3 Reasons To Visit Puerto Rico

Reasons to visit Puerto Rico is back into the travel spotlight with a vengeance. Overcoming recent hurricane damage, the beautiful island welcomes visitors once again.

Puerto Rico is the only island among the three Latin Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic where English is widely spoken.

Don Jibaro of represents Puerto Rican culture on his popular website. Here he gives us his reasons to visit Puerto Rico:

1. It’s part of the United States…

Puerto Ricans are USA citizens and the US currency is the only money used there. In 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the Jones-Shafroth Act, which granted Puerto Ricans, born on or after April 1925, 1898, U.S. citizenship.

The same Act provided for a popularly elected Senate to complete a bicameral Legislative Assembly, as well as a Bill of Rights. It authorized the popular election of the Resident commissioner to a four-year term.

The United States and Puerto Rico began a long-standing metropolis-colony relationship. In the early 20th century, Puerto Rico was ruled by the military, with officials including the governor appointed by the President of the United States.

The Foraker Act of 1900 gave Puerto Rico a certain amount of civilian popular government, including a popularly elected House of Representatives. The upper house and governor were appointed by the United States.

Approach for landing at San Juan Airport. The runway can be seen to the right, by the edge of the water. To the left of the airport, you can see Isla Verde. You can see the Morro Castle at the tip of the Isla Verde peninsula.

2. It’s Rich in Culture…

With over 500 years of history, Puerto Rico is rich in knowledge on how the Western Hemisphere got discovered and became a participant in the many cultures of the world. The Morro Castle, one of the largest castles in the Caribbean, has walls that are 25 feet thick.

Modern Puerto Rican culture is a unique mix of cultural antecedents. This includes European (predominantly Spanish, Italian, French, German and Irish), African, and, more recently, some North Americans and lots of South Americans.

A large number of Cubans and Dominicans have relocated to the island in the past few decades.

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From the Spanish, Puerto Rico received the Spanish language, the Catholic religion and the vast majority of their cultural and moral values and traditions. The United States added English-language influence, the university system, and the adoption of some holidays and practices.

On March 12, 1903, the University of Puerto Rico was officially founded, branching out from the “Escuela Normal Industrial”, a smaller organization that was founded in Fajardo three years before.

Puerto Rico’s architecture is full of beautiful, bright colors, typical of the Caribbean. Here from San Juan.
San German, Puerto Rico, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing town.
Cuatro, national instrument of Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican Cuatro instrument is to Puerto Rico what the Tres instrument is for Cuba. The cuatro is traditionally used for the performance of Puerto Rico’s Jibaro music and songs. A “jibaro” in Puerto Rican Spanish means “a simple peasant”.
Don Jibaro of, and Les of, performing a jibaro tune.
puerto rican food
Chuletas (pork chops) with Plantain, Rice, and Gandules (pigeon peas) is a typical Puerto Rican dish. Sazon (seasoning) is often infused into Puerto Rican dishes. The sazon gives the food a very unique and delicious flavor.
Left and middle: Another staple of Puerto Rican food is Mofongo. Mofongo is made with plantain, typically stuffed with a choice of pork, chicken, or shrimp. To the right: Pasteles, which is similar to tamales. Malta is widely consumed in Puerto Rico, a non-alcoholic lightly carbonated malt beverage. Foods in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba are very similar.
Les of (left) Don Jibaro of (right) complementing Chef Luis after a delicious Puerto Rican meal.
Puerto Rico’s rich music culture shines across the island. Here from a jam session in Old San Juan. Puerto Rico is simply gleaming in its deep-rooted rhythmic mixture of Spanish-Afro music and dance. From Puerto Rican Jibaro to Salsa, Bomba, Plena and more… Any music and dance form should bring out the WEPA in you! Wepa is a Puerto Rican Spanish word for “YEAH”.

3. It has the best Hotels and Beaches in the Caribbean…

During the 1950s and 1960s, Puerto Rico experienced rapid industrialization, due in large part to Operacion Manos a la Obra (“Operation Bootstrap”), an offshoot of FDR’s New Deal. It was intended to transform Puerto Rico’s economy from agriculture-based to manufacturing-based to provide more jobs.

Puerto Rico has since become a major tourist destination, as well as a global center for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Old San Juan made up the municipality of San Juan from 1864 to 1952, at which time the formerly independent municipality of Rio Piedras was annexed. With its abundance of shops, historic places, museums, open-air cafes, restaurants, gracious homes, tree-shaded plazas, and its old beauty and architectural peculiarity, Old San Juan is the main spot for local and international tourism.

Puerto Rico has over 200 likes of some of the greatest beaches in the world, including the world-famous Rincon on the West Coast. Luxury Hilton hotels are also available.

The oldest parts of the district of Old San Juan remain partly enclosed by massive walls. Several defensive structures and notable forts, such as the emblematic Fort San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Cristobal, and El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, acted as the primary defenses for the settlement which was subjected to numerous attacks. La Fortaleza continues to serve also as the executive mansion for the Governor of Puerto Rico.

YES, take your camera, because Puerto Rico will make your Caribbean Vacation more than just exhilarating!

The Morro Castle, Old San Juan.
Isla Verde Beach.
Looking towards Las Marias.
Romantic Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Aguadilla is on the West Coast of Puerto Rico. Here from Punta Borinquen.
The Intercontinental Hotel Isla Verde is a classy hotel by the beach.
El Yunque National Forest.

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  1. Thanks for a good article. Going to Puerto Rico on my next vacation. I learned quite a bit I didn’t already know.

  2. Going to Puerto Rico on our next vacation. Love the fact it’s a part of the U.S. like Don Jibaro points out. So much to see, and I heard it’s the greatest place to visit, although I understand there are still some problems remaining from the devastating hurricane that they had.

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