Puerto Rico: The tropical paradise tha fuses history and nature
It is one of the least known islands in the Caribbean, something like a true hidden treasure with a Spanish and tropical touch, an earthly paradise from which you will not want to return
If you are already thinking of a new destination to visit on your next vacation and you are the type of traveler who likes to combine sun, beach, outdoor activities and culture, without a doubt, Puerto Rico is the perfect option.
Called Puerto Rico for the large amount of wealth that left the port of San Juan Bautista for Spain during more than four centuries of Hispanic domination, Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated territory of the United States, located northeast of the Caribbean Sea. With almost 9 thousand square kilometers of surface, this country is part of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and smaller islands such as Vieques (135 km²), Mona (55 km²) and Culebra (30 km²), which transforms it into a place rich in variety of landscapes, history and activities to do.
This paradise with a tropical climate is a true dream for exploring travelers, since it has varied ecosystems where dry and rainy forests abound, mountainous areas, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, as well as an extensive coastal and marine area. Here the offer of places to visit and things to do is as wide as the time and imagination that the tourist has, all accompanied by the beautiful influence of the historical Spanish architecture that is preserved on the island.
“Puerto Rico is an island where you can explore a unique nature, taste our incomparable gastronomy and visit Old San Juan, which celebrates 500 years of its foundation, a colonial jewel,” comments Francisco Blanch, director of sales for DiscoverPuertoRico.com. “In addition, we have more than 250 hotels and resorts, some with championship golf courses and incredible Spas; more than 300 beaches to practice water sports, our music and culture, all that and more, without the need for a visa to enter the country. For all of the above, Puerto Rico broke all occupancy records in 2021 and is currently positioned as one of the most coveted destinations in the Caribbean, with advanced reservations arriving at the end of 2024,” adds Blanch.
If you want to visit Puerto Rico for the first time, at COCHA we suggest some panoramas so that you begin to fall in love with this place:
San Juan: shopping, history and the charm of its cobbled streets
The first stop on your visit to Puerto Rico has to be San Juan, the cosmopolitan capital of the island that has a comfortable infrastructure of shops, hotels, elegant restaurants and trendy clubs. Its beautiful historic center, known as Old San Juan, is a World Heritage Site and preserves colorful facades, cobblestone streets, and monuments steeped in history and culture.
Here you can visit the impressive San Felipe del Morro Fortress, from the 16th century, whose six-story stone walls offer an imposing view over the ocean. The Spanish conquistadors built their huge towers and cannons, connecting it by the stone walls of the city to the Castillo de San Cristóbal fortress, built between 1634 and 1783. Today, both forts are preserved in excellent condition and have museums and exhibitions. .
Rainforest and excursions
Just 45 minutes by car from San Juan is El Yunque Park, an incredible green oasis made up of a subtropical jungle full of wildlife, which contains several alternatives for excursions. For example, a 4-kilometer trail leads to the top of Cerro El Toro, the highest point in the jungle; while La Mina, with only 1
kilometer, will take you up to 610 meters high where the icy waters of the La Mina waterfall are found.
In the second largest city in Puerto Rico - Ponce-, you can not miss visiting the center and its Plaza de las Delicias, and then take the free trolley to the Ponce Museum of Art, one of the largest art galleries in the Caribbean. This beautiful place houses a permanent collection of 4,500 pieces, including Italian, Spanish Baroque, English and contemporary Latin American works.
Beaches, beaches and more beaches
One of the great attractions of Puerto Rico (of course!), are its beaches. On the western coast you will find Boquerón, an ideal place to go with the family and enjoy the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. For surf fans, Rincón offers world-class waves, and in Luquillo Beach, you can not only enjoy the sea, but also the exquisite local food offered by the nearly 60 kiosks with different alternatives for the palate.
If you dare to cross to some of the nearby islands, you can explore the sands of Vieques Island and its Mosquito Bay, where you will see the beautiful night show thanks to the bioluminescent microorganisms that make the sea look a different color at night. greenish blue. And if you go to Fajardo and take the ferry, you will arrive at Culebra, another of the islands of Puerto Rico with crystal clear waters ideal for snorkeling, swimming with turtles and visiting the National Wildlife Refuge, where you will meet exotic tropical birds.