Tips on Traveling to Puerto Rico

When visiting the island of Puerto Rico, learn a little about its history. Originally it was inhabited by the Taino Indians who had spread throughout the greater portion of the island by the time Spanish explorers arrived. On his second voyage to the “New World”, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico. In 1508 the Spanish monarchy began seriously colonizing the island. The Taino Indians were reduced to slaves by the Christian settlers.

Puerto Rico ultimately became a U.S. protectorate. In 1950, President Harry S. Truman conferred upon Puerto Rico commonwealth status. On July 4th the island was given the right to establish their own constitution and government.

Flight deals to the country allow opportunities to enjoy the culture of Puerto Rico, which differs from anywhere else in its complexity and color. The people are racially mixed. Taino Indians, Spaniards, Africans, Chinese, Italians, French, German, and even Lebanese people moved to the island and intermingled. In the 1960s Cubans fled Castro’s communist takeover to Puerto Rico. The latest arrivals have come from the economically depressed areas of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The Columbus Quincentennial in 1992 inspired major renovation of Puerto Rico’s colonial architecture, fascinating to visitors. The Spanish inspired architecture hovers over cobblestone streets. The streets are narrow and winding, sandwiched between rows of tile-roofed buildings with wrought iron balconies. Homes are painted pastel colors and most have heavy wooden gates opening onto an Andalusian styled courtyard.

Don’t miss the family traditions, music, and cuisine that define Puerto Rico. Every evening is a festive occasion including unique cuisine, festive dances to live music, and flavorful cocktails. Each bartender in Puerto Rico concocts his or her own favorite rum drink, but other island cocktails are made with fresh fruit juices. Last minute deals mean that a night can begin with an extraordinary dinner, then entertainment and dancing at the restaurant, or move on to nightclubs and casinos. The casinos provide all the glitz, glamour, and games of similar destinations worldwide. Bohemian coffee houses, outdoor parties in the plaza, upscale wine clubs, musical celebrations, and special events heat up the tropical nights.

Cheap travel deals make it easy to join the crowds at the Puerto Rico Coliseum in San Juan, a major U.S. entertainment venue. World class sporting events, opera, ballet and concerts from classical to pop international artists take place there. The University of Puerto Rico also presents Broadway productions and the avant-garde in both Spanish and English.

Article submitted by Oscar Casco