5 Things Puerto Rico Does Better
If you have never been to Puerto Rico, there are many reasons to come visit. From the people, the food, the great weather, and activities–there’s no reason to be indoors, claiming boredom, or attached to your mobile device (unless you are taking selfies at one of the great island sites).
If you are from Puerto Rico, then you know why the island is magical and understand it’s hard to begin to tell visitors the best things about it–because you probably enjoy it all.
Here are a few reasons why Puerto Rico is a perfect place to visit. And, of course, does better than other places.
- Island Hop. Puerto Rico has many small islands surrounding it. Many of which are uninhabited, but make for a great day trip. Once you arrive in Puerto Rico, for a small ferry price, it’s easy to hop to other islands like Vieques or Culebra; one of our favorite southside excursions is the daytrip to Isla de Caja de Muertos or even Gulligan’s island. There are tons more islands, territories of Puerto Rico, that are well worth the trip. You may, however, need to bring your own food or water for the day.Now imagine traveling to the US territory, Puerto Rico, then island-hop for a few more passport stamps? If you have more time on your hands, keep in mind it’s easy and affordable to travel to the surrounding islands like Dominican Republic, US and British Virgin Islands, or St. Martin–sometimes even $150 round trip.Due to to Hurricane Maria, these Caribbean islands need tourism and support more than ever.
- The Arts. Puerto Rico’s rich and diverse heritage allows a combination of influence to be reflected. Puerto Rican art is divided into three categories: Saints, Masks, and Visual Arts.Regarding the Saints, each town has its own patron saint. As such, it’s quite common to have art fairs for that particular saint’s holiday celebration. There, you’ll find hand-carved ornaments made from soaps, rocks, wood, and even coconuts readily available for purchase.
The masks in Puerto Rico have a strong Spanish and African influence. Most of the brightly colored masks are worn by festival participants.Finally, most of the visual artwork has a tinge of Spanish/Euro influence reflecting the island’s colonial era. Though there has been a rise in quality, commissioned street art.
- Lechon. Visiting Puerto Rico means you must come with a full appetite–and no place fulfills this better than Puerto Rico! The amazing food aromas tease as you drive by a kiosk or even a restaurant. At every turn, you’ll always have more than enough options for meals.No matter what your dietary restrictions are, food is a part of the Puerto Rican culture and it is enough to make any vegetarian turn into a carnivore. One of the best dishes Puerto Rico is known for is its lechon–a well-seasoned pig over an open flame. The cooked skin cracks with delight, while the meat is tender and silky. Toss in some rice, pigeon peas, and sweet potatoes on the side and your $8-$10 meal will be well worth it.The best area for lechon is definitely Guavate, on a long-windy road nicknamed “Pork Highway”. These are probably the best experiences for anyone–plenty of options for pork, great music, and adult beverages. Many people spend several hours there with friends and family.
- The Outdoors. Considering Puerto Rico is only 100×35 miles, the terrain changes from one side to the next. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, the options are endless (unless you want to do winter sports). Please be patient as Puerto Rico heals itself post-Hurricane Maria. However, some of your options include, but not limited to: rock climbing, caving, hiking (in both, a dry forest and rainforest), mountain biking, kayaking, snorkeling, boating, skydiving, jetski, and more. You can be as timid or brave as you desire in Puerto Rico and, if you’re lucky, a resident who is truly familiar with the gems of Puerto Rico may show you how to get to the places only the locals know about.
- Holidays. There are plenty of holidays in Puerto Rico. Every resident will agree that the real holiday season starts at Thanksgiving and ends mid-January. Many shops will even close its doors for a few weeks to celebrate the holiday series all at once: Christmas, New Years, Three Kings Day, and even San Sebastian. Among the street fairs, the several company parties, the invites to fiestas at the home of friends, expect tons of coquito, lechon, rum, gifts, and joy.
Whether you are eating, celebrating, enjoying the outdoors or the arts, Puerto Rico is a welcoming island delighted for tourists to be treated like family and experience its finest. Let us know what else Puerto Rico does better. We’d love to hear from you.