ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Puerto Rico an Enchanted Island

Updated on August 16, 2011
El Morro
El Morro

Enchanted Island

I just returned from the place where I grew up. I spent my childhood in Puerto Rico and left once I graduated high school. At that time the mainland had much more to offer a 17 year old in search of herself and bigger and better things. I’d almost forgotten what a perfectly enchanting little island Puerto Rico really is. Only wish I had had more time to spend, rediscovering it.

Such a modern, relaxing and familiar place in the North Eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is known as “La Isla del Encanto” in Spanish it means - Enchanted Island. It is a captivating tropical paradise offering all the commodities we are accustomed to in the U.S.

Puerto Rico was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus or Cristobal Colon (his Spanish name). It is an island measuring just 100 miles in length by 35 miles in width. Although small by comparison , it is more than large enough to house the 3.6 million residents that live there.

Puerto Rico is composed of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the only other two inhabited ones are Vieques and Culebras

Unlike other Latin American countries, Puerto Rico has a high standard of living. Puerto Rico became a US territory in 1898 and as a commonwealth of the United States shares plenty with the mainland. The island adheres to the same monetary exchange, the same phone service , same quality of water and electricity standards, same rules of the road and Spanish and English are spoken fluently by most. It is rich in culture and history. The people are simple and pleasant, eager to please with their hospitality and willingness to show a visitor a good time.

El Yunque Rainforest
El Yunque Rainforest
El Yunque Waterfall
El Yunque Waterfall

A Little P.R. History

In the beginning Tainos inhabited the Island. They were a peaceful people that lived off corn, tropical fruits and seafood . The Spaniards later on introduced beef and pork and began planting sugarcane. They lived in small villages lead by their chief or “cacique” . They numbered approximately 50,000 when Columbus first showed up on his second voyage from Spain to conquer the island. The Tainos were welcoming and apart from showing hospitality they made the mistake and also showed the large gold nuggets lining the river beds and told the Spaniards to help themselves.

Unbeknown to the Indians that would be their last taste of freedom. Indians soon became slaves and forced to do all the manual labor. By Columbus’ third voyage the Indians had been decimated and ravaged by disease.

Columbus originally named the island San Juan , he named the main city Puerto Rico. “Puerto” meaning “port” and “Rico” meaning “rich”, Rich Port. Over time the names were inverted and remain as we know them today.

La Nina, La Pinta and the Santa Maria Ships - Watercolor
La Nina, La Pinta and the Santa Maria Ships - Watercolor
Old San Juan
Old San Juan
Old San Juan Streets
Old San Juan Streets
Paseo de la Princesa
Paseo de la Princesa
La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza

Columbus was a visionary, he saw Puerto Rico for what it was then and still is, an impressive island abundant in natural resources and beauty. Crystal blue beaches outline the island, varieties of tropical fruit trees grow wild throughout, mountains and rivers at every turn add to the subtle charm.

Puerto Rico has the only rain forest in the USA , great caves, and adventure activities for thrill seekers.

Due to its excellent potential San Juan soon became the most important military outpost for the Spaniards in the Caribbean.

To this day you can see remnants of the old colonial style which is Old San Juan, a 500year old city. The cobblestone streets and the protective forts constructed by the Spanish army are well preserved and serve to attracts locals and visitors alike.

Culebras and Vieques

Culebras - is about 19 miles east of Fajardo, P.R. It is an arid little island 7 miles long by 3 miles wide. Since it has no rivers or lakes, all water is brought in from Puerto Rico via Vieques island. You can get there by air or ferry. Peace and tranquility are the order of the day if visiting here as there is no nightlife. The clear and crisp waters more than make up for that in this natural paradise. The ferry runs everyday for about $2.50. For an extended visit to this island you can pack your vehicle and load it onto the ferry. Many visitors pack all their camping supplies and head to the beach.


Vieques - For many years the US Navy occupied this island to conduct military drills, since the their departure in 2003 after heavy protests, Isla de Vieques has become the new hottest Caribbean destination and seen an increase in the number of tourists. Enormous changes have already taken place. If you want to experience the uncrowded, peaceful, and virgin side of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, plan on visiting soon because as it becomes more and more popular it may not stay this way for long. It is just 6 miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico and may be reached by ferry or short flight.

Arroz con Gandules
Arroz con Gandules
Mofongo w/Shrimp
Mofongo w/Shrimp
Yummy Pina Colada
Yummy Pina Colada

Puerto Rican Cuisine

A great bonus of visiting P.R. is the cuisine. At any given corner or town locals have their restaurants set up right in front of their residence as a means of deriving extra income. I suspect the FDA would have a fit if they actually had to go around inspecting each one of these little hole in the wall eateries. The best part is, because they don’t have to deal with this department they can concentrate on quality food and ingredients, served by family members at an affordable price. Some of my favorite foods from the Puerto Rican cuisine :

Asopao - soup made out of chicken or crusteceans and rice with a special blend of herbs and flavors. Perfect comfort food.

Pernil - Slow roasted pork shoulder.

Arroz con glandules - rice with green pigeon peas.

Mofongo - fried green plaintain mashed together with garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bacon bits and typically formed into a ball. A variation of the mofongo dish is the mofongo relleno which means stuffed. The mofongo is shaped with a hallow inside to stuff with chicken, crab, shrimp, beef, or vegetables.

Bacalaitos - deep fried battered mixture with cod fish .

Pina Colada - Tropical pineapple, coconut crème and rum mix drink. Rum and rum drinks are favored on the island. The pina colada was invented here in P.R. at Caribe Hilton Hotel.



Another good reason to visit P.R. is the contagious beat of the music. Latin salsa and merengue bring life to any event, especially in the evenings. There are plenty of casinos, bars, discos and clubs in Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde if you are up to experiencing the nightlife. If you prefer theater, opera or ballet you can book musical concerts too.

The music of Puerto Rico has influences from as far as Africa, Spain , the US, Panama, Cuba and Dominican Republic. Today their music is a delightful mix of all which is heard throughout the Caribbean and beyond.

Ricky Martin - The Cup of Life

Marc Anthony - Valio La Pena

Olga Tanon

Daddy Yankee - Lo Que Paso, Paso

My Favorite Puerto Rican Singers

1. Ricky Martin - got his start with the pre-teen boy band “Menudo“. They were a huge success and the most wanted poster in every young girls room. When he outgrew the band he went solo and has remained an icon for 30 years within the latin american music industry. His good looks and dance moves alone are enough to captivate but we have the good fortune of also being able to enjoy his voice . His genres - Pop, Latin Pop, Reggaeton , Dance Pop and Pop/Rock .

2. Marc Anthony - was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. He is the top selling tropical salsa king and has sold more that 10 million albums worldwide. He is a winner of 5 Grammy awards. He is currently married to Jennifer lopez after divorcing his ex-wife , former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres with whom he has two sons.
His genres - Latin, Salsa, Pop and Latin Pop .

3. Olga Tanon - born in Santurce, Puert Rico she is the youngest of four children. She is a two time grammy award recipient and three time Latin Grammy winner for Merengue and Latin Pop. This lady has a phenomenal voice, talent , beauty and dance moves. Her daughter Gabriela is one of only 50 people in the world that have Sebastian's syndrome, a rare disease. Her plans are to keep touring and donate some of the money that she earns to find her daughter a cure.

4. Daddy Yankee - Ramón "Raymond" Luis Ayala Rodríguez was born in Rio Piedras, P.R. He is a Latin Grammy Award winning Puerto Rican regaetton recording artist. He became interested in music as a youngster. Although he played baseball, and aspired to become a Major League Baseball player. His baseball career was cut short when he received an injury to one of his legs. He then dove in and became involved in the regaetton rap movement while in its early stages in Puerto Rico, later known as regaetton.

I’ve let too much time pass before returning to this enchanted island. Now that I’ve rediscovered it , I plan to take some time to really visit and stay a bit longer . No work, just sheer pleasure. Puerto Rico - My Enchanted Island.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      7 years ago


      Puerto Rico is a beautiful island to visit. The locals speak English and and are very friendly and hospitable. I wish I knew where you were headed but regardless you are sure to have a great time. Enjoy, and let me know how you found my little island when you get back. have fun celebrating Your birthday!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for writing this very informative hub. We are going there for my 40th birthday and this hub will be useful!

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      8 years ago


      I especially enjoy other Boricuas comments on here. Thank you for taking the to read and voice your approval.

    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      8 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Culebra is a nice island. I had fun there! Good job, Boricua!

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      8 years ago


      Lucky you to get to visit so much. I took my kids too for our 20th high school reunion a few years ago. Going down memory lane for us visiting old friends and our past gathering spots was such a treat. The kids loved it. I think it is important for them to know their roots, culture and exquisite food. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed this hub.

    • lvlymom profile image


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Great Hub! I am from there myself and visit 3 to 4 times a year. I think it's very important my daughters know their "roots"! My oldest daughter was born there and my youngest was born here (NJ). Her first trip to PR was when she was 6 weeks old to be baptized where my husband and I had our baptisms. Our Isla del Encanto is always calling us...wink, wink.

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago


      Anything I can do to promote our little enchanted island. Good to hear from you and thanks for reading.

    • jrsearam profile image


      9 years ago from San Juan, PR

      Saludos Boricua, enjoyed your take on the island. Thanks for the entertaining read! Bendiciones, JR

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago


      That's too bad about the Spanish but at least you got the feel for the island , traditions and customs. Never too late to learn though. Thanks for reading, so glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • technorican profile image


      9 years ago from Houston

      This is great! My first time visited was with my family and my grandmothers. We visited so many relatives but my sister and I didn't speak Spanish. Not my parents' fault. They were born on the island but assimilation was the social flow, not multiculturalism.

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago


      It would be a trip well worth taking again. Most tourist only see the the Metropolitan area but theres plenty other towns with their unique festivals to experience. Hope you get to go again :)

    • Kimmie10 profile image


      9 years ago

      I went to Puerto Rico, and I loved it. I would love to go there again. Of course when I got there, I only visited San Juan and Old San Juan. I would love to see the rest of the island.

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago


      I appreciate you stopping by, glad you liked it.

      prettydarkhorse -

      Thank you so much. If you ever need a real tour guide to visit, I'm here for you. Never a problem going back for me:)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      well done and complete, one day I will go there, thanks for being a nice guide and you said it all, Maita

    • Horance1418 profile image


      9 years ago

      good post

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      DeBorrah - Thank you for saying so. Glad to meet someone else here that knows P.R. and the food... yummy! I really enjoyed the recent work related visit.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Bail Up! Wonderful refreshing hub on Puerto Rico! It is a beautiful place! I had some of the best food in Puerto Rico.

      Wonderful photographs! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      Truth ftom Truth

      Old San Juan is where most people go, as you mentioned all the cruise ships end up there. Undoubtedly a must see. Glad you got to see a bit of the Island, hope you had your share of the authentic food :)

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub Bail Up. I visited Puerto Rico, but i'm sorry to say I only was able to explore Old San Juan and the touristy places. I was on a cruise and the ship had a late arrival, so I did not see as much as I wanted to. It was still nice what I did see, but I will try again in a future cruise, or a longer stay.

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      Hi Dohn

      Glad you made it back. I had a bit of fun myself writing this as I kept playing the videos over and over. I know pretty goofy! Thanks for stopping by.


      Puerto Rico is pretty spectacular. Most people just go to the touristy area of Old San Juan and thats great but they are certainly missing out by not visiting the country side. Just a thought in case you make it there sometime. Thanks for stopping in.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 

      9 years ago

      Great place to visit;going to be added to my travel destination list.You must be knowing everything about Puerto Rico.Thanks for sharing.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      This is really a complete hub about Puerto Rico. I had a lot of fun reading this. You certainly sold me! Thank you!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)