This Spanish-speaking island is technically an American state, but it has nothing to do with the country up north. The capital San Juan is the place to go if you want to experience a mixture of something old and new. Whilst wandering through the narrow streets in an old town, you could meet someone who would teach you salsa and raggaeton, a town where everyone knows how to dance with the hips.
The island country Puerto Rico, located in the northeastern Caribbean, can amaze you with its nature, such as clean white beaches and rainy forests, as well as a unique mixture of cultures: Spanish, African and Taino (Amerindians).
Since Puerto Rico is an archipelago, it is worth mentioning the differences between the islands. Isla de Vieques is a personal favorite of mine. This little pearl consists of a national wildlife refuge with numerous beaches that are commonly listed among the top beaches in the Caribbean for their azure-colored waters and white sands. Isla de Vieques has two small cities, Isabel Segunda and the smaller Esperanza on the southern side. Staying there it is difficult not to have full ocean view because the city is pretty much just one street running next to the beach. Besides relaxing and finding inner peace this island offers the opportunity of long walks on empty beaches, beautiful nights of stargazing without light pollution, and The Bio luminescent Bay – a bay where, as an old lady said to me, it looks like “the stars had fallen into the water”. The luminescence in the bay is actually caused by micro-organisms, dinoflagellates, which glow whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue. But when one is just looking at it it does look like small stars. If one is into diving, or just interested in what lies under water, diving here is easy and the nature is very unspoiled. Turtles, stingrays, barracudas and every size of fish is easily spotted and colorful corals in very shallow waters. During the evening this little village offers a few beach bars and the option to just lie in a hammock and enjoy the stars.
Isla Culebra is another little island located just a boat trip from Puerto Rico. Visiting Culebra feels like coming home. Even though you have never visited this island before, the people living here greet you, talk to you and help you around like you have been there for the whole of your life.
Getting around is easy by either a bike or taxi. Everything on this island is happening at a very slow and relaxed pace, so if you want dancing and energy this is not the place to go, but for a laid back holiday with a good book, friendly locals and exotic food, Isla Culebra is a fantastic place. Furthermore Isla Culebra is widely famous for its beaches and its Flamenco Beach is ranked as the second natural wonder in Puerto Rico – as one of the most exotic beaches in the world. If you are a beach lover and snorkeling adorer, the beach is a must-visit place. The only thing I would say to foreigners coming to Culebra beach is “welcome to paradise”.