When choosing Caribbean cruise deals you may not pay too much attention to whether the liner calls at Puerto Rico, but if that is the case, you could be missing out on visiting a fascinating tropical island.
Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan has become a regular port of call for Royal Caribbean Cruises on its liners’ Eastern Caribbean routes, allowing passengers to experience a taste of the island’s heritage and culture.
If you choose to visit San Juan on your trip around the Caribbean, you will almost certainly enjoy warm weather as you explore its natural beauty and historic buildings.
Even at the coldest times of the year, the average temperature is around 25 degrees C, making Puerto Rico a perfect winter destination.
The tropical climate makes soaking up the sun an enticing prospect and Puerto Rico’s capital has a number of beautiful white sand beaches which are ideal spots for relaxing and topping up the tan.
If you are feeling a little adventurous, the beach at Ocean Park is a popular place for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
And if you count yourself as very adventurous, you may want to head out of San Juan to visit the El Yunque National Forest – a rainforest which is home to some birds, amphibians and plant species which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
Passengers of Royal Caribbean Cruises and the other cruise lines which call at San Juan will also find plenty to do if they choose to stay in the city during their time in Puerto Rico.
It is packed with historic buildings, many of them dating back to the time when the Spanish first colonised the island in the early 16th century.
The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is the second oldest cathedral in the western hemisphere, while the San Juan National Historic Site includes several forts built by Spanish settlers to defend the city.
While wandering round Old San Juan in search of the famous buildings, you will also walk through the many plazas which act as meeting points for residents, giving you a flavour of the local culture.
Whether you’ve spent the day on the beach or exploring the old town, you’ll probably want to end it by sampling some of the local food and drink.
Head for the bars and restaurants of Isla Verde or Condado and you’ll see how the locals like to enjoy an evening out – a memorable way to end your stay in Puerto Rico.