian settlers to colonize and keep the island prosperous. But through that, there is a distinct creole Hispanic culture and a unique dialect that combines the Native language, African languages, and Iberian languages as well as Spanish. The IS appropriated Puerto Rico as a territory in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.
There are many resorts and all-inclusives to choose from, but there are also different options as well if you want to save money or avoid the crowds.
Here are several things you can do and should try when you’re in Puerto Rico:
- Go Spelunking in the Rio Camuy Caves. You can take the tram and the paths, or you can explore the river and the caves with Aventuras Tierra Adentro and have more of a thrilling adventure.
- Go kayaking in the mangroves in La Parguera and if you’re lucky, you’ll see manatees, dolphins, and turtles. The bay has some of the brightest bioluminescence so make sure you go out at night to watch the see light up. There are several places you can book tours to go out into the bay at night for scuba diving, snorkeling, or swimming.
- You can also go for a bioluminescent tour in Mosquito Bay. During the day, relax on Vieques beach and have dinner in the town of Esperanza.
- Go ziplining and free falling through the Carite National Forest with Acampa and afterward experience some traditional food and music.
- Learn to surf at Rincón where the 1968 World Surfing Championships were held. If you go in the winter months, peak surfing time, then you can also see the whales come through on their migration path.
- Go hiking in El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest System and seek out the beautiful waterfalls.
- Go birdwatching in Guanica State Forest and see if you can find some rare species as well as some beautiful more common birds.
- Go to Desecheo and dive in Las Cuevas to visit the many canyons and caves. You can’t go to the interior of the island due to the potential of unexploded ordinance from the World War 2. The military used this island for a bombing range and for survival training until 1976 when it was given to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You’ll also probably run into some rhesus monkeys descended from the group that was dropped on the island as part of a study on adaptation in 1967.
- Visit Mona Island, an untouched ecological reserve. With enough hiking you can find ancient carvings left but the Taino Indians who once inhabited the island.
- Visit El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro), a fortress built between 1539 and 1589 to deter sea attacks. Also visit San Cristóbal, one of the largest Spanish Forts in the Caribbean.
- Go shopping in Old San Juan and Calle del Cristo. Explore the many art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and outlets.
- While you’re in Old San Juan, take a food tour and learn about the culture and history of Puerto Rico.
- Go horseback riding on the beach in Isabela.
- Try Flyboarding and fly 20 feet above the water!
If you’ve been to Puerto Rico, what did you do? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!