Among the things a brides look when choosing a place to have their destination wedding is what activities and attractions does the destination offer for their guests and families.
And for most guest a destination wedding is also a great opportunity for a family vacation or to explore a new place.
For starters, because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States if your guest are traveling from the United States they will not need their passports nor do they have to exchange currency or learn a new language. While Spanish is the main language in the island, English is widely spoken.
We also have many great opportunities for your guests to have a great time while attending your wedding. Here is a list of 10 must see and do things (make sure to bring your camera):
1. Old San Juan – Love this city. Great place to explore over 500 year of history as you walk the cobblestone streets inside the walls of this citadel so unique that the United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it a World Heritage site. It is a seven block museum, but also a living neighborhood with plenty of places in which to party, dine, shop and stay.
It can easily walked (bring comfortable shoes) and you will find many great restaurant sure to please everyone in your group, from fine to casual dining, two majestic fortresses to explore, the oldest operating executive mansion in this hemisphere (La Fortaleza). many art galleries, antique shops and small museums (even one for kids) and an active night life. If you are a coffee lover you are in the right place as many boutique coffee houses have opened doors.
2. El Yunque Rain Forest – If you are a nature lover, you are for a feast. El Yunque is one of the most beloved and important rainforest in the world. Many natural trails to explore, waterfalls to swim and enjoy. Be prepared to get wet. It is, after all, a rain forest!
3. Cuevas de Camuy – In the town of Hatillo you will find another of Puerto Rico natural treasures, Rio Camuy Cave park, an extensive cave system. You can go for the day or join one of the many underground expeditions.
4. Cabo Rojo”s Los Morillos Lighthouse – Located in top of a 200 foot limestone cliffs and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Los Morrilos offer incredible views and it is the best spot to see the most breathtaking sunsets in the island. It marks the most south west tip of the island, in the town of Cabo Rojo. A short walk you will find a beautiful coved beach called La Playuela.
5. Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park – Located in the town of Orocovis is perfect for the adrenaline junkies. There are eight mountain adventures and excursions. http://www.toroverdepr.com
6. Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park – A way to connect with the beginnings of Puerto Rico. Located in Utuado, is one of the major pre-columbian sites in the Caribbean with about dozen ceremonial parks and countless petroglyphs. While you are there, you need to taste the local coffee.
7. Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay – Best seen on moonless nights, the water’s micro-organism dinoflagellates (Pyrodinium bahamense) that bioluminesce (glow in the dark when disturbed). Laguna Grande is located in the town of Fajardo, (there is another one in Vieques called Mosquito Bay). Please use eco friendly bug spray as this micro-organisms are fragile and can be easily ruin and lost forever. Simming is not allowed for the same reason.
8. Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve – The Conservation Trust of PR owns this nature reserve in Fajardo and their eco-tour is one of the island’s best nature experience. It offers a very diverse eco system, including mangrove forests, rocky beaches and the Lighthouse.
9. Beaches! – As an island, Puerto Rico is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Some of the most popular beaches are: in the metro area you will find Condado, Ocean Park, Pine Grove, Isla Verde). The west coast offer the most beautiful beaches, specially Rincón (great for surfing) and Boqueron. In the south you may want to visit Playa Santa and Caña Gorda. In the east you have Luquiillo beach. Then you have the beaches of Vieques and Culebra islands. And many more.
10. Surfing – If you are looking for great waves, we have them! The center of the island Surf scene is Rincón but extend to neighboring Aguadilla and Isabela. Dubbed the “Caribbean Pipeline,” winter waves here can approach 20 feet (6.1m) in height, equaling the force of the surf on Oahu’s north shore.
Rincón became a renowned surfing destination when it hosted the 1968 world surfing championships. Famed surfing beaches in town include Puntas, Domes, Tres Palmas, and Steps. In Aguadilla, surfers head to Gas Chambers, Crash Boat, or Wilderness; in Isabela, preferred spots include Jobos and Middles.
The best time to surf is from November through April, but summer storms can also kick up the surf. In the summer season, however, when the waves diminish, these northwest beaches double as perfect spots for windsurfing and snorkeling, with calm waters filled with coral reefs and marine life.
So there you have, 10 great things to do and places to go while in Puerto Rico. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do and places to go. Puerto Rico may be small, but it is loaded with culture and things to do, if you know where to look for them.