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Overview

An oblong-shaped island dominated by thickly-forested mountains, Puerto Rico is a favorite with cruise ships. No wonder! Old San Juan is a historic treasure chock-full of cobbled plazas, castles, and ancient churches, while the modern metropolis boasts a superb art museum, great beaches, plus fantastic dining and nightlife. Surprisingly, beaches aren't Puerto Rico's forté: frankly, most disappoint. For talcum-white sands, head to Vieques and Culebra (the Spanish Virgin Islands), where you can slip into bioluminescent waters and witness marine turtles laying the eggs of tomorrow's turtles. El Yunque National Park - the only tropical ...

An oblong-shaped island dominated by thickly-forested mountains, Puerto Rico is a favorite with cruise ships. No wonder! Old San Juan is a historic treasure chock-full of cobbled plazas, castles, and ancient churches, while the modern metropolis boasts a superb art museum, great beaches, plus fantastic dining and nightlife. Surprisingly, beaches aren't Puerto Rico's forté: frankly, most disappoint. For talcum-white sands, head to Vieques and Culebra (the Spanish Virgin Islands), where you can slip into bioluminescent waters and witness marine turtles laying the eggs of tomorrow's turtles. El Yunque National Park - the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. national park system - delights birders and hikers, as does Guánica National Park, protecting a rare patch of tropical dry forest. The rugged interior is easily explored along the Ruta Panorámica, spanning the isle from end to end. Underground caves draw spelunkers and visitors interested in pre-Columbian Taino culture. Surfers rave about laid-back Rincón, facing the Mona Passage, where humpback whales spawn in winter. And the golf and scuba diving are top-notch.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northeastern of Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands
  • Language: Spanish, English
  • Currency: United States Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December-April, dry season