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Puerto Rico Away from the Tourists

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Sec Gozalandia, San Sebastián, 00685, Puerto Rico
As with many other natural wonders in Puerto Rico, there isn't a clearly defined marker. Normally, to find Gozalandia, you would first have to visit it with a local, because getting directions there can be complicated. Lately, there is talk...
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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...
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Guánica, 00653, Puerto Rico
Escape the beach and explore the sea by kayak. Rent one in the southwestern town of Guanica and spend the day island-hopping. Gilligan’s Island—accessible by kayak or by ferry—is a popular destination, with lots of picnic areas and places to dive...
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Km. 3.1, PR-102, Mayagüez, 00682, Puerto Rico
As I sipped my passion fruit mimosa by the beach while admiring my ceviche in plantain baskets, I knew mom had taken me to the new best restaurant in Puerto Rico. Costa has a fresh atmosphere no matter where you decide to sit (with paintings that...
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Bahía Sucia, Puerto Rico
If you'd like to forgo San Juan for an equally beautiful but much less touristy area, head to Cabo Rojo and stay at Bahia Salinas. The resort, located off a road lined by cotton plants and salt flats, is also minutes away from Bahia (or Playa)...
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PR-617, Morovis 00687, Puerto Rico
In 1862, the Panaderia La Patria (The Homeland Bakery) was established in the mountain town of Morovis. One of the oldest bakeries in the island, La Patria offers a variety of traditional Puerto Rican sweets like flan and quesitos (a pastry filled...
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Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Five years ago, my friends and I found a secret beach near the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse. To this day, we've never seen anyone else there. Ignore the beach's misnomer—Bahia Sucia (dirty bay)—and plan on an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. outing to this natural...
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Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Tino's opened on the Day of the Magi (a sort of Puerto Rican continuation of Christmas) decades ago, and it has been a staple in Cabo Rojo ever since. Tino's is the place I went after dance recitals, the go-to spot for Mother's Day dinner, the...
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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...
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María Antonia, Guánica 00647, Puerto Rico
La Isla de Guilligan (Gilligan's Island, though not the one from the television show) is a popular hangout for Puerto Rican locals. I myself am only home for several weeks a year and I still go once or twice every year. The island is sometimes...
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Guanica, Guánica 00653, Puerto Rico
My boyfriend and I are like fish: We don't do well when we're out of the water for too long. When we went back home last Christmas, we decided to go kayaking. My friend told me people had spotted whales near Isla Ballena (Whale Island), so we...
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251 Calle San Justo, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
I've often taken the eight-minute stroll down the cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses from La Fortaleza (the governor's residence) for a simple lunch in the 60-year-old Cafe Manolin. When my family and I need a break from the sun...
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PR-191, Río Grande, 00745, Puerto Rico
Due to Hurricane Maria, El Yunque National Forest is currently closed. Please check the Forest Service website below for updates.

Few visitors to Puerto Rico leave without having visited El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national...
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109 Calle Jesus Cortez Torres, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
La Poza del Obispo (Bishop's Pool) is a hidden treasure near the Arecibo Lighthouse in Puerto Rico. This beach is loved for its contrast. You will find a calm spot (though it can get rough in bad weather) where you may float, swim, or simply stand...
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Cabo Rojo, 00623, Puerto Rico
Take it from a local: If you're looking to bond with the locals and enjoy some simple fare with lots of taste, drive down to Williche. The family-owned sandwich shop in a street corner in Cabo Rojo is just a block from the town square and a...
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The Heladería de Lares, a 45-year-old family business, sells about 50 unusual flavors of ice cream up in the mountains. Salvador Berreto, known to the locals as Yinyo, founded the shop to commemorate the Grito de Lares, a battle for freedom that...
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Carretera 493 km 0.7 Bo. Carrizales, Hatillo, 00659, Puerto Rico
This woman-owned artisanal aged-cheese producer was on the front wave of what is an increasingly vibrant local food movement. Wanda Otero, a microbiologist, decided to start her business in part to offer Puerto Ricans an alternative to expensive...
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1 Calle Gonzalo Marin, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
The reason for the name of Mugs Restaurant remains a mystery to me, but I want its amazing food to be a mystery to no man. As soon as I entered, I was hooked at the sight of a wall filled with books about art, music, and literature. The menu...
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San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo, PR, Puerto Rico
This is my favorite hike by far. Cueva Ventana ("Window Cave") is a beautiful, scenic hole in the side of a mountain that opens up to a lush, green valley down below. You'll trample through mud, hunker down under low-hanging stalactites, dodge...
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Morovis, 00687, Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans don't need an excuse to throw a party or celebrate a holiday. Along with their own festivals, they have adopted several of the States and many from international traditions as well. Naturally, Oktoberfest would be one. We traveled to...
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276 Mendez Vigo y Pirallo, Mayagüez, PR 00682
The customary dessert of Puerto Rico, the brazo gitano (gypsy arm), can be found at Franco's in Mayaguez. This place has been around for generations, preparing the rolls for local markets and grocers and also for their own store. The cake is...