The fortress walls of El Morro guard Old San Juan.
Enchanted by the lush, exotic beauty of
Puerto Rico, many people are surprised
to learn that this tropical paradise offers
all the comforts of home. But the fact is, as a
United States Commonwealth,
Puerto Rico has a lot in common
with the mainland: the same
currency, the same reliable
phone system, the same postal
Las Cabezas de SanJuan lighthouse, rates, the same electrical
standards even the same language, as English
and Spanish are both officially spoken here. In fact,
U.S. citizens don't need
passports or visas to .Bthi1
travel to Puerto Rico
from the States. "i" T
But that's where the "=. ^. .
similarities end. Because
nowhere else in the U.S. does such a captivating,
historic, colorful island exist. One hundred miles
long and 35 miles wide, Puerto Rico is home to
beautiful white sandy
the only tropical rainforest in the
National Forest System; two of
the world's eight bioluminescent
bays whose waters are full of
glowing micro-organisms at
night; and beautifully preserved
Old San Juan a 500-year-old A waterfall in El Yunque.
city with blue cobblestone streets enclosed by a
massive wall built when
S the city was a Spanish
THE "RICH PORT"
The breathtaking beauty
and bounty of Puerto Rico
didn't escape the notice of
He came to the island on
Exploring in Comuy Caves. his second voyage to the
New World in1493, naming the town Puerto Rico
("rich port") and the island San Juan; the two
names were later switched. San Juan quickly
military outpost in
remnants of this
colonial past can
still be seen today Ponce's eye-cokhng Porque de Bombas firehose.
throughout Old San Juan.
Over the centuries. Puerto Rico's strength shifted
from military to economic, becoming the only
Caribbean island where industry and commerce
exceed agricultural production. In 1898, it came
under U.S. control as a result of the Spanish-
American War, receiving U.S. Territory status in
1917 (and becoming a U.S. Commonwealth in
1952). Today, Puerto Rico enjoys one of the
highest standards of living in Latin America.
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
No visit to Puerto Rico is complete without a
thorough sampllrg of entcing native cuisine.
The most traditional isfaltd dith.s 4s6a...f w
a hearty gumbo made with either chicken
or shellfish and a unique blend of spices
and herbs. Of course, being an international
destination, Puerto Rico is also home to many
upscale restaurants serving cuisine from
around the world. The puia coloda
was invented in
R Rum is the island's official dri*,4s.u -.:. puero Rico.
"i erto Rico is the world's' liding rum ','
rbducer. The Bacardi dilery in Cata
.ers tours just a leisu* ferry-boat, .
"cross San Juan Ha*r ibtI tof the
world's favorite rurn~s ktails'i4b pira
'' colada, was invented~a e at the C.i~be '
Museum oj Art in Ponce.
Puerto Rico's vibrant blend of cultures is most
apparent at the island's many folkloric festivals,
colorful celebrations in which religious elements
merge and regional distinctions take center stage.
All year long, these gatherings attract large, lively
crowds who come for
the festivities, food,
dance and spicy Latin
music such as salsa
As peaceful and
serene as it can be,
Puerto Rico is
anything but dull after dark. Casinos, lounges,
discos, nightclubs and cafes abound in the
metropolitan area, primarily in Old San Juan,
Miramar, Condado, Santurce and Isla Verde.
There is also a lively arts scene, featuring dance,
opera, theater and all
types of music.
Casinos. which all operore ir
conjurEcton -,h hotels. ofler
slor michners wldec poker
blacIjack, craps, roulew bcctror
Beauiqu beachm R~ncon
WATER SPORTS AND So MUCH MORE
On a tropical island, it's only natural that water
sports and related activities top the list of things
to do: boating, sailing, swimming, surfing, diving,
snorkeling and wind surfing are all popular. Sport
fishermen find plenty
of excitement doing
battle with blue marlin
and other big game
fish that thrive here.
Kayaking in mangroves.
Golf and tennis are
also quite popular, as
evidenced by the island's
16 championship golf
courses and more than
100 tennis courts. For
thrill-seekers, the island one ofthe many championship gof
offers a wide variety of courses in Puerto Rico.
eco-tourism packages and extreme adventure tours.
For activities of a different
nature, the unofficial sport
of the island is shopping.
Metropolitan San Juan lures
shoppers from throughout
the Caribbean and beyond,
offering a superb selection
of major retailers, local shops
Shopping in Old SanJuan. and chain stores. All over
Puerto Rico, there are literally thousands of
opportunities to purchase authentic island arts
I Airport Beach
V Point ofInterest City
+ Rain Forest
I Panoramic Route
;:~.~~* !",k R:;2
7%~e I *\;'~.
Convention Center Development
Aeceptuni.ookings for Lare 2005
.e a'eqd rP. *l CI 9 .r. r.. '.b, e .
oi'he prren Pa C' er -.1 Ce.er.
S Puerto Rico 787-725 2110
S' USA/Canada 800-875-4765
.' US. Mispanic 881-772 1343
,A, r, Europe (34-91) 431-2128
CHICAGO MADRID MIAMI NE* YORK
SAN JJAN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Afa" '. o .' .
a Bes? leturt