Do you want to explore an ancient cave on your vacation? Yes! Do you want to walk down one of the most vibrant and hopping streets in the world? Yes! Do you want to explore forest reserves and wildlife refuges? Yes! Do you want to learn about one of the oldest New World settlements at unique historic sites? Yes! Then you have one place to go: Puerto Rico!
The Caribbean destination of Puerto Rico has been popular for North American tourists for decades, offering a wide variety of activities against the backdrop of amazing scenery. The length of the main island, east of the Dominican Republic, is 180 km (110 mi), and the width from north to south is 65 km (40 mi). The main island is large enough to offer incredible diversity and new excitement around every corner, but small enough to explore during one trip. Like most islands in the vicinity, Puerto Rico has a humid tropical climate, with the rainy season occurring in the summer months. Expect cooler temperatures inland, and pack accordingly if you plan to visit some of the forest reserves that can be chilly in the evenings.
One of the biggest draws for the island of Puerto Rico is its rich biodiversity. With so many types of landscapes, flora and fauna to explore, nature lovers have been flocking to this island for centuries attempting to discover all of the unique species. Whether you are just an amateur looking for some amazing sights, or you are a seasoned explorer with high tech gear and groups, there are plenty of ways to explore the impeccable landscapes that have made Puerto Rico so famous.
Depending on where you are staying on the island, there are a number of forest reserves and wildlife refuges located near the centre of the island in the more mountainous regions. These parks not only help preserve the unique scenery, but allow you to explore nature as it was intended. From three day mountain climbing excursions, to hour long buggy tours, check out the forest reserves and wildlife refuges for some of Puerto Rico’s best nature experiences.
For those with a little more adventure in their bones, try some of the more unconventional methods of exploring the island of Puerto Rico. First, head underground and visit one of the largest cave networks in the Caribbean. From deep and underwater caves for the experienced adventurer, to shallow and historical caves for the beginner, Puerto Rico’s underground is almost as unique as its above ground. When you get back to the surface, try exploring the island by kayak, horseback, sailboat or open-air bus.
by Maple Leaf [Maple Leaf]
While Puerto Rico’s endless natural wonders keep people coming back every year, its historical and urban attractions keep your vacation vibrant. With a number of city centres and smaller villages and towns, the island has nearly as much urban space to explore as natural wonders. While you are in Puerto Rico, be sure to soak up the cultural urban vibes of this ever-changing cosmopolitan island.
Most people who think of urban Puerto Rico immediately picture San Juan, the hopping metropolis that attracts everyone from cruise ship passengers to Hollywood’s biggest stars. This city is a dynamic modern urban environment, with luxury shops, world famous restaurants, and exclusive clubs. For some local flare, take a walk down Fortaleza Street, a tropic open air avenue with unique shops. If you are seeking more glitz and glamour, walk over to Ashford Avenue, site of the best nightclubs and restaurants in the city. Whether by sunlight or streetlight, the biggest urban centre of San Juan is constantly moving with diverse locals and visitors.
One of the most interesting things about San Juan is its balance of modern and historical. When you’ve seen the contemporary culture, head over to Old San Juan and experience some of the historical culture of Puerto Rico. Take a walk through Paseo de la Princesa, a Spanish esplanade that will connect you with the major historical areas in this colonial part of the city. Head further up the mount to Castillo de San Cristobal, a fort constructed by the Spanish to protect the city of San Juan. This remarkably well-preserved defensive structure is not only educational, but incredibly scenic, offering unparalleled views of the old city below.
For a different experience, travel off the beaten path and venture to Ponce, Located on the other side of the island from San Juan, Ponce is also impeccably preserved but with less hustle and bustle. Along with its variety of historical buildings, Ponce is also filled with a number of world-class museums. Its art gallery consists of some of the most famous collections in the Caribbean islands. Wander through the streets and discover this historical and vibrant city in Puerto Rico that is less touched by the hand of tourism.
If you are looking to do it all for your next trip, consider the island of Puerto Rico. Filled with natural and cultural beauty, there is a reason why this island continues to attract millions of tourists every year, many for return trips. With endless accommodation options and customizable activities to fit your own desires, Puerto Rico is a never-ending adventure.