Puerto Rico is part of the so-called Greater Antilles, along with Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. It is a sizeable island, 110 miles long by 40 miles wide. However, its tourism industry has not developed as fully as might be expected, despite the island’s status as a self-governing territory of the United States. This is chiefly because its beaches do not offer the powdery white sand found in many parts of the Caribbean. The exception to this rule is the offshore island of Vieques, which was relinquished by the U.S. Navy in 2003. New hotels have opened there, but as yet, none meets the required standard.
WHEN TO GO : The dry season extends from December to April. Summer brings increased rainfall and humidity. This is especially pronounced in the mountainous interior, which rises to more than 4,300 feet.
CURRENCY : The U.S. dollar is the officially recognized currency.
U.S. EMBASSY : None; U.S. territory.
DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels in Puerto Rico, dial 1 + 787 (Puerto Rico code) + local numbers in listings.
The Horned Dorset Primavera
Neocolonial beachfront hotel on the secluded west coast of the island, two hours from San Juan.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Fine new property an easy 40-minute drive east of San Juan’s international airport, which has many direct connections to the United States.