Puerto Rico suffered tremendously with in Hurricane Maria and its aftermath; however, this U.S. territory has recovered many of its tourist areas to once again be a great place to visit, whether on its own or as the starting point for a cruise. Perhaps most importantly, American travelers don’t need a passport to visit this charming island.
Watching over San Juan as it has for more than 500 years, is El Moro Fort. This fort is a great place to visit even if you are not a history buff. The National Park Service provides some free tours and also has brochures so that you can enjoy your own self-guided visit. History buffs will enjoy reading and exploring the six floors of this 27-acre complex while others can strategically choose their seats to view the beautiful water. (Wear good walking shoes for your visit.) Click here to find out more info!
Viejo Puerto Rico (Old Puerto Rico) is also a fun way to spend time while visiting Puerto Rico. Souvenir shops line many of the colorful streets. Puerto Rico houses a bustling art scene, especially near Calle San Sebastian. Make sure you see the Umbrella Sky Project which is a symbol of hope for the people of Puerto Rico. The creative and inspiring installation consists of hundreds of colorful umbrellas hanging over La Fortaleza Street.
If all the walking has made you hungry, you are in luck. San Juan has wonderful restaurants and wonderful foods. Don’t miss trying mofongo which is deep-fried plantains mixed with sautéed onions, garlic, and other ingredients including seafood or pork. Do you want a cup of coffee after lunch? Puerto Rico restarted its production of coffee so tourists have a choice of blends and methods of preparation.
The Bacardi Rum Factory is another fun stop during a Puerto Rico tour. This factory is the largest Bacardi factory in the world; they produce approximately 100,000 bottles per day. A tasting tour includes 5 tastings with some of the samples being difficult to find anywhere else. If you want, tours are available that will take you from San Juan to the factory.
Puerto Rico is more than San Juan. Venturing out of the city is wonderful for the beaches and El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain-forest in the National Forest System. (click here for more info) The informative Visitor Center has maps of the trails and visitors are encouraged to stay on the trails. (It is easy to get lost in the rain-forest!) Trails range from short to long, easy to hard so visitors can choose their preference.
As Puerto Rico continues to rebuild, more tourism opportunities will be re-opening and more fun will be available.