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The Tropical Island of Puerto Rico

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the beauty of this captivating Caribbean island
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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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Ciales, Puerto Rico
I made a drive to the center of Puerto Rico to attend an Oktoberfest in Morovis. This was my first trip into the heart of the island and I was thrilled for the mountainous landscape and cooler temperatures. We first left the north coast and drove...
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Ensenada, Guanica, Guánica 00647, Puerto Rico
The invasive green iguana is apparently quite the nuisance in Puerto Rico, costing islanders dearly in road repairs (from their underground burrows) and in removal efforts. They can grow over 4 feet long, with a tail like a whip and exotic...
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PR-458, Aguadilla Pueblo, Aguadilla 00603, Puerto Rico
One of my favorite dive sites on the west coast of Puerto Rico is Crashboat in Aguadilla. This shore dive is easily accessible for all levels of diving, and you're guaranteed to see something amazing on this artificial structure. Crashboat is...
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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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105 Calle de La Fortaleza, San Juan, PR 00901
I think the most appealing aspect of Old San Juan is the architecture and design of the city. Residential apartment buildings have been converted to designer boutiques or little B&Bs, and interior courtyards invite hungry guests to relax and...
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Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
Craving some delicious Puerto Rican food? Want some that is a little atypical but still with island/Latin flavor? The Red Flamboyan in Rincon is your spot. Opened in 2012 (under new owners), this place is nestled amongst the most iconic Puerto...
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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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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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Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián, PR, Puerto Rico
In Calvache, a smaller subdivision of Rincon, in Puerto Rico, is a house made entirely of bamboo. A labor of love by two artists living in the area, this place is up close and personal with nature. The house itself features two outdoor bedrooms,...
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La Parguera, Lajas 00667, Puerto Rico
In La Parguera, Puerto Rico, 100 feet below the surface of the ocean, lies a world teeming with beauty and grace, full of color and life, just waiting to be explored. This is one of my favorite dives—the Black Wall, named for the black coral that...
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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...

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Llanos Costa, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Lighthouses are common in any coastal town or island. Many are still in working condition, others are simply sites for the eyes. Cabo Rojo is a must-visit cliff on the southwest corner of Puerto Rico. From here, your view of the Caribbean is...
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Calle de Tetuan, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
This old city is one of my favorites. I love the character and the artsy atmosphere. It's like New Orleans, but Caribbean style. I was eating lunch outdoors one afternoon and heard the sweetest accordion music. At first, I thought it was coming...
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San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo, PR, Puerto Rico
Cuevas del Indios (Indian Caves) of Arecibo offers a tidbit of ancient history of a lost people. An easy-to-find natural wonder, with a simple $2 fee for parking, this you won't want to miss. Bring some sunscreen and your camera. Begin your hike...
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PR-110R, Aguadilla Pueblo, Aguadilla 00603, Puerto Rico
We found the best spot for the freshest açai bowl on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Da Bowls in Aguadilla beats anything in Rincon or anywhere else on the island. Mix and match your own, or go with their selection. We chose the Reef Bowl, which...
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Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián, PR, Puerto Rico
Want to try your hand at wrangling fresh octopus for a "pulpo" salad while in Puerto Rico? Just hop on out to Maria's Beach on a day with no swell, snorkel about, and check out the crags and crevices for glass bottles—perfect hiding places for the...
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Maricao, 00606, Puerto Rico
A beautiful drive through the mountainous west coast past the bayside city of Mayaguez opens up to windy roads lined with banana trees. Your destination is the coffee town of Maricao—a small, unassuming city that plays host to festivals, coffee...
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Av. José Cedeño, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico
From the best hidden restaurant on the north coast of Puerto Rico, this dish is duck spring rolls on a seaweed salad. It's a touch of French with a Puerto Rican flare. Chef Cedric Taquin does it all. He fishes for his own catch of the day, he...
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396 Ave Noel Estrada, Isabela, PR 00662
Need a break from the hot weather at the beach? Want to unwind and relax in the lap of luxury? Look no further than the beautiful cliff-side Royal Isabela resort. The fresh rum punch is delightful here. It's one of my favorites on the island (each...
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La Parguera, Lajas 00667, Puerto Rico
The most serene day trip is to this small town on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, just an hour south of the popular surf destination of Rincon. Hourly boat rentals are available for you to skip around to all the local ocean mangroves that...
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Cayo Enrique, Lajas 00667, Puerto Rico
A short drive from the sleepy fishing village of La Parguera on the southern coast, some of the best reefs of Puerto Rico are right at your fingertips. A weekend getaway for locals, here you'll find boat rentals and charters to supply you with a...
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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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525 Avenue F.D.Roosevelt,, San Juan, 00918, Puerto Rico
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Coco frios are sold on every corner during the high season (fall and winter) in Puerto Rico. Cold, fresh coconut water is the lifeblood of island living. Literally, if you were ever stranded on an island, you could sustain yourself on what's...
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Parador Villa Antonio, Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
I am all about hunting lionfish. These guys are gorgeous but invasive to the Caribbean. They were released by aquariums in Florida back in the late 1980s. Now they've taken over the waters of every Caribbean island, and we are working as fast as...
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PR-413, Aguada, Rincón 00602, Puerto Rico
I suppose it's the currents (or lack thereof) around Puerto Rico that create the perfect environment for beachcombing. Once it reaches the safety of the coast, it hugs the shoreline and never leaves. Every beach in Rincon beckons with its...
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PR-116, Lajas, 00667, Puerto Rico
Down south in Puerto Rico is a totally different climate from that of the west coast. Instead of beaches, here is arid desert land (just over the hill behind the lush rice fields of this picture). Cacti dominate, the breeze is warm, and it rains...
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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...
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PR-115, Añasco, 00610, Puerto Rico
Kaplash is located on the curve of Road 115 as you head toward the town of Rincon. The little unassuming orange and blue building boasts a beautiful view of the ocean and—in the opinion of myself and others—the best empanadillas on the whole...
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Desecheo Island
If you're looking for a great dive in Puerto Rico, head to the west coast in Rincon and join Taino Divers for the 14-mile excursion out to Desecheo Island—a marine-protected area sure to delight your senses. Swim through lots of fish, pinnacles,...
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Ensenada, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
The distinctive tree of Puerto Rico is the aptly named red flamboyan, also known as a royal poinciana. You can find these growing wild everywhere throughout the island during the wet season months, particularly in April in Rincon. The trees often...
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Borinquen, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Another great shore dive from Aguadilla, close to Crashboat but slightly more difficult to find, is El Natural. Ask a local or dive shop if you plan to venture here yourself. This is a gorgeous dive, shallow but with a lot of sponge and reef...
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Isla Magueyes, Lajas 00667, Puerto Rico
This is Isla Magueyes, the island that once harbored the Mayaguez Zoo but was later turned into the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. This is solely a graduate department, offering degrees in four...
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Puerto Rico, Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
I love Barrero Beach for escaping the crowds at other local spots in Rincon. Barrero is flanked by a small, single-lane road that meanders the coastline for a perfect drive. Past Corcega Beach, it's your next right. On a clear day, you'll have a...
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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...
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When I first moved to the island, I joined a friend in the Old City for a tour and lesson on the history of Puerto Rico. When passing by this little section of town near Pigeon Park, my friend and native-turned-tour-guide said that this was the...
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Rincón, Puerto Rico
Many beaches have restaurants serving the best of island comfort food. In Cabo Rojo, scarf down sorrullitos (corn sticks), empanadillas (turnovers filled with seafood), or rice, beans, and fish at Ann’s Place on El Combate. Crashboat in...
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Av. Noel Estrada, Isabela, 00662, Puerto Rico
The Guajataca Tunnel is an interesting piece of history on the island. At one point, there was a railway system that ran around the island, mostly for the sugar cane that used to be produced here in abundance and exported out. In the town of...
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Carretera 413 Ramal, Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
You can find a number of small craft boutiques in Rincon, but none as eclectic as The Mango Beach Shop. Owned by a longtime resident of Rincon, one of the first non Puerto Ricans to call the west coast home, it's a local legacy and favorite....
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413 Carraterra Ramal, Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
The Red Door Boutique is a relatively new gift shop to Rincon. You can find all sorts of handmade crafts and upscale items for host gifts or trinkets for yourself. Nautical and island themed, this is a great place to find something out of the...
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Black Eagle Marina, Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
Enjoy a delicious drink at my favorite place in Rincon—La Copa Llena at the Black Eagle. The best food in town, its menu of always-changing gourmet dishes accompanies the best sunsets. I come here once every couple of weeks, and I've always been...
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Ensenada, Rincón 00602, Puerto Rico
I rescued a local gray kingsbird, locally known as the pitirre because of the unique sound of their song. You'll notice these birds nesting in awkward and unusual places, like the precarious edge of a light post along the street, or the edge of a...
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Rincon, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
One of the first things you will likely notice when visiting Puerto Rico (and many other islands) are the vast number of stray animals roaming the streets. The sato is the Puerto Rican word for stray, and there are many that need forever homes....
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Carr. 413, km 1.2, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
The farmers' market of Rincon offers a dozen varieties of foods, local produce, and drinks. I love to visit the market to get my fix of Mediterranean food, which we don't have daily in Rincon. The market is every Sunday during the season, and the...
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KM 4.4 road 413 interior Bo Puntas, Rincon, PR 00677
Just recently, a wonderfully talented cook and friendly couple joined the Rincon family and opened a small Thai food stand at their home. We always refer to her as the Thai Lady when we wonder aloud whose Thai food we want to eat that night. She...
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Puerto Rico 115, Stella, Rincón 00677, Puerto Rico
Villa Cofresi in Rincon is well-known for its signature drink La Pirata, which translates to "the Pirate." It's a fresh green coconut whose water has been mixed with rum and cinnamon. It's too much drink for even the coconut, so you always get a...
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Looking for place to worship while vacationing in Rincon? The Church Without Walls is a non-denominational church that focuses on studying the scripture to deepen the faith in Christ. The congregation is made up of local Americans and Puerto...
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I was here for two hours, just eating waffles. There are so many choices, so I naturally had to try several! Delicious and what a great atmosphere too! They have so many loose leaf teas for any tea drinker delight and they even brew their own...
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210 Calle San Francisco, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
Cacao beans’ scientific name is theobrama cacao, which translates into “drink of the gods.” Casa Cortés in Old San Juan will truly please any god with its Cortés chocolate concoctions. This welcoming café...