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RICH HISTORY IN PUERTO RICO

Posted on September 15, 2014

Puerto RicoThe sandy beaches, elegant Spanish-style homes, and centuries-old forts of San Juan, Puerto Rico, could make you easily forget you’re still in the U.S. And all those rum-soaked cocktails certainly don’t help with thinking clearly.

An unincorporated territory of the U.S., Puerto Rico requires no passport or complications with customs to gain entry, and direct flights from New York City to San Juan take just about four hours — but you’ll feel like you’re a world away.

During fall and winter, it’s still swimsuit weather in Puerto Rico. But if you can pull yourself away from the beach, a day spent walking through the district of Old San Juan offers great rewards.

Cobblestone streets play off the Spanish-meets-neoclassical architecture, with the wrought-iron grates and bright-colored exteriors. You can stroll down the elegant Paseo de la Princesa esplanade for a relaxing ramble, or head to the bustling Calle Fortaleza to check out some of the best stores the city has to offer — from high-end luxury designer goods to handcrafted souvenirs. For the latter, stop by Puerto Rican Art & Crafts to peruse original jewelry, ceramics, and more.

Though an energetic, modern capital city, San Juan radiates history. Head to Calle del Cristo not only for the shops and restaurants but to see Capilla del Cristo, a chapel built to honor a reputed 18th-century miracle in which a rider lost control of his horse, rushed to the end of the street and over the precipice, only to be saved by the prayers of the city’s secretary. Next to this sacred place is Parque de las Palomas: a park that’s now home to hundreds of pigeons who inhabit the ground, trees, and cubby-holed walls.

Read the full story at the New York Daily News.

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