Puerto Rico has been struggling with more than its fair share of financial problems lately, but you shouldn’t let that keep you from visiting (and thereby helping support) this beautiful island paradise. Travel to Puerto Rico is easy from most locations in the United States. You can get there without a passport and enjoy excellent nightlife, beautiful beaches, and amazing outdoor adventures. Here are just a few of our suggestions for your next trip to Puerto Rico:
- El Yunque
El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the US forest system. It doesn’t have any big predators to worry about, so you can wander through this beautiful paradise at your leisure. There are beautiful walking trails, rugged hikes, breathtaking views, and great opportunities to camp unlike any you’ll find elsewhere in the United States.
- The Rio Camuy Caves
About an hour drive outside of San Juan, you can visit the Rio Camuy Caves. These caves are composed of more than 200 rooms that stretch across ten miles. They are carved out by the third largest underground river in the world. Plenty of tour groups offer opportunities to go spelunking in these amazing underground caves. You can also simply walk through some of the more accessible caves on well-lit paths, but we definitely recommend the more adventurous route.
- La Parguera
La Parguera is home to a lush field of mangroves reaching up out of the tropical water. These mangrove islets are home to endless varieties of rare birds, dolphins, fish, turtles, lizards, and much more. You can kayak through this beautiful wonderland to take in all the amazing wildlife. Even better, at the end of the day you can go out on the bay to see one of the world’s most vibrant bioluminescent displays.
Puerto Rico is a US territory, which means that citizens of Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States, but they don’t have voting rights in federal elections. People who live in Puerto Rico can travel to the United States without any sort of passport, and US citizens (from one of the 50 states) can visit Puerto Rico without any need for passports or visas.
If you’re not a US citizen but hold a green card, you should still be able to visit the island without any sort of Puerto Rico travel visa. Just be sure to bring your green card along with you. If you’re neither a US citizen nor a legal permanent resident, give us a call to learn what Puerto Rico visas you might require.
NOTE: Puerto Rico has had numerous documented cases of Zika virus. At the time of writing, the number of affected people had passed 3,000. If you are a pregnant woman or may become pregnant in the future, you might want to consider a trip to Hawaii rather than Puerto Rico this year.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.