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Escape to Puerto Rico

When I think of Puerto Rico, I remember pulsing Latin and reggae music, sunsets that look poured from an artist’s palette, inviting stretches of beaches and colorful towns bustling with shops, art and tantalizing eateries.

A self-governing commonwealth of the United States, the island of Puerto Rico lies in the Caribbean, west of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The capital, San Juan, founded by Ponce de Leon in 1521, is the oldest city in U.S. territory.

Old San Juan is a square-mile area embraced by walls built in the 1600s. Replete with vendors, open-air cafes, music and galleries, Old San Juan is the spice of the island.

Take time to explore El Morro, a 500-year-old, six-story fort on the San Juan Bay (open daily, admission $3). The turrets, towers, tunnels, dungeons, secret passageways, stone walls and barracks that make up this citadel give you a glimpse of what life was like when Spain ruled the island. The fort was built on a rocky promontory to defend the coastline.

For more history, check out El Catedral de San Juan Bautista, home to Ponce de León’s tomb. On the lighter side, the Bacardi Rum Factory offers free tours. And when you’re ready for beach time, head to Condado and Isla Verde.

El Yunque in eastern Puerto Rico boasts 28,000 acres and is the only rainforest within the U.S. National Forest system. Millions of tree frogs tune up their chorus here each evening.

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When I think of Puerto Rico, I remember pulsing Latin and reggae music, sunsets that look poured from an artist’s palette, inviting stretches of beaches and colorful towns bustling with shops, art and tantalizing eateries.

A self-governing commonwealth of the United States, the island of Puerto Rico lies in the Caribbean, west of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The capital, San Juan, founded by Ponce de Leon in 1521, is the oldest city in U.S. territory.

Old San Juan is a square-mile area embraced by walls built in the 1600s. Replete with vendors, open-air cafes, music and galleries, Old San Juan is the spice of the island.

Take time to explore El Morro, a 500-year-old, six-story fort on the San Juan Bay (open daily, admission $3). The turrets, towers, tunnels, dungeons, secret passageways, stone walls and barracks that make up this citadel give you a glimpse of what life was like when Spain ruled the island. The fort was built on a rocky promontory to defend the coastline.

For more history, check out El Catedral de San Juan Bautista, home to Ponce de León’s tomb. On the lighter side, the Bacardi Rum Factory offers free tours. And when you’re ready for beach time, head to Condado and Isla Verde.

El Yunque in eastern Puerto Rico boasts 28,000 acres and is the only rainforest within the U.S. National Forest system. Millions of tree frogs tune up their chorus here each evening.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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