« CARIBBEANDiscover the Caribbean • Puerto Rico

Discover magical Puerto Rico

Originally populated for centuries by the aboriginal people known as Taíno, Puerto Rico was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas on November 19, 1493. Like Cuba, Puerto Rico remained a Spanish colony until 1898 …

Discover Puerto Rico

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» Arecibo Observatory

Arecibo Observatory

The Arecibo Observatory has earned a reputation as the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. It features the William E. Gordon telescope as well as a visitor and public outreach center and scientific research community. As more than 1,000 feet in size, it is the world's biggest single aperture telescope. It is known also as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) and is run largely by the National Science Foundation. It was constructed in the mid-1960s in the space left in the ground from a karst sinkhole …

» Bacardi Rum Factory

Bacardi Rum Factory

San Juan is the home of world famous Bacardí rum. Even if you've never given much thought to how this Caribbean staple gets from the cane fields to your mojito, the Casa Bacardí Visitor Center offers a surprisingly interesting experience. See the distillery, bottling plant and a museum which traces the company's origins in Cuba to its current global domination. Naturally it would be cruel to lead you all the way through this grown-up version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and not let you sample the wares, so pure rum and cocktails are handed out towards the end …

» Bioluminescent Bay

Bioluminescent Bay

By day, Fajardo's famous 'Bio Bay' looks like a regular Puerto Rican coastline. By night, however, the bay becomes an eerie lagoon that literally shines a fluorescent hue with every movement or splash. Due to the presence of microscopic plankton that thrive in the shallow waters, every stroke of a kayak paddle creates a trailing ribbon of light. Officially known as 'bioluminescence,' there are only a handful of places worldwide where the phenomenon is consistently found. One of those is here at Laguna Grande just off the shores of Fajardo …

» Caguas


Caguas is one of Puerto Rico's most diverse and important historical areas - a town rich in Creole heritage and home to an abundance of natural beauty and superlative shopping. Once the home of the indigenous Taino group, Caguas has also known Spanish, British and Dutch residents, the remnants of which can be best experienced by simply walking the town, exploring the beautiful boardwalk or following the Route of the Creole Heart at the Traditional Urban Center. Those who appreciate the beauty of Puerto Rico's outdoors will also be impressed by the Caguas Botanical Gardens …

» Capitol Building

Capitol Building

This classic capitol in the heart of San Juan is home to the Legislative Assembly, House or Representatives, the Senate and a whole lot of Puerto Rican history. Visitors to this regal site, which officially opened in 1907, will find massive marble columns, ornate stonework and a brightly colored capitol dome, in addition to the Architecture and Construction Archives of the University of Puerto Rico. These include rare ink and cloth sketches, as well as the original 38 blue print plans for the structure. Visitors say this classic building is a major departure from the rest of the old city …

» Castillo de San Cristobal

Castillo de San Cristobal

Standing guard at Old San Juan's Eastern Gate is the Castillo de San Crisotbal. Built to protect San Juan against land attacks, the ancient Spanish fort is now part of the San Juan National Historic Site and a great opportunity to see the largest Spanish fortification built in the New World and see some spectacular views of the San Juan Bay and El Morro. The massive structure, which was built in the 18th century to compliment the El Morro fortification which was designed to guard the bay, rises 150 feet above sea level and occupies most of the northeast edge of Old San Juan …

» Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Just north of the Old San Juan district, within the San Juan National Historic Site, lies Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century citadel, or fortress. It is a World Heritage-listed site on the northwestern tip of the islet of San Juan - a perfect spot to keep watch over the Atlantic Ocean and protect Old San Juan and the Bay of San Juan from incoming enemies. Its more recent history includes the American military, which occupied the site from 1898 to 1961. The citadel, surrounded like it is by an expansive green lawn and the dramatic rocky coast …

» Cayo Icacos

Cayo Icacos

When you first set foot on Cayo Icacos and take a look around, it looks exactly like a deserted island you'd see in a Hollywood film. White sand rings a forested grove at the center of the tiny island, and the sound of waves and gusting wind is the only break in the silence. Then, when you turn around and notice the boat that brought you there is gone, the reality of being on a deserted island suddenly begins to sink in. Despite being only 15 minutes from the mainland town of Fajardo, Cayo Icacos is an undeveloped island that feels like the middle of nowhere …

» Crashboat Beach

Crashboat Beach

Once the site of a military port that rescued downed aircrews, Cashboat Beach has since become a favorite ocean-side destination for travelers to northwest Puerto Rico. Clear turquoise waters and calm surf make it an ideal spot for families with small children, but visitors say the picturesque shores of Crashboat are perfect for just about any traveler. It's easy to spend a day relaxing on the sands of this quiet beach, with rocky cliffs perfect for jumping into refreshing waters. But visitors agree it's worth staying until sunset, when the bright red sun tucks behind the deep blue ocean …

» Cueva Ventana

Cueva Ventana

Most caves aren't the types of places that also come with a view; by their very nature, caves are dark, musty holes full of rocks, stalactites and bats. But at Cueva Ventana, about an hour outside of San Juan, the dark cave opens to up to Puerto Rico's best view. Ensconced in cliffs towering high above the Rio Grande Arecibo, Cueva Ventana is where subterranean suddenly meets surreal. Though there was once a time when it was free to visit, the area today is privately administered to protect against damage and decay. The downside, of course, is the added cost …

» Culebra Island

Culebra Island

Picturesque Flamenco Beach is ranked number three among the top 10 most exotic beaches in the world, thanks to its white coral sand, crystal clear water and breathtaking arid tree lined hills. But there are more sandy shores to see on Culebra Island than just this spot for sun and surf - the island itself is a true paradise for beach bumming travelers. Visitors can access smaller island destinations like Culebrita and Luis Pena (after obtaining a permit) by using a public water taxi from the main town. These tiny landmasses off the coast of this picturesque island are ideal …

» El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest under the protection of the US Forest Service and also the largest nature reserve in densely-populated Puerto Rico. It is situated in the mist-wreathed Luquillo Mountains where year-round precipitation ensures lush, green landscapes and a healthy diversity of animal life. This includes mongooses, non-venomous snakes, the rare Puerto Rican Parrot and the Coqui frog whose distinctive croak provides El Yunque's soundtrack. El Portal Rain Forest Center provides a good introduction to the area …

» Fajardo


There's a reason the coastal town of Fajardo is known by locals as 'the city that guards the Caribbean sun'. Travelers find that, even at night, the beaches of this popular destination light up along the bioluminescent bay. Visitors can kayak through magical mangrove forests and quiet lagoons where bright blue plankton glow beneath the water's surface. It's an experience unlike any other and one that's unique to Fajardo. Clear, calm waters and white sandy beaches paired with snorkeling, scuba diving and sailing make this a water sport wonderland …

» Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco)

Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco)

Playa Flamenco is a stunningly scenic beach that is an ideal day trip for those vacationing on Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. Playa Flamenco isn't actually located on the main island of Puerto Rico, though. Instead, you'll have to take a short boat ride to the smaller island of Culebra. It is worth the trip as Playa Flamenco has a wide, white sand beach that is bordered by clear aqua sea water on one side and bright green hills on the other. High quality food stands line the beach serving a variety of treats, ranging from ice cream and fruit smoothies to ceviche and empanadas …

» Gozalandia


This breathtaking waterfall is one of Puerto Rico's top attractions thanks to its natural beauty, spectacular views, and cool waters that are perfect for a refreshing dip. A short three-minute walk from a public parking lot, a steep but well-marked trail takes visitors up a winding hill to the fall's first tier. Travelers warn that while the trek is quick, water shoes or hiking boots are a must for rocky terrain. An easier concrete walkway leads a second tier where a rope swing and towering cliffs offer opportunities for thrill seekers and adventures to dive into the falls far below …

» Isla de Cabras

Isla de Cabras

This tiny islet that's part of the Palo Seco barrio once served as a leper colony in the early 19th century and travelers to this historic place can still visit Segundo de la Portilla, a stone building that once housed these social castoffs. Today, Isla de Cabra services as a shooting range and training area for the Puerto Rico Police Department, as well as home to Isla de Cabras Recreational Park, where locals and travelers congregate along beaches perfect for fishing and picnicking - almost no one swims here. Visitors love the picturesque views of city walls …

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« CARIBBEANDiscover the Caribbean • Puerto Rico

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Destination  Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is where four centuries of Spanish Caribbean culture comes face to face with the American convenience store. This leads to some strange juxtapositions - parking lots and plazas, freeways and fountains, skyscrapers and shanties - but it's all apiece with the Caribbean's hybrid history. US and Canadian citizens do not require visas or passports but must have valid ID …

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Places to Stay in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that is a self governing commonwealth of the United States of America. Located in the Caribbean Sea to the east of the Dominican Republic and west of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico lies on a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal - the Mona Passage …

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