San Juan has got enough to keep anyone occupied for weeks on end, but the truth of the matter is, there’s a lot more to Puerto Rico than just the charms of its capital city. From tropical rainforests, to waterfalls, wild orchid forests, and incredible beachside escapes home to rogue surfers and sleepy fishing villages – Puerto Rico still has some of the boom-town wanderlust of past days.
Few things speak to the soul like sunsets, barren white sand beaches, the rippling tide, and the indescribable charm of old towns dripping with age and culture. Thus, many say that there is little more romantic than spending an evening simply strolling the streets of Old San Juan. But if you’ve been through the old town, if you’ve seen the patina on the roofs and walls, the brightly colored buildings, the old cobblestone underfoot and are still looking for something special to do with someone special, then look no further – there are many romantic things to do in San Juan.
Long a stop on many a cruise through the Caribbean, San Juan (and Puerto Rico in general) enjoy the steady influx of visitors from far flung lands. This perpetual traffic has revitalized the tourist economy in San Juan, and because of this there’s a constant supply of activities, shopping, and adventures awaiting the intrepid explorer. Never an island that sports the “been there, done that mentality” it seems that there’s always new interesting and exciting things to do when visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Many trips to the Caribbean islands seem to involve, at some point, a boat, and some sort of taxi. It’s the nature of things for a trip to the Caribbean to involve a lot of travel – and by travel I mean “movement.” If you’re point of interest is a cultural hotspot, you’ll likely be moving to a city center. If it’s the beach, you’ll likely be headed to a different part of the island. This is not so in San Juan. Both the cultural capital of Puerto Rico and a sunny beach stop, once you get to San Juan, it’s the city itself that seems to move around you, and what a pleasure it is.
Ahh, Puerto Rico! How the wind seems to blow in off the coast of this warm beautiful island just off the coast of the U.S.! Where white sand beaches, great surf, and lounge chairs and pina coladas are the norm rather than the exception, Puerto Rico is a haven for beach-lovers worldwide. Still, the question remains: what are the best Puerto Rican beaches?
One of Puerto Rico’s top natural wonders, bioluminescent bays, or “bio bays,” are bodies of water that contain millions of micro-organisms that emit a fluorescent glow. Bioluminescence occurs when the micro-organisms—actually a type of marine plankton known as dinoflagellates—are agitated or disturbed causing them to illuminate. When disturbed all at once, a high concentration of dinoflagellates in the water can cause the bay to appear as if it is glowing. Kayaking in Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bay is one of the best ways to experience this fascinating natural phenomenon.
Any visitor to San Juan will tell you—there’s no denying the city knows how to party. From funky nightclubs playing salsa, to the full-on discotheque and beach parties—it seems that there’s always something to do come sundown in San Juan. And if New Year’s Eve is your night to party—you can rest assured that your expectations will be well met with whatever type of reverie your mind can dream up and your heart can desire.
Though a traditional Christmas may seem like snow-capped pine trees, icicles dangling precariously from rooftops, ice-skating on the frozen pond, and whipped hot-chocolate in every caroler’s hand, there is an entirely different way to do things. A Christmas spent in Puerto Rico will be unlike any other in that the warm tropical climate and the gentle breaking of the ocean will fill your holiday dreams with sand and “aguinaldos” (traditional Christmas carols).
Situated within the boundaries of El Yunque National Forest Reserve, El Yunque Rainforest is one of Puerto Rico’s top natural wonders and a favorite destination for hiking, camping and wildlife watching. The rainforest is home to more than 240 species of plant and animal life and a favorite destination for nature lovers, many of whom come to spot wildlife including the coquí tree frog and the Puerto Rican Parrot – though your chances of actually seeing the Puerto Rican Parrot, now a critically endangered species, while hiking in El Yunque Rainforest are slim.
Vieques is an island-municipality of Puerto Rico that’s located eight miles (13 km) off the eastern coast of mainland Puerto Rico in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Interestingly, Vieques was used as a military base by the United States Navy for more than five decades, during which time the island was largely closed off to visitors. The Navy withdrew from Vieques in 2003, leaving much of the island largely undeveloped. The former military base comprised roughly two-thirds of the island, split between the east and west ends and has since been declared a National Wildlife Refuge by the federal Fish and Wil