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The unrivaled Caribbean paradise

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NP Magazine 43 - Digital and paper version

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Caribbean

For many couples, the most exciting part of getting married is planning a honeymoon. For this trip of lifetime it’s essential to plan everything in advance and make sure this holiday together is more than perfect.

Puerto Rico is one of the most stunning destinations in the world thanks to its rich, tropical flora and fauna. This island may be small, but it is in fact home to 78 municipalities and 6 regions. What’s more, it’s a country steeped in culture and traditions. Those born and raised in Puerto Rico are known as ‘Boricuas’. This unique name honours the island’s heritage and captures the state of mind, way of life, flavours, and rhythms that define the country. We’re sure the minute you step foot in Puerto Rico, you’ll find that spirit in yourself, too.

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Puerto Rico, with its rich, vibrant culture and its breathtaking beaches. The northern part of the island, known as “Porta Atlántico” is home to nine towns: Arecibo, Barceloneta, Camuy, Dorado, Hatillo, Manatí, Toa Alta, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja. The diverse landscapes of this region make it one of the most unique destinations in the world. Why not explore the Camuy Caves, one of the largest underground cave systems in the world. Or visit Mar Chiquita, a stunning beach that will leave you breathless. The east of the island is home to unrivalled natural beauty. Here you’ll find 15 towns, 2 small islands, and a legendary rainforest. Visitors can explore three of the island’s most-loved natural treasures: El Yunque – the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System; the charming islands of Vieques and Culebra; and the extraordinary Mosquito Bay, named the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay.

 

The western side of the island is known as Puerto Rico’s surfing mecca. Here in the aptly named “Porta del Sol”, you can catch some of the island’s most snappable sunsets. What’s more, this region – whose coastline runs hundreds of miles from Isabela to Guánica – is the country’s undisputed surfing capital. Some of its most popular beaches among surf lovers are Playas Marías and Domes. Or if you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, we recommend visiting Los Morrillos Lighthouse, the salt flats, or La Playuela beach.

Caribbean
Caribbean

Puerto Rico’s southern region is known as “Porta Caribe” and is home to 11 towns: Ponce, Coamo, Salinas, Arroyo, Guayama, Guayanilla, Juana Díaz, Patilla, Peñuelas, Santa Isabel, and Villalba. One of the island’s most popular tourist spots, it’s the perfect choice for lovers of the great outdoors, culture, and adventure. Here you’ll also find the famous Pelícano Beach. Nestled in the heart of a natural reserve, it can only be accessed via boat from the city.
The Caomo hot springs are a must-see for all visitors to the island. Legend has it that the springs are the fountain of youth of Juan Ponce de León, the first governor of the island.

 

Arguably, the best of Puerto Rico can be found in its metro region. This metropolitan area includes the seven towns that make up Puerto Rico’s urban downtown: San Juan, Cataño, Trujillo Alto, Bayamón, Guaynabo, and Carolina. Visiting Old San Juan is like stepping into a museum of living history, where you can wander its cobblestone streets and soak up the city’s past. The central region of Puerto Rico is home to the island’s most untamed landscapes. Its Cordillera Central, or interior mountain region, is a must for nature lovers. It runs through the heart of the island from east to west, passing through 15 municipalities. Adventure is guaranteed in this region, where you’ll find one of the longest zip lines in the world at the Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park in Orocovis and the Tanamá River cave-tubing tours.

Caribbean

Things to do

Puerto Rico is the quintessential paradise for newlyweds. Expect an adventure-filled trip, without comprising on the moments of relaxation and tranquility you’ve been craving. “Taking the plunge” is more than just a metaphor in Puerto Rico, where you’re guaranteed to get that adrenaline rush. Why not begin married life by jumping out of an airplane at 10,500 feet (3.2 km) with the company Xtreme Divers in Arecibo, a charming town on the island’s north coast. You can choose from various jump options. 

For first-timers, the company offers tandem jumps with a licensed expert, while more experienced divers can make the leap solo. Experience a free fall at 120 miles per hour before pulling the ripcord and floating safely down to earth. If you’re a water sports kind of couple, Puerto Rico will not disappoint. From kayaking and paddle boarding to snorkelling and diving, Puerto Rico has it all. Exploring the depths of its oceans, uncovering hidden beaches on charter boat rides, discovering the bright lights of the Vieques bioluminescent bay, or getting your surf on are just some of the possibilities the island has to offer. The beaches of Puerto Rico will welcome you whatever the season, thanks to its all-year-round tropical climate. 

Each beach has its own unique charm: from stunning views to thrilling open-sea adventures and endless stretches of white sand where you can relax. Whether you want to catch a wave, try your hand at kayaking, or discover the spectacular sea life, there’s something for everyone.

Where to stay

Deciding where to stay on your honeymoon is a very important part of the planning process. In Puerto Rico, you can choose from a parador hotel in the heart of a natural reserve or a luxury resort with exclusive services. Or why not go for a glamping eco-retreat in a bird sanctuary, or opt for a holiday rental overlooking the beach or nestled in the mountains. If you prefer to be in the heart of the city, we recommend a modern hotel in the middle of the bustling entertainment district. A historical property in Old San Juan surrounded by restaurants, local shops, and bars is also a great option. No matter what you choose, all Puerto Rico accommodation offers a warm Boricua welcome.

When to visit

Planning your honeymoon in advance is essential to make sure you can book your dream spot and organise your trip at your own pace. Don’t forget that high season in Puerto Rico runs from mid November to mid April, meaning that hotels may get booked up months in advance. Accommodation in San Juan and on the island’s east coast is popular among foreign tourists. Domestic tourists, on the other hand, mostly visit the island’s southern and western regions. These areas are busier during the summer months, which is high season for holidaying Puerto Ricans.

Article published on the 41st edition of NP Magazine

Photo Credits: Discover Puerto Rico

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