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Cover: edition February 2016 - Puerto Rico's ecotreasures

A Greater Discovery than You Could Ever Think Of

By: N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

Issue: February 2016

Puerto Rico, the destination explored as part of our journey for this issue of ecotreasures magazine, is a tropical island in the Caribbean and part of the Greater Antilles. Two bodies of water surround this island: the Atlantic Ocean at the north side of the mainland of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Sea at its south side.

This destination, a U.S. territory with a commonwealth status, comprises 78 municipalities. Two of these municipalities are located in the islands of Vieques and Culebra found at the Southeast of the mainland. Also, Puerto Rico’s geographical territory includes various islets.

Puerto Rico offers much more to discover than you could ever think of. Besides its famous beaches all around the mainland, Vieques, Culebra and islets, Puerto Rico is surrounded by many other ecotreasures to delve into, such as its mountains, natural reserves, forests, rivers and streams, reservoirs, wetlands, bays, and historical and culture-oriented sites.

This island’s amazing nature and ecosystem allow its local people and travelers to enjoy a multitude of adventures, recreations and activities where nature leads the way and enables a magnificent experience. Kayaking, hiking, caving, rappelling, canyoneering, diving and surfing are among the outdoor sports and adventures that you may engage in during a visit to Puerto Rico.

One of the most fascinating amenities of Puerto Rico is that you may enjoy being near its coastline and countryside on the same day. Likewise, you may be at the northern side of the mainland in the morning and later that day admiring the sunset at the western side of the island. To put you into perspective, it takes around 2 hours and half to drive from San Juan, the capital city, to the western side of Puerto Rico.

Besides nature, other main attractions of Puerto Rico involve its historical and culture-oriented sites. For instance, you may learn about Puerto Rico’s history and mixed heritage and roots at Tainos indigenous ceremonial centers, African heritage museum exhibitions, and famous Spaniards’ fortifications mainly located in Old San Juan.

Puerto Rico’s deep-rooted history is shown or reflected in Puerto Rican’s culture, such as its music, festivals and gastronomy, among others. You may read about Puerto Rico’s history and culture in related articles in the Culture section of ecotreasures magazine.

Besides enjoying the benefits of Puerto Rico’s nature and ecosystem, and learning about its history and culture, another main attraction in this island are Puerto Ricans per se.

I must say from my experience and with a self-forced unbiased viewpoint, that generally speaking, Puerto Ricans are friendly and cheerful people who love to enjoy themselves. Puerto Rico’s tropical climate, nature-oriented amenities all year round and cultural heritage may be influential factors for overall Puerto Ricans behavior and festive mood.

Some Puerto Ricans have passion for water sports. Others take advantage of recreations and adventures in forests, mountains and rivers, or deeply appreciate the countryside sightseeing views and climate. In addition, Puerto Rican families and friends enjoy festivals and gatherings where you may dance to the beat and rhythm of salsa or other traditional music such as plena and bomba.

Though Puerto Ricans preferences may vary for purposes of leisure and entertainment activities, there is one thing that most, if not all, have in common: respect and pride for their history and culture. Again, that is my opinion from my experience and with a self-forced unbiased viewpoint as a result of residing in Puerto Rico, basically, most of my life.

Get ready to read more about Puerto Rico as ecotreasures magazine uncovers this destination’s ecotreasures.

Photographer: Carlos Esteva

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