Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Top Places to Visit on Puerto Rico Tours

Famously known as the “Island of Enchantment”, Puerto Rico is a popular destination for Americans who want to enjoy the scenic beauty and tropical climate of this country. The things that set Puerto Rico apart from the other islands are its magnificent rainforest, unique attractions, bioluminescent bays, mouth-watering food, and diverse culture and geography. The central hillside of Puerto Rico is filled with historical, cultural and eco-adventure opportunities. Here is a list of places you should make sure your Puerto Rico tours cover.

Must See Places on Puerto Rico Tours

Some places that are worth your visit on your Puerto Rico tour are:

El Morro

English: Fort San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, ... 

If you are a history fanatic, visit the Fort San Felipe del Morro. Located in San Juan, this fort was originally designed to guard against the entry of Spaniards to San Juan Bay. This site survived many attacks during the American military occupation and Spanish rule. Ultimately, it became a World Heritage Site and a National Park. A climb to the top of the fort will give you a beautiful view of Old San Juan.

The Vieques Biobay

The Vieques Biobay is worth visiting on a moonless night. You can try kayaking here as well. The green glowing oars in the water is a beautiful site to behold. The climate, local conservation efforts and geography of Vieques Biobay make it one of the of world’s most bioluminescent bays.

El Yunque

El Yunque Rain Forest Puerto RicoFor the ultimate rainforest experience, El Yunque is the place for you. The elevation of the tropical rainforest on the Rocky Mountains, along with the trails to climb, make this a must visit for Puerto Rico tours. More than 240 plant and tree species can be spotted in this area. El Yunque is preserved by the government of Puerto Rica.

Culebra Island

With mesmerizing views of beautiful sand and clear waters, Culebra Island is a perfect pick for a relaxing weekend. Ranked as the second most exotic beach in the world, Flamenco beach on this island is worth visiting. You can try scuba diving to catch a glimpse of the underwater reef.

Old Aguadilla Lighthouse Ruins

Aguadilla is a photographer’s delight. The lighthouse was built in the late 19th century by the Spanish. It was damaged by an earthquake and abandoned and re-built at a different place. The hollow windows still provide a breathtaking view.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

The Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico BeachesThere is nothing quite like the beaches in Puerto Rico - the cashmere sands sprawling some 270 miles along the fringes of the glittering Caribbean Sea and stretching out over to the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. Soft swaying palm leaves, never ending margaritas, the rolling soapy surf and some of the most secluded bays and famous surfing spots in the world.

Whether you have come to the legendary Caribbean island for the lush rainforest, the crystal caves, the gateway to surfing paradise, the island parties and the rum or the breath taking beaches you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t know which one of the hundreds of beaches to pick, you won’t be alone. Luckily we are one step ahead of you and have picked a few of our favourites to help you choose.

The best beach for Surfing - Playa Higüero

This beach is set in the popular Rincon region and has acquired the nickname of ‘’Little Malibu’’, due to its incredible winter season popularity on the surfing calendar. A top notch surfing destination, it was not the location of the world surfing champs for nothing. Not for the faint hearted, surfers can look forward to the 16ft barrels as the norm that come crashing down on to the velvety Caribbean sands.

The beast beach for Families - Luquillo Beach

A view of Luquillo Beach 

The most photographed beach in all of Puerto Rico, Luquillo Beach has a stunning coral reef that prevents the surf from becoming wild and rough, making it the calmest beach for families with children who want to frolic in the sea. There are a number of excellent picnic spots, changing room and even great shower facilities, so it is nice and clean and the perfect beach for parents to have a great day out, to relax at the ocean.

The best beach for Snorkeling – Playa Experanza

Puerto Rico is not only known for its gorgeous beaches and world class surfing spots, it is also known for its huge abundance of snorkelling opportunities, with a gorgeous reef that is literally teeming with marine life and underwater palaces just waiting to be explored. Expect to see a mass of deeply colourful antler coral, nurse sharks, large shoals of bright fish and even the odd manatee or two as you head on down below the waves at Playa Esperanza.

The best beach for swimming – Playa de Ponce

Considered to be one of the most enviable beaches in the world, the second biggest city in Puerto Rico, Ponce is the host to this slice of ocean paradise. The waves are calm and the surf rolls gently on to the velvety sands, instead of crashing angrily onto the shore, removing half of the beach as the waves roll furiously back, being sucked back into the deep ocean. The water is clearer, the waves virtually still and the tides predictable to the minute, which makes it great for kids who want to body surf and play in the water, as well as swimmers that want to go far out without the risk of being swept away.


Author bio: Korah Morrison, writer at and writes about seo, blogging, social media, internet marketing and other tips.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Pumpkin: So Poor and Yet So Rich

Pumpkin CalabazaAmong vegetables, it's one of the most nutritious and rich in vitamins, particularly A, and has great detoxifying, diuretic and antioxidant powers. In addition, it's very versatile, since it can be the main ingredient of soups, stews, desserts and an endless number of recipes. At the same time, pumpkins have very few calories and are among the most economical foods.

Pumpkins,known as calabaza, auyama or zapallo in Latin America, have been known throughout the Americas and Europe for many centuries. Apparently, the first British explorers to land on the coast of North America were amazed by the great variety of gourds grown by the natives. And although pumpkins are members of the zucchini family (which Europeans already knew), apparently the different varieties of squashes native to this side of the Atlantic had never been seen in the Old Continent until they were sent over from American soil.

Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes cantaloupe, cucumber and balsam pear or bitter melon.

When you buy pumpkins, always choose those with clean skin, free of blotches, and avoid those that are too soft and ripe, since they rot quickly. Pick the heaviest in relation to their size, since they offer a larger eatable section. The best way to preserve them is to keep them in the refrigerator or in a cool place.

Whencut and cooked, they must be eaten within one or two days. Figure that, on average, 1 lb of pumpkin, with the peel removed, cut and cooked, yields two cups.

As a rule of thumb, figure about 8 ounces per person.

The rounder and flatter ones are best for desserts, such as the classic pumpkin pie, while the longer ones are perfect to eat plain or as a side dish to meat, fish or cheese.

Below is a recipe for a delicious cake in which pumpkins are the star:

Special Pumpkin Cake


2 tsp. granulated sugar

2 cups of unsifted flour

2 tsp. baking powder

tsp. salt

1 cup of confectioners' sugar

1 cup of soft butter

4 large eggs

tsp. vanilla extract

tsp. almond extract

2 cups grated pumpkin


1. Butter a round baking pan. Sprinkle it with granulated sugar to cover the inside of the pan.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In another large bowl, with an electric hand mixer, whip the confectioners' sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, while still beating. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

4. Preheat the over to 350° F.

5. Blending slowly, add the flour mix to the butter and eggs. Continue mixing slowly until the batter is smooth. Now add the grated pumpkin. Spoon the mix into the pan.

6. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out totally dry.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes over a rack. Then get it out of the pan over the same rack to continue to cool down. Finally, place it on a serving plate and garnish it as you like with more confectioners' sugar.

Yields about 10 portions

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Finger Foods

Finger Foods

by E. Garriga

Bacalaíto and fried porkThere is no greater pleasure than to eat a delicious fritter such as bacalaítos (codfish fritters), o a piece of dulce de coco (coconut candy squares) you long for using your hands or remembering a scrumptious arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) cooked over a make-shift stove of three stones heated with coal or wood! I remember as a child visiting family in the countryside in Moca, Puerto Rico, and the best arroz con gandules we ate using our fingers. People would often say to eat “hasta chuparse los dedos,” meaning absolutely delicious when it was made over charcoal or wood sticks. The host would say “you don´t need a fork and a knife to enjoy this!” During those days people did not worry about bacteria, they just enjoyed the food. That was a different generation. Today we have to wash our hands thoroughly due to our contaminated environment. Many would regard eating with their fingers as having bad table manners.

Yet, hands are the most important tools in handling food. Since ancient times people have used their fingers to eat. Even today there are cultures in many parts of the world where people eat with their fingers as a daily routine. Closer to home, many restaurants serve dishes that require using our fingers. Some provide towels for guests to clean their hands before eating. Other places entice diners put their hands together over a bowl in the center of the table and pour water all at once. A recent article in The New York Times (1/18/2012, p. D3) notes that more and more restaurants encourage using hands instead of silverware. The article mentions Julie Sahni, instructor and cookbook author, raised in India and who says, "eating with hands evokes great emotion . . . inspires affection, sympathy and tenderness.” Other chefs encourage eating with their hands in the belief that it enhances the link between food and sensory decline due to protocols at upscale dining places. Many restaurants place a container with forks and knives in the center of the table for those who prefer those utensils.

However, in Western culture there are other rules to follow at the table, informally or not. We use fork, knife and a spoon in a formal setting but use our fingers to eat certain foods in a more casual one.

So, what do we eat with our fingers? Here is a sampling:

barbecued ribs

breads, bagels



chips and dips



corn on the cob


fried chicken

fried chicken wings

fritters such as alcapurrias, almojábanas, arañitas de plátanos, arepitas,

bacalaítos, empanadillas, pastelillos, sorullitos, tostones*






some desserts such as dulce de coco, marrayos

some snacks, tapas, canapés, cocktail appetizers

Clearly, when a dish has sauce or is liquid it’s more practical to use a spoon. Sometimes we have a dilemma regarding what utensil to use, especially with desserts. The spoon makes sense for soft desserts such as flanes (custards), helados (ice cream) or any dessert accompanied with a syrup. The fork is normally used for cakes and fruits. Sometimes, when a cake has or is served with ice cream, then a spoon suits the need. When in doubt, follow your hostess, who’s sure to provide the requisite utensil in the hope that she knows what to use. ¡Enjoy!

*The fritter recipes can be found in Sabrosuras Boricuas and Homestyle Puerto Rican Cooking cookbooks, sold at

E. Garriga is the Author ofSabrosuras BoricuasandHomestyle PuertoRican Cookingcookbooks and is a frequent contributor at

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Las Dunas Beach Apartments Vacation Rentals


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Location: Isabela, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean (Caribbean) View Map

Accommodations:  8 Apartments Available - 2 Bedroom, 1 bedroom and Studio Apartments available

Quiet area, very private, short & long term rentals

Amenities: new kitchen, new bathroom, fully  furnished, sheets and towels, kitchenware, washer and dryer, fans in each room, air conditioned, Internet, small pets OK. World Class Surf capita,  horsebackriding, golf, tennis,  windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing classes. Saand dunes stretch for 10 miles, 11 minutes from local airport. located near Rincon close to Villa Montana and Shacks Beach.

Vacation Rental Features

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The “Puerto Ricanization” of Central Florida

The “Puerto Ricanization” of Central Florida

Florida Puerto RicansCentral Florida has become a hot bed of Puerto Rican immigration and migration.  Florida now boasts nearly 850,000 Puerto Ricans in the state, which account for 18% of the nation’s entire Puerto Rican population.  The population growth of Puerto Ricans has made it one of the largest ethnic groups in Florida, second only to Cubans.  The area of highest Puerto Rican density in Florida is Orlando and Kissimmee, however some of the oldest Puerto Rican roots in the state are grounded in the Tampa Bay region.  If you’re coming to Florida looking for authentic Puerto Rican culture, skip on Orlando and Disney, take care of the Budget car rental, and drive over to Tampa Bay.

The car ride will lead you along the I-4 corridor where 350,000 Puerto Ricans currently reside.  There are 135,000 Puerto Ricans in the Tampa Bay area, which comprises 28% of the entire Hispanic/Latino population in Tampa Bay.  The Tampa-St. Petersburg region has perhaps the oldest Puerto Rican community in Florida, dating back to the 19th century when Ybor City in Tampa was in its heyday as a cigar manufacturing, commercial center.  If you plan to come to Tampa Bay for a genuine Puerto Rican experience, come in December.

Not only is the weather spectacular in the bay area in winter, but Tampa has lovely Puerto Rican “parrandas.”  Parrandas are the Puerto Rican version of Christmas caroling, when a large group of friends gather together to surprise another friend.  Parranderos not only sing traditional Puerto Rican Christmas songs called “aguilandos” but they also frequently play instruments, such as tamborines, guitar, guiro, and maracas among others.  The parrandas usually start around 10 p.m. when the group arrives to a house, serenades the owner, and is invited in for drinks and refreshments.  The group grows and they leave for another house, and this can last until 3 or 4a.m.  For the luckiest parranderos, they can enjoy traditional Puerto Rican favorites like coconut flavored pudding, rice with pigeon peas, pig and Puerto Rican coconut rum, as well as other favorites from the island.  The biggest days to be in Tampa are December 24- Noche Buena (Christmas Eve); December 25 Navidad (Christmas Day); December 31 Despedida de Año.  Of course no Latino holiday season would be complete without el Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day) on January 6th, which is the favorite of Latino children around the world. Check out Rancho Las Palmas of Tampa, at 5909 Hartford Street as they host Puerto Rican Parranda Navideña Sunday.  After your holiday parties are over, take some time to explore more of the Puerto Rican gastronomy in the bay area.

Probably the most famous Puerto Rican restaurant is La Casona at 5709 N. Armenia in Tampa.  Reviewers on their facebook page describe it as “absolutely the best Puerto Rican food in Tampa” and “best mofongo north of San Juan, best pollo salteado ever.”  This should provide good reason to go there.  Other favorites are masitas (fried pork pieces) and the camarones a la casona con pan (sautéed shrimp in butter and spices with bread).  If you are looking for something earthier and without frills, go to Mi Pueblo Cafeteria.

Mi Pueblo Cafeteria is located at 1910 N. Lincoln Ave. in Tampa.  The food is inexpensive, but many people consider it to be one of the finest examples of genuine Puerto Rican food in the region, right next to La Casona.  Mi Pueblo Cafeteria serves up all the tradition Puerto Rican favorites: lamb, beans, sweet plantains, stewed beef, shredded pork, and stewed shrimp.  The restaurant has a very friendly staff and welcoming family environment.  Lastly, if you’re up for a road trip, consider eating at Casa de Caguas.

Cruise over the Sunshine Skyway to Bradenton, Florida and find Casa de Caguas 1714 14th St. West.  Like most Puerto Rican restaurants, Casa de Caguas has a friendly, family environment.  They also serve all the traditional favorites from mofongo to pork.  The other fare on the menu includes:  jibarito, pastalon, alcapurias, bacalaito, and empanadillas.  You can quench your thirst with native Puerto Rican sangria as well as Puerto Rican Medalla Light, while enjoying the feast.  Casa de Caguas also makes a variety of other Caribbean specialties that are made to order.  The bridges between the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Florida continue to grow.

Although Jacksonville is the #1 commercial port for Puerto Rican shipping, Tampa is working to improve relations with the Caribbean island.  A concerted effort has been made over recent years, including events in Tampa that seek to nurture business ties between Tampa and Puerto Rico. Close ties and relations continue to flourish in the area as Medical Card System Inc., a health services company in Puerto Rico, recently appointed Jim O’Drobinak as chief executive officer.  Mr. O’Drobinak lives in the Tampa Bay area and previously worked for Gorman Health Group and Universal Health Care.

Without a doubt, central Florida and especially the Tampa Bay area is a hub for blossoming Puerto Rican culture.  With one of the largest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in the country, as well as extremely authentic culinary options and increasing business ties between Tampa Bay and Puerto Rico, there’s no reason to hesitate to come experience for yourself, Florida’s version of Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Retire in Puerto Rico


Top 5 Reasons to Retire in Puerto Rico

As people approach retirement age, many consider different options for where they want to live. In some cases, a move to a different part of the world may be a great option. One option that many are considering is a move to Puerto Rico. Here are the top five reasons to retire in Puerto Rico. But where ever you decide to retire make sure you have looked into assisted living communities. Here you can start designing healthy communities for senior citizens and find the right place for you.

The Weather

Puerto Rico

Weather is one of the components that makes Puerto Rico such an attractive destination for vacationers, and new retirees will enjoy the shift to warmer temperatures. After years of dealing with cooler weather, some people simply want to be able to dress how they would like in the morning without having to worry about needing additional layers during the day. Further, injuries are more common in cold locations, and many retirees will find that they simply do not want to risk a fall resulting from snowy weather.

Part of the United States

Although it seems like a foreign country in many ways, Puerto Rico is still part of the United States. Despite not being a state, the territory provides the same advantages of the United States. Visiting friends and relatives is easy, and dealing with taxes and payments from the government is straightforward. The legal protections one gains from living in the United States are still present, and retirees will be able to find others from the United States regardless of where they move on the island.

The Cost

As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico is somewhat isolated from the rest of the nation. Because of this, its cost of living has not yet matched that of the rest of the United States. As all retirees know, stretching money as far as possible is crucial to enjoying the best retirement possible; by moving the Puerto Rico, new retirees can instantly be able to afford far more than they would elsewhere in the United States.

The Culture

Photo of a —garita in el Morro Castle in San J... 
One of the best ways to combat the mental effects of aging is to challenge the brain. By moving to Puerto Rico, retirees will find an entirely new culture to learn about. Further, many who retire in Puerto Rico will want to spend some time learning Spanish. This provides a great way to challenge one's brain and fend of the effects of aging while enjoying a fun, dynamic culture. It is possible to stay in Puerto Rico while retaining one's standard activities, but most who make the move end up becoming enthralled with wanting to learn as much about the island's history and people as possible.

Choice of Lifestyles

Retirees have vastly different images of what they want their day-to-day lives to be like. Puerto Rico offers options to satisfy nearly all retirees. With nearly 2.5 million people in its metropolitan area, San Juan offers the big city experience that many retirees enjoy. Puerto Rico also offers isolated locations in small towns where retirees can enjoy the rural lifestyle that many long for. Those who prefer something in between these extremes will find plenty of options on the island.

Retirement should be the best time of one's life. By making wise decisions, retirees can ensure that their retirement matches want they have been looking forward to for years. For many, moving to Puerto Rico is the best way to enjoy retirement as much as possible.

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

In San Juan stands colossally Puerto Rico’s most well known landmark, El Morro. In the 16th century this citadel foundation was laid to protect the capital and the Spanish fleet from seaborne attacks. With Puerto Rico positioned at the Western edge of the Caribbean, San Juan was one of the key frontier outposts of Spain’s lands and a guardian of the West Indies.

For first time visitors, this is a must see attraction.

Its full name is the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, and was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. For more than 400 years it has stood protecting the city – used beginning with Spanish conquistadores and ending with World War II. The fortress has seen its fair share of battles, but it has never fallen to a sea attack. However, in 1598, it fell once to the Earl of Cumberland when it was attacked by land.

Now, though, you’ll see people gathered to relax, sightsee and picnic.

El Morro Map

El Morro is made of six levels, staggered to incorporate passageways, storerooms, barracks and dungeons. Once you reach the top of it, you can gaze at spectacular ocean views. You can walk the same route solider once marched on around El Morro and fly kites.

In the 1500s, the Spanish set up a trading route to the New World. Using two fleets, the flota and the galeones, the Spanish would transport riches back home from the colonies and send out new supplies to equip settlers with the goods they needed.

Southeast of Puerto Rico, both fleets entered the Caribbean Sea, but followed different routes at different times of the year. The flota were ships smaller than the galeones, and focused on the transportation of goods such as hides, coffee, ginger, sugar, and other tropical good from Cuba, Veracruz, Mexico, and what is now the Dominican Republic. The larger galeones transported back to Spain from the New World pearls, silver, gold, and other valuable minerals.

Both fleets needed protection from strikes by armed ships. Together, they would caravan from Havana, Cuba, sailing up the eastern shore of Florida. Then, they would turn east across the Atlantic to return home to Spain. Their cargoes of raw materials and treasures from the New World would be left at Spanish ports, and then the crew would load their ships up with merchandise and supplies to carry back to the Spanish American colonies.

El Morro still stands today and is a symbol of pride and history for the country.

It is open every day from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. expect on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Adult tickets are $3. Children 15 and under get in free.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Activity Holidays in Puerto Rico


Activity Holidays in Puerto Rico

A popular Caribbean destination, the small island of Puerto Rico has plenty on offer. With its tropical climate, sandy beaches, colonial history and adventure activities, it is understandable why so many people visit this dream destination.

About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an official US territory with the US dollar as its currency. Although many Puerto Ricans migrate to the US every year, there are millions of US mainland visitors who flock to visit the island. It is a self-governing commonwealth located in the Atlantic Ocean, in the north-eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is 35 miles wide and 100 miles long and is home to fewer than 4 million people. With English and Spanish as its main languages, the name Puerto Rico means 'rich port' in Spanish, although the local nickname is 'Island of Enchantment' or Isla del Encanto. It has a tropical climate with average temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F.

Christopher Columbus arrived on the island in 1493 and claimed it as a Spanish outpost. The capital city, San Juan, was founded in 1521. The island is a cultural fusion of Spanish, African and Taino, with many local delicacies such as mofongo, which is mashed platanos stuffed with meat and lechon, roast suckling pig.

Old San Juan is a commercial and residential area, with over 400 restored 16th and 17th century colonial buildings. Best explored on foot, there are a number of Plazas that act as local meeting places and contain a number of historical monuments. The nearby El Morro fortress contains 18 ft thick walls and only fell once during its history.

The unofficial mascot of the island is the coqui, a small tree frog that is only found in Puerto Rico. Its 'ko-kee' sound can be heard across the island. It is also home to the largest single dish radio telescope in the world, responsible for the first asteroid images in history. Visitors can tour the telescope and its facility at Arecibo.

Beach Life and Sea Life

Puerto Rico is home to more than 300 beaches and off the coastline there are coral reefs and sea grass beds, favorite feeding spots for turtles. There are many other marine species in and around the waters of Puerto Rico, including sharks, barracuda and butterfly fish. Off the coast of Fajardo, the islets of Iacos, Loboc and Ratones are easily assessable by boat or catamaran and these islets offer some of the best snorkeling in the area.

Mona Island is one of the top ten diving sites in Puerto Rico. Although it takes around six hours to reach the island, experienced divers can swim with sharks or even humpback whales. La Parguera offers dive depths of between 50 ft and 1000 ft to the sea floor and it is also a popular spot in which to night dive. For those who prefer cold water diving, then consider other US destinations such as Alaska, where some of the best Alaska holidays are available for diving.

As well as diving and sailing, Puerto Rico is also popular for surfing activity holidays. Rincon is a surfer's paradise, remaining home to many who travelled to the Surfing World Championships there in 1968. Waves break between 2 ft and 25 ft, with the Tres Palmas being dubbed the 'temple' of big waves in the Caribbean.

Other Activities Available

Other ideas for adventure holidays include hang gliding, which offers the chance view the El Yunque rainforest, the only subtropical rainforest in the US. There are also ziplines, caving and rappelling activities. The island is popular destination for hikers and cyclists and there are also ATV (all-terrain vehicle) tours available.

Tom Brown writes regularly on activity holidays for a range of travel websites and blogs. As well as reviewing adventure holidays, Tom will also be reviewing the best Alaska holidays in his next article.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Top Tourist Attractions in Puerto Rico


Top Tourist Attractions in Puerto Rico

Located in the Northeastern Caribbean, east of Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States of America, is a wonderful vacation destination for many people in this world. It is an island that has been originally populated by aboriginal people, but then it was claimed by the Hispanics. Back in 1898 Spain ceded the island to the U.S. under terms of the Treaty of Paris.

The modern culture of Puerto Rico represents an interesting mix of African, Amerindian, Spanish and North American influences. Its climate is tropical marine, mild and with very little seasonal variations. If you plan to travel to Puerto Rico, it is important for you to know that during the hurricane season, from June until November, it rains once a day. Puerto Rico consists mostly of mountains, but also has a small plain in the North. In addition to this, there are many sandy beaches along the coasts.

You can get to Puerto Rico by plane, using the main airport - Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. Nevertheless, you should also take into account the fact that about one million tourists come to visit Puerto Rico each year by boat, on cruise ships. And even though the public transportation system works well in the cities, most travelers rent a car in order to reach the desired destination, especially if it is outside a city.

Travel to Puerto RicoWhat is there to do and see while in Puerto Rico? First of all, you can enjoy a zip-line adventure, flying over green valleys and forest canopies at 60 miles per hour over 4000 feet, or descending to the mouth of an underground river. Puerto Rico offers its tourists the possibility to spend a day of adventure that includes rappelling, caving and hiking.

For many scuba diving lovers, Puerto Rico is the best place on earth to do this activity, because they can explore not only the Atlantic Ocean waters, but also the Caribbean Sea waters. In addition to this, the island is the home of the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, a place where lots of adventurers meet in their quest for new and unique experiences.

If you prefer riding your bike, Puerto Rico offers you this possibility as well; there are numerous tracks, from the dirt tracks in the rainforest to lush landscapes. Sure, if you do not feel like riding a bike, you can always ride a horse and visit the island this way. The island will charm you no matter how you choose to explore it!

Some tourists are simply looking for peaceful, beautiful beaches, and Puerto Rico boasts with no less than 2,017 miles of diverse beaches. You can spend many hours of tranquility on the golden sand beaches that are facing the ocean, or on the white sand beaches that are facing the Caribbean Sea.

The surf beaches are considered to be the best in the world, so numerous tourists come to Puerto Rico just for surfing. As an example, Flamenco Beach is a well known natural treasure, being labeled as the second most beautiful beach in the world by Discovery Channel. Under these circumstances, it is not a surprise that visitors from all over the world come here and stay for several months every year. There are no less than 300 beaches that you can choose from, so you will certainly find one that will charm you, offering you lifelong memories.

Irina Chirilov, the author of this article, works as a blogger for Thrifty Car Rentals Bucharest Romania, a vehicle hire agency in Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Puerto Rico – a Tropical Paradise for Your Wedding


Puerto Rico – a Tropical Paradise for Your Wedding

If you are looking for the perfect destination for your wedding, you would be hard pressed to make a better choice than to tie the knot in Puerto Rico. The favourable climate, breathtaking scenery, relaxed atmosphere and food make this Caribbean island very popular with couples wanting to marry in a far-flung destination.

When to go

Puerto Rico can be a year round wedding destination. Its tropical location means that it is like summer all the year round in Puerto Rico and you can look forward to average monthly temperatures of at least 28⁰C, though it does tend to be warmer in the south of the island. While you can expect to receive some rain every day in Puerto Rico, February to April tend to be the driest months and as a general rule it is drier in more southerly areas. Although it might be warmer in Puerto Rico than you are used to at home, there’s no reason why you still can’t suit up for your big day; you might just want to consider a different style or material for your suit.

Where to hold the ceremony

Old San JuanWhile the hotels and beaches on Puerto Rico tend to be the most popular choice for couples in terms of location for their ceremony, don’t let that limit you. The botanical gardens at the island’s university display flowers from all around the world, along with sculptures and water features, so you would struggle to find a more beautiful setting to exchange your vows. Keeping with the theme of greenery, you can venture into the rainforest and be married under the tree top canopy. The Camuy Caves, an amazing underground cave system, indeed one of the largest in the world, has also been known for weddings and would certainly give rise to some dramatic photos. If getting closer to nature isn’t your thing, why not consider Old San Juan, one of the most beautiful towns on the island boasting much impressive architecture to provide a backdrop for your ceremony and pictures to capture the day. If you prefer to choose a more intimate location, escape to one of the smaller islands off Puerto Rico’s coast, for peace, quiet and serene scenery.

What to wear

Wedding on the BeachAlthough you have probably chosen the Caribbean for a more relaxed wedding day, it’s still important that you dress smartly as the groom and you will probably want to encourage your best man to do the same. Opting for a suit made from cotton or linen might be a good idea in view of the climate. While you might be tempted to choose a brightly coloured shirt to enter into the Caribbean spirit and to contrast the white sandy beaches, a more tasteful option is to add a splash of colour to a white shirt with an accessory, for an example a colourful tropical flower.

Feeding your guests

Tropical FruitHaving been more careful about what you have eaten in the months leading up to your big day to ensure you look great when you suit up for your wedding, it’s time to relax, sample and enjoy the delicious food on offer at your reception. The food in Puerto Rico has influences from not just Spain and Mexico but also other Caribbean islands, America and Africa, so the dishes on offer are unique and bursting with flavour thanks to the mix of herbs, spices and other ingredients. Meat, chicken, fish and eggs all feature in the cuisine of Puerto Rico, as do plenty of fresh vegetables, with plantains and sweet potatoes being the preferred carbohydrates to accompany a meal. You can look forward to desserts finished off with juicy tropical fruits, washed down with rum, the national drink.


Where to stay

Fajardo El Conquistador EntranceWhere you stay on your honeymoon is all important, as it adds so much to this once in a lifetime holiday. There are a number of luxury resorts and hotels to choose from in Puerto Rico, all of which have accommodation of a very high standard, with optional extras and wonderful food. Whether you are looking for a quiet location with a private beach or to be in a larger complex close to the hustle and bustle, you are sure to find what you are after. The same applies to what you hope to do while away; whether you prefer relaxing on a sun lounger by the pool while sipping a cocktail or to take part in water sports, your wishes can be catered for.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Scurvy Dog's Puerto Rican Blog


Old San JuanI'm Roberto and I run a website, a blog dedicated to the exploration of Puerto Rico. Though my main focus is on the 'rest of the island', Old San Juan is still a favorite. I've featured it many times.

I don't spend much effort talking about golf or health spas as those are already covered elsewhere.

My focus is on exploring the island's culture and history with an emphasis on 'low cost' activities. Cheap is good, free is best! I have a 'rating system' based on that.

What's more, while doing my original research, I found English language details hard to come by. Fortunately for me, my 'better half' speaks Spanish well. Printed travel guides will only take you so far and often restate the same errors over and over. Sugar cane has not been grown as a 'cash crop' in Puerto Rico for more than 20 years.

My first trip to PR was in August of 2009. Back then, I thought it would be fun to track my experiences with a travel blog. In that 5 week trip, I covered as much of the island as I could. I was also scouting for a place I might consider 'retiring to'. During that visit, I met 3 different people from the mainland who came here on vacation and never left. That amazed me.

Rio Camuy Cave ParkNever in my wildest dreams, did I think I would 'retire' to Puerto Rico, but that is exactly what I did. Within 9 weeks of going home, I bundled up everything I owned and moved from Willow, Alaska to Coamo, PR on the south side of the island. Far away from the 'hustle and bustle' of San Juan. The pace is much more relaxed and the temps a little cooler, where we are.

My first passion is photography so my Blog serves as an outlet for that expression. Writing on the other hand, is hard work. Not something that comes naturally. The words serve to support the images. I also plug in some history from time to time to place things in perspective. My 'other passion' is graphic design so my site was built from scratch. Hence the pirate theme… ARRG! I even created my own topographically accurate map of Puerto Rico. A piece of art in its own right. A very large version of it hangs in a restaurant in Sarasota, Florida.

Yes, that's me in the silly pirate outfit. I only ever wore it once...

There is a term ExPats use to describe their adopted homeland- 'Paradise Tax'. "Life is not perfect, but the inconveniences that come with living here are worth it". At least they are worth it to me. I like the fact that Puerto Rico a 'little rough around the edges'. That 'things get done, when things get done.' I worked in commercial printing all my life so I'm done with punching a time clock. That said, PR is not for everybody.

Puerto Rico Mangos in the GardenMy 'little' travel blog has expanded steadily and now includes posts about my gardening experiences too. Never was much of a gardener, but that's half the fun of living here. Ever had garden fresh, Mango, Papaya, Bananas, Lemons, Coconut, Passion Fruit or Caribbean Cherry? These were all new experiences for me. Now I'm working at adding even more. I've also planted 5 varieties of bamboo in addition to the local one.

If you like 'YouTube', there's videos I shot from the road with a video camera mounted to the roof rack… zipping across the Puerto Rican countryside, avoiding other cars and the occasional pothole.
These photos are just a tiny sampling of the images featured over on my Website.
None of this even begins to explain the great food or great music of this very generous Caribbean culture. Wanna see what the rest of the island looks like? Then check out what we've been up to.
It's now been 3 years... I'm still in awe of the place.

Thanx- Roberto, the Scurvy Dog o' PR... ARRG!

"Life's a trip.. Pack your bags, we got to go!"  RDW

The Scurvy Dog's Puerto Rican Blog- 
Can be seen at:
Roberto's Other Puerto Rican Website- 
Dedicated to the virtues of bamboo:

As well as Roberto's Main Photo Site-
Or check out Roberto's Fine Art 'Prints On-Demand' at-
If I shot it, you can get a print of it here
Note: all photos on this page are Copyright e

Monday, September 14, 2020

Why you should have your Wedding in Puerto Rico


Why you should have your Wedding in Puerto Rico

Getting married is one of the biggest events in anyone's life, and choosing the right venue is one of the biggest decisions couples need to make. More and more couples are choosing to get married out of their home town, and destination weddings are more popular than ever.

But how do you choose the best destination, which one will work for you, and the biggest question of all, will you be able to afford it? A destination wedding is popular because of the distance; it cuts out much of the drama and pressure, and overbearing involvement from well-meaning but often unwelcome family members.

Couples have a better chance of getting what they want for their special day if they choose a wedding venue far away from home, on a romantic tropical island. A destination wedding can also save you plenty of money, as guests will have to fork out the airfare, accommodation and other costs from their own pocket, which in turn keeps those free loading aunties at home, where couples would prefer them to be.

Puerto Rico - a Caribbean Paradise

el MorroPuerto Rico, off the coast of southern America, neighbor to the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands, has emerged as one of the most popular wedding destinations in the Caribbean. Definitely not as crowded as other high tourist traffic areas of the region, Puerto Rico has everything any couple could possibly want for their wedding.

An enviable climate, glittering azure waters that roll in and out seductively on breath taking velvet cashmere beaches, soft, swaying coconut palms, jaw-droppingly beautiful sunsets, private, intimate terraces, manicured tropical gardens and the very best world class service, plus experienced and professional wedding planners to cater for your every need.

Whether you are after a glorious three-day extravaganza, with a full banquet, choir and orchestra, or a small barefoot ceremony for a handful of special guests on the beachfront, or even a funky breakfast wedding ceremony in one of the historic Spanish Colonial buildings, Puerto Rico has it all.

Puerto Rico has world class wedding planners who can arrange anything from flowers, string quartets, hair, make up, photographers, DJs, live bands, a marriage officer, or even a venue for a wedding ceremony in an historic old church, that is centuries old.

After the wedding

And the best part is, once you have enjoyed the most romantic and heavenly event of your life, and all your guests have left for home and said goodbye, you and your newly betrothed won't need to go far at all to start your honeymoon.

Explore the glorious island of Puerto Rico, go swimming with dolphins, have a luxurious and romantic picnic on the beach, sail out on the stunning ocean seas, hire a private yacht charter, have a spa day and enjoy massages and champagne on the beach - the world is your oyster, and the island of Puerto Rico has everything you could possibly want and more.

Even if you are on a budget, which most bridal couples are, the experienced wedding planners in Puerto will put together a tailor made package for you and your loved one, so that you may have the perfect wedding and honeymoon of your dreams.

There are some of the most sensational places on the island to choose from for your spectacular wedding of a life time. The island is beautiful in every corner, and whatever style of wedding you want, is possible here.

Here are 3 of the most romantic ideas for your ideal wedding venue.

The Botanical Gardens - University of Puerto Rico

With more than 300 sprawling acres of flora and fauna from all over the world, you can have your dream wedding photography done here on the beautiful Japanese bridge surrounded by the glittering pond, water lilies and a perfectly manicured Japanese Garden. The stunning Monet Garden is perfect if you are bringing over a large wedding party. You can get married in the beautiful gardens surrounded by waterfalls, sculptures, fountains, lakes and more than 63 different species of birds.

Old San Juan

Old San JuanThe ancient Spanish Colonial architecture that is centuries old sprawling over the romantic and intoxicating region of Old San Juan is the perfect place for a glorious and memorable wedding. Brightly colored buildings, 400 year old churches, winding streets of knobbly cobblestones, and an undeniable mystical romance just oozes from every corner of the city. Your wedding photographer will have a hard time containing themselves when trying to pick the most beautiful spot.

El Yunque

This is another incredible venue for lovers of the outdoors, and where better to get married than in the very heart of Puerto Rico's famous tropical rainforest at El Yunque. Say your vows on the fringes of a trickling mountain pool, on top of a rugged hilly outcrop, or from the luxurious location of one of the world class rainforest resorts. There is more excitement to be had at the La Mina Falls, where the bride and groom can take the concept of ''Trash the Dress'' to new heights.

Get married in a cave, or head out to a small private island and arrive to your wedding on an old, rustic fishing boat, have a bonfire on the beach or take it all the way to the top with an elite wedding banquet a celebrity would be proud of at Puerto Rico has everything you could possibly want and more.

Author Bio:

Post contributed by Andrea Jones, on behalf of - Event coordinators and providers of hen and stag do ideas in the UK and Europe. Andrea is a freelance writer. She has extensive experience as an events coordinator.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Domino Tables: Symbols Of Puerto Rican Culture

Puerto Rican Domino TableIf there is one thing Puerto Ricans may have defined better than any other culture, it is how to have a genuinely good time without the use of modern technology. One of the most definitive objects in Puerto Rican homes is the domino table. Nearly every family has one, and some have had their tables for multiple generations.

Families, friends and new acquaintances can all gather around the table to laugh and play a timeless game. In tourist towns, visitors are welcome to join the games or learn how to play. It is not uncommon to witness young kids teaching adult tourists how to play Puerto Rico's most popular table games. For many years, dominoes have been a way for people to make friends and socialize. In Puerto Rico, the domino table is seen almost everywhere. The beaches, parks, hotels, bars and many other establishments keep guests entertained and tourists intrigued with these tables.

Puerto Ricans who have seen the standard plastic or faux wood domino tables sold in most American stores immediately know the difference between these products and the items from their homeland. Puerto Rican tables are known for their personality, which often include creative patriotic flare.


There are probably at least 50 different variations of these tables, some of which are painted by hand. Puerto Rico's flag is a staple on many tables. It may be painted in a realistic manner, or it may be abstract with several other details. Some show homage to Puerto Rico with the inscription Patria Querida on the top.

Another thing Puerto Rican domino tables are known for is their durability. Almost all of these products are made of solid wood. However, some may have a paint covering instead of a glossy clear coat. Since it channels the tables that are common in the homeland, many people prefer the natural wood look.

Dominoes have been one of the most popular social activities in Puerto Rico for many years. Whether it is Quinientos, Doscientos, Chiva, Gallinazo or a made-up game, nearly every family uses one of these tables to play dominoes. For Puerto Ricans who want to teach their children about their native culture, domino tables are a great way to start.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Weddings In The Caribbean – Puerto Rico


Weddings In The Caribbean – Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is situated in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. It is the ideal location to play host to couples wishing to have their weddings in the Caribbean, with all the elements present to ensure that dream wedding ceremony becomes a actuality.

Puerto Rico is made up of a group of islands that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and numerous smaller sized islands, including Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. The primary island of Puerto Rico is the smallest landmass by area, but the third greatest in population, in the Greater Antilles, the group of islands that includes Cuba, Hispaniola, and Jamaica.

Puerto Rico’s Weather

For those young couples wanting to have their marriage ceremony in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico provides the best climate. The normal temperature is 82 degrees, with few extreme changes during the season. The temperatures on the southern part of the island are generally a few degrees hotter than on the northern part, and the central interior mountain range is always cooler than the rest of the island.

Unique Places To Get Married in Puerto Rico

For those couples looking to create memorable and unique weddings in the Caribbean, there are several exceptional places to tie the knot.

Old San JuanOne of these places is Old San Juan. This town is full of cobblestone lined streets. Viejo San Juan is small and romantic with more than 400 years of history and has its collection of romantic love stories to go with it. The Pueblo has many brightly painted buildings, old world Spanish architecture, and two of the oldest churches in the Americas. El Catedral de San Juan is the elegant cathedral that hosts the most distinctive and elite weddings on the island of Puerto Rico.

The 300-acre Botanic Gardens Park on the campus of the University of Puerto Rico offers an excellent setting for weddings in the Caribbean, especially for couples who love the outdoors. Along with the elegant Monet Garden, there are fountains, lakes, waterfalls, sculptures, and 63 different species of birds to really add to the picturesque ambience.

El Yunque is Puerto Rico’s famed tropical rainforest and provides another excellent setting for couples having their weddings in the Caribbean. There are several venues to choose from here, including a resort, by a forest pool, or on top of a mountain. If you want to add some ‘splash’ to your wedding, you and your guests can take a refreshing dip in the La Mina Falls after you have completed your vows.

Corcho Beach in Vieques island, Puerto Rico. 

For those couples looking for less hectic weddings in the Caribbean, you can get married on one of the neighbouring islands of Vieques or Culebra. Both islands offer unspoiled beaches and a quieter, more relaxed environment than that offered in San Juan.

We’ve saved the best for last, one remaining unique destination in Puerto Rico to get married. The Camuy Caves is a natural below ground wonderland that is one of Puerto Rico’s best attractions. It has an underground river and individual chambers up to 200 feet wide, so your wedding space will provide plenty of room, and a scenic backdrop, for your guests. If you’re looking for a wedding with a difference, you’ve just found it!

Omar Isaacs is the Marketing Executive for The Bahamas Tourist Office, a tourist organisation that can help you discover the best holidays in The Bahamas. If you’re planning weddings in the Caribbean or want to book the ideal Caribbean honeymoons, we are only a click away.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Five reasons to visit Culebra


Culebra - An island of sun, sand, sea…and turtles. Lots and lots of turtles

Located around 18 miles east of the Puerto Rican mainland, the island of Culebra is seven miles long and 3 miles wide, inhabited by almost 2,000 people. It’s often described as being sleepy, with not much going on. But that’s far from the case! If you are in Puerto Rico for any length of time you should definitely set a day aside and pay it a visit.

Here are five reasons to visit Culebra from the volunteer holiday company Original Volunteers.

Reason #1 – The turtles!

Culebra is home to hundreds of Leatherback Turtles, but they could soon become extinct. Listed as an endangered species in 1970, the island is one of the last places left on earth where they go to nest. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these fine specimens, you’ll be amazed by just how large they are. Averaging 5ft in length and weighing around 1,000lbs, nesting begins in February and continues until July – while hatching starts in April and goes through to September.

Reason #2 – The snorkeling

Culebra is also home to amazing snorkeling on the beautiful reefs off the west-side beaches of Melones and Carlos Rosario. The waters around them are protected as part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge – and because of the fishing ban, the underwater flora and fauna have flourished.

Reason #3 – Flamenco beach

Flamenco BeachOne of the most popular beaches on Culebra is Flamenco Beach. Nearly a mile of long white sand, the water is not only crystal clear, it’s warm and the waves are small – perfect for snorkeling. Believe it or not the Discovery Channel actually awarded Flamenco beach the “second-most beautiful beach in the world” – being pipped at the post by Poipu beach in Hawaii.

Reason #4 – The bird watching

Culebra is also home to a range of endangered and rare birds – including Laughing Gulls, Bridled Terns, Brown Noddie and three species of Boobies! According to the Culebra National Wildlife refuge, over 50,000 seabirds find their way here every year to breed – so pack your binoculars and head off to check a few of these beautiful creatures out.

Reason #5 – Check out Dewey

Although Dewey is the only town on Culebra, don’t let that put you off staying there for a while once you leave the ferry. The town itself essentially one main street, but you’ll find a wide range of gift and craft shops, cafes, pizzerias, snack shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants. After your day of fun, be sure to stop by Mamacita’s for a bite to eat.

The restaurant specializes in Caribbean food – and the crab cakes are to die for! Plus if that wasn’t a good enough reason to go, the colony of iguanas which live nearby come out and sun themselves during the day. It’s worth a trip to see those guys alone.

To sum up…

If you’re looking for crazy nightlife, golf, casinos and high-class restaurants, then Culebra is not for you. However, if you want to see the real side of Puerto Rico and beaches as nature intended, then be sure to schedule a day in your itinerary to check out Culebra – you’ll be glad you did

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Beautiful honeymoon destinations in Puerto Rico!

 There’s something about the pristine beaches, tropical wildlife and fascinating history and culture, which make Puerto Rico the perfect place for your honeymoon. You’ll be seeped in romance from the second you arrive to the second you leave – with the friendly faces, sandy beaches and stunning sunsets. Here are five-honeymoon destinations that are guaranteed to make your honeymoon an experience you’ll never forget!

  1. Old San Juan is captivating not just for its fascinating history but also for its beauty! Cobbled streets, dazzling tropical architecture and ancient enrich this town with unmistakable nostalgic feel! Take a romantic evening Old San Juanstroll along the Paseo de la Princessa and take in the beautiful scenery! Being awarded 5 stars, El Convento has for years served honeymooners with the perfect romantic escape for an unforgettable experience. Expect beautifully furnished rooms with handcrafted ornate furniture, rick mahogany beams, Andalusian tile floors and marble bathrooms! Although it was not my own Bradingon Young Furniture and accents it was really a beautiful living area. Hotel El Convento offers a range of different rooms and suites to suit every taste and budget- there’s something for everyone!
  2. Vieques island is cited to be the next best thing and it’s not difficult to see why with it’s vast outstretch of long pristine beaches and remarkable scenery! Undeveloped and remote, mostly due to the fact that the US navy has obtained it for a good part of the last 60 years, Vieques is a true paradise cut off from the hustle and bustle of tourist-ridden areas! Guests tend to gravitate towards the island due to its sheer beauty; crystal blue waters with a range of tropical wildlife, plant life, and the bio bay! The island boasts the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world- making it a sight not to miss! The bay is well guarded; it is currently illegal for licensed guides to allow guests to enter the water to prevent harmful chemicals such as sun block pollute the water!
  3. Rincon ticks all the boxes for what a perfect honeymoon should be, it has the whole package; beautiful scenery with captivating sunsets and remarkable landscapes! Rincon is an incredibly laid back area, adopting a far more personal and intimate dynamics! Surfers, honeymooner and general voyeurs gravitate Rincon Faroto the Rincon for its diverse and varied sense of community. It isn’t cheap, however there’s no denying that the eight acres hillside hotel Horned Dorset Primavera is one of Ricon’s top honeymoon destinations! Enclosed on the secluded and private west coast, its intimacy makes it’s the perfect honeymoon break. Winning awards for its high level of luxury accommodation, the hotel boasts a range of suites and rooms with balconies looking over the crystal blue sea- making it a true idyllic paradise!
  4. If you look for state of the art design, idyllic beach views and excellent service in a hotel, The beach Hotel & Café La Plage is the hotel for you! Located in San Juan, this gem of a hotel combines unique and cool design with excellent service, catering to all of its guest’s possible needs and concerns! The boutique hotel rests on the beachfront, setting a tranquil atmosphere! Indulge yourself with an oceanfront massage or a candlelit dinner, the hotel exudes a romantic ambiance pulled off with such sophistication you’ll never want to leave!
  5. Find yourself surrounded by luscious green forest at El Yunque, also known as Caribbean National Forest! If hiking is a shared passion, or you both enjoy long walks and appreciate natural beauty you’re in luck, as the forest includes 13 well marked hiking paths! The forest is full of beautiful features such as La Mina Falls, and a fascinating range of varied plant life and wildlife! Revel in the beautiful sights, waterfalls and whirlpools! Villa Sevilla guesthouse is your perfect answer to a perfect honeymoon stay in El Yunque. Villa Escondido overlooks a beautiful green expanse, with a landscape dominated by valleys and mountains towering over glistening lakes!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Great Architecture in Puerto Rico

Old San Juan BalconesStrolling down the streets of old San Juan, Puerto Rico, you are transported back to the time of the conquistadors and the architecture of Andalusia in southern Spain.

San Juan was Spain’s major center of commerce and military power in the Caribbean for almost four centuries.  It was the last safe port for the galleons headed back to Spain laden with gold, and the main re-supply port of ships entering from Europe.

The city’s military heritage is displayed in several architectural treasures.

  • The El Morro Fortress—The El Morro stands guard over the San Juan Bay.  It is built in the shape of an irregular polygon as it is adapted to the shape of the rocks it was built on.  The fortress has three bastions linked by curtain walls and casemented barracks.  This six level citadel includes a chapel, officers’ quarters, stables and dungeons.
  • La Fortaleza is another example of Spanish military architecture.  As the first fortification in San Juan Harbor, it was built in 1533 to protect the Spanish settlers from attacks of the Carib Indians.  The original fort consisted of a circular tower and four massive stone walls.  A second tower was added at the end of the 16th century.  Today it is the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico.
  • The Paseo de La Princesa has been restored to its original 19th century splendor.  At the end of the promenade is a restored prison, La Princesa.  While this prison was designed for military use, its architectural beauty is notable.  It features huge mahogany doors, impressive arcades, polished floors and elegant appointments.

San Jose ChurchOutside of the military presence, the architecture of Puerto Rico reflects classical, medieval and even baroque styles in the churches.  The San Jose church is considered to be one of the finest and oldest examples of Gothic-influenced religious architecture built by the Spanish in the New World.  The San Juan Cathedral is built in the Gothic-
Neoclassical style that shelters vaulted towers.  While somewhat plain in comparison to other cathedrals, the stained glass windows are remarkably beautiful.

Cobblestone streets lead you between buildings that display classic Puerto Rican architecture.  Buildings of pastel colors display ornate balconies, heavy wooden doors, stucco garlands, colored glass and tiled roofs.  Once inside you are often welcomed by an open courtyard, cooled by fountains and tropical plants.

Homes in Puerto Rico celebrate both modernism and its Caribbean heritage.  Homes architecturally reflect a serenity that comes from being in a coastal environment.  Combining comfort with relaxed elegance, living here reflects openness to the sea.  Vibrant colors, plants, fountains, archways and tall windows capture the feel of island living.  Furnishings for the home may reflect the Spanish heritage, or may have a modern feel.  But all should be designed to blend with the aesthetic feel of Puerto Rico’s heritage.

Whether it is with the architecture of the military fortresses, the churches, buildings or homes of Puerto Rico, you are sure to be impressed with all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Best 5 Hotels on Puerto Rico

Best 5 Hotels on Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a lush tropical island that many people visit each year, including stateside Puerto Ricans. There are many pleasing hotels to stay at and visitors can use coupon codes to receive discounts on some of these hotels. Below you will find the 5 best hotels on Puerto Rico.

Caribe Hilton

The Caribe Hilton is considered to be one of the most luxurious hotels on Puerto Rico. It offers a secluded beach, many luxurious accommodations and is perfect for families or couples. The hotel features several oceanfront swimming pools and hammocks next to the beach for visitors to relax. The hotel also offers 9 different restaurants ranging from sushi to the popular and authentic cuisine of Puerto Rico.

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino

The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino is conveniently located just a few minutes from the airport, San Juan Luis MuÑoz MarÍn International Airport. It has a contemporary design and accommodations. The rooms have flat screen TVs, bathrobes and 24 hour room service available. The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino features a sun deck and 57,000 square foot pool that overlooks the San Juan Bay. Among the amenities are the full service spa, the island's largest casino and many restaurants featuring fine cuisine.

Villa Cofresi Hotel

The Villa Cofresi Hotel is located on the west cost of Puerto Rico on the Rincon beach. This family friendly hotel has a wide variety of rooms to choose from including those with private balconies and ocean views as well as those that are set up like luxurious two bedroom apartments. There is both a swimming pool for adults and children, in room massages, room service and banquet facilities. Guests can partake in various watersports such as kayaks, banana boat rides and jet skiing.

San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel

The San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel is located within a few miles of the San Juan International Airport. All of the rooms overlook the beach or the city. Each room is equipped with a flat screen TV, floor to ceiling windows and hardwood floors. There are several onsite restaurants for visitors to choose from. Guests can enjoy a workout in the fitness center, dip in the swimming pool or enjoy a massage. There is also a Sun Terrace for use by guests who wish to soak up some Sun and relax.

Las Casitas Village and Golden Door Spa

Casitas Village Guestroom

The Las Casitas Village and Golden Door Spa is located in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Guests can enjoy many of the comforts of home at this resort. It features cottages with 24-hour personal butler service. Each cottage features tropical decor and secluded balconies. Activities include horseback riding, wave running, wind surfing and golfing. There are also several fine dining restaurants onsite or nearby the hotel.

Concluding Thoughts

Puerto Rico offers a wide array of hotels to choose from. Visitors can experience luxurious accommodations that they ordinarily wouldn't elsewhere. So next time you wish to take a vacation to Puerto Rico consider staying at one of the above hotels. Do you have any Puerto Rico hotels on your top 5 list?

Stormy Lee has been a writer for over 10 years. She specializes in articles about education, travel and finance.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Transforming Puerto Rico Through Fiction by David R. Martin

 Puerto Rico City a novel by David R. MartinEven with the extraordinary power of the internet, English language fiction set in contemporary Puerto Rico seems like a rare find. Hunter S. Thompson wrote The Rum Diary in the 1960s. This off-beat, character drama contains rich descriptions of Puerto Rico in the late 1950s. But The Rum Diary was not published until 1998. In 1985, Elmore Leonard published Glitz, where Puerto Rico serves as one of the locations of this murder thriller. In a similar genre, Steven Torres wrote the Precinct Puerto Rico series, taking place in the 1980s and 90s. In 2002, Garry Hoyt published Isla Verde, a romantic adventure novel, set between the 1950s and 70s, that serves in part as a vehicle for trenchant political commentary about the island.

Having lived in Puerto Rico during my adolescence and the early part of my career here as a lawyer, I, too, could not pass up the opportunity to comment on Puerto Rico politics. Yet my novel, Puerto Rico City, widens the scope in a world compressed by fiber optics and digitalization. The novel relies heavily on the vantage point of globalization from which no country is immune and to which everyone must adapt.

As a lawyer, writing has been an essential part of my livelihood. Yet, perhaps to the amazement of many, the legal profession requires that one adhere to facts. In many ways, facts are far easier to cope with than fiction. I learned this during college and as a recent graduate of Amherst when I tried (briefly) to write fiction as a full-time occupation. Short vignettes, character sketches, and isolated events came naturally to me. However, it seemed that I could never put together a complete story. Then, slowly, one dawned on me.

Released in February 2012, Puerto Rico City places the reader in the mid-2000s and extends into the future, beyond the 2012 island and U.S. elections. Lino Mendoza emerges from a diverse collection of characters, hailing from several continents, in a story that converges on Puerto Rico, the place of my heritage. (My father was born in Yauco, and my mother in Vega Alta.)

Educated by his travels and corporate dealmaking, Lino seizes upon an idea – the creation of a mega-entertainment city on the former U.S. naval base of Roosevelt Roads located on the east coast of Puerto Rico. In 2004, after protests against the practice bombings of the neighboring island of Vieques, the navy closed Roosevelt Roads. The base was evacuated, lay idle, and succumbed to inertia and political bickering. Lino has is own compelling view of what has to be done with the prime thirteen-square-mile landmass: build a new, world class entertainment city to compete with Las Vegas, Macau, Dubai and all the rest.

Yet there are many enterprising and creative minds in the world, who see opportunities or problems that need fixing from their own perspective. The threats and obstacles in Lino’s path include Aaron Getz, a corporate raider from New York; Daisy Youngluck, a dangerously gorgeous billionaire from Peru; Wen Kashing, a casino loan shark, turned private banker from Macau; Sergei Rubelkov, a cyber hacker with ties to the Russian oligarchy, and Reed Savage, the owner of a massive Native American casino resort in Connecticut. Then politicians from Puerto Rico and the U.S. enter the scene.

Will the prevailing forces be animal instincts, private financial ambitions, or higher principles? See what happens in Puerto Rico City.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Puerto Rico by Ship


Puerto Rico by Ship

Old San Juan by ShipPuerto Rico is one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations. Cruise ships travelling the Caribbean circuit nearly always spend time in the port of San Juan, and often start their journeys from it. Other ships tend to begin a Caribbean cruise in Florida, but include San Juan in their itineraries. As it's such a popular route, there are many lots of cruise offers available for trips using it. San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico makes for a very attractive cruise destination, as it offers a combination of both the old and the new world. It holds much of interest for visitors from both Europe and North America. For Europeans, it is a window into how European culture was first exported to the New World back in the sixteenth century, and how that culture then merged with native and African cultures. For Americans, it is a glimpse into a unique part of the US which few US citizens ever get to see.

San Juan is one of the busiest ports in Latin America, with both cruise and cargo ships arriving and departing from it. Most of the cruise ships dock within an easy walk of Old San Juan, a few will dock across the bay at Isla Grande, a short taxi ride away. You may just have a day or two in San Juan, during your cruise, or you may have the opportunity to explore for longer, especially if your trip begins or ends there.


Old San Juan's big draw for visitors is its history. European settlement dates from 1521, making it the oldest settlement in the US. It is full of atmosphere, with Old San Juan having a distinctly Spanish feel. Its narrow, cobblestoned streets are lined with colourful old colonial houses, which give way to attractive squares. Old San Juan is on an island and bounded by thick city walls, built to keep enemies out and secure the life of the colony. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a wonderful place just to wander around, soaking up the atmosphere. Pavement cafes are great places just to stop for a while and watch the world go by. To get an idea of San Juan life over the years, visit some of the city's 'boutique' museums. These are small, backstreet museums which often have exhibits about a particular period or aspect of San Juan or Puerto Rican history, and can be fascinating.

There are some must-see historic buildings in Old San Juan. Most well known is La Fortaleza ('the fortress') which was the first fortification to be built in the city. Today it is the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, but much of it is open to the public. Other fortresses include Morro Castle and Fort San Cristobal. There are also many attractive churches in Old San Juan, such as the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, one of the city's oldest buildings. It houses the tomb of the founder of the settlement, Juan Ponce de Leon.


Old San Juan is not just about historic sights. Take some time to get to know the place as the locals do. Start with the food: there are many excellent restaurants in the old city, serving up lots of local favourites. Food in Puerto Rico combines Spanish, American, African and native Taino flavours. Popular dishes include asopao (a chunky, spicy soup), spicy meat stews and chillis, fried fish and Spanish style omlettes. Find a backstreet restaurant and take advice on the best dishes to try: every restaurant will have its own specialities.

After you've eaten, try out the local bars: Old San Juan really comes to life after dark. There are numerous bars in the city playing various types of traditional Latin music and really popular with locals: they're not just tourist haunts. Another popular after-dinner passtime is to wander along the Paseo de la Princesa - the seafront promenade. It is lined with trees and food vendors, and is always packed with both locals and tourists out enjoying an evening stroll.

If you begin or end your cruise in San Juan, then take some time to explore the rest of Puerto Rico, with its beautiful scenery and unique culture. If you just have a quick stop-off in the city, then make the most of it: San Juan is a rewarding slice of Puerto Rican culture that you'll remember forever.