Motto: "John is his name"
Language: Spanish and English
Currency: United States dollar ($) (USD)
Airports: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), Rafael Hernández International Airport
Known for: Tropical forests, rum, bioluminescent bays
Official Tourism Website: puertoricotourism.pr.gov
Drives on the: Right Side
Calling Code: 1-787, +1-939
Puerto Rico is romance. A moonlight walk along the beach; A swim in a phosphorescent bay; a stroll along a rain forest trail; a slow dance as the sun sets; a horseback ride through a coffee plantation; a carriage ride through the Pearl of the South create the perfect backdrop for your romantic beginning.
From opulent hotels to delightful restaurants and sizzling clubs, from wind surfing to lazing in the sun, from gallery hopping to serious shopping, No waiting period, but a blood test and license from the mainland must be authorized by a local doctor before marrying; $25 or less in fees.
Puerto Rico has the perfect settings for weddings and honeymoons.
Things To Do in Puerto Rico
Sights & Attraction: On one small island, you can experience years of history and four distinct cultures.
- Fuerte San Felipe del Morro- one of the largest forts built by the Spaniards in the Caribbean.
- San Cristobal Fort guarded the old city of San Juan on the east.
- San Jose Church a beautiful gothic church built in the 1530’s.
- Caguana Ceremonial Park home to Taino Indian traditions
- Mauabo Lighthouse, still operational
- Hacienda Buena Vista a working coffee plantation that will transport you to 19th century Puerto Rico.
- Tibes Ceremonial Park amazing remnants of indigenous cultures recently discovered after a hurricane in 1975.
- Porta Coel also known as “The Gate to Heaven” is believed to be among the the oldest churches in the US territory.
Adventure: There is so much to see and do on this small tropical volcanic island, these are just a few of the popular ways to experience Puerto Rico’s natural wonders.
- Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, great for bird watching
- Rincon Lighthouse Observation Park offers whale watching
- Bioluminescent Bays in Vieques or la Parguera
- Hike the trails of El Yunque and the Gunica Dry Forest
- You can go horseback riding along a beautiful beach, follow a trail through a tropical rain forest, or trot through a coffee plantation high in the mountains. Several ranches rent horses by the hour and offer guided tours and classes for beginners
Beaches & Watersports: If you just want to relax or have a spectacular adventure in the great big blue it is all here in Puerto Rico.
Best beaches for the young and the restless are as follows
- Cana Gorda between Ponce & Mayaguez
- Rincon Bay at the most western tip of the island
- Crashboat in the town of Aguadilla
- Isla Verde in San Juan (also a Blue flag beach)
- Shacks Beach that stretches from Arecibo to Rincon
Best beaches for a secluded afternoon.
- Seven Seas in Fajardo
- Flamenco on the island of Culebra
- Ballenas Bay in Guanica
- Boqueron in Mayaguez
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling: The average ocean temperature is 81ºF and underwater visibility averages from 60 to 75 feet near the beach. Offshore it is easily 100 feet. Puerto Rico is a divers dream!
The most popular & exciting dive sites are as follows
- Off Desecheo Island
- Off Mona Island
- Off Culebra
- Off Vieques
For snorkeling there are shallow reefs off the sands of San Juan, Dorado & Humacao
- Most dive shops offer SCUBA classes, instruction as well as rental gear.
Canoeing & Kayaking: Run the rapids on the Tanam River or gently row down the Espritu Santo. Ocean kayaking is phenomenal along Vieques, Culebra, Ballenas bay/ Guanica and Fajardo.
- Tours, lessons and or rental are always available beach side or ask your concierge.
Fishing: Great year round. However the winter runs roughly from October to early March, is the best season for dolphin, dorado, mahi-mahi, wahoo, white marlin, yellowfin tuna and an occasional sailfish. Blue marlin are easy to catch in the summer, but are always returned to the sea.
- Deep sea fishing excursions are available.
Other Aquatic Activities include but never limited to:
- Wind surfing
- Body Surfing
- World class surfing at just about every beach
Golf: Puerto Rico is home to 23 lush golf courses and 6 more coming.
These are the courses currently open to the public:
- Aquirre Golf Club- 9 holes
- Bahia Beach Plantation- par 72, 18 holes
- Bambuas Golf Course & Ciudad Jardin Resort & Country Club- par 36, 9 holes soon to be 18
- Berwind Country Club- par 72, 18 holes
- Club Deportivo del Oeste- par 70, 18 holes
- Coamo Springs Golf & Tennis Club- par 70, 18 holes
- Coco Beach Golf & Country Club- par 74, 36 holes
- Dorado del Mar- par 72, 18 holes
- El Conquistador Golf Resort & Casino- par 72, 18 holes
- El Legado- par 72, 18 holes
- Ft Buchanan Golf Club- par 72, 9 holes
- Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort: East Course- par 74, 18 holes
- Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort: West Course- par 74, 18 holes
- Palmas del Mar: Flamboyn Course- 18 holes
- Palmas del Mar: Palm Course- par 72, 18 holes
- Plantation Club North Course- par 72, 18 holes
- Plantation Club South Course- par 72, 18 holes
- Punta Borinquen Golf Club- par 72, 18 holes
- Rio Mar Beach Ocean Course- par 72, 18 holes
- Rio Mar Beach River Course- par 72, 18 holes
Shopping: Puerto Rico is a shopper’s paradise with a lot outlets of famous brands. San Juan is actually the island’s shopping mecca. You can find great deals on jewelry, fashions, crystal, and china. Shopping for local crafts can also available, in many cases you can watch the artists at work. Plaza Las Americas, the island’s largest shopping centre, also situated in San Juan. It features over 300 stores selling everything from pottery to designer clothing.
Night Life & Entertainment: Puerto Ricans know how to party, their discos, bars and theaters rival those of other big city but with a flare all their own.
- In San Juan check out Santurce as well as Condado- Isla Verde strip, you’ll be sure to find a bar or disco meant for your group. Try your luck gambling at the casinos there as well.
- Piones offers a nightlife at the beach
- For a quieter night La Quancha’s boardwalk offers just the right amount of activity for a family with children. Venture over to Vieques for live jazz!
- There are several live shows year round check with your hotel concierge for current shows while you are in town.
Cuisine of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican cuisine has its roots in the cooking traditions and practices of Europe (Spain), Africa and the native Taínos. In the latter part of the 19th century, the cuisine of Puerto Rico was greatly influenced by the United States in the ingredients used in its preparation. Puerto Rican cuisine has transcended the boundaries of the island, and can be found in several countries outside the archipelago. Basic ingredients includegrains and legumes, herbs and spices, starchy tropical tubers, vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood and shellfish, and fruits. Main dishes include mofongo, arroz con gandules, pasteles, and pig roast. Beverages include maví and piña colada. Desserts include arroz con dulce (sweet rice pudding), piraguas, brazo gitanos, tembleque,polvorones, and dulce de leche.
Locals call their cuisine cocina criolla. The traditional Puerto Rican cuisine was well established by the end of the 19th century. By 1848 the first restaurant, La Mallorquina, opened in Old San Juan. El Cocinero Puertorriqueño, the island's first cookbook was published in 1849.
From the diet of the Taíno people come many tropical roots and tubers like yautía (taro) and especially Yuca (cassava), from which thin cracker-like casabe bread is made. Ajicito or cachucha pepper, a slightly hot habanero pepper, recao/culantro (spiny leaf),achiote (annatto), peppers, ají caballero (the hottest pepper native to Puerto Rico), peanuts, guavas, pineapples, jicacos (cocoplum), quenepas (mamoncillo), lerenes(Guinea arrowroot), calabazas (tropical pumpkins), and guanabanas (soursops) are all Taíno foods. The Taínos also grew varieties of beans and some maíz (corn/maize), butmaíz was not as dominant in their cooking as it was for the peoples living on the mainland of Mesoamerica. This is due to the frequent hurricanes that Puerto Rico experiences, which destroy crops of maíz, leaving more safeguarded plants likeconucos (hills of yuca grown together).
Spanish / European influence is also seen in Puerto Rican cuisine. Wheat, chickpeas(garbanzos), capers, olives, olive oil, black pepper, onions, garlic, cilantrillo (cilantro),oregano, basil, sugarcane, citrus fruit, eggplant, ham, lard, chicken, beef, pork, and cheese all came to Borikén (Puerto Rico's native Taino name) from Spain. The tradition of cooking complex stews and rice dishes in pots such as rice and beans are also thought to be originally European (much like Italians, Spaniards, and the British). Early Dutch, French, Italian, and Chinese immigrants influenced not only the culture but Puerto Rican cooking as well. This great variety of traditions came together to form La Cocina Criolla.
Coconuts, coffee (brought by the Arabs and Corsos to Yauco from Kafa, Ethiopia), okra, yams, sesame seeds, gandules(pigeon peas in English) sweet bananas, plantains, other root vegetables and Guinea hen, all come to Puerto Rico from Africa.
Marriage Requirements for Puerto Rico
- US$25 for license stamps.
- Marriage license has to be acquired in advance from the Puerto Rico Demographic Department up to 10 days prior to the wedding.
- Valid passports or birth certificates.
- Proof of divorce or death certificate.
- Blood test from a federally certified laboratory (in the U.S. or Puerto Rico) within 10 days of the wedding date.
- A doctor must sign and certify the marriage license and blood test in Puerto Rico.
Featured Hotels in Puerto Rico