Puerto Rico: The Other America

If the United States is the land of diversity, then Puerto Rico is its most sublime expression. Over 270 miles of coastline; more discos than any other Caribbean isle; a countryside dotted with centuries-old coffee plantations and caves covered in petroglyphs; is-this-fer-real surfing; and, below the crystal currents, divable coral reefs, canyons, and sea walls. Follow up a night of utter debauchery with the beach-towel indulgences of Palmas del Mar, or take a surfing safari along the north and west coasts. Hike through El Yungue National Park—the only rainforest in the U.S. Park System—or sail along the rocky coastline. Explore 500-year-old Old San Juan, a city resplendent with ornate Spanish mansions, churches, and elegant plazas. Or, should the mainland's diversity prove too overwhelming, leave the crowds behind by marooning yourself on one of three satellite islands: Culebra (beach paradise miniaturized), Mona (isolation realized, along with a 25-square-mile nature preserve), or the 50-odd beaches scattered along the 60-mile coastline of Vieques, including three phosphorescent bays that glow in the dark and miles of the emptiest and wildest roads in the Caribbean…. Not bad for a land half the size of New Jersey.

Published: 13 Feb 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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