San Juan is the capital and largest city of Puerto Rico. A perfect blend of old-world charm and new-world extravagance. But, what else do you know about San Juan? There are probably five things that you might not know but would want to learn in name of planning ahead. Here is what I’ve learned about one of the most culturally diverse cities I know of. Check it out.
1) San Juan has a land area of under 80 square miles. This means if you choose to rent a car while you’re there, you won’t be driving all over the place. As a matter of fact there are several major properties, like Embassy Suites, for example, that are footsteps away from the nightlife and the beach.
2) The city’s population is approximately 395,000. This number represents almost as many residents as you’ll find in Minneapolis, MN. By the way, Puerto Ricans are super welcoming, and love to feed their guests. So arrive with open arms and an empty stomach!
3) San Juan includes a Spanish-based culture mixed with African traditions. This means you see lots of dancing — with rhythm! You’ll also see natives who appear African-American and Hispanic. Keep that in mind if and when you want to ask someone for directions. (And don’t worry about learning Spanish; English is a very close second language.)
4) April through November will call for umbrellas and ponchos as these months tend to fall on the rainy side, with several unforgiving thunderstorms in the afternoon. Don’t worry though; the rain goes away in a minute! The return of temperatures in the 80s — almost everyday! — will trick you into thinking it never rained.
5) The Bacardi Rum Factory is located in San Juan. Try to take a free tour, where you’ll get to sample the product! Hours of operations are Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
If you’ve never been to San Juan, or to Puerto Rico for that matter, make plans to do so this summer. No passport required, and your U.S. dollars work just fine. With something for all, Puerto Rico should be a first stop in anyone’s Caribbean escape.