The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico lies about 1,000 miles south east of Miami and astride the U.S Virgin Islands, in an outstanding setting that outranks many Caribbean countries for both its cultural richness and natural beauty.
For those unfamiliar with the island, a world of surprises await with so many things to see & do in Puerto Rico... starting with a tour of the island's mangrove covered coastal plain.
A full day's journey may lead up to the spectacular Central Cordillera mountains, then down again along the lush vegetation of the north, contrasting with the very stark and arid southern coast (complete with desert cacti!)
San Juan is where most visitors begin their journey in Puerto Rico, and who may be forgiven for not exploring the rest of the island, as the capital city has its own unique charms -- beginning with its "backyard" beach, the world-class Isla Verde -- along with so many other popular beaches in Puerto Rico.
In Old San Juan, modern amenities mix with historical associations dating back to the 17th century, magically transporting visitors back to colonial Spain with a chock-a-block of ancient buildings, forts, quaint streets and "photo ops" at every turn.
Also don't miss the opportunity to take a day trip to some of the top Puerto Rico ecotourism attractions like Caribbean National Forest, or to explore one of the world's most extensive cave systems at Rio Camuy Cave Park.
Ponce, often referred to as Puerto Rico's second city, is another stunning array of architectural styles blending 19th century Creole with Art Deco motifs of the early 20th century. While here, don't miss the city's art museum boasting the finest collection of Latin American and European art in the Caribbean.
Of course, fun in the sun is a priority on any visit to Puerto Rico, and the coast is lined with white sandy beaches and aquamarine waters for swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing and diving.
In addition to Isla Verde beach in San Juan, top beaches for family fun include Luquillo Beach, 30 miles east of the capital. More westerly lies a number of resort beaches run by the Hyatt hotel organization, most popular with teenagers and for spring break excursions.
Another wonderful stretch of coastline is Seven Seas Beach, situated near the northeast town of Fajardo. Meanwhile at the very top of many "best of" lists is the impossibly beautiful Flamenco Beach, found just off the eastern coast on the island of Culebra.
DID YOU KNOW? Puerto Rico Travel Fun Facts
Touring and tasting at Casa Bacardi
• Just outside San Juan, the world's largest rum producing facility, Casa Bacardi, is available for touring and tasting.
More about Puerto Rico tourist attractions around the Web:
Welcome to Puerto Rico! - A virtual encyclopedia of information down to the last detail on its geography, history, economics & government, tourism, top attractions, culture and even a handful of classic recipes.
Frommer's Puerto Rico - The complete "Best of" guide with reviews of top beaches, restaurants, hotels, resorts & spas, major and offbeat attractions, plus in-depth information on the island and its people & culture, must-see annual events, maps.
Escape to Puerto Rico - Nitty-gritty guide with info & links to bus routes, train schedules, road maps, weather facts, guides to resorts, hotels, apartment rentals and inns, or explore top attractions by regions using the interactive map.
Puerto Rico travel guide - Expert tips from Wikitravel with insider notes on Puerto Rican cuisine, top attractions and things to do, how to get around by car or taxi, along with practical health & safety tips, photos, maps.
Introducing Puerto Rico - Lonely Planet guide with overviews of Ponce, San Juan, Rio Camuy Cave Park, Arecibo Observatory and more, plus expert travel tips, weather facts, photos, maps, related resources.