Destination: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the biggest islands in the Caribbean, and there really is no other place like it on Earth. From its bioluminescent bays to classic white sand beaches, it’s easy to see why more than four million tourists visit Puerto Rico every year.
For U.S. citizens, traveling to Puerto Rico is easy. Because it’s a self-governing commonwealth of the United States, U.S. citizens do not need a passport to enter the country. There’s also no need to convert money because the U.S. dollar is the country’s official currency. Spanish and English are the official languages of the island, but most Puerto Ricans speak English, making it easy for travelers to communicate with the locals.
There truly is no shortage of outdoor activities when visiting Puerto Rico. More than 270 miles of coastline are home to any type of beach a traveler could want: classic white sand beaches, beaches ideal for snorkeling or surfing, beaches with cays and inlets, and many secluded beaches that may take some effort to get to, but the payoff is definitely worth it. Puerto Rico also has the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service: El Yunque, located on the northeast end of the island. The forest consists of 28,900 acres and is well-known for its biodiversity. It is home to 150 species of ferns, including the giant tree fern, and 240 species of trees, 23 of which are found only in El Yunque. Visitors to the forest enjoy walking on the many hiking trails as well as picnicking in the forest’s shady areas.
Puerto Rico is home to a rare phenomenon: bioluminescent bays, which are bodies of water teeming with bioluminescent microorganisms that glow neon green when agitated. There are only a few bioluminescent bays on Earth, and Puerto Rico is lucky enough to be home to three of them, in Fajardo, Vieques and Lajas. The bays are best experienced at night when the moon is not full, so travelers should plan carefully.
The city and nightlife in Puerto Rico is just as exciting as its natural world. The island has many museums, including two children’s museums and many art museums. There are also many casinos, nightclubs, bars and lounges. And don’t forget the rum – 70% of the rum consumed by the world is made in Puerto Rico. Four distilleries on the island keep the Puerto Rican rum tradition alive and well. Travelers can tour the rum distilleries and even participate in a rum and food tasting.