"!Viva Puerto Rico Libre!" Puerto Rico by BROOKS
Puerto Rico Travel Guide: 2,311 reviews and 5,976 photos
Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern Caribbean, 60 miles east of the Dominican Republic, and 40 miles west of the US Virgin Islands. The Island is 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. The interiors are mountainous and the coastal areas are flat. Puerto Rico differs from many other communities in which you may have lived. The main difference includes the culture, the Spanish language and the unparalleled weather.
While Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, its culture and social mores are charmingly Spanish. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a politically stable Commonwealth of the United States and Puerto Ricans are American citizens. As a matter a fact, Puerto Rico is the oldest community under the American Flag. The Island became part of the United States in 1898. In 1952 the people of Puerto Rico voted for the permanent union with the US as a freely associated State of Commonwealth.
Over the years, Puerto Rico has grown and developed into a modern community, which blends the best aspects of American drives with the warmth and cultural heritage the Spanish left behind. Today, the Puerto Rican is an American citizen but has no voting representation in the United States, therefore, pays no Federal income taxes.
Puerto Rico has the highest per capita income in the Caribbean and Latin America, a modern infrastructure, as well as an educated labor forces. Manufacturing is the leading source of GNP and hotels benefit from business related travel. The constant, mild tropical weather and cooling trade winds have helped to make Puerto Rico a popular, year-round vacation destination. The Island's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is located in San Juan. More than 12 million visitors pass through it yearly and is served by 36 airlines.
International carriers offer direct service to major cities throughout the Western Hemisphere.The security of the Commonwealth status with the United States, superior air service, the large labor pool, as well as being the only Caribbean island with suitable infrastructure for industries, hotel and resort makes Puerto Rico engaging to all.
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Today, Puerto Rico is where American can-do capitalism meets the friendly person-person style of the islands and the courtly courtesy inherited from its Spanish legacy. A thousand miles southeast of Miami, Puerto Rico is a crossroads for businesses today. The attractiveness of a population of 3.6 million, which is extremely apparent since the Puerto Rican market is, booming with US businesses. Retail giants such as Wal-Mart, Sears, JC Penny, and Kmart anchor shopping centers and malls alongside locally owned shops and island chain stores. Towers bearing such familiar names as Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, Chase and Citibank rise in the Hato Rey business district of San Juan next to locals such as market-leader Banco Popular and international banks such as Banco Santander. Our Governor, Pedro Rosello has introduced new visions of progress and development for Puerto Rico. Today, Puerto Rico is rapidly strengthening its reputation as a global trendsetter as it continues to encourage steady growth and bolster economic strength.
Housings and Condominiums:
Housing in Puerto Rico is abundant. There are housings for all kinds of wallets and tastes. A good three bedroom, two bath home in San Juan will range in price from $150,000-$250,000. Land in the island is limited therefore expensive. With about a ¼ of an acre and four bedrooms, prices average between $250,000-$475,000. There are also many townhouses for approximately $185,000. Most of our homes have tropical settings such as beautiful patios and terraces. Property taxes are usually lower than in the States. If you live in a home you are entitled to a $15,000 exemption. As a veteran you may qualify for an additional $4,000 exemption. Many of the homes that are priced below $100,000 pay almost no taxes.
Many of the condominiums in Puerto Rico are high risers. The smallest one would probably have 6 floors. Each unit is called an apartment. People from all walks of life and from every age group, income level, and life style may own one. You will find many condominiums in the San Juan Metropolitan Area especially in the Condado and Isla Verde area. Many of them have amazing views to the city, mountains, and overlook the ocean. The condominiums in these areas are rather expensive because of their location and walking distance to the beach. A good 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment can range anywhere between $150,000-$200,000.
The condominiums that are more luxurious, like those that have chandeliers, marble floors, more than two parking spots and 24-hour security guards, are obviously more expensive. These range from $350,000-$650,000 and more, different form those in other areas whom are not that expensive that may range from $90,000-$150,000.
Many of the condominiums have swimming pools, two parkings per apartment, guard, elevators, electronic parking gates and more. Life in condominiums is recommended wholeheartedly to newcomers in order for them to enjoy the Caribbean breeze, ocean views, security, and walking distance to shops, beaches, etc…
The areas of Condado in Santurce, together with Old San Juan, are the busiest spots in Puerto Rico. Life near the beach, luxurious hotels such as The Marriott, exclusive boutiques, restaurants and discos, were homes are an exception and condominiums are the way of life. Many of these have the most amazing views towards the crystalline ocean, great recreational facilities, as well as alignments to retail stores, office buildings, medical institutions, residential areas, banks and industries. This sector is very "Americanized" were tourists having almost no need to speak Spanish.
Home of the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, therefore one of the most tourist areas in Puerto Rico. Isla Verde has many hotels, such as Hampton Inn, El San Juan Hotel, The Sands Hotel, and some as luxurious as The Ritz Carlton. Ocean front condominiums with amazing views of the crystalline beaches, good recreational facilities, as well as alignments to retail stores, office buildings, residential areas, banks and industries.
Caparra, Guaynabo, Torrimar, and Rio Piedras are known for its friendly and informal ways of life. With beautiful views of the mountains and the green vegetation grown in Puerto Rico you will have the honor of listening to the lovely song of the Coqui. The Coqui is a miniature frog unique to Puerto Rico, since it is said to be able to only survive and be seen in this Island.They are ideal areas for a family to settle down and for your children to have room for play, indoors as well as outdoors.
Puerto Rico is one of the most favored destinations for many of the world's preferred airlines and people. Puerto Rico is a hub for air travel in the Caribbean, from the United States, and Europe. American Airlines uses Puerto Rico as one of their most important hubs. The Island's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is located in San Juan where more than 12 million visitors pass through yearly, served by 36 airlines. International carriers offer direct service to major cities throughout the Western Hemisphere. There are direct flights to San Juan, Aguadilla and Ponce from major cities in the United States through major airlines such as American Airlines and Eagle, United, Delta, Continental Airlines, US Air, TWA, and Northwest Airlines. Also from Europe, one can fly via American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, TWA, KLM and United. Most of the flights from some states in the US do not take a long time. From Boston to Puerto Rico the flight may take approximately 3 ½ hours, from New York 3 hours, and Miami 1 ½ hour.
The Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authorities grant many facilities throughout the island. As in many other countries there are "Guaguas" which mean Buses, taxi services and water taxi services called Aqua-express. Furthermore there are many well-known car rental companies such as Charlie Car Rental, Budget, Target,Avis and Hertz. The "Tren Urbano" which is a new rapid transit railroad service, will benefit the residents of Puerto Rico starting in the year 2002.
As you fly into Puerto Rico you can see, to your left the ancient Spanish fortress called El Morro, just into the Atlantic Ocean, symbol of centuries of history. As you move along you admire the modern hotels of the Condado and Isla Verde area that are located along the sands of the beach, as to your right the radiant glass towers of the Hato Rey banking district. In this distance, green mountains give you the option of escaping to the small towns and country roads. As you land you notice no Customs inspections or foreign currencies as well as you experience the impact of the average annual temperature of 82 degrees. What quickly seems obvious is how you have a variety of options to choose from and arrange your so desired vacation. The most difficult decision is which option to pick where to stay and what to do. For this we have many options depending on your kind of lifestyle and size of wallet. On the northeast tip of the island lies El Conquistador Resort and Country Club, which offers a choice of rooms in the main hotel, at waterfront marina or in comfortable townhouses styles in colonial Spanish design, all set in beautiful landscapes. Tennis, golf, sport fishing or a boat ride to a deserted island for swimming and snorkeling are some of the activities to choose from. This Resort is for those who want to have a quite vacation on a gorgeous resort, play sports and enjoy the refreshing beaches and pools on the Conquistador. For those whom want to stay in the city and enjoy the history of the Island, by going sightseeing and enjoying the benefits of a city may stay in smaller Hotels and Resorts in the San Juan Metropolitan Area.
Hotels, Guest Houses and Paradores:
Puerto Rico has a remarkable variety of hotels. You can find exceptional hotels in the metropolitan area that offer luxury and business facilities. Hotel occupancy during the high times of a year can range from 90% to 100% occupancy. During the summer season rates can be much lower. Many of the known hotels are centered between the Condado and Isla Verde areas of the San Juan Metropolitan Area. Some like the Caribe Hilton, El Condado Plaza, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Marriott Hotel, El Hotel San Juan, The Ritz Carlton, etc…
There are a number of charming guesthouses that you can choose from. They offer reasonable prices and include bed and breakfast accommodations that are available in the US. Some of these in Condado and Isla Verde, such as Tres Palmas GuestHouse and La Osteria del Mar, offer the luxury of an ocean front guesthouses with a breathtaking view and refreshing breeze.
The word "Paradores" means stops, or Inns. These Paradores require reservations in advance since they are very popular in many parts of the Island. By staying in these Paradores you learn a great deal about the real inner beauty of the Island and its people. Many tourists come to San Juan and never leave the immediate surroundings, but Puerto Rico has ethereal scenic beauty, from the mountains to the rain forests, to the beaches.
Puerto Rico's school system is the second largest systems within the United States. Although most of the classes are in Spanish, but the newcomer have a variety of choices between private or parochial schools because of their high academic standards and English instruction. These schools shown below compare with those in the US and all teach in English, or English and Spanish. In Guaynabo there is Baldwin, Wesleyan, American Military, San Ignacio an all boys school, Maria Reina and Academia San Jose an all girls school, The Caribbean Preparatory School, Cupeyville, and Maristas. In Rio Piedras is the all boys school Colegio San Jose. In Condado there is St John's and Robinson were most of the classes are teached in English, and in Miramar there is Perpetuo Socorro a highly recommended Catholic school. All these are proud to be able to prepare your child for the encounters of the future tomorrow.
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