Check Out Puerto Rico This Winter
As the cold sets in, a winter holiday suddenly becomes a very attractive proposition, but deciding where to go can be difficult. The Caribbean is a firm favourite with those who are seeking winter sun, but there are so many great holiday destinations there that it is hard to narrow down the choices.
Puerto Rico is rapidly becoming a popular destination for those who visit, no matter what the time of year, but do not limit yourself to relaxing on the beach as you can take the opportunity to have a holiday with a difference.
One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of the island is that there are plenty of activities on offer. The island has all the usual attractions that visitors would expect from a holiday destination but there are also events that bring in thousands of visitors each year. The Body-Boarding World Championships take place in the region and there are plenty of other sporting events too such as golf and basketball. Those who cannot take part might want to consider trying one of the water sports which is widely available such as scuba diving. The warm and clear waters make Puerto Rico a great place to learn skills such as this.
Hire cars and public transport make it easier to tour the island. Puerto Rico has a long association with pirate legends and the coastline is packed with coves and bays connected with them. Hike or drive to one or two to enjoy a picnic and view the amazing scenery.
Sun-worshippers will have plenty of beaches to choose from, many of which have blue flag status and are surrounded by all the facilities needed for a relaxing day. However, when evening falls, a trip to Las Croabas Lagoon is a must. The waters are filled with a type of plankton which is bioluminescent and if you run your hand through the water it will light up. Rather than simply stand at the side, take one of the kayaking trips and watch as the waters light as you pass through. This is not the only ‘biobay’ on the island. You can also try La Laguna Grande, La Parguera and Vieques Island. Some are brighter than others but are an amazing sight that you will not find in many other holiday destinations.
It would be a shame to visit the island and spend all your time on the beach though. Exploring will uncover many delights that some tourists miss. Old San Juan is an area of town which has changed little over the last few centuries. The streets are narrow and cobbled and visitors can mingle with the locals in one of the many cafes while practising their Spanish language skills. As a World Heritage Site, any tourist with an interest in the history of the region can learn a great deal from it.
The beaches and the city are not the only attractions. Those who are looking for an active holiday on the island will love to explore El Yunque National Forest. It is close to the city and has the distinction of being one of the oldest such reserves in the west. Those who are new to hiking can follow one of the established trails and find out more about the region at the visitor centre. A sense of adventure could lead you to try camping in the forest, where there are no actual campsites established by, you can just obtain a permit from the visitor centre and pitch a tent more or less where you like. This is perfect for the single traveller as it gives a sense of freedom and a whole new dimension to the winter holiday.
Puerto Rico is considered to be an affordable destination. There are flights direct to Puerto Rico from most major airports in the world and on arrival the accommodation is also very reasonable when compared to other destinations in the Caribbean.
Why not opt for a hotel which has plenty of character? In Old San Juan there are hotels which have been converted from other buildings such as a convent. Heading away from the city, the range of accommodation differs again, with rooms available at such interesting locations as coffee plantations. Look out for ‘paradores’. These are inns which are family run and which offer comfortable and welcoming accommodation at a very low rate, perfect for the solo traveller who wants to spend some time experiencing local culture, rather than that generated by tourism.