I have always found the island of Puerto Rico to be delightfully different from the rest of the Caribbean. In many ways, this American commonwealth has it all.
Many first-time visitors arrive on the deck of one of the many massive cruise ships that pay a port call on San Juan, the island’s capital city. Founded by Christopher Columbus more than 500 years ago, San Juan is as walkable as any European capital, with narrow cobblestone streets opening up into shady squares and parks, but with the achingly blue Caribbean always in sight nearby. Today’s San Juan has a lot to offer, with its smart shops, delicious restaurants, historic buildings, museums and forts, and a fascinating Spanish-Caribbean culture all its own.
Many of those first-timers return, along with millions of others, to enjoy all this wonderful island has to offer. I’ve always said the beaches of Puerto Rico can rival the best of Greece or Thailand for sheer scenic beauty, peaceful emptiness and a deep connection with nature. It is wonderful to see entire families from grandparents to toddlers enjoying the sun and surf together all across the island.
The rewards of getting out and around this island, which can be criss-crossed by car in an hour or two, are well worth it. Puerto Rico is
a sportsman’s paradise, with world-class deep sea fishing, a dozen challenging championship golf courses, boating, kayaking…even surfing! There’s always something fun to do here.
A visit to the El Yunque National Park is almost required for visitors. This is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. national park system, called “the Lungs of the Caribbean”, and it should be an experience, rainfall and all, that every visitor takes home.
Puerto Rico is a rich and varied island, from the bustling big cities of San Juan and Ponce to the empty natural vistas of the Cordillera Centrale, where coffee and banana plantations dot the landscape along with sleepy little villages that don’t look like much has changed for hundreds of years.
With its pristine, sun-washed beaches, spectacular cuisine and world-class luxury resorts and hotels, if you can’t have a good time in Puerto Rico, you’re not really trying! Come check it out…I’m sure you will love it!