Top 4 Experiences at Puerto Rico – The All Star Island26 December, 2013
This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.
Puerto Rico is an intoxicating blend of Spanish, Indian, and African influences, all melded into a tropical atmosphere of beaches, rainforest, and a fast-growing element of luxury. Whether you're hiking in a forest or climbing a cave; savoring superb cuisine, enjoying a sizzling nightlife and exciting casinos; taking romantic walks on a moonlit beach; renting a car to discover small towns, fishing villages and an amazing variety of cultural activities; planning an island escape with a stay in a Parador, Puerto Rico has it all and that's what makes Puerto Rico the All Star Island.
The Puerto Rican islands are located in the Caribbean sea, just east of the Dominican republic, with about 3/4 Spanish and 1/4 English speaking natives. But don’t worry: all tourist areas are primarily English speaking. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States which includes one main island, Greater Antilles, and several smaller islands and keys.
While largely mountainous, you’ll find spectacular, sandy beaches along the northern coastline. Imagine sunbathing, surfing, kayaking and golfing by day, then partying by night within mild, tropical marine climate ranging between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The following video showcases some of Puerto Rico's best experiences for the traveler across the 'Island of Enchantment' and how you can Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.:
Let me provide you with a quick overview of the top 4 unique experiences awaiting you in Puerto Rico – hopefully these experiences will inspire you to turn your daydreams into actual holiday plans in Puerto Rico!
Glow like an angel in the water in La Parguera, Bioluminescent Bay
You’ll have to wait for the sun to set if you want to see what might just be Puerto Rico's most spectacular natural phenomenon: bio bays. A bioluminescent bay is the result of a delicate ecosystem. Bio bays flourish when tiny single-cell organisms called dinoflagellates (pyrodinium bahamense) thrive in a protected environment. When they are agitated, they release energy in the form of light. In other words, they glow, emitting an ethereal neon green aura. So does anything they touch: fish, human hands, the oars of a paddle, even raindrops.
There are only a few bio bays on Earth, and Puerto Rico has three of them! They are best enjoyed when there is no other light to minimize the bioluminescence. So when you go, avoid a full moon to get the best of this unforgettable experience.
La Parguera was the first known bio bay in Puerto Rico and now is part of La Parguera Natural Reserve. You can reach La Parguera by kayak, small boat, or even a large, two-level, glass-bottom boat. This is the only bay that allows diesel-powered boats. The brightness in La Parguera may vary, depending on various changing factors in the natural ecosystem. It will be hard to capture this phenomenon on normal cameras – this video below by NatGeo will provide a preview of what the experience is like.
Visit the only rainforest under US national park service, El Yunque, and climb to the clouds
There’s no other place like it in Puerto Rico. In fact, there’s no other place like it in the entire United States. El Yunque is the only subtropical rainforest in the United States Forest System. Under its trees, you’ll find a unique ecosystem that has enchanted its visitors for centuries. There’s plenty of reasons why it is one of the world’s Top 28 New 7 Wonders of Nature. Its 28,000 acres are crisscrossed with hiking trails that will take on a mind-blowing journey.
The lush forests, verdant hills and crashing waterfalls of El Yunque is the place to embark on a short hike through the oxygen-rich mist, explore waterfalls and gawk at Jurassic-sized ferns. You will get wet, so bring a raincoat, but bring binoculars too; of the 26 species found here and nowhere else in the world, you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for the Puerto Rican parrot, one of the 10 most endangered birds on earth. Hear what fellow Tripadvisor travellers had to say about their experience at El Yunque in the video below:
History Buffs can enjoy old world charm of San Juan
Stepping into Old San Juan’s blue cobblestone streets will feel like stepping out of a time machine. Once the crown jewel of the Spanish Empire in the Americas, the walled city still preserves its stunning colonial architecture, ranging from imposing fortresses to brightly colored buildings, many of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Amidst is beauty lie some of the island’s best museums, restaurants, shops, and nightlife. No first trip to Puerto Rico is complete without a visit to Old San Juan.
Even those limited to a quick visit find it easy to fall under the beguiling spells of Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets, pastel-painted colonial buildings and grand fortresses. From the ramparts of El Morro, the allure of this place is evident in every direction – from the labyrinth of crooked streets to endless sparkle of the Atlantic. Hear what fellow Tripadvisor travellers had to say about exploring San Juan in the video below:
Foodies can experience the delicacies of Puerto Rican gastronomy and it’s famous Rums
Taste the rum and practice the Salsa on the Caribbean island paradise of Puerto Rico. Indulge on the finest Spanish cuisine with a unique American, African and Taino twist. Taste succulent corn and fruits, crunchy cod fritters, black bean soup, kettle-cooked stews, lamb, fried beefsteak and onions, plus barbecued pig. For dessert, island guests enjoy some of the finest banana cupcakes, custard and nisperos de batata, or sweet potato balls with cloves, coconut and cinnamon. Then, don’t forget to tantalize your taste buds with Puerto Rican rum of any shade, the national drink. More than 70% of the rum sold in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico; here at Puerto Rico, you can sample favorite local brands and enjoy a tour of Puerto Rico's rum distilleries.
There’s only one Puerto Rico, but there are many ways to get here. There are over 588 non-stop flights to main cities in the United States, 30 flights to the Caribbean, and 28 flights to Central and South America every week. The island is also the cruise capital of the Caribbean; its ports welcome thousands of sea travelers daily.
No Passport Required for US Citizens
Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth and the U.S. dollar is the official currency; U.S. citizens don’t need a passport or a currency converter! Just hop on a plane and go! If you’ll be visiting from another country other than the United States, a visa is required to enter the island. These requirements are standard and are the same as for entering the United States (http://travel.state.gov/). The purpose and extent of your visit will determine which visa to apply for. If you are just coming in as a tourist, the standard 90-day non-immigrant visa will be your key to paradise.
Win a Trip for Two to Puerto Rico (Airfare, Hotel, Food!)
Tempted by the various Puerto Rican experiences, you can win for yourself a trip for two to Puerto Rico now (Open only to legal US resident age 18 years old and above – for more information, see Official Contest Rules) which include airfare, 3-night stay (in one room) and food credit (Total prize value up to $2,000). You can enter by:
1. Leave a comment on this blog post about your favorite amenities in Puerto Rico – find your favorite here: SeePuertoRico.com **Examples: Flamenco Beach, old world charm of San Juan, etc.!
For additional entries
2. Tweet out a message about what you would like to do in Puerto Rico with a link back to the participating blog post. Make sure to leave your tweet URL in the comment sections of this blog post. Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter
3. Like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook. Leave a comment on the blog post stating you Liked them on Facebook.