Monday, August 3, 2020

Puerto Rico (PWAR-toh-REE-koh)

El Morro Photo Credit: Wei Zeng


History
  • In 1493, island sighted by Christopher Columbus.
  • In 1521, Old San Juan was found.
  • In 1540, La Fortaleza was built.
  • During the 1600-1700, sugar plantations boosted the island's economy.
  • In 1898, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
  • In 1927, the U.S. Congress granted Puerto Ricans U.S. Citizenship.
  • In 1949, the Caribe Hilton opened, boosting their tourism economy.
  • During 1950, the island's economy shifted from agriculture to manufacturing with the support from Operacion Manos a la Obra (Operation Bootstrap).
  • In 1919, Condado Vanderbilt Hotel opened contributing to their upscale tourism. Reopened anew in 2012 after ten years of renovations.
  • In 2007, the world's oldest person by Guinness World Record, native Emiliano Mercado del Toro died at 115. His long life said to contribute with a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol.

Fun Facts
  • The native Tainos called the island, Borinquen (Land of the Valiant Lord) was renamed by the Spanish, Puerto Rico (Rich Port).
  • The 17 lakes are all man-made and over 50 rivers.
  • Caribe Hilton claims to be the birthplace of Pina Colada. Now, there's nothing better than around the holidays, "Coquito" a egg nog like drink with rum and coconut milk.
  • The Rockefeller Family built a private vacation home in Dorado during the 20th Century. Later expanding to Dorado Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Today a luxury hotel, Ritz Carlton property.
  • Mona, an island inhabited by iguanas, sea turtles, red footed boobies, seabirds is supported by Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources.
  • One of the largest rum producers in the world.
  • The rain forest has an average rainfall of 120 inches per year, which equals around 160 billion gallons of water. Said to be enough to supply the half-million residents of San Juan for more than two years.
  • Citizens can't vote in our U.S. presidential elections, and their representative to the U.S. Congress can't vote on legislation.

Neighboring Sister Islands:

Cuelbra (Snake Island)
  • "Isla Chiquita" (Small Island) is sparsely populated island cay off the east coast of Puerto Rico.
  • On October 27, 1880 island found by Cayetano Escudero.
  • Culebra was used as a bombing practice site.
  • Punta Melones Beach is well- known for dramatic sunsets views.
Vieques 
  • "La Isla Nena" (Little Girl Island) located on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico.
  • In 1493, Christopher Columbus arrived.
  • In 1816, Simón Bolívar visited when his ship ran aground there while fleeing defeat in Venezuela.
  • In 1843, found by Francisco Saínz.
  • Well-known for secluded beaches, Bioluminescent Bay (or Mosquito Bay), roaming wild horses and snorkeling.
  • Internationally known for a series of protests against the United States Navy's use of the island as a bombing range and testing ground, leading to their departure in 2003.
Both islands are inexpensively accessible by ferry boat from Farjardo.


Good to Know
  • U.S. Citizens do not require a passport to visit since the island is a Commonwealth to the USA. Also, a non-stop flight from most U.S. airports and popular cruise hub for the Caribbean.
  • Nature lovers enjoy Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Preserve on the northeastern coast. The area offers seven different tropical habitats. Only 230 visitors are permitted daily.
  • Most caverns are found in the north.
  • Major highways are well maintained, but secondary roads can be narrow, steep and bendy.
  • In the evening, coqui (a tree frog) can be heard. Local wisdom says, while the coqui may survive if taken away from his native land, he will never sing again.
  • Salsa music and dance is most popular.
  • Movies which may inspire you to visit: Golden Eye (1995), Contact (1997), The Rum Diary (2011) Lord of the Flies (1990), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and Fast Five (2011).
  • Birthplace to Baseball Hall of Fame Roberto Clemente (1973), Orlando Cepeda (1999) and Roberto Alomar (2011). Grammy Award winner Ricky Martin.
  • Culebra has a wildlife refuge and coral reefs, and Vieques attracts snorkelers and boasts some of the best beaches.
  • Public smoking is banned.
  • Christmas Eve supersedes our Christmas Day. A time for family and friend gatherings.
  • "Parrandas" (Christmas Caroling) is still a thriving tradition usually starts in November around 10PM with a small group of unprofessional singers and instrument players caroling to their family and friends. Some secrecy and desire to awaken the homeowner, whom is to welcome them into their home to serve drinks and snacks. Dance! Before long, they depart and venture to the next home. Often growing in size as the festivities continue into the wee morning hours.

Why visit Puerto Rico?
For beautiful beaches, casino gambling, caves, culture deep-sea fishing, golf, hiking, history, horseback riding, horse racing, mountains, nightlife, rain forests, scuba diving, shopping, snorkeling, tennis, water-sports and world-class surfing.
  • Coolest Season: January
  • Humid & Hottest: August
  • Peak Season: Mid December - Mid April
  • Shoulder Season: June - November
Hurricane Season is from June - November.

Your Must-See & Do
Historical Sites: Armstrong-Poventud Residence, Caguana Ceremonial Indigenous Heritage Center, Casa Blanca, El Morro, Fort San Cristobal, Hacienda Buena Vista, La Fortaleza, San Jose Church, San Jose Plaza and Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center. 
Museums: Carolina Children’s Museum Museo, Casa Museo Felisa Rincón de Gautier, Museo Dr. Pío López Martínez, Casa Paoli, Children's Museum, Coffee Museum of Puerto Rico, El Cemí Museum, MADMi - Museo de Arte y Diseño de Miramar, La Casa del Libro Museum, La Casa de los Contrafuertes, Museo Casa Antonio Roig, Museo Casa Canales, Museo Casa Cautiño, Museo Casa Escuté, Museo Castillo Serrallés, Museo de Arte de Bayamón, Museo de Arte - Casa Amarilla Dra Concha Meléndez, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Museo Histórico de Culebra, Museo de la Historia de Ponce, Museo de la Música Puertorriqueña, Museo del Deporte, Museo de los Próceres, Museum of Americas, Museum of Art and History, Museum of the Indian, Pablo Casals Museums, Puerto Rican Museum of Comptemporary, The Museum Of Transportation Art, Puerto Rico National Guard Museum and Wildlife Museum San Juan.
Popular Attractions: Arecibo Observatory, Bacardi Rum Distillery, Bioluminescent Bays, Camuy River Cave Park, Centro Cultural de Ponce Carmen Solá de Pereira, Cueva Ventana, El Yunque, Fajardo, Flamenco Beach, Gilligan's Island, Hacienda Buena Vista, Iglesia Porta Coeli, Laguna Grande, La Parguera, Luquillo Beach, Mayaguez, Mosquito Bay, Old San Juan, Palmas del Mar, Parque de Bombas, Plaza Colon, Plaza Las Americas, Ponce, Ponce Catherdral, Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame, The Plaza Las Delicias and Yabucoa.

My industry designation earned as a Caribbean Specialist combined with our local connections with Cruise Lines, Tour Operators, Hotels, Resorts, Airlines, Villa Rental Companies, Adventure Travel providers and Limo companies will offer you Exclusive Benefits that you won't be able to achieve on your own. Such as: Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily, Dining or Resort Credit, Spa Treatment, Airport Transfer, or other privileges. Even Room Upgrades, Early Check-In and Late Check-Out when available


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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