Neighboring Island: Puerto Rico

Events, Things to Do, What's New — By Melissa Alvarado Sierra on April 1, 2011 at 12:59 am

Have you ever thought about moving to an island in the Caribbean? I’m sure most people have. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves, going hiking in a tropical forest or kayaking a bioluminescent bay on weekends: sounds like a dream. Luckily for Puerto Ricans, this dream is a reality.

A lot of tourists visit Puerto Rico with the thought that it’s only a week-long vacation from work and nothing else. Then they are surprised to learn that Puerto Rico offers much more than a fun and short vacation. Long term visits will show you that living here is different than living in a state, though similar in ways that will shock you.

You don’t need a passport if coming from the US and you don’t need to change currency because Puerto Rico uses the dollar. It’s incredible how so many things work just like in the US, but the island is different and distant enough to make you feel you’re visiting an exotic and far flung place.

Jus visit San Juan is a vacation in itself, but there are many other places to go. My favorite is Vieques. For such a small island, Vieques boasts a grand array of wonders and activities galore. This once Navy dominated paradise is currently renewing from more than 60 years of bombing; and the world is starting to notice. Travelers from all corners of the globe flock to Viequesand enjoy its pristine beaches, one of the few bio-luminescent bays in the world (some say it’s the brightest) and admire the rural scenery. It’s sad to picture such a place being bombed for so long.

Wild horses run freely on the hilly island, dirt roads take you to unimaginable turquoise waters and the people are described by many as some of the nicest and most unpretentious in the Caribbean. They live in an island rhythm that is nostalgically attractive. The vibe is that of decades past. It’s this rhythm that makes Vieques so special. Even after all those years of bombing, Viequenses stay optimistic and upbeat, and love their island more than anything because they know Vieques is something else.

You can be in Puerto Rico the same day you leave home. For some folks living in the states, getting here is closer than going to a neighboring state. Some can even be in Puerto Rico, sunbathing at a beach in San Juan, in a matter of hours. You don’t need to day dream of moving to an island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico’s just around the corner! Now that’s what I call smart traveling.

Tags: beach, caribbean, puerto rico, sailing, San Juan, vieques