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Puerto Rico

Minnesota
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Puerto Rico

We're planning on our first Caribbean vacation, and we like the idea of Puerto Rico ~ easy access, history, beaches, rainforest. When I researched the "favorite island" threads, no one mentioned Puerto Rico?

So any reasons why? My quest is just beginning to find the "right" island for hubby and me.

Thanks, Marlene

usa
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1. Re: Puerto Rico

Not sure. What is certain is that PR is not for everyone.

It's not for people who love all-inclusive resorts because there are none in PR.

Most of the tourist areas, hotels, and attractions are within the Metro San Juan area which has an excess of 2.1 million people along with urbanization, traffic congestion, crime, and big city problems, all of which are the antithesis of what people think of when they want to get away from it all.

Puerto Rico is one of those places where you sort of have to immerse yourself in the culture and get out on the island in a rental car and explore. There is a lot of culture, history, and attractions out on the island.

Some folks don't like the fact that locals often frequent the venues or hotels that they go to. I guess mainland folks want some exclusivity and you will find that the island has a middle class and upper class and people can afford to pay for those amenities.

The island started developing its tourism industry late and it only accounts for about 7% of the GNP, unlike most all of the other islands of the Caribbean which depend heavily upon it. PR focused on industrialization in the 20th century from the 1950's through the 1980's while tourism took a back seat. So when people come to the island, there is no one waiting for you. Puerto Ricans just go about their daily lives oblivious to tourists.

(IMO) Many tourists and vacationers are very demanding and can be very condescending to their hosts in resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions. Puerto Ricans have a very low tolerance for such rude behavior.

Edited: 13 January 2013, 00:34
usa
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2. Re: Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico was selected as one of the top ten ultimate Caribbean destinations by the staff of Travel and Leisure Magazine.

travelandleisure.com/the-ultimate-caribbean

usa
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3. Re: Puerto Rico

Interestingly, in 2011 the Travel and Leisure Magazine's favorite American city poll found San Juan Puerto Rico #1 in:

Best New Year's Eve destination

Best winter destination

Best Christmas destination

Best ethnic food

Most attractive people

travelandleisure.com/americas-favorite-citie…

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Puerto Rico

I think that PR explorer hit the right theme. We think of Puerto Rico as much more than just " an island", and because of that we're not so attracted to those resort destination islands that exist only for tourism and not so much for real life.

NYC
Destination Expert
for Isla de Vieques
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5. Re: Puerto Rico

because people want to keep it a secret

Minnesota
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6. Re: Puerto Rico

Thanks for the input . We have been to Cancun & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and much preferred Puerto Vallarta because it was a Mexican city for Mexican people vs Cancun that was built and designed for tourists. So I think I know what you're saying We are mid sixty's people who want to come for a week, love nature, appreciate history, amazed by Caribbean beaches for sheer beauty and snorkeling, enjoy good meals, being immersed into the culture we are in, want to be in safe areas, and don't want to spend too much time driving. Is anyone willing to help me plan our trip. We have a $3000 budget. (where to stay, what to see, etc) Thanks very much!

7. Re: Puerto Rico

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Removed on: 13 January 2013, 18:35
Edited: 13 January 2013, 18:35
8. Re: Puerto Rico

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Removed on: 14 January 2013, 19:35
San Juan
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9. Re: Puerto Rico

prexplorer, the san juan metropolitan area has more than 2.1,those numbers have grown during the past decade in 2009 it was officially at 2.7 million.

see Puerto Rico country profile, source United Nations data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx…

Edited: 13 January 2013, 19:25
Armonk, New York
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10. Re: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a large very diverse island. There are many more options than just the urban center. This may sometimes make it hard for travel people to put it in a niche. Where you go depends on the style of vacation you prefer.

In general, most visitors to the island gravitate to one of several areas: (1) San Juan (Condado / Isle Verde) which have Miami like urban beach front resorts. Lots of night life, restaurants, activity. (2) Old San Juan - great historic district, best restaurants, museums, shops - no beach (3) El Yunque Rain Forest region - Island atmosphere, several major beach resorts, island type activities - remote beaches, bio bay, rain forest, horseback, zip lines etc. (4) Rincon on the West Coast - Surfer world, laid back, chill. (5) Vieques and Culebra: Beautiful and isolated tropical islands for those who want to avoid civilization, bit of a hassle to get to.