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 Islands Information

Place: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Keeps Things Interesting
By Caitlin Moore

Imagine visiting a place with exotic flair, stunning beaches, and a rich and varied culture, and being welcomed as an American citizen at the same time. You’ll have the chance to sample the food, language, music, and architecture of what has become the melding of several continents without having to acquire a passport or learn a new language. In Puerto Rico, everything is here, and it couldn’t be easier to take it all in.

Located in the southern Caribbean Sea southeast of Florida, this U.S. commonwealth contains a richness of elements unparalleled by most other places of its size. Nearly four million people call Puerto Rico home, and most are able to trace their lineage back through hundreds of tumultuous years. Whether their ancestors hail from Spain, France, Scotland, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, or somewhere else, the citizens of this densely populated territory all proudly call themselves “Puertorriquenos.” A visit to this island will give you a glimpse of an indisputably colorful tale of immigration, hopefulness, and ultimately, racial and ethnic harmony.

Not only are the people of Puerto Rico diverse, but the geography is as well. White sandy beaches, lush forests, deserts, and rivers mix and mingle to create a landscape of endless beauty and surprising variety. The island is 60% mountainous, and contains 28,000 acres of rain forest that are kept brimming with life by an astonishing 100 billion gallons of rainfall per year. Much of the forest has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, and is home to thousands of birds, 700 species of plants, and a large number of coqui frogs, the “mascot” of Puerto Rico.

A large subterranean river has carved out a vast network of caves to be investigated. Stalagmites, stalactites, and oodles of bats are dwelling just beyond reach of the plentiful sunshine that the rest of the island consistently enjoys, making for an exciting adventure to be had. In the north, the karst region displays miles of interesting rock formations made possible by volcanic rock dissolution. The limestone cliffs and haystack hills that have been left behind invite onlookers to go exploring and contemplate the geological history of this consistently awe-inspiring island.

In terms of human-made attractions, Puerto Rico is hardly lacking in intriguing features. The Spanish colonial heritage of the island is evident throughout, especially in historic San Juan. Mazes of cobblestone streets, cozy inner courtyards, and imposing fortresses will delight architecture buffs. You won’t miss El Morro Fortress, a “World Heritage Sight” that has been a Caribbean landmark for over four centuries. Further examples of European-style design can be found around every corner, so be sure to stroll through the promenades and savor the ornate details as you experience a little taste of days gone by.

Within the cities you’ll also find plenty of chances to immerse yourself in all the arts, music, and dining that your senses can handle. You’ll be able to pick out the Spanish, Mexican, and American influences as you sit down for an extravagant dinner, and be sure to enjoy the indigenous influences like papaya and coriander. To drink, have a rum cocktail or a cerveza, which might loosen you up for a night of salsa dancing. The sound of the cuatro and the maracas will surely get your toes tapping, so don’t be surprised if you have a few late nights while visiting this energetic island.

When it’s time to turn in for the night, you’ll need a place to stay that will live up to the excitement and escape that the rest of your vacation has so far offered. Puerto Rico welcomes tourists, and contains a number of vacation rentals that will surely live up to your expectations. If it’s the beach you’re after, book a property on Rincon’s Corcega Beach where you’ll find the hottest scenery on the island. Oceanfront views, a thatched roof, and saucily painted walls will envelop you in the ultimate Caribbean experience.

Several amenities, like a gas grill, cable TV, and spacious bathrooms will provide that taste of home that you can’t bear to leave behind, yet after enjoying a breathtaking sunset from your patio, you won’t feel the least bit sorry that you’ve come all this way. You’ll have access to everything you’ll need to keep you busy while maintaining the option to just chill out. In Puerto Rico, the possibilities are limitless.

If this sounds like the kind of trip you’ve been longing to take, then go online to reserve your flight and pick out your ideal Puerto Rico Vacation Rental. The combination of old world charm and modern conveniences that you’ll find during your visit here will leave you spinning in a good way.

HomeAway.com has a wide array of vacation rental listings that will help you to achieve the getaway of a lifetime.