Puerto Rico. Exquisite climate, rich gastronomy, cheerful people and magnificent natural landscapes. The Isla del Encanto awaits you and this is the top 10 Best Place To Vacation In Puerto Rico you can not stop going. In 1977, the Puerto Rican composer Eugenio Hernández recorded, along with the Broadway Orchestra, the theme La Isla del Encanto, which he composed for his native Puerto Rico. In a later interview, Eddy Zervigón - member of that orchestra - said that at the beginning the subject had launched without much expectation.
However, contrary to what they had thought, the piece became a success and one of the most emblematic songs of that Caribbean country. Even Celia Cruz later took it up and recorded while still with Sonora Matancera.
PUERTO RICO IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS, IS MUCH MORE
Although it is called The Island of Charm, the fact is that Puerto Rico IS NOT AN ISLAND, rather it is a set of islands, that is to say, an archipelago that is united by diverse bridges and that, when joining to These bits of land, is conformed the island boricua.
And speaking of the term "boricua", do you know where it comes from? It turns out that the Taino Indians were the indigenous race that prevailed on the island when Christopher Columbus arrived on November 19, 1493, financed with 400 pesos by Queen Elizabeth of Spain (in fact, there is a bust currently of her in the Paseo de la Princess). When the conquistadors asked the Indians what the place was called, the Tainos replied "Boriqué", which was the form in which they called him, however, the Spaniards could never pronounce it and they changed the name to "Borinquen"; Later the term was deformed until being in "boricua".
10 Best Place To Vacation In Puerto Rico
Since the dollar is sky high, Puerto Rico is a good option to visit US territory, at low cost. In addition, the warmth and joy of its people is contagious and its natural landscapes, as well as its climate and gastronomy, are spectacular. If you are planning a visit to Isla del Encanto, these are the places that you can not miss for nothing:
1. THE OLD SAN JUAN
It is also known as the Walled City and is the most touristic place in Puerto Rico. This is where the cruise ships land and where you can say that the history of the island began. Why is there a wall? This 33-acre measure was built in 1780 by a Spanish governor to protect the port from the attacks of Spain's enemies and because Puerto Rico, as its name says, was one of the richest ports of the New World in terms of route Exchange of gold, silver, jewelry, cotton, etc.
A curious fact is that, previously, the country was called San Juan Bautista and the capital, Puerto Rico; However, with the arrival and conquest of the Americans, they decide to change the name of the whole territory to Puerto Rico and leave only the capital as San Juan Bautista, which today is known as Old San Juan.
Tips: walking on the Princess Walk, to one side of the pier, is a real treat. There you will see in the distance the Morro Castle (which is a 15 minute walk) and you will come across its most representative source: Roots. Do not forget to take a picture here.
An excellent option to buy souvenirs is Calle Fortaleza, which has many souvenir shops. If you get hungry or hot, pause and eat at the Parrot Club and ask for a mofongo of chicken or seafood with "a Medallita", Puerto Rican beer.
2. EL YUNQUE NATIONAL FOREST
El Yunque is the only tropical forest considered within the US forest system, as well as being the largest public property in Puerto Rico. Within this territory is also the Forest of Luquillo, which measures 9 thousand acres and has served to investigate the medicinal properties of forest plants for more than 50 years, however this is an area that few have access.
This walk consists of different paths of different degrees of difficulty: in some of them you will see waterfalls; In others you will have to climb huge stones to climb; And others are much more relaxed, but they will transport you to the true natural wealth of Puerto Rico, as well as to its majestic landscapes full of trees, flowers, birds and its characteristic "frog coquí", animal endemic of the place.
Good news is that it is possible to swim in the waterfalls! So take your bathing suit and clothes to change and take a good dip.
Tips: Whether you book a tour or rent a car to go to Yunque, be sure to go along the Piñones Route (Carretera 185), which is the most African side of the island. Along the way, you can enjoy several lonely beaches, but of great beauty like the Playa de Talega.
As well as the population of Loiza, which is where Ricky Martin's foundation matrix, Tau is.
Here in Loiza, it is advisable to eat in some "chinchorreo", name with which it is known to the rustic premises of typical food. Once there, ask for some alcapurrias, which are balls of dough and crushed green banana, stuffed with meat and fries.
3. BIOLUMINESCENT BAY
First thing's first. For those who have seen the film La Playa, starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Virgin Ledoyen in 2000, they probably remember the scene where they both walk at night by the seashore and see this phenomenon of small fluorescent lights shining in the water , Well, that is known as bioluminescence.
A bay becomes bioluminescent for several reasons, but the most common is due to the presence in the water of hundreds of thousands of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates (pyrodinum bahamenses). These can only live in waters surrounded by four types of mangroves: black, red, white and buttonhole. The combination of the properties of these mangroves is ideal for dinoflagellates in the water and bioluminescence can occur.
Because Puerto Rico is favored with three bioluminescent bays, ecotourism found in these waters one of its greatest attractions. Paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking are some of the options that tourists can enjoy through the tours offered by various companies. Yokahu is one of those established in Laguna Grande, Fajardo and that is where our adventure began.
4. EL MORRO
It is another of the Puerto Rican symbols par excellence. In fact, when traveling by cruise, to see the Morro in the distance, in the middle of the sea, is the clear signal that has arrived in Puerto Rico. Named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1983, the Castle of San Felipe del Morro, or El Morro to dry, crowns the entrance to the bay of San Juan and is where its wall begins.
Its function was to protect the port from sea attacks, but at the moment it is a tourist attraction to which one can enter and give an idea of what life was like in the time of the Spanish colonization: from the main square, to its small chapel, Although it has been restored, retains its original architecture.
Tips: if you go with adults, in addition to enjoying the outdoor fortification and with a spectacular view, we recommend you to enter the different rooms offered by the visit, in some there are exhibitions that are worthwhile; However, if you go with children, they would probably prefer to take a quick look inside and spend more time on the esplanade towards the castle. It is an immense green area where families gather for picnics and fly kites, which are favored by strong currents of air.
The entrance to the Morro costs $ 5 and the esplanade is free.
5. CARIBBEAN HILTON
In Puerto Rico there are 78 municipalities. When the Spaniards began to move to the island, the Duke of Santurce was creditor to a huge land, which later sold to the Benz Brothers. They cut the ground and sold it to wealthy families, so the neighborhood became a neighborhood of wealthy people. The first area to be developed in this area was Condado, which has a great resemblance in its facades to Miami Beach, because it is built at the same time: the 30, 40 and 50. Here also was the place where luxury hotels were established Such as Condado Plaza, Vanderbilt County, La Concha, Marriot and Caribe Hilton in 1949.
What makes the Hilton Caribbean different from the rest of the hotels? Here was created the Pina Colada, representative drink of the island!
Although there is a controversy over whether the creation of this drink was at the Hilton or in an Old San Juan bar, in 2004 Governor Sila María Calderón recognized Ramón "Monchito" Marrero as the creator of the pina colada in 1954 , While working as a hotel bartender.
Tips: If you do not stay at the hotel, it is worth taking a walk, either to dine in one of their restaurants, go to one of their presentations (here they have been presented from Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias, Luis Miguel, Juan Luis War, etc.), and of course, to have a piña colada with the original recipe.
6. RON BACARDÍ'S FACTORY IN PUERTO RICO
The visit to the Bacardi Factory (officially called Casa Bacardi) is one of the most important tourist attractions of the island of Puerto Rico. During the tour they take you through different halls through which they explain the origin and expansion of the company, as well as why its distinctive is a bat, and the different drinks that have been created thanks to the rum they produce, The famous Cuba Libre.
At the end of the tour, you will find a very well-stocked souvenir shop where you can find all the rum and brand items you can imagine: from T-shirts and glasses, to rum brownies (yes, as you read) and rums Exclusive and flavors that are only produced and sold here. Seriously, you're going to want to take everything. Oh, another thing, they just opened their restaurant Georgina, with house drinks and dishes inspired by the famous rum.
Tips: Casa Bacardi is located north of the city and there are several ways to get there, obviously the easiest and fastest is hiring a tour that takes you from your hotel, however another option that can be attractive is to go by ferry. It leaves Pier Number Two in Old San Juan and costs 50 cents. From there you take a truck that takes you to the entrance of the factory and that will cost five dollars. Voila, you saved the cab.
7. NIGHTLIFE WITH NUYORICAN
In 1973, a group of young Puerto Rico artists had the habit of meeting in their teacher's apartment in East Village, New York, to discuss society and art as well as to read their poetry. Thus came the Nuyorican Poets Café, whose founders were Miguel Piñero, Bimbo Rivas and Lucky Cienfuegos; The department in which they joined belonged to his teacher, Miguel Algarin, a Puerto Rican, who taught at Rutgers University.
Two years later, the club continued to grow, so they had to move to a larger space as was the Sunshine Café. This was where the club officially formed and persists to this day as a non-profit organization that seeks to support different artistic expressions such as poetry, music, hip hop, visual arts, theater, comedy, among others.
From here comes the name of the following hot spot in Puerto Rico: the Nuyorican Café. It is located in Old San Juan (Calle San Francisco # 312) and is a classic of Puerto Rican nightlife. It is a place where salsa is played live, so if you like this musical genre, you can not stop going, more if you like to dance.
8. NIGHTLIFE IN LA FACTORIA
LA Factoría is located in one of the most famous streets of Old San Juan for its nightlife: San Sebastián, which at night is completely transformed into what can be seen by day to receive foreign and national tourists who are in search of Fun and plans.
It is a bar with four different spaces, each with its own atmosphere, its own music and its own bar of specialized cocktails. "Each bar has original drinks and the best thing is that you do not need to" know how to take ", as our bartenders have the task of finding the perfect drink for you, depending on your tastes", says Francisco Busó, partner of the place.
Among its options of environments are the wine bar; The tropical space where they put sauce and cumbia; And the lounge bar, which is designed to hear more music chill out, jazz and blues.
Tips: the atmosphere has an underground feel, so do not expect the typical place with chairs and tables, go prepared to stand a good while. Another thing, if you are looking for the place, forget to see the sign in the entrance, you do not have it, instead you will see a sign that says "The children of Borinquen", previous name of the place. It turns out that, since Old San Juan is a historical place, the façades are protected, so it had to open the place with the sign of the previous place; By the time the permits had arrived, people already knew La Factoría to perfection, so it was decided not to put the sign.
9. VIEQUES AND CULEBRA ISLANDS
Just 11 kilometers from the east coast, these two islands are called Viques and Culebra, which, although they are small, hold natural wonders that have been recognized worldwide.
The island of Viques, for example, has a Guinness Record of the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world at Mosquito Bay, which is also called "The Jewel of Vieques". Here you can do activities such as kayaking, diving, among others.
The island of Culebra, located 14 kilometers from Puerto Rico, is known for having Playa Flamenco, the second most spectacular in the world, according to Discovery Chanel and one of the five most beautiful, according to Tripadvisor.
10. SHOPPING IN SAN JUAN / PLAZA LAS AMÉRICAS MALL
Located five minutes from the airport, the Mall of San Juan is the newest shopping center in Puerto Rico. It opened in March 2015 and since then has been adding more stores, mainly luxury like Jimmy Shoo, Swarovski, Kate Spade, Soma, Saks Fifth Avenue (where, incidentally, you can eat), among others. It is a good place to go shopping if you are looking for high end brand shopping.
Now if your budget is lower, another good option is Plaza las Americas, which is in San Juan, located 15 minutes from the airport. Among the stores that can be found here are: Adidas, Aldo Collection, Hot Topic, Banana Republic, Sears, among others.