*This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Kids Are A Trip.
If you have any question as to why the island of Puerto Rico needs to be your next Caribbean vacation destination, I have 10 fabulous reasons that will have you booking your trip in no time! As my readers are aware, our family just returned from a week long vacation to Puerto Rico, where we spent time with family, toured some of the island’s natural wonders, and enjoyed delicious local cuisine. Without further ado, here is why you need to plan your visit to Puerto Rico!
10 Reasons to Take a Puerto Rico Vacation
1) Ease of Travel
It is easy to travel to Puerto Rico. You don’t need a passport because it is a territory of the United States. They also use the U.S. dollar so you don’t need to exchange money to purchase goods and services.
2) Stunning Beaches
Puerto Rico has 270 miles of coastline and is featured in the Top 10 beaches on the Travel Channel. Flamenco Beach on the island of Culebra is often cited as one of the best beaches in the world. There are beaches for surfing (some of the best are on the west coast) and beaches with tranquil water for kids (Luquillo Beach is our favorite), but all beaches are perfect for relaxation and enjoying a piña colada (which was invented in Puerto Rico by the way).
3) The Opportunity to Visit A Rainforest
El Yunque is unique in that it is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest system. The forest is exactly what you would expect, rainy, as it receives over 200” of rainfall each year! It is also home to thousands of native plant species and many animals that exist no where else on earth. Enjoying the views from the top of Mt. Britton or taking a hike on one of the trails through the rainforest to see La Mina waterfalls is a highlight of any trip. (As of March 2018 El Yunque is not ready for visitors due to Hurricane Maria).
4) San Juan’s Historical Forts
There are two Spanish forts from the 16th and 17th centuries in modern day San Juan: Castillo San Felipe del Morro (also known as El Morro), and Castillo San Cristobal. These massive fortresses attest to the dominance the Spaniards once held in the Caribbean. Exploring these forts is a fascinating introduction to Puerto Rican history.
5) Famous Puerto Rican Rum
Did you know that approximately 70% of the rum sold in the United States comes from Puerto Rico? Take a visit to the Casa Bacardi where you will learn about the history of rum and tour the facility (it is the largest rum distillery in the world). One thing you will realize is that the rum in Puerto Rico tastes better than it does at home!
6) Trek Through One of the World’s Largest River Cave Systems
The Rio Camuy Caverns are the third largest underground river cavern system in the world. Explorers will marvel at the subterranean creations as they pass through the enormous caves. Definitely worth a visit.
7) See the Glowing Lights of the Bioluminescent Waters
There are only a handful of bioluminescent bays in the world and three of them can be found in Puerto Rico. We had an amazing time kayaking from the beach near Fajardo to the Laguna Grande to see the glowing bay. We paddled through mangrove channels, saw iguanas high in the trees, and heard bats diving for fish not far from our kayak. When we arrived in the bay we witnessed microscopic plankton giving off a bioluminescent glow when they were disturbed in the water. The experience was one we will never forget and the kids can’t wait to go again!
8) Old San Juan
Old San Juan exudes charm with its distinctive blue hued cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and plazas perfect for people watching. Visitors will find museums, art galleries, cafés, and gourmet dining all within the confines of the old town. The city offers a free trolley service which ferries visitors to all the major landmarks, providing tourists with an easy way to explore the beauty of the area.
Puerto Ricans love their food, and restaurants have gone to great lengths to assemble magnificent dishes that demonstrate their gastronomic prowess. Some of my favorite local dishes include arroz con pollo, tostones, flan, and mofongo. Puerto Ricans cook with passion and it really comes through in the flavor of the food.
What’s not to love about 80 degree weather in the winter? Puerto Rico’s weather makes it the ideal location for a beach vacation any time of year.