Serralles Castle, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

Coffee Beans, Puerto Rico (Kate Chandler)

El Toro Wilderness, Puerto Rico (USDA Forest Service)

Santiago Cay and Algodones Cay in Naguabo, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

San Cristobal Canyon (Puerto Rico Tourism)

Sunset over islands and ocean, Puerto Rico (Comstock)

Puerto Rico Sunset (iStockphoto)

Alley in San Juan Puerto Rico (iStockphoto)

Aerial view of San Felipe Fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photodisc)

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

Plazoleta de la Rogativa, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

Aerial view of piers in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

Balcony in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

El Portal Visitor Center, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tourism)

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What to do in Puerto Rico

It’s best to stay focused when visiting Puerto Rico, lest you suffer from option overload. This U.S. Caribbean territory has an embarrassment of riches, from picture-perfect colonial Old San Juan to the rainforest-ensnarled mainland typified by El Yunque National Forest, not to mention the tropical islands of Culebra and Vieques. Even bite-sized pleasures overwhelm; mofongo is the unofficial national dish, followed closely by roasted pork that’s typically served in gloriously indulgent quantities. Pair that with a wide variety of high-quality rum and you may just end up eating, drinking, and laying in the sand all day before gearing up for San Juan’s bustling nightlife. That’s hardly taking the easy way out, but you’ll miss riding the second-longest zip line in the world, kayaking through bioluminescent bays, fishing and kite-boarding in azure waters, and exploring the smaller treasures of this proud, decidedly diverse island.

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