Destination Inspiration: Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean with a vibrant culture and colorful landscape.  As a territory of the United States, there is no passport required (Puerto Ricans are US Citizens), no lines through customs, and no tedious currency exchange.  It’s the perfect escape for Americans on the east coast to take for a long weekend.   Although the island is quite small, there’s plenty to see and do.  Here’s some visual inspiration: Culebra, Puerto Rico:  This tiny island off the mainland of Puerto Rico has been voted one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Its beach, Playa Flamenco is consistently ranked a top beach by many travel publications. If you explore beyond Flamenco, you can swim with the sea turtles at Playa Tamarindo. @marquezpr009 1-marquezpr009   Rio Matrullas, Orocovis:  Many travelers see the coast of Puerto Rico, however the center of the island is just as magical with its mountains, waterfalls, and rivers. @albertpryde 2-albertpryde   Crash boat Beach, Aguadilla:  One of my favorite beaches in Puerto Rico. It’s a two hour scenic drive from San Juan, but completely worth it.  With its clear waters and sandy beaches, it’s always been a local favorite. @kennethpilot3-kennethpilotPlaya Negra, Vieques:  Vieques is an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico.  It’s known for its beautiful beaches and free roaming wild horses.  This shot is from Playa Negra, known for its black sandy beach. @jorgeluis118 4-jorgeluis118   Cayo Aurora, Guánica:  Most locals know it as “Gilligan Island”.  It’s a small island off the town of Guánica in the south of the island.  It’s known for its clear waters and local vibe.  It is rare to see any tourists from outside Puerto Rico. @edu_pwr5-edu_pwrIsla de Ratones, Cabo Rojo:  Direct translation: Island of Mice.  Don’t worry, there are no mice! The island is in Cabo Rojo, on the southwestern point of Puerto Rico.  The tiny island, is protected by the Puerto Rican Department of National Resources in order to retain its beauty. @fefikaufman6-fefikaufmanPlaya Jobos, Isabela:  If you love to surf this place is for you.  Playa Jobos is known for its waves, perfect for surfing.  Many of Puerto Rico surfing competitions take place here. @jonisrael7-jonisraelOld San Juan:  No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without strolling the streets of Old San Juan.  A UNESCO world heritage site, it is filled with history.  From the colorful houses which line the cobblestone streets to the El Morro Fort, there’s a story to be told. @nikpalomares 8-nikpalomares   Palomino Island:  This idyllic island off the east coast of Puerto Rico is part of the Waldorf Astoria’s El Conquistador resort.  The hotel has a ferry that shuttles guests to/from the property.  Locals love to park their boats near the island for snorkeling and diving. @elconresort 9-elconresort   El Yunque:  The beloved rainforest of Puerto Rico is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.  If you hike to the peak on a clear day, you can take a spectacular view of the east coast of Puerto Rico.  Make sure you hike the inner trails and take in the beauty of the several waterfalls, to include La Mina (pictured). @diningtraveler 10-diningtraveler This blog was written by guest blogger Jessica van Dop DeJesus. She is a travel and food blogger based in Washington, DC.  She is currently developing a travel guidebook to Puerto Rico called “Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico” (release summer 2016).  She loves to experience travel through food and capture her experiences on her blog The Dining Traveler and on Instagram @diningtraveler.

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