PUERTO RICO | A Peruvian in the Island of Enchantment
Puerto Rico is officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is one of the fourteen unincorporated territories and one of the two free states associated with self-government status of the United States of America. It is located in America, northeast of the Caribbean [see Puerto Rico map]. Puerto Rico is known as “The Island of Enchantment”; for its paradisiacal beach, and for being a place of recreation and relaxation. I am a Peruvian who lived in this fascinating place for four years, before continuing my trips to Brazil and then to Europe. I will try to summarize my stay in “the island of charm”.
First to clarify that this is a personal opinion about a country that I enjoyed and my personal experiences.
As I was saying, during four years of my life I was in the island of charm, Puerto Rico. It is difficult to know what is the situation of this island with respect to its policy because it is not an independent country and neither is it a state of the United States.
As soon as you arrive, you already feel the coldness of the gringos, because it is not a colorful place or full of joy like the airports of Colombia or Brazil. So, from the moment you enter the immigration zone, you will have extensive questionnaires and they will ask you for all the necessary documents to enter this territory that is not US territory, but to enter you are asked for an American visa.
I entered with an F-1 student visa to be more specific, I got to study a masters degree in pure Mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico at the Mayagüez campus, but from academic experiences I will speak in another article.
Since leaving the airport the humid and suffocating heat makes you feel in the mouth of a mouthful of boiling water. San Juan, the capital, is a pretty beautiful city with very luxurious hotels and Latin neighborhoods where you can drink a good cold beer, personally the country beer called medal is not very good, food like in most Latin countries is composed of rice, beans and some meat, honestly the food on the street is not very good, so in conclusion Puerto Rico is not a culinary destination.
The most beautiful and what I like most are the variety of beaches that this island offers, it has a lot of them for different tastes, with small waves, large, calm, with easy access, or with difficult access, beaches that I visited and I think are very good are: Isabela, Buye, Crash Boat, Boqueron, Buye, dirty beach among others, as you will see is a destination to enjoy. The things that I fell in love with in Puerto Rico are: the sea, the sand and the sun.
Fun in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment
La Parguera in Lajas is also a special place where you can take a short boat trip and get to little islands where you can stay all day, enjoying the beach and the solcito. Ponce, the first municipality in Puerto Rico, has the Ponce art museum where you will find European and Puerto Rican art. If you’re looking for fun drinks and salsa, you should know La Guancha, because in its restaurants and bars you can listen to the salsa created by Puerto Ricans as well as other Latinos from New York City. In fact in this place you will see a statue of Hector Lavoe, who was born in Ponce.
Puerto Rico a somewhat expensive destination but worth it if you like beaches, an advantage for Peruvians is that our national driver’s license is valid, so it is much easier to walk the island by car, as well as US legacy on 95 % of people go by car everywhere, in Mayagüez for example you almost do not see people walking, this is because in cities outside San Juan public transport is not a network like in large cities, so the best recommendation is to rent a car.
In San Juan there are metro and buses, but outside the metropolitan area that make up several municipalities that are next to San Juan. In terms of security, San Juan is a city where there is crime like all capital cities and there are areas where it is advisable not to enter. Wherever you go, do what you see.
San Juan, being one of the first ports of America, is the place where a castle was built, the one of San Felipe del Morro known by the diminutive “El Morro” which is a fort that was used to protect the city. The humanity; so it’s always good to take some pictures in this place so important for the history of America, as well as some museums in San Juan.
El Yunque is a place where you can walk comfortably, and enjoy beautiful views, you can get into the river, and enjoy the vegetation and the humid heat that I personally like.
If you really want to know the island, every day you can, during your stay, you must go from one beach to another, although this is tiring it is worth knowing each of these, so I recommend you make an itinerary with the beaches you want to know and drive; the distances are short, because from one end of the island to the other you can do in 3 to 4 hours of driving, they are not the distances that I am used to doing, because in my country, only to travel from Cusco to Lima are 22 hours driving ; or, from Rio de Janeiro to Lima are 5 days, exaggerating a bit; also in Europe the distances are more or less larger than a simple 3 to 4 hours. I could count one and a thousand anecdotes, but I wanted to express the most important thing about this tourist destination that many people in the United States and Europe have in their preference, totally recommended is a destination that I will soon be returning to because I fell in love with the sea and its charms, who would not like to have a beach house with a little boat waiting on some beautiful beach of the island of charm.