Located on near the northeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is the smallest of the Greater Antilles island chain. While Puerto Rico is mostly mountainous, the coastal regions boast a large number of excellent beaches. It is also home to the only tropical rain forest in the United States.
The Island of Puerto Rico offers a tropical adventure getaway with a large variety of condos, vacation homes, villas and resorts. Choose a vacation that offers luxurious living while making the most of the beautiful beaches, tropical forests, and rugged mountains of the island.
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Puerto Rico attracts visitors from around the world to enjoy the many beaches of the island, as well as the beautifiul mountainous terrain. World Class surfing put the resort of Rincon on the map in the 1950's and the island's west coast continues to be a hotbed for water sports. The El Yunque National Forest covers 28,000 acres of rain forest in the mountains of eastern Puerto Rico, with miles of hiking trails where you can observe species that are found no where else on earth. The clear waters and unspoiled beauty of the islands of Culebra and Vieques off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico are favorites of scuba divers and snorkellers..
The annual Puerto Rico Jazzfest held in June and the Carolina International Jazz Festival in August regularly brings together the biggest names in Latin jazz to Puerto Rico. The Ponce Carnival's Mardi Gras celebrations provide lively street parades, colorful costumes and parties that climax on Shrove Tuesday. San Juan Bautista Day is a week long celebration in June of the island's Patron Saint that includes religious processions, music, dancing and beach bonfire parties.
While Puerto Rico may be world famous for the surfing, many other sports thrive in the waters of the islands, such as sail-boarding, para-sailing, water skiing, and wake-boarding. Puerto Rico offers many boating activities, like charter fishing and whale watching. Rent a powerboat, sailboat, or jetski, or go scuba diving. snorkeling, swimming, or body surf.
Golf in Puerto Rico combines the natural scenery of the island's rivers, rainforests, mountains and beachfronts with skillfully designed courses. Golf was introduced to Puerto Rico with the military bases established during World War II and the sport has expanded across the island.
Evidence of habitation on Puerto Rico dates back 2000 years and when Columbus arrived in 1493, the Taino tribe had a population of 30,000 to 60,000 people living on the Island. Within 30 years of the Spanish colinization of the Island, almost all of the Taino were killed by European diseases and harsh treatment during slavery. Puerto Rican culture still shows many influences from the Taino in its language and music.
The Spanish goverment recognized the importance of Puerto Rico as a port for its treasure ships returning to Spain from the new world and built large, well design forts protecting San Juan. As a result, the Spanish were able to retain possession of Puerto Rico until the end of the Spanish - American War in 1898, when it was ceded along with the Philippines to the United States.
||The passport requirements for the Caribbean do NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory, such as Puerto Rico. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the United States and do not need to present a passport.