Festivals & Finds: Culture of Puerto Rico
Collected by Chelsea Harms-Tuohy, AFAR Local Expert
Puerto Rico is a melting pot of cultures, and you can see it in colonial architecture and modern-day fiestas. Needing no excuse to party, the locals are ready and able to celebrate all American holidays, plus their own local ones as well. But this island is more than just festivals - stop in at the numerous museums and historical outposts to discover the rich history that envelopes Puerto Rico.
I know Las Marias as my dad's hometown. But generally, the tiny town of Las Marias is known for being tiny. Oh, and for its oranges. The Festival de la China Dulce (an annual sweet orange festival) lets you savor oranges cake, orange flans, orange...
138 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, 00765, Puerto Rico
Believe it or not, there's a lot to learn on a Caribbean island! Here we learned how many native tribes had settled here, we saw artifacts, and we went into a blacklight room dedicated to the bio bay. We met a summer intern from UMass who...
1 Calle San Sebastián, San Juan, 00926, Puerto Rico
Explore the first military structure built on the island and one of the oldest monuments in San Juan. Here at Casa Blanca, in the Ponce de Leon family's "white house," you can learn about the history of Puerto Rico's founding family.
Ponce, Puerto Rico
The Pearl of the South got its nickname from the beautiful scenery and architecture in and around the city. Visitors can easily walk the streets of the historic center, taking in the red-and-black-striped Parque de Bombas, a former...
Calle Cementerio, San Juan, 00926, Puerto Rico
San Juan Cemetery lies on the coast adjacent to El Morro (San Juan's beloved fort) and nestled in the district La Perla, a rougher part of town. Its statues and tombs make it as beautiful as a New Orleans cemetery. Exiting El Morro, head down the...
2325 Boulevard Luis A. Ferré Aguayo, Ponce, 00717, Puerto Rico
While San Juan’s got the buzz and the swagger, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, Ponce, just a 90-minute drive to the south, maintains a quiet dignity. Gracious municipal buildings exemplify La Ciudad Señorial (The Noble City), especially its...
51, Calle Palma, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
Exploring the north coast town of Arecibo, we took a drive through the pueblo. This part of town was older, not bustling with business. We casually explored an old building smack in the center of the plaza, abandoned to nature. Once-beautiful...
Calle San Sebastián, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's biggest party, Las Fiestas de La Calle San Sebastian are Puerto Rico's equivalent of Carnaval. Every third weekend in January, people gather in and around the cobblestone San Sebastian Street to make noise—and drink, and eat, and...
501 Calle Norzagaray, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
We visited El Morro during a brief cruise visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We only had from 3pm - 10pm in port, but we know the one thing on our must do list: El Morro. We arrived at El Morro & the fort’s sprawling lawn after a 20 minute...
Hatillo, 00659, Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans seize every opportunity to gather and celebrate. Themed festivals are held year-round for people to watch traditional bomba and plena dances; buy jewelry, artisanal leather goods, and wooden toys and ornaments; and eat to their...
299 Avenida José de Diego, San Juan, 00909, Puerto Rico
Arts in Puerto Rico range from lavish recitals to paintings of humble local scenes. The Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center in San Juan puts on various performances, including theater, concerts, ballet, and opera. The center itself is a work of art,...
1054 Ashford Ave, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico
If you like music, especially jazz with a Latin vibe, Condado is THE place to be on the last Sunday of every month because that’s when Ventana al JazzFest (sponsored by Heineken) takes place. It’s a free, yes that’s free, concert that runs from...
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