Puerto Rico: Holidays
Gatekeeper of the Caribbean Sea
Beach in Puerto Rico
The beaches of Puerto Rico make for a perfect Caribbean Beach holiday and Puerto Rico offers beaches suitable for swimming, practicing water sports, for families, for singles and, of course, for lovers.! The Luquillo beach is best suited for families wanting to spend a beach holiday in Puerto Rico. Surrounded by coral reefs, this is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico for tourists and locals. The beach of Playa de Ponce, just outside of Ponce is most suitable for swimming all year through with clean calm waters. The Ocean Park Beach along San Juan’s coastline between Condado and Isla Verde Beaches is another popular beach, especially with couples and romantic partners. The Tamarindo Beach along the San Juan coastline is a nice secluded beach away from the hustle and bustle of other more popular beaches where you can spend your time in quiet and solitude, soaking the ambience of the sea and its surroundings, making for a perfect beach holiday in Puerto Rico. The Flamenco Beach just off the eastern coast on the island of Culebra is Culebra’s paradise. The beach is visually stunning and makes a perfect horseshoe framed by green hills with a finger of land stretching out into the ocean. This natural barrier ensures the calmest waters. At least four shades of blue from beach to ocean, the water is inviting to the point of a siren call. The Seven Seas Beach in located in the north east corner of Fajardo. For a beach holiday in Puerto Rico the Seven Seas Beach is perfect since it is a lovely, small, crescent-shaped beach, with soft sand and palm trees that provide some protection from the sun. There is a coral reef some distance from the beach, making a natural wave break. This makes for a nice protected beach, with calm waters that the whole family can enjoy. There are lifeguards on duty from 9:00am to 5:00pm, so you are sure to have a safe, fun day at this beach. You have plenty of options to choose from on your beach holiday in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico scores 9 on 10 as a beach holiday destination.
Backpacking in Puerto Rico
A backpacking holiday in Puerto Rico is an unusual holiday option, but nonetheless enjoyed by regular backpackers! If you are prepared to risk eating your own cooking, or buying from local vendors, camping under the stars, and using public transport instead of hiring your own vehicle, then you could get by on a backpacking holiday in Puerto Rico. Backpackers can expect to experience a little bit of genuine Puerto Rican culture if they go about it the right way. Popular locations for a backpacking holiday in Puerto Rico include the Culebra Island which is the smallest island of the country, located east of the main island. Old San Juan’s charm makes it a favorite among backpackers with lots of history to explore. The rain forest of El Yunque is popular with a great deal of natural scenic beauty. Ponce and San German are other interesting locations for a backpacking holiday in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico scores 6 on 10 as a backpacking holiday destination.
Camping in Puerto Rico
Camping holidays in Puerto Rico are popular since Puerto Rico is an eco-tourism paradise and home to plenty of campsites and all kinds of fascinating wildlife. The El Yunque Rain Forest is renowned for camping as are other campsites like Toro Negro, Rio Abajo and Culebra Island. In the Toro Negro Reserve campers will find clean rivers and good fishing among the Cordillera Central, the central mountain range on Puerto Rico. The Toro Negro Reserve has a campsite near man-made lakes that are also good for fishing. Campers can spend the day traveling 750 feet down into San Cristobal Canyon, a volcanic rift. The campgrounds at Rio Abajo are well-known for camping holidays in Puerto Rico. Traveling through underground caves is one fun and interesting activity in this area. Adventure tours guide people through underground rivers. Visits to the Camuy Caves and Lake Dos Bocas are possible from here. Near the southwest tip of Puerto Rico and its lighthouse is located the Susua Reserve which is a good camping site. Excellent hiking and beaches are available here. Culebra Island is a popular spot for a camping holiday in Puerto Rico. The campground is located on Flamenco Beach, and tents are $10 each at the office. Clean water and toilets are available, but the water is not drinkable. Food must be bought in town, and there is a cheap bus route that travels from the campsite into town. Guards protect campers at night. However, be aware that during the summer it can often be crowded and hectic, much less relaxing than in the winter months. The island is best known for hiking and snorkeling as well as its beach. Puerto Rico scores 8 on 10 as a camping holiday destination.
City Breaks in Puerto Rico
City breaks in Puerto Rico will take you to the capital of the country San Juan. The capital city of Puerto Rico is one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean and a third of all Puerto Ricans live here. Nearly every visitor to the island arrives at San Juan, many on cruise liners. The port is the largest home-based cruise port in the world. A lot of the history of Puerto Rico lies in San Juan. From the Forts of El Morro and San Cristobel in old San Juan, to the Paseo de La Princesa, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista to the San Juan Bay, from the Calle del Cristo to the Condado Beach, La Fortaleza to Parque de Las Palomas, San Juan has it all! A city break in Puerto Rico should be spent in the capital city to get a real essence of the country. From affordable accommodation to excellent choices of food, San Juan is a perfect city break destination. Puerto Rico scores 6 on 10 as a city break destination.
Cruises in Puerto Rico
Cruises in Puerto Rico are the most popular holiday option for travelers, owing to the beautiful beaches, harbors and ports in the country. The main passenger port of Puerto Rico is San Juan which is the 4th busiest harbor in the western hemisphere, with over a million passengers using the port on an annual basis. Cheap cruises to Puerto Rico are easily available since Puerto Rico is one of the cheapest islands in the Caribbean, thus offering some of the best deals. Most cruises originate from ports in the U.S. and Americans do not need a passport. Most cruises dock at San Juan while many cruises begin their journey from San Juan itself to the other Puerto Rican islands. Cruises in Puerto Rico vary in price, size, comfort, duration of the cruise and the number of islands to be toured, and there is something to suit every kind of budget. Cruises in Puerto Rico offer scenic beauty of a whole different level. Most cruises in Puerto Rico originate at San Juan and stop at islands like St.Thomas, St.Lucia, Antigua and St.Marteen. The best time to take a cruise holiday to Puerto Rico is during the winter months. The weather is perfect and so are the seas. The stops at various islands give travelers a chance to soak in the ambience, shop, eat and tour places of interest. Though cruises ply all year through, winters are the best months to ravel on a cruise in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico scores 8 on 10 as a cruise holiday destination.
Culture and Arts in Puerto Rico
The rich culture and history of the country make for an interesting culture and art holiday in Puerto Rico. The centuries old history of Puerto Rico evolved with the invasion of the Spanish empire and their subsequent rule and fall. The culture of Puerto Rico evolved over centuries with Taino, Spanish, African and American influences, turning Puerto Rico into the melting pot that it is today. Visitors can experience the diverse culture of Puerto Rico in its history, cuisines, crafts, music, art, drama and literature. Old San Juan is filled with historical manifestations of the Spanish rule in the country. The forts of El Morro and San Cristobel stand evidence to this. In addition, a number of museums, churches, cathedrals, cemeteries and plazas describe the history of the country. Puerto Rican cuisine is again a mix of all the different influences on the country, adding up to become quite an interesting cuisine. The literature and music of Puerto Rico is strongly Carribean in nature. Puerto Rico is known for its art and visitors will get to see a number of famous works in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is the greatest repository of Puerto Rican arts and crafts. Galleries exhibit and sell everything from pre-Columbian artifacts to paintings by relatively contemporary artists. The Museum of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras is another haunt for art lovers. The most popular Art Museum in Puerto Rico remains the Museo de Arte de Ponce. Works in the museum are displayed in a honeycomb of sky lit hexagonal rooms. Great works of Puerto Rican and European masters are on display at the museum. Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a culture and arts holiday destination.
Family Holiday in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an excellent destination for a fun family holiday. While the beaches of the country make it a great escape for a relaxing holiday, the natural terrain of the country makes for interesting hiking and mountaineering trails and an eco friendly holiday for the family. A family holiday in Puerto Rico can be centered on the rich history of the country as well. Take your children on a historical trip to the forts of old San Juan. The museums in the country are worth a visit and give an in depth account into the development of the country. In San Juan is the Museo Del Niño hands-on, interactive museum that also offers live entertainment, such as puppet shows. The El Yunque Rainforest is filled with hiking trails that lead you past cascading waterfalls where you can even swim in the water at the higher elevations of the park.
Another place that will fascinate kids is the Zoológico de Mayaguez, a zoo that features a wide-open Savannah-like environment for its inhabitants. Puerto Rico’s main zoo is located in Mayaguez near the agricultural research station and includes a children’s park, a lake and a few small islands. The zoo maintains over 300 species of birds, reptiles, mammals and plants, making it an interesting place for a pleasant family outing in Puerto Rico. The Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park located neat Utuado contains 1,000-year-old stone monoliths and petro glyphs, which were created by the Taino Indians who once inhabited Puerto Rico. The thousand year old Indian park is an interesting place to visit while on your family holiday in Puerto Rico. There is a lot on offer for an interesting family holiday in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico scores 8 on 10 as a family holiday destination.
Gay and Lesbian in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the most gay- friendly countries in the world and a gay and lesbian holiday in Puerto Rico is a relaxing experience, with the country offering one of the gayest vacation experiences! A large chunk of gay travelers spend their vacation in the pedestrian- inhabited area of El Condado in San Juan, Ocean Park, Old San Juan, Guanica in Rincon and the islands of Vieques and Paradores. The Condado Beach is packed with gay and lesbian tourists, especially in the winter months. The Ocean Park neighborhood also has its beach which is frequented by gay tourists.
The neighborhood of Santruce in El Condado has a vibrant nightlife for gays and lesbians with rows of clubs, bars and pubs catering to them. A gay and lesbian holiday in Puerto Rico is not only restricted to beaches of the country. The country has a number of forest reserves that offer nature walks and trails. In the Karst Country on the north coast, caves hold huge underground water systems that make for an interesting day tour. The neighboring isle of Vieques just off the northeast coast, once used by the U.S. for bombing practice, is now used by queer tourists as a mellow getaway to rent villas and hang out in gay-popular inns. A gay and lesbian holiday in Puerto Rico is an excellent choice! Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a gay and lesbian holiday destination.
Honeymoon in Puerto Rico
A honeymoon in Puerto Rico can be a romantic experience for newlyweds! For many years this island country has been a favored spot for honeymooners. The beaches, rainforests and the rich historical monuments of the country combined with a colorful nightlife and interesting shopping make for an excellent honeymoon in Puerto Rico. The most common honeymoon option for newlyweds remains the country’s picturesque beaches! Puerto Rico is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, providing the most romantic setting for a prefect honeymoon! The island of Vieques is a popular honeymoon destination in Puerto Rico. The island has a number of romantic villas and special hotels catering solely to honeymooners. Packages are easily available, and with a little research, you will have the perfect honeymoon package. Along the west coast of Puerto Rico, Rincon is another popular spot for honeymoons! With an array of adventure water sport activities, the honeymoon packages on this island cater to newlyweds out for some fun and adventure. Condado Beach, off the capital city of San Juan, is another option though it can get very crowded, especially during peak seasons. The city of San Juan itself is a much sought after destination for honeymoons in Puerto Rico. The area of Isla Verde boasts of romantic villas and luxury hotels for newly married couples. Puerto Rico scores 8 on 10 as a honeymoon destination.
Naturism in Puerto Rico
Naturism is not permitted in Puerto Rico and is against the law. However, a few secluded areas off beaches like Fajardo, Luquillo, La Parguera, Mona Island, and Culebra Island are used by nudists. The island of Palomina also has a nude beach. Keep in mind, however, that naturism is illegal in the country, and therefore undertake it at your own risk.
Party Holiday - Singles Life in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is home to one of the most vibrant party atmospheres, and a party holiday in Puerto Rico will keep you coming back for more! Puerto Ricans are a lively community of people, with their life revolving around having a good time. Many tourists visit the country to witness this great zest for life. A party holiday in Puerto Rico is all about good music, good food, and good rum combined with excellent moves on the dance floor. Salsa and Meringue are the most popular dance form on the Caribbean Island, and to see some of the best salsa dancing in the world, Puerto Rico is the place to be! Once the sun sets most clubs, bars and pubs come alive to the sound of music. Casinos, live bands and jazz clubs form an integral part of the nightlife in Puerto Rico, adding up to a perfect party holiday in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's casinos draw visitors with the hope of fame and fortune and are a big part of the nightlife in Puerto Rico. From black jack to roulette tables to poker, visitors are invigorated by the prospect of winning big. The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton, the largest in Puerto Rico, combines decorative elements of the 1940's with rich and brilliant tropical colors to create an exquisite casino setting. Old San Juan and Isla Verde are the most popular neighborhoods for partying in the capital of Puerto Rico. There is such a diverse nightlife here, you can either party the night away take in the live bands and shows, or sit until the early hours in a lovely harbour bar and watch the world go by! Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a party holiday destination.
Golf Activity Holiday in Puerto Rico
A golf holiday in Puerto Rico takes travelers to the most picturesque parts of the country that cater specially to golf lovers. The country is home to 22 well maintained golf courses available to players of all levels, with a range of well placed bunkers. Golf holidays in Puerto Rico are popular mainly because of the perfect weather the country has to offer, along with excellent golfing facilities. Few places in the world offer golfers dependable warm weather, spectacular scenery and 22 challenging, championship-caliber golf courses a short drive from each other. All courses in Puerto Rico have golf pros, classes, driving ranges and clubhouses. With the exception of the military courses, virtually all welcome public play. Fees vary greatly, ranging from a low of $50 or less (cart included) to a high of $185 and up. High season is more expensive than low, mornings more expensive than afternoons, and there are often special rates for twilight play, groups, local residents and more. Puerto Rico offers golf courses as part of a resort or normal non resort courses. Non resort courses are cheaper and cater more to local golfers. Golf courses attached to resorts are expensive but provide all the necessary amenities. Some of the popular golf courses in Puerto Rico include the Aguirre Golf Club in Salinas, the Bahia Beach Resort and Golf Club in Rio Grande, the Berwind Country Club in Rio Grande, and The El Legado Golf Resort in Guayama amongst a host of others. Whatever be your choice, a golf holiday in Puerto Rico is an enjoyable experience. Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a golf holiday destination.
Sailing Activity Holiday in Puerto Rico
A sailing holiday in Puerto Rico is an excellent way to experience the beautiful coasts of the country. The main ports of entry include San Juan, Fajardo, Mayaguez and Ponce. Non US travelers need to obtain a cruising permit to sail in Puerto Rico. Chartering boats for your sailing holiday in Puerto Rico provides travelers with two main options: chartering a ‘bareboat’ or a ‘crewed charter’. Tourists with the necessary sailing experience can charter ‘bare boats’ and operate them themselves. For tourists looking for a relaxed sailing experience a crewed charter is the best option. A crewed charter has a captain and complete crew, giving travelers a chance to sit back and relax and soak in the sailing experience. In addition to this, there are a number of charter companies that serve Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean Islands. While planning your sailing holiday in Puerto Rico, it is advisable to opt for smaller companies offering sailing trips. A popular sailing trip in Puerto Rico is off the Fajardo Coast. The trip includes island sightseeing, including Palominos, Palomonitos and Icacos: each of these islets is an idyllic strip of unspoiled beach, and at least one or two chances to snorkel amid coral reefs, swim, or fish. As Fajardo is the island's boating capital, there's no shortage of boats, catamarans, and other water craft ready to take you out off shore. But there is something quaint and romantic about sailing from Puerto Rico, especially when you're aboard a beautiful polished-wood sailboat. Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a sailing holiday destination.
Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Puerto Rico
With a marine life so vast, and clear blue waters, a scuba diving holiday in Puerto Rico is a must. Puerto Rico has an abundance of coral reefs, caves, sea walls, and trenches for divers of all experience levels to explore. There are certain regions which cater to tourists on a scuba diving holiday in Puerto Rico. In the Humacao Region, South of Fajardo there are over 24 dive sites in a 5-mile radius off the shore. Overhangs, caves, and tunnels perch in 60 feet of water along mile-long Basslet Reef, where dolphins visit in spring. At the Drift, divers float along with nurse sharks and angelfish into a valley of swim-throughs and ledges. For the experienced diver, Red Hog is the newest site in the area, with a panoramic wall that drops from 80 to 1,160 feet. Mona Island, 40 miles west of the city of Mayagüez is the Caribbean version of the Galápagos Islands. Renowned for its pirate tales, cave-pocked cliffs, iguanas and other natural wonders, its waters are among the cleanest in Puerto Rico. More than 270 species of fish have been found in Mona waters, including more than 60 reef-dwelling species.
Larger marine animals, such as sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and marlins, visit the region during migrations. Various types of coral reefs, underwater caverns, drop-offs, and deep vertical walls ring the island. The most accessible reef dives are along the southern and western shores. There are a number of outfits operating trips from the west coast of Puerto Rico. The boat ride now takes about three hours through the often rough Mona Passage. Fajardo in eastern Puerto Rico offers divers the opportunity to explore reefs, caverns, mini walls, and channels near a string of palm-tufted islets. The reefs are decked in an array of corals ranging from delicate gorgonians to immense coral heads. With so many options to choose from, a scuba diving holiday in Puerto Rico is well worth the time and resources invested in it! Puerto Rico scores 8 on 10 as a scuba diving holiday destination.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Puerto Rico
A hiking holiday in Puerto Rico will take you to the mountainous interiors of the country. The vast forest and mountainous areas of the country provide excellent opportunities for trekking, hill climbing and nature treks. The most popular spot for a hiking holiday in Puerto Rico remains the El Yunque Rain Forests. It is one of the most spectacular trekking spots in the entire country and is part of the Caribbean National Forest. The rain forest is a 45 minute drive from the capital, San Juan. The forest is home to more than 24 miles of recreational trails, from one-mile walking paths to slick rocky trails within a rain forest that echoes with the calls of tree frogs and exotic birds, including the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. Misty waterfalls are surrounded by tropical flowers and giant bright-green ferns and trees. Hikes to La Mina Falls is another popular hiking option in the rain forest. There are also a variety of night hikes in El Yunque that combine strolls on easy trails with living-history tours of Taíno Indians and ritual re-enactments, bird watching and identifying wildlife under the star-lit sky. Other areas to enjoy a hiking holiday in Puerto Rico include the Maricao State Forest, near the coffee town of Maricao which is in western Puerto Rico, east of the town of Mayagüez, Ponce, which is the best center for exploring some of the greatest forest reserves in the Caribbean Basin, notably Toro Negro Forest Reserve with its Lake Guineo, the Guánica State Forest, ideal for hiking and bird-watching, and the Carite Forest Reserve, a 6,000-acre park known for its dwarf forest. Puerto Rico scores 7 on 10 as a hiking holiday destination.
Shopping Holiday in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico offers some of the best shopping in the Caribbean and a shopping holiday in Puerto Rico is a must. For fine jewelry, pottery, fashion clothing and local cuisine the Plaza Las Americas in old San Juan has it all. The Condado area of Puerto Rico is home to the nest designer brands, and is well patronized by the brand conscious. Most Puerto Rican shops and craft markets normally target tourists by selling souvenirs, gifts and pottery. However you will also find markets that provide for local inhabitants around the island, with local farmers and bakers and tradesmen selling their wares. These may include bakeries and confectionary.
San Juan is actually the island's shopping Mecca, but since it isn't a free port you won't find many bargains on items like electronics and perfumes. However you can find excellent prices on jewelry, fashions, crystal and china. Shopping for local crafts can also be satisfying and on looking well enough tourists can find beautiful treasures. Tourists are often able to watch the artists at work. Some popular items that are available at every street corner in Puerto Rico include hand-rolled cigars, Mundillo lace from Aguadilla and fancy men's shirts known as Guayaberas. Remember to try the homegrown coffee (robust) and the island's local rum, which is considered by many to be the best in the world. You may find it hard to resist all the colorful strange articles that are up for sale here in Puerto Rico, so pack in a little extra cash for your shopping holiday in Puerto Rico. The country scores 5 on 10 as a shopping holiday destination.
Winter Sun in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has a moderate climate throughout the year with the weather being exceptionally welcoming in the winter months, making a winter holiday in Puerto Rico a perfect choice. Since the winter months are peak season in the country, it does tend to get very crowded. The beaches of Puerto Rico offer tourists calm waters, a warm sun and lots of entertainment! A winter holiday in Puerto Rico can also be centered on the cultural and historical monuments and artifacts of the country.
The weather is perfect to explore the forts of El Morro and San Cristobel, or visit the famous Pablo Casals Museum or the Casa Blanca. A trip to the El Yunque rain forest or the Rio Camuy Cave Park where travelers can trek or hike up the mountain trails and explore the cave system are other popular ways to spend a winter holiday in Puerto Rico. But above all other attractions, the beaches of Puerto Rico are the biggest hit with travelers spending a winter holiday in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean island scores 6 on 10 as a winter holiday destination.