The cobbled streets and huge stone fortresses of Old San Juan. The powder white beaches and crystal waters of Isla Verde. The waterfalls, birds and wild orchids of the El Yunque tropical rainforest. And of course, the thrumming salsa beat playing long into the night; it could only be Puerto Rico. This is an island that has something for everyone. With an unbelievable natural environment, hotels and resorts that are the byword in luxury, plenty to do both day and night plus high scale adventure experiences, Puerto Rico appeals to families, couples and friends alike.
The culture in Puerto Rico has a distinctive Spanish vibe, coupled with all of the conveniences of it being a commonwealth of the US. Kayak through surreal bioluminescent bays, ride horses right along the beach, zip-line through the rainforest or soak up some culture at the island’s many museums- just be ready for the holiday experience of your life!
Airports / Gateways / Flying times
Airports: US: Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan (SJU). Rafael Hernandez, Aguadilla (BQN). Mercedita, Ponce (PSE). Others: Antonio Neri Juarbe, Arecibo (ARE). Antonio Rivera Rodriquez, Vieques (VQS). Benjamín Rivera Noriega, Culebra (CPX). Diego Jimenez Torres, Fajardo (FAJ). Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Mayagüez (MAZ). Isla Grande Airport, San Juan (SIG).
Ferry Services: Public ferry. San Juan- Cataño; Fajardo-Culebra; Fajardo- Vieques. Hi-Speed Island Ferry: San Juan- Culebra-Vieques (In High Season). Ferries Del Caribe: Mayagüez-Santo Domingo.
Gateways/Flying Times: Norwegian Airlines fly from London Gatwick to San Juan twice weekly, and Air Europa via Madrid. There are daily direct flights via the U.S., including American Airlines via Miami, New York or Chicago. Continental and Delta Airlines via Newark and Atlanta. US Airways via Philadelphia. Miami: 2.5 hours. New York: 3.5 hours. Chicago: 4.5 hours. Newark: 3 hours. Atlanta: 3.5 hours. Philadelphia: 3 hours.
The average temperature in the winter is 22ºC, and 29ºC in the summer with year-round pleasant sea breezes. In the mountains, it is about 10 degrees cooler in both summer and winter. Average humidity is 55% during the day and 80% at night. Average rainfall is 52 inches and the rainy season is at its peak in August.
In Puerto Rico there’s a definite Spanish and American influence to the food but also traditional Caribbean, with Creole featuring highly on menus as well as nuevo criollo- creative Latin food. Try the traditional asopao which is a kind of gumbo made with chicken or shellfish, as well as soups and plantain.
Spanish and English are the official languages.
If it’s nightlife you’re after, Puerto Rico is the island for you! In San Juan and Old San Juan, drink Mojitos in rooftop bars, party in exclusive clubs, catch a movie at a cinema bar, relax with some live jazz music or dance the night away to the hot salsa beat. Irish bars to contemporary cocktail bars, sports bars to beachside cafés that go on until dawn, it’s all going on in Puerto Rico. As well as San Juan, check out the evening entertainment at Luquillo, Piñones, Boquerón and Vieques.
First stop in Puerto Rico for sightseeing has to be historic walled city of Old San Juan and the impressive fortresses of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal. La Fortaleza and the San Juan National Historic Site are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As you walk around the city which is packed with restaurants and shops, you can also visit San Juan Cathedral, the Institute of Perto Rican Culture and Las Américas Museum. Ponce is Puerto Rico’s second biggest city and is vibrant and cultural with the Ponce Museum of Art, the Museum of Music and, a rum museum! For pure natural wonder, the Phosphorescent Bay in La Parguera is a natural bay filled with the luminescence and sparkle of the organisms that live there. From the water to the El Yunque mountains. Hike right to the top for the reward of the majestic rainforest with its rare ferns, orchids and rainforests- El Yunque is the only subtropical rainforest in the US National Forest Service.