Wimdu Insider´s Guide to Puerto Rico:Food, Fun and Accommodation and Bed and Breakfasts in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that is also a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. The island was populated by the Discovered by the Western world in 1492 by none other than Christopher Columbus, the island was under Spanish rule for over 400 years. The capital San Juan is named in honor of the name given to the island by Columbus, San Juan Bautista. The climate in Puerto Rico is tropical marine, and has little seasonal variation, staying between 70˚F to 90˚F. Hurricane season goes from June to November when there is some rainfall once a day.
- The hammock and the cooking grill were invented by Puerto Rico´s first inhabitants,the Taino Indians.
- Puerto Rican coffee is considered to be one of the best worldwide, but the coffee industry is in steady decline.
- Puerto Rico has the most radio stations and TV stations per square mile in the world.
- More than 70% of rum sold in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico.
- Two of the oldest churches in America and built in the 1500s are found in San Juan.
- The coquí is a tiny tree frog with a powerful, melodic voice found only in Puerto Rico.
Things to Do
The island is already well-known for its great beaches, vibrant nightlife and tasty rum, but there are plenty more things to discover during your time here. Check out the list below for our recommendations on some alternatives to the beach.1) Watch Nature´s light show in the bioluminescent bays. Lajas is one of the famous beaches in the Caribbean to watch the glowing microorganisms that light up the water at night. Others spots to marvel at this are found at Fajardo and in Vieques.
2) El Yungue, Puerto Rico´s rainforest, is definitely worth a visit, filled with an abundance of plant and animal life. Listen out for the endangered Puerto Rican parrot and the Coqui tree frog. The Yokahu tower is the perfect place to view the forest from above. Many trails go through the forest, with two leading to the La Mina waterfalls where you can swim in the refreshing waters below.
3) Go snorkelling and scuba diving off Fajardo, but if you are looking to snorkel, make sure your are not booked on a boat full of scuba divers heading to waters too deep to snorkel in.
4) Coffee, sugar cane and tobacco were the main agricultural exports from this island in days gone by. For a glimpse into this past, take a trip to one of the plantations that has been converted into a museum, or to one of the still active plantations found in the mountain regions just north of Ponce.
Puerto Rico´s Food Delights
Puerto Rico has the most diverse culinary spread available in the whole of the Caribbean. Bring along your appetite, as its going to be in for a treat! Try the bacalaítos (codfish fritters), empanaditas (pastry dough fried and stuffed with meat, potatoes, or plantains), and chicarrones (crispy pork skins).
Tuck into a lechón asado, a whole roast suckling pig slow-cooked over an open fire for many hours, or else try the national dish of the island,arroz con gandules, which is rice with pigeon peas. A traditional dessert to finish things off would be the coconut creme, which is a traditional candy made of coconut milk and sugar. For a local experience, look out for places off the beaten track. There are plenty of roadside shacks serving up some great food. Tourist restaurants tend to be quite pricey, so if you are staying in a Wimdu accommodation, maybe ask your host where the best places are that locals eat in. The food will be more plentiful and less expensive!
Getting To and Around Puerto Rico
The main airport in Puerto Rico is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport near San Juan. Some hotels may offer a shuttle service to pick you up but otherwise you will need to get a taxi to wherever you´re headed. As the public transport system isn´t very good outside of the Metro area, it might be a good idea to rent a car. The adventurous visitor could also try out the shared cab system (público), whose taxis can be identified by their yellow licence plates. Tourist taxis will be white with an official logo and the words “Taxi Turístico” on the front doors. San Juan also has a fully automated rapid transit system.
Accommodation and Rentals in Puerto Rico
There are plenty of accommodation rentals available on the island, especially in the major cities. However if you want to stay somewhere with a bit more character than a hotel room, why not consider getting a self-catering apartment, a spacious villa or a bed and breakfast room with Wimdu? You´ll not only be able to save money by cooking up some of your own food, but your friendly host may also have some precious insider tips on the neighbourhood.