Top Ten Puerto Rican Attractions

Top Ten Puerto Rican Attractions

       Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port”) comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra and Mona. The main island of Puerto Rico is the smallest by land area of the Greater Antilles. However, it ranks 3rd in population amongst that group of four islands, which also include Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and Jamaica. Due to its location, Puerto Rico enjoys a tropical climate and also experiences the Atlantic hurricane season. Originally populated for centuries by indigenous aboriginal peoples known as Taínos, the island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his 2nd voyage to the Americas on November 19, 1493. Under Spanish rule, the island was colonized and the indigenous population was forced into slavery and nearly wiped out due to, among other things, European infectious diseases. The remaining population was emancipated by King Charles I in 1520. Spain possessed Puerto Rico for over 400 years, despite attempts at capture of the island by France, the Netherlands and England. The relationship between Puerto Rico and the US has its origins dating back to the Spanish-American War, in which Spain, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, ceded the island to the US. Puerto Ricans became US citizens in 1917, and the US Congress legislates many aspects of Puerto Rican life. However, the islanders may not vote in US presidential elections. Since 1947, Puerto Ricans have been able to elect their own governor. Its official languages are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language. The island’s current political status, including the possibility of statehood or independence, is widely debated in Puerto Rico.

  1. San Juan

    San Juan is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the US. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th largest city under the jurisdiction of the US. San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico (“Rich Port City”). Puerto Rico’s capital is the 2nd oldest European-established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. Several historical buildings are located in San Juan; among the most notable are the city’s former defensive forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristóbal, and La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas. Today, San Juan is one of Puerto Rico’s most important seaports, and is the island’s manufacturing, financial, cultural and tourism center. The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area, including San Juan and the municipalities of Bayamón, Guaynabo, Cataño, Canóvanas, Caguas, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Carolina and Trujillo Alto, is about 2 million inhabitants; thus, about half the population of Puerto Rico now lives and works in this area. San Juan is also a principal city of the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area. The city has been the host of numerous important events within the sports community, including the 1979 Pan American Games, 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games, 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, the Caribbean Series and the Special Olympics and MLB San Juan Series in 2010.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten North American Cities, Top Ten Clock Towers, Top Ten Dome Interiors, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan,_Puerto_Rico,
  2. Bioluminescent Bay

    Located in Puerto Rico, on Vieques Island, there is a shallow body of water with a narrow inlet known as Mosquito Bay. In each gallon of the bay there are 720,000 phosphorescent single-celled organisms that glow when they are agitated. It is a defense mechanism, the glowing is designed to daze whatever predator is bothering the tiny dinoflagellates. All together the bay, on a moonless night, will produce more than enough light to read. Swimming in Mosquito Bay will cause your limbs to be bathed in blue-green light. If you stop moving the light will dim, and eventually disappear completely, but each time you twitch it begins anew. Every time your kayak moves it too will be illuminated. It’s also easy to spot larger creatures; when manta rays or large jellies enter the mangrove swamps gentle rings of light form around them. If you scoop up a handful of the water you can watch individual glowing plankton roll down your arms and hands. And the salinity of the water, like the Dead Sea below, is high enough you can float sitting upright. Photographing Biobay isn’t easy, so there aren’t many high quality pictures of it, but enjoy the ones we found below.
    Links: Top Ten Unique Swimming Destinations, Top Ten Bioluminescent Animals, Top Ten Bioluminescent Plants,
  3. Fort San Felipe del Morro

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  4. Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico,