Caribbean Tourism

Getting Around

Defeat of the Great Unwashed

1997 was the 200th anniversary of the attack on San Juan by General Abercrombie in the last and largest attempt by the British to take the Island. On 17 April 1797, 68 ships and over 3,000 troops anchored off Punta de Cangrejos. The next day they landed, occupied the town of San Mateo de Cangrejos, and Abercrombie set up command in the summer residence of...

Culture

Music & Dance The island was Spanish until 1898 and one of the oldest musical traditions is that of the 19th-century Danza, associated particularly with the name of Juan Morel Campos and his phenomenal output of 549 compositions. This is European-derived salon music for ballroom dancing, slow, romantic and sentimental. The Institute of Puerto Rican...

Excursions

Puerto Rico’s coastline is protected in many places by coral reefs and cays which are fun to visit and explore. La Cordillera is a nature reserve of cays and rocks off the northeast tip of Puerto Rico, including Icacos, Diablo, Ratones and Las Cucarachas, which have a rich coral reef, clear water and sandy beaches. There is an abandoned limestone quarry on...

Vieques

Vieques a peaceful, relaxing, low-key island of rolling hills, is located 11 km across the sea from Puerto Rico. It was catapulted into the limelight in 1999-2000 when locals campaigned for the removal of the US military from their bases at the east and west ends of the island. The island is about 34 km long by 6 km wide, the inhabitants mostly concentrated...

The Southwest

A round trip through the west half of the island would take in Ponce, the second city (reached by motorway from San Juan via Caguas), Guánica, Parguera, San Germán, Boquerón, Mayagüez (the third city), Aguadilla, Quebradillas and Arecibo, with side trips to the Maricao State Forest and fish hatchery, the Río Abajo State Forest and Lake Dos Bocas, the...

North Coast Road

Route 2, the main road in the north, runs from Aguadilla through Quebradillas to Arecibo, then through urban areas to some extent from Arecibo and completely from Manatí to San Juan. South of Quebradillas in the Montañas Aymamón is the Bosque Estatal de Guajataca, a dry forest with a large number of bird species, on Route 446. There are over 40 walking...

El Yunque

El Yunque (see also Flora & Fauna), or Caribbean National Forest, is a tropical forest and bird sanctuary. El Yunque is reached via Route 3 from San Juan towards Fajardo, and then right on Route 191. The forest is divided into north side and south side, with no road connection. After a series of landslides everyone has given up and Route 191 is...

Boqueron

On the south side of the west coast is Boquerón, in Cabo Rojo district, which has an excellent beach for swimming. It is very wide and long, admission US$1, parking for hundreds of cars, camping, changing rooms, beach and first 30 yards of sea packed with bodies on holiday weekends. About one and a half kilometres away across the bay is a beautiful,...

Culebra

Culebra about 11 kilometres long and five kilometres wide, is even better than Vieques, with less petty theft, less heavy drinking, more peaceful, better choice of accommodation and more absolutely beautiful beaches. The island is poor, with very high unemployment; most people who have jobs work for the municipality or in construction. The climate and...

Getting Around

Air Several local airlines operate services within Puerto Rico, including American Eagle and Vieques Air Link, and they have offices either at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, or the Isla Grande Airport. There are three daily American Eagle flights between San Juan and Ponce and several to Mayagüez. Some charter or inter-island flights leave from...