This territory of the United States is located within the Caribbean Sea and near the Dominican Republic. Although Puerto Rico experienced over four centuries of Spanish rule, it was ceded to the United States following the Spanish-American War of the late nineteenth century. Since the middle part of the twentieth century, this island has been a popular tourist destination. Boasting a unique melange of different cultures and a decidedly tropical climate, Puerto Rico is quite a popular destination throughout the year. So, what are some of the best times to visit and a handful of the main attractions?
The Best Times to Visit
Like many Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico offers quite warm temperatures throughout the year. However, there are not as balmy as the islands located in the southern portion of the sea and closer to the equator. Puerto Rico is known for a rainy season which tends to begin in early July and carries on through November. Therefore, visiting here between late January and the end of April is highly recommended. This will also enable visitors to avoid the potentially massive amount of tourists which can be found otherwise.
Most people heading to Puerto Rico arrive at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. Fortunately, Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport is located in the metropolitan area of San Juan which means many hotels and attractions are just a short taxi ride away! On average, a flight from New York to Puerto Rico will take around 3 hours and 45 minutes.
If you are looking to save money on your flights, the cheapest time to fly to Puerto Rico falls between the late spring and early summer.
Puerto Rico has a great selection of accommodation which caters to variety of tastes and budgets. In the major towns you will find a good mix of Americanized hotels, mid-range hotels and boutique hotels which are aimed at those looking for something a bit different.
Paradores are great alternative to traditional hotels. These are government-sponsored inns located just outside of major urban areas.
If you are looking for somewhere luxurious to stay, the island of Vieques has a plethora of small luxury accommodations to choose from.
Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico
Although the mainland beaches are quite popular, perhaps the most famous strip of land is located offshore on the tiny island of Culebra. This beach is known for its picturesque qualities and notable lack of mainstream tourists. In particular, Flamenco Beach is said to be the most stunning. As a testament to the lack of development here, the only man-made structure on the island is a lighthouse. Thus, a water taxi or a private boat is necessary to obtain access. The short journey is nonetheless worth it, for the scenery here is truly immaculate.
The Biobay of Vieques is another natural wonder which is particularly unique to Puerto Rico. Many will prefer to rent a kayak and explore this region on a moonless night. This area is located on nearby Vieques Island and a short excursion will enable the visitor to wind in and out of the many mangrove forests. However, the real attraction is that this bay contains billions of bioluminescent organisms. As the oars penetrate the water, innumerable flashes of green and blue will provide a truly surreal experience. This well-preserved destination should not be missed.
Although the natural beauty of this island is quite impressive, we should also remember that Puerto Rico offers some of the richest cultural experiences to be encountered. The capital of San Juan boasts numerous sights that are truly indicative of such a one-of-a-kind history. For example, a trip through the “Old City” will provide a unique window into its Spanish roots. Attractions such as the Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Puerto Rico Museum of Art cater to countless visitors each year. Finally, there are a great deal of quiet corner cafes where one can enjoy a tasty “cafe con leche” (coffee with milk) or a plate of “tapas” (traditional Spanish finger food).