Friday, January 28, 2022

How to Immerse Yourself in the Culture of Puerto Rico


With beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts, Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination. Sightseeing is fun, but it won’t give you a true look at the rich and unique culture of the Island of Enchantment, as Puerto Rico is known. For that, you need a taste of how the local residents live.

Meet the Locals

The best way to meet Puerto Rican residents is to get out of the touristy areas. You can do that in a number of ways. Instead of staying at a chain hotel, try booking a bread-and-breakfast or a vacation rental home. You may be able to chat with the host or neighbors and find out about the neighborhood. 

You can also try shopping where the locals shop. Puerto Rico has wonderful farmer’s markets and flea markets. Ask the vendors the story behind what they are selling, and you will be sure to learn a lot. Finally, try taking public transportation and don’t be shy about striking up a conversation.

Eat Locally

You’ll find tons of chain restaurants and fast food joints in Puerto Rico, just like anywhere else in the world, but to sample authentic cuisine, go to local restaurants instead. Be sure to try tostones, alcapurrias, mofongo, and rellenos de papa.

Food is fresher at local restaurants, too, even with familiar cuisine. Locally made pizza tends to be healthier than fast food restaurants. That’s because it’s made with ingredients grown right on the island. Fast food restaurants usually use ingredients prepared at central locations and delivered frozen to the restaurants.

Find Local Entertainment

Since the weather is beautiful all year around in Puerto Rico, it’s not difficult to find events and festivals in Puerto Rico. Whatever your interest, you can find something going on. You’ll find street fairs, pub crawls, food parties, and many religious festivals.

Bars and nightclubs are another great place to find local entertainment. You’ll find every genre of music in Puerto Rico, including bomba, plena and reggaetón, which are styles of music that developed on the island. Ask at your hotel where to find the best local bands.

Puerto Rico has so much to offer—gorgeous natural areas, lively nightlife, and first-class accommodations. To really understand the island and the people, you need to step away from the usual tourist activities and immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll be richly rewarded.

Check out this article on the best off-the-beaten-track Caribbean islands

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