If you’re from the U.S. and looking for a quick, easy, and fun destination to visit, Puerto Rico is the place for you! For starters, because it’s a U.S. territory, you do not need a passport. And secondly, the national language is English and the currency is U.S. dollars. The best part though, is that it feels international because it is overseas and the year round tropical weather is a dream, without the stress of traveling to a foreign country.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the Unites States, located in the Caribbean. The name means Rich Port in Spanish, and Puerto Rico itself is an archipelago (island chain). The main island spans only 100 miles long, and contains several surrounding islands and islets that are accessible by both boatand plane. The climate averages 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
Here are my Top 5 Reasons to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico!
1. EXPLORE OLD SAN JUAN
Old San Juan is a National Historic Site that dates back to the 16th century. Here, you’ll find brightly colored houses with lined cobble streets, with tons of delicious Caribbean restaurants and bars. The colorful homes remind me of a mix of Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia. No need for a map, just wander around and get lost through these streets. Every corner is a surprise splash of color and so fun to explore. There’s also fortresses and old city walls to explore as well!
2. EL YUNQUE NATIONAL FOREST
El Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the U.S. Forest System and it happens to be in Puerto Rico, so this is a MUST visit. You’ll need to buy an admission ticket to enter, so buy early so you can pick your entrance time. You can stay until closing regardless of the time you drive in though. It is a PERFECT day trip, but make sure you bring bug spray, a bathing suit, towels, and snacks when you drive in. There are some restaurants and stands by the entrance too but not deep into the Forest. We rented a Jeep, and it was so much fun to drive through the mud and winding roads!
3. CHASE WATERFALLS
The most beautiful waterfalls are all located within El Yunque. La Coca, Juan Diego Falls, and La Mina are the most popular and well-known waterfalls, and trust me when I say they are so worth the visit! Water was freezing cold when we went, but it didn’t stop us from hopping in for a little dip! Make sure you hike all around, as some of the falls get better the higher up you go!
4. VISIT THE URBAN BEACHES
Puerto Rico is known for their white and sandy shores with crystal clear blue waters. When I went, I didn’t get the chance to go to Culebra and Flamenco Beach which are popularly known as the most beautiful beaches in PR, and even the world. You can take a ferry or a quick flight over to Culebra, but due to time constraints, we didn’t get the chance. We did, however, get to visit Isla Verde beach which is known as an Urban Beach, with high rises lining the shore, combining a beautiful tropical destination with vibrant city life.
Outfit Details: L*Space Maxi Dress here
5. EAT PUERTO RICAN FOOD
Can you say Mofongo?! Puerto Rican food is absolutely delicious! I love plantains, and one of the most popular Puerto Rican dishes is Mofongo which is garlic fried plantains that are then mashed. You can eat Mofongo with shrimp, pork, and other meats or vegetables. Because it’s an island, you can also trust that they have the most delicious seafoods too. Octopus is my favorite, and every pulpo dish I had was a 10/10! If you are here, make sure you eat at Raíces Restaurant for the Mofongo, and stop by El Hotel Convento for a drink!