Puerto Rico: Introduction
Gatekeeper of the Caribbean Sea
The diversity of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders clubbed with its historical and cultural achievements draw a large number of tourists to this island country. Often referred to as the ‘Gatekeeper of the Caribbean Sea’, Puerto Rican culture is largely Spanish in nature with most of its architectural monuments and buildings bearing strong Spanish influences. The extensive white sandy beaches of Puerto Rico provide a holiday filled with water activities like sailing, scuba diving, fishing and surfing. The mountains and valleys make for excellent hiking and mountaineering trails.
Puerto Rican culture is a rich blend of Spanish, African and American influences, evident in their cuisine, music and customs. Contrasts between Spanish and American influences are clearly visible, where old mingles with new. The old colonial Spanish architecture stands besides ultra modern American styles building make the contrast apparent. Also known as the ‘Island of Enchantment’ or ‘Borinquen’ by the locals, Puerto Rico is made up of a number of islands, the main ones being Vieques, Culebra, Culebrita, Palomino, Monito and Mona. Puerto Rico is the major hub of Caribbean commerce, finance, tourism, and communications. San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and one of the world's busiest cruise-ship ports, making the country a highly sough after tourist destination!