Island Profile: Puerto Rico
By Jacqueline Hanikeh | Published on March 1, 2017
Island Profile: Puerto Rico
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Located in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is an island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean—east of the Dominican Republic. It’s home to 3.5 million-plus diverse, loving and colorful individuals introducing you to their unique and delightful culture; the total area of the whole island being about 3,515 square miles. The island has white sandy beaches stretching out for miles, mountains and valleys and other beautiful sights to visit. The weather in Puerto Rico is usually ideal with lots of sunshine and their average temperature falls between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit—perfect to take a trip to any time of the year.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus arrived at the island and discovered roughly about 50,000 Taino or Arawak Indians living there. While greeting Columbus, they showed him gold nuggets that settled within the river and allowed him to take as much as he wanted—which turned into a mistake at their part. In the beginning, they named the island San Juan Bautista and the town Puerto Rico. Yet, later on the names were switched and called the island Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan.

Speaking of San Juan, there are many interesting and relaxing hotels and inns to stay at, such as the Condado Plaza Hotel and Casino. This four star rating hotel is only 15 minutes away from the airport which is super convenient. It’s an ocean front resort that overlooks both the Atlantic Ocean and Condado Lagoon. Either the sun rises or sets, a beautiful scenery will appear right over the ocean and give a breathtaking view—definitely a plus. For a hotel that holds the island’s largest casino, the resort also contains, of course, a beach and a pool with a swim-up bar to grab a drink while enjoying it in the water. For a more exciting time, the hotel includes activities like a lap pool, lighted tennis court and a fully equipped fitness center.

Island Profile: Puerto Rico © Richard Bangs

Instead of going out and searching for great spots for lunch or dinner, the Condado already provides amazing restaurants within the hotel that produce foods so delectable and unique, it shouldn’t be missed out on. One of their top luxurious and high-quality restaurants is the Pikayo. A rich showcase that brings Eastern European and African classics in one place while adding a bit of cherished Puerto Rico hits and a taste of fusion cuisines from around the globe. For a more casual setting, Eight Noodle Bar is the perfect spot to grab sushi made by expert chefs who also create delicious Chinese and Japanese specialties. Located on the second floor of the hotel, it’s hard to miss. You can also enjoy the meal right in your room for a more private atmosphere. However, if the day is beautiful and having lunch outside is the plan, try Aqua Bar & Grill where they serve snacks, lunch and refreshing drinks. This casual outdoor grill has a range of specialties from salads to sandwiches and creative cocktails or refreshing drinks to cool off with. The Aqua Bar is located by the pool and beach area and all three of these restaurants are open seven days a week to serve your cravings.

The Condado Hotel does offer many fun activities, but San Juan itself provides a spectacular amount of exciting and interesting sights and areas to visit. While staying in the city, San Juan is mainly known for its historic site, Castillo San Cristobal. The eight minute drive from the hotel leads to an astonishing field of open land that surrounds the fort. It was built in 1783 for the city’s defense. It was supported by a massive system of outworks and was used for defense—it’s considered one of the largest defenses ever built. Overlooking the ocean, the view is magnificent and the ideal spot for capturing photos. The fort is open daily and also includes tour guides through the maze.

Island Profile: Puerto Rico © Harvey Barrison

Still fascinated by the island’s history? Then check out Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico. A museum chockfull of permanent collections from works by Latin, Caribbean and Puerto Rican artists. It’s also a center of the documentation and investigation of the arts—the museum also offers educational activities to thoroughly enjoy the history. For a museum that is a seven minute drive from the hotel and admission free, it consists of inspiring and amazing pieces of art to appreciate and consume. The museum is closed only on Mondays, but is open on others days of the week. Stop by and build up your knowledge at Museo de Arte Contemporaneo—creative and genuine works that won’t leave the memory.

It’s not a vacation without some thrilling activities and rides to take part in. San Juan has multiple locations that provides water sports and events to try out and create fun memories from. Just about 13 minutes from the hotel and directed on Isla Verde Beach right behind Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino is the San Juan Waterfun. The spot offers action-packed activities such as parasailing, banana boat rides, wave runners, kayaks, water skis and much more. Perfect for spending time with family and friends in an exciting way. The place is open seven days a week for your suitability as well as more time to engage in activities.

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Cover photo © Güldem Üstün

About The Writer
Jacqueline Hanikeh

By: Jacqueline Hanikeh | Published on March 1, 2017

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