Delve deep into the Puerto Rico most tourists don’t know about. The island’s countryside, tucked in the high lands of the central mountain range, boasts a kaleidoscope of rustic charm and friendly people. Head to Cayey & Aibonito (where the panoramic route is located), Dorado, Vega Alta, Rincon, Isabela, Utuado, Cabo Rojo, Jayuya or Cidra just to name a few, and drive through endless valleys, steep mountains and along a beautiful coast. Stop at one of the many kiosks and savor some “comida criolla,” which is how locals call their food, with an ice cold beer. Salsa dance or play some pool at a “barra” (bar). Visit a town’s “pueblo” or downtown for a rare taste of history where colonial buildings are all over, and date back to times when traditions where born, such as patron saint festivals.
When locals get out of San Juan and onto the countryside, they affectionally say they’re visiting “the island” or “la isla.” Go on, la isla is waiting.
By: Puerto Rico Local Expert, Melissa Alvarado Sierra
All photos Copyright Melissa Alvarado Sierra