Explore the Fascinating Attractions in Puerto Rico
While Puerto Rico may not have the longest history in the world, it certainly does have plenty of interesting historical sights and buildings to see. Some historical buildings in Puerto Rico have nationalistic value and have played an important role in the country’s history while other buildings are now only mere ruins. There are strong and impressive castles which will have you marvel at the simplistic but effective engineering of the past while beautifully ornate homes might leave you envious of a bygone era. Then there is, of course, also the history of those who lived in Puerto Rico before the arrival of European nations – the Taíno Indians. Having lived here for a much longer period than the Europeans, they also have a wealth of historical sights worth visiting.
Plazuela De La Rogativa:
Also referred to as the Plaza of the Religious Procession, this plaza in San Juan features bronze statues of a bishop and three women walking in procession which were erected in 1971 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the city of San Juan. Set in beautiful park-like surroundings, these gleaming bronze figures depict a specific turning point in the history of the city.
Ermita Espinar Ruins:
Located along Route 44 to Barrio Espinar, outside the city of Aguada, the Ermita Espinar Ruins provide some insight into the trials and tribulations of early settlers. The church which currently stands on the historical site has been built around the ruins which date back to 1525, protecting them from the elements and allowing visitors to examine the ruins regardless of the weather.
Las Cascadas Aquatic Theme Park:
Situated outside Aguadilla, this theme park will keep the entire family occupied for hours. As the name suggests, the theme park offers a myriad of water-related activities, including a giant wave-pool and a variety of adrenaline-pumping water slides.
Punta Borinquen Lighthouse:
The original lighthouse, situated in the old Ramey Air Force Base on the coastline of Aguadilla, was built in 1889, but was virtually destroyed by a tsunami in 1918. Bearing in mind that lighthouses are built to withstand the harshest of elements, it is sobering to reflect on the destructive force of a tsunami and the ruins are interesting to explore. The newer, fully intact, lighthouse is situated not too far from the ruins.
Rafael Hernandez Monument:
This stunning tribute to renowned Puerto Rican musician and composer, Rafael Hernandez-Marin, is situated in the central plaza of Aguadilla – his home town. It serves as a reminder of the impact that this talented man had on the music world, both in Puerto Rico and abroad.
Count Of Mirasol Fort:
Situated on a hill on the island of Vieques, the construction of this majestic fort began in 1845 and was one of the last forts to be built by the Spanish. It served as the base for the island’s military forces providing a strategic point from which to defend the island from would-be conquerors. The fort is now a museum which provides fascinating insight into the history of the country.
Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park:
This family-oriented cultural theme park highlights different aspects of the history of Puerto Rico, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through time, starting when the Spanish arrived in 1493 through to present day. The park includes a mini-zoo and visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse where they will be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the city of Arecibo and the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean.
Bridge of Bayamón City Hall:
This bridge which joins one side of an avenue to the other, allows visitors a true bird’s-eye view of the traffic below. As the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, it is a popular attraction in the area which is often incorporated into a visit to the nearby El Parque Del Tren.
Las Cavernas de Camuy:
Created by the flow of the Camuy River an estimated million years ago, the Las Cavernas de Camuy is a network of underground caverns which are noted as being among the best of their kind in the Western Hemisphere. Adventurers can expect to spend many an exciting hour exploring these unique caves.
Roberto Clemente Coliseum:
This world-class sporting facility situated in San Juan is the largest in Puerto Rico. With seating for more than 10,000 spectators and a ground area measuring around 50,000 spare feet, the Roberto Clemente Coliseum is the venue of choice for large sporting events, as well as for music concerts, circuses and other large high-profile events.
Bacardi Rum Plant:
Bacardi Rum is sold and enjoyed in more than 200 lands around the world. Visitors are invited to tour the Bacardi Rum Plant just outside San Juan, to get the full picture of how this popular drink is made, as well as gaining fascinating insight into its history.
So, being so spoiled for choice, it may be hard to decide where to start. The Arenas Bridge is a popular choice, as is El Morro which is one of Old San Juan’s biggest attractions. The Hacienda Buena Vista offers a fantastic view, of course, while the San Juan Cathedral will give your travels a somewhat religious twist. Other interesting sights and buildings in Puerto Rico include the Castillo de San Cristobal, the San Juan National Historic Site and the La Casa de los Contrafuertes. Two statues worth seeing are the Christopher Columbus Statue and the Ponce de Leon Statue; while the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Centre is a treat for both foreigners and locals.
Of course there are many more interesting sights and buildings well worth seeing in Puerto Rico. While many may prefer to start their tours in Old San Juan, they should certainly not limit themselves to this small corner of the island as there is so much more to see and do. Taking a walk through time is a great way to learn more about the development of this island nation and it gives you greater insight into the history and culture of the people of Puerto Rico. So make your travel arrangements carefully to make sure that you get to see as many of the interesting historical sights and buildings in Puerto Rico as possible.