Puerto Rico might be relatively small in size, but makes up in its variety of climate and topography. Visitors to the island will find an abundance of flora and fauna. El Yunque National Forest is one of the few protected rain forest reserves left in the Caribbean. Waterfalls adorn its slopes, while orange bromeliad blooms lighten up the green vegetation. The forest is made up of about 240 different species of trees, each one determined by its height. Although an endangered species, the Puerto Rican Parrot adheres to survival in this oasis. Nobody knows how many species of the noisy el coquí tree frog live here, but you’ll hear them non-stop. There are many great locations to choose from where visitors can photograph the breathtaking scenery.
The Guánica Biosphere Reserve consisting of 10,000 acres of dry land is home to over 700 uncommon types of plants and animals, of which 48 are endangered. The unusual flowers seen by visitors attract hummingbirds and a legion of butterflies. The reserve is especially fascinating for walking and cycling, as they make their way through various trails of marked diversity. Visitors will admire the unusual landscape as they drive the narrow road that embraces the border with a stretch of unspoiled coastline.
Coral reefs provide a wonderful spectacle for divers who can encounter turtles and manatees as well as a variety of colorful fish.
If you want to experience the excitement and culture of Puerto Rico, you’ll have to visit Old San Juan, the heart and soul of the island. This magnificent walled city, embedded with charming architecture, churches, fountains, and statues, contrasts with the bustling modern metropolis that surrounds the old part of town.
From above, Old San Juan is shaped like a floating ship, much of it surrounded by the ocean. Situated on this part of the island lies the old Spanish fort of El Morro, which protected the entrance to the harbor. Further to the east stands the huge fortress called Castillo de San Cristobal, the largest fortification ever built by the Spanish in the New World. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983, this massive fortification covers 27 acres.
Residents take pride in their city by painting their houses with bright colors, draping their balconies with a multitude of colorful flowers. Step back into history when you walk down the cobblestone streets that were built in the iron mines of Spain. Pedestrians still have the right of way in the old part of the city.
For travelers looking for a cosmopolitan vacation, San Juan offers a myriad of attractions, including world-class beachfront resorts in Condado and Isla Verde, casinos, exclusive shopping, fine museums, trendy restaurants and hip nightclubs.
You will discover the relaxed atmosphere and hospitality that add to both the island and city’s popularity as a favorite tourist destination.