I added this “YOUTUBE” video because I felt that it brought across that old say­ing “a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words”, so this video speaks vol­umes about Puer­to Rico. But just in case you get stuck on some of the words, I added a brief arti­cle at the end.

In order to speak of Puer­to Rico it is not enough with speak­ing of white beach­es, blue sea, palms, moun­tains, forests, dusk orange after­noons with a fresh breeze. To also say  Puer­to Rico that is to say, con­gas and sal­sa, cas­tles and walls, col­or, joy, cel­e­bra­tion, rum and hos­pitable and beau­ti­ful people.

Puer­to Rico, Ia Island of Encan­to, as  its name indi­cates, to fas­ci­nate and enchant with the innu­mer­able nat­ur­al, gas­tro­nom­ic, archi­tec­tur­al attrac­tions  that it has to offer to  those who vis­it it.

Locat­ed  about 2.000 kilo­me­tres off  the coast of Flori­da, the Asso­ci­at­ed Free State of Puer­to Rico is a ter­ri­to­ry non­in­cor­po­rat­ed of the Unit­ed States, with sta­tus of self-gov­ern­ment and whose archip­piela­go includes the main island of Puer­to Rico and a num­ber of islands and keys of which but biggest ones are Mona, Vieques and Culebra.

Thanks to its 161 kolome­ters of length by 56 of width,  makes it pos­si­ble cross­ing the island  in only two or three hours, which facil­i­tates vis­its to all the sites of inter­est.  Which the Rain For­est of El Yunque stands out, only trop­i­cal rain for­est in the Nation­al Sys­tem of the Unit­ed States. El Yunque is  about 45 min­utes of the cap­i­tal, San Juan and in the  ascent to the moun­tain, we were with­in the rain that per­sis­tent through­out accom­pa­nies you to this for­est . In its slopes there is hun­dreds of species of trees and ani­mals, brooks and nat­ur­al crys­talline swim­ming pools. The ryth­mic song of the coqui, the frog of the region, is present all along accom­pa­ny­ing us in the humid cross­ing of the forest.

Anoth­er one of the nat­ur­al but vis­it­ed rich­es of  the island is the Cav­erns of Camuy, arti­sanal work of the riv­er that takes its same name, and that dur­ing mil­lion of years went carv­ing to its step a sys­tem of caves and cav­erns that just  in 1960 start­ed  being stud­ied by sci­en­tif­ic and geol­o­gists. The vis­it to the cav­erns is a guid­ed tour and offers com­plete infor­ma­tion on the won­ders of this ecosystem.

The many cities are wor­thy of a men­tion each  with its own unique char­ac­ter­is­tics that make them desir­able for the tourist, but is pos­si­ble to empha­size  the city of Ponce, famous by its fire sta­tion , that is con­struct­ed in Wood and paint­ed red and black takes the mark of archi­tec­tur­al  Spain of end of the 19th cen­tu­ry  attracts thou­sands of tourists who arrive to vis­it the fire sta­tion that now is a museum .

San Juan, cap­i­tal of the island, is the largest and heave­ly pop­u­lat­ed city  and whose tourist activ­i­ty this con­cen­trat­ed in Old San Juan, his­tor­i­cal dis­trict, rec­og­nized like pat­ri­mo­ny of the island, Old San Juan locks up in its paving stone streets, the spir­it of cen­turies XVI and XVII when Puer­to Rico was a Span­ish colony. The wealth and archi­tec­tur­al orig­i­nal­i­ty found in nar­row streets, build­ings of col­ors, muse­ums, restau­rants, rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed facades, street­lamps, foun­tains, Church­es, cas­tles and walls, that appear to enchant the  trav­ellers of all  nation­al­i­ties that cross the island daily.

The impos­ing fort of  San Felipe del Mor­ro, icon of Puer­to Rico and lega­cy of the Spaniards, was con­struct­ed between cen­turies XVI and XVII to pro­tect the island of the ene­my mar­itime attacks. From this fort (Cas­tle) the attack of Sir Fran­cis Drake in 1595,  and the inva­sion of the Dutch in 1625 was defend­ed. The Fort receives its name, the Mor­ro, due to its loca­tion on a hill in the bay of San Juan in front of the Atlantic Ocean.

Of equal mag­nif­i­cen­cia and impor­tance  is the Cas­tle of San Cristo­bal, who was seri­ous­ly con­struct­ed to repel the ene­my attacks and as an aux­il­iary to the “Mor­ro” in defense of the coast and the Port. This mon­u­men­tal  struc­ture con­struct­ed in 18th cen­tu­ry  and its main mis­sion, unlike the Casti­lo of the Mor­ro, con­sist­ed in the defense of the attacks received by land.

On an oblig­at­ed vis­it, for being one of the most beau­ti­ful sites of Old San Juan and in it lies the true essence of the island, the breath of romance and the vibrant spir­it on the Caribbean, an ample par­al­lel way to the walls of the city and the sea, that goes from the piers of the cruise ships to the entrance of the Cas­tle  El Mor­ro. Between bougainvil­leas, walls, sen­try box­es, street­lamps, crafts­men and can­tors, half of this long walk is marked by spec­tac­u­lar foun­tains, bronze sculp­ture of the artist  Luis San­guino who was inau­gu­rat­ed to com­mem­o­rate the 500 years of the dis­cov­ery of Amer­i­ca, and  in the dusk the rays of the sun from the west dye their waters  orange and yellow.

In Puer­to Rico you drink rum and eat casa­va, tostones and mofon­go, the air smells of salt and  sug­ar cane, and the hearts beat to the rythm of the Sal­sa music.  In Puer­to Rico there are flu­o­res­cent bays inhab­it­ed by microor­gan­isms that ” illu­mi­nan ” lights the sea in nights with­out moon nor stars, and have ceme­ter­ies to bor­ders of the ocean, in whose walls the spir­it of the sea pre­cip­i­tates the eter­nal fury rest of its inhabitants.