The island of Puerto Rico, which means “rich port,” is indeed blessed with nature’s bounty. After all, its treasures include a magnificent mountain range, the only tropical rainforest to be found in a US territory, and sprawling beaches with warm, turquoise waters and soft, yellow sand. Life in the island is just as colourful. Here, influences from Spain and the US, as well as the African slaves who were traded here centuries ago, all create a happy fusion of cultures. Just listen to Latino beats fused with West African percussions, and a bit of American swing and big band. Then you’ll understand the extraordinary rhythm that’s natural to all Puerto Ricans.
San Juan is the second oldest city in the Americas. Its pastel colored houses, wrought iron balconies, statue-lined plazas and narrow streets paved with cobbles of blue stone are in stark contrast to this spirited modern city that is bursting with excited energy. This capital of the commonwealth is a big city with a bustling business district, glitzy resorts and casinos, as well as one of the most stunning examples of colonial life in the Western world. At night, San Juan truly comes alive when its restaurants, pubs and sidewalk cafes fill with people of all ages enjoying the island’s lively social scene.
- The lush and spectacular El Yunque Rain Forest - with more than 240 species of trees, hundreds of miniature orchids, and what was once believed to be the Fountain of Youth.
- Baño Grande, a natural swimming pool. From there, take a walk on Camitillo Trail to look for the artificial nest of the Puerto Rican parrot and the flora and fauna of the Palo Colorado forest.
- Old San Juan, the second-oldest European settlement in the New World.
- San Felipe El Morro, the most dramatic of all the city's military fortifications. Visit the Casa Blanca Museum and Gardens, the Ballaja Barracks, Quincentennial Square, San Jose Church, San Juan Cathedral, and Cristo Chapel.
- A bike ride through the gorgeous scenery of the Piñones Reserve, home to the island's most spectacular views.