Puerto Rico

Grenada Welcomes You!

Overview

Known as the ‘Island of Enchantment’, the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico blends Latin and U.S. cultures into one sun-splattered tropical mélange.

 

Its beaches are the stuff of fantasy (see Playa Flamenco on the island of Culebra – regularly voted one of the world’s best), satisfying sun-seekers and surfers alike.

 

The capital, San Juan, offers the sleepy charm of its mesmeric colonial Old Town by day, before pulsating to the rhythms of rum-soaked salsa at night.

 

There are other attractions too – hiking in rainforests, kayaking on otherworldly bioluminescent bays and dining on divine roadside <lechón> (roast suckling pig).

 

The introduction of new low-cost direct flights with Norwegian from London has now opened up the island to British tourists.

Top must do's

  • Strolling the blue-cobblestoned streets of Old San Juan (a Unesco World Heritage site), admiring its brightly-coloured colonial houses;
  • Brushing up on piratical history at 16th-century forts El Morro and Fuerte San Cristóbal;
  • Indulging in San Juan’s innovative food scene. Old San Juan and the bohemian Santurce barrio both boast cutting-edge eateries which fuse Puerto Rican ingredients with international panache – see fusion restaurants Jose Enrique, Marmalade and Santaella;
  • Salsa dancing at Santurce’s Friday-evening street parties or the iconic Nuyorican Café;
  • Exploring Old San Juan’s electrifying late-night bar scene with labyrinthine La Factoria or El Batey (a dive bar straight from the pages of Hunter S Thompson’s <Rum Diary), many of which stay open until daybreak and beyond;
  • Idling on San Juan’s urban beaches, all of which come with snack kiosks and lifeguards;
  • A rum-tasting tour at Casa Bacardí, the distillery which produces 100,000 bottles a day.

Don't miss

  • San Sebastian Street Festival, Old San Juan – every January
  • Ponce Carnival, Ponce – every February
  • PGA Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande – every March
  • Heineken Jazzfest, San Juan – every June

Airlines

There are direct flights from London Gatwick to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which are operated by Norwegian. Puerto Rico is also served by connecting flights from gateways served by Air Europa, American Airlines/American Eagle, British Airways, Condor, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, JetBlue, KLM and United Airlines. Regional services into Puerto Rico are operated by Air Antilles Express, Cape Air, InterCaribbean Airways, LIAT, Rainbow International Airlines and Seaborne Airlines.

 

More information in the Guide to the Caribbean (pages 56-57).

Cruise

The port of San Juan is the Caribbean’s busiest ocean terminal serving 18 different cruise lines and nearly two million passengers a year. All ships dock at Old San Juan Cruise Ship Piers, a short walk from Old San Juan. Cruise lines which use San Juan as their home port include: Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Azamara Cruises, Viking Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Oceania Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club.

Hotels

Puerto Rico offers a wide range of accommodation options. More details will follow shortly.

Tour Ops

Six CTO-member tour operators serve Puerto Rico. See pages 58-59 of the Guide to the Caribbean.

Itinerary

Following my visit to Puerto Rico in June 2014, I discovered there is so much to do! Rent a car and watch the adventures unfold…
A walking tour of Old San Juan is a must-do experience. With its distinctive blue cobbled streets, Spanish-influenced open plazas and small boutiques, Old San Juan is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
For adrenaline junkies, visit the Toro Verde Adventure Park and conquer ‘The Beast’, one of the longest and highest zip lines in the world.
For R&R visit Vieques Island, beautiful, untouched and tranquil. Just a short flight or ferry ride from mainland Puerto Rico, you can horseride on the beach, cycle round the island, kayak the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay, or relax in the peace and tranquillity.

Carol Smith, Co-operative Personal Travel Advisor

TAKE THE PUERTO RICO SPOTLIGHT QUIZ
For details on how to become a Caribbean Travel Guru read the About Us page above