Photo Credit: Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio
Seven Cultural Experiences To Have Before Leaving Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an incredible travel destination. The Caribbean island is unique in its heritage and culture with a diverse array of excursions, attractions and accommodations. American travelers can visit Puerto Rico without a passport, making it one of the easiest tropical destinations to check out.
Beyond the beaches, Puerto Rico has a beautiful history spanning many centuries and countries. Here are seven cultural experiences to check out before leaving Puerto Rico.
Explore a Rum Distillery in Hacienda
Rum has been a major part of Puerto Rican history. Travelers can experience the rich rum heritage on tours at the Hacienda Santa Ana distillery. This is a great way to learn about the Caribbean island and taste the delicious beverages produced there. The distillery produces some of San Juan’s oldest rum, Ron del Barrilito. Visitors can enjoy rum tasting, gain insight into the centuries old rum-making process and take a stroll through the city.
Take a Private Ancestry Tour
For travelers looking to explore the African heritage of the island, an ancestry tour is a must in Puerto Rico. The tour begins in Loiza and takes visitors on a four-hour tour into Black Puerto Rican history. Guides take guests through deserted beaches, scenic landscapes, dark caves and more. This adventurous excursion tells the story of the African ancestors who once called the island home. Travelers will experience local art galleries, lush cliff sides, Bomba dance classes, and more on this tour.
Experience Authentic Puerto Rican Culture In Loiza
Once travelers have finished their Afro Ancestry tour, wandering around Loiza is a must. African heritage is on full display in Loiza. This seaside town has the largest concentration of African descendants in Puerto Rico. There’s plenty to see and do here. From trying eclectic foods like frituras and fruit frappes to exploring ancient archeological sites, Loiza is a cultural haven along the shore.
See Nature Come Alive in El Yunque National Forest
The drive from San Juan to El Yunque National Forest is about 45 minutes. Nature comes alive in this Puerto Rican jungle. There are waterfalls and a long, winding hiking trail that leads to a cliff dive. Tons of wildlife and plants call this forest home, and travelers can bask in its beauty before heading back into town.
Travel Back in Time at El Morro Fort
A national historic site in Puerto Rico, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is considered one of the most iconic fortifications built by the Spanish in America. Known as El Morro Fort, the structure was built in 1539 as a defense wall against intruders. Now, travelers can visit the historic site and get a small taste of what it was like centuries ago when foreigners first arrived on Puerto Rican shores.
Explore Old San Juan
Old San Juan is an ancient town. Full of Spanish architecture, bright colors and cobblestone streets, visiting this place is a must when in Puerto Rico. Travelers will find El Morro Fort, Castillo de San Cristóbal and La Fortaleza in Old San Juan. The streets are lively and colorful. Casa Blanca is in Old San Juan and the entire town is an ode to Puerto Rican culture.
Bath in the Sun at Playa Retollo
For travelers who don’t like overcrowded beaches, Playa Retollo is a ducked away spot perfect for lone wanderers. This secluded beach is located on the northern side of the island. Travelers have to hike to locate the secret, crescent-shaped beach. This beach is undiscovered by most tourists, so it’s a perfect place to chill off the path.