Alejandro Avampini
Not for nothing is Puerto Rico known as the Island of Enchantment
Alejandro Avampini / Blog
Oct 25, 2021 08:25

The Island of Puerto Rico is the smallest of the 4 islands that make up the Greater Antilles, along with Cuba, Jamaica and the island of Hi

I also spent a year at these coordinates, I lived through all the seasons, but as in the rest of the Caribbean, as my friend, the Puerto Rican journalist Susan Soltero told me: “In Puerto Rico there are only two seasons in the year, the summer ... and Hell!!" And yes it is true, winter does not exist between that turquoise sea, palm trees and movie beaches, everything is hot, or very hot. Life between salsa and reggaeton moves in a dance to the rhythm that you like the most.

To give context to the tourism notes I write, I like to tell a little about the history of each destination. It's almost always about conquest, power, and unbridled ambition. Which is a parenthesis between the wonders that you will experience if you visit La Isla del Encanto.

The Taino Indians who inhabited this island, until 50 years after the arrival of Columbus, called it Boriken, hence the term Puerto Rican is used to name the natives of Puerto Rico. Yes, at least the name remained, because half a century after the

Anyway, the Taino blood is present in the majority of the population, it remains alive in the miscegenation and the Creole descent. Also according to recent studies there are communities that have up to 85% Taino blood. On many occasions the conquerors married the chief of the community to have control of their tribe, and therefore, of the labor force. Also at that time there were few

But hey, today, 500 years later, in Puerto Rico, people with huge hearts vibrate, they live with open arms, in a paradise that hypnotizes millions of tourists every year. Old San Juan still preserves, cobbled streets, its fascinating colonial architecture, from imposing fortifications to colorful buildings, structures of which many have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and take you on a journey through their history. The restaurants and bars are ideal to get to know the rum and the culinary culture of Puerto Rico. You even have guided tours for what you like the most. There is, among others, an excursion that will show you the best shops in the commercial heart of Old San Juan.

Not only is the day burning in Puerto Rico, the night is also hot. If you feel like dancing, San Juan has clubs where you hear everything from live salsa to the best DJs in the Caribbean. If you want to do something calmer, like sitting down to have a few drinks prepared with the best rum in the world, you can and, also, if you feel lucky, the casino is always open.

The third weekend of January they celebrate in the capital, San Juan, the Feast of San Sebastián that gathers a crowd in its streets from Thursday to Sunday. As part of the activities, the neighbors decorate the streets and the balconies of their houses. They prepare the costumes that will be used in the dances. The music in the streets does not stop, it is four days at full speed, you have to be in good condition to keep up with it ...

The Port of San Juan gave the island its name, alluding to the wealth that was shipped here to take to Spain, it is located in the southern part of the Bay of San Juan. The four cruise ship piers are located along the San Antonio Canal. This arrangement allows tourists to walk to major attractions such as Old San Juan and the Puerto Rico Convention Center District.

Puerto Rico is a small island of just 80 x 200 km. The vast majority of its coastline is made up of sandy beaches. I was able to visit it several times, thanks to local friends who really behaved with exemplary hospitality. I gave it several laps and was amazed, not only by the number of beaches, but by the endless activities that can be done in the sun. Marine sports are various, from kitesurfing, windsurfing, reef diving and sailing (one or several days in which you can visit the many keys and smaller islands, of which the largest are Mona, Vieques and Culebra ).

Even if what you are looking for is to spend the day relaxing simply enjoying the beauty of the white sands and the turquoise water, you can do it. In another article I will talk about the week I spent on the island of Mona, an uninhabited nature reserve in Puerto Rico. There are excursions that take you to go diving and camping on one of its deserted beaches.

The west of the island is the region known as Porta del Sol, the capital of surfing, it has some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. If you like surfing, Rincon Beach is a prominent one in the entire Caribbean. Cabo Rojo has one of the most important lighthouses on the island in its tremendous cliffs. Now, La Parguera in Lajas has one of the few remaining bioluminescent bays in the world, you have to go is incredible !!!! At night you sail with kayaks and when the water shakes, it lights up in a fluo green color with an inexplicable intensity. The reason is that it is populated by millions of dinoflagellate microorganisms composed of particular substances that when combined, flash. I tell you that it is crazy, to the point where the fish pass by in the dead of night and you see their fluo figure swimming within meters of you.

The North stands out for the Camuy Caves, an impressive natural beauty. Its topography lends itself to all kinds of outdoor sports and recreation. There is something for all tourists, and if you are interested there are some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean. Another must-see attraction is the Arecibo Radio Telescope, an engineering marvel of more than 50 years, I don't know how they did to install a parabolic surface hundreds of meters in diameter, taking advantage of a canyon between the mountains, pointing to the sky. What I do know is that several significant scientific discoveries have been made with it.

The South of Puerto Rico is also known as Porta Caribe. Guayanilla, Ponce, Santa Isabel, Salinas, Arroyo and Patillas are the coastal cities in this area, of course there are beaches and they are more isolated. Due to its location, the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea wet the sand and give them a distinctive touch. It is also the area of artisanal fishermen, therefore there are ports and boats. The southern region of the island developed independently of San Juan and northern Puerto Rico, thus preserving its customs and traditions. Its cultural attractions include a former ceremonial center of indigenous Taino culture, plantations and mansions of the

The waters off the east coast of Puerto Rico are teeming with marine life, an ideal destination for catamaran cruises, sailing, fishing excursions, and diving excursions. The marinas in Fajardo offer numerous excursions and captains for your adventures in or under the water.

The center of the island is far from the beach and is the Cordillera Central, the largest mountain range in Puerto Rico, running from east to west where 16 municipalities were founded to date. It is the mountainous heart of Puerto Rico and its history is based on agriculture. Since colonial times these lands have been used for coffee plantations. Aibonito, is known as the Garden of Puerto Rico.

El Yunque is a reserve as small as it is special, it is impossible not to love it. There I photographed a small species of frog called Coquí and the Puerto Rican parrots, endemic species of the island. There is no other place like this in Puerto Rico, an island that, beyond its natural beauties, is limited to a small physical space and already has more than 25% of its surface under asphalt, so they have to raise awareness to preserve what remains. of nature on the island. There is no other place like El Yunque in the entire United States, because it is the only subtropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System and that is why I only mention it now, because it cannot be missed in this presentation. But I am going to dedicate a separate article to it. Under its trees you will find a unique ecosystem that for centuries has enchanted its visitors. There are plenty of reasons why it is among the 28 best new natural wonders of the world.

Well, I hope you enjoyed it. See you in the next article.

Blog / Alejandro Avampini
Oct 25, 2021 08:25


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