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Every so often, clients will ask for a Caribbean vacation that doesn’t require a passport.  There are only a few destinations that fit that bill and Puerto Rico is one of those islands.

Old San Juan

Less than 4 hours from the NY/NJ region with lots of non stop flights from JFK and Newark International Airports and about 2.5 hours from Miami, San Juan is a great spot for a short getaway.  My Vacation Lady has clients there right now— who just wanted to get away from the cold.

But what is there to see and do in Puerto Rico?

According to an article published by a marketing director of Travel Impressions, there are 8 must see and must do’s in Puerto Rico!

This is the list curated by Travel Impressions’ Veronica Vega and published in April 2012

1. Kayak the Bioluminescent Bay at Laguana Grande in Fajardo. This is one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced. You’ll glide on calm waters through the mangroves in your kayak in the evening dark, as you reach a clearing where you’ll see the diamond like effect of the waters that glitter when stirred.

2. Stroll around Old San Juan. It’s the oldest city under the U.S flag and with its paved cobblestone 7-square-block area, and carefully restored 16th and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings, this area oozes charm. Great unique shopping and many fabulous restaurants, make this a favorite pasttime.

3. Taste local food favorites. I can’t say enough about the food in Puerto Rico! It’s local delicacies range from rice and beans, fresh seafood, pork or much more. Try mofongo – one of my favorites!  It’s a garlicky dish made in combination of plantains and options such as pork or shrimp.  I enjoy mofongo with veggies.  Of course you can choose from a wide array of local drinks. Did you know the Pina Colada is said to be a Puerto Rican invention? Legend has it, that it was created by a Caribe Hilton bartender.

4. Explore a Tropical Rain Forest. Visiting the El Yunque rain forest is inspiring owing to its natural beauty.  You’ll also take in the myriad of living things, sounds, smells,  and textures.

5. Zip line Toro Verde. When I visited Puerto Rico this past December, I had the chance to experience the zip line for the first time. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but if you are, this really fits the bill. They switch it up here a bit, and I experienced a customized grouping of lines along with the infamous Bestia, which means Beast in Spanish. You will be secured into a large body harness, as you lay down to get attached to the cables from your back. Flying through the air like a bird (or, in my case, a screaming loon) was a most exhilarating experience!

6. Experience Rio Camuy Cave Park. The world’s third-longest known subterranean stream has created a sinkhole deep enough to swallow a 30-story building. National Geographic Travel says, “You won’t forget it… ever.” I agree!

7. Paint the town red. This special Caribbean island offers a fantastic cosmopolitan nightlife. Salsa and merengue might be the spice of this awesome little island’s evenings, but there is so much to do in Puerto Rico, and you can find something every night into the wee hours.

8. Rent a car. Some of the best sites and activities I have seen or done in Puerto Rico weren’t researched before I visited; they were surprises I stumbled upon. Driving here is a breeze. Arranging a car rental beforehand is not only effortless but recommended. Puerto Rico is an easy island to explore and every time I visit, I find new reasons to love it!

If you are looking for a quick getaway or even a longer vacation or romantic honeymoon, Puerto Rico may be an island to think about.  With the recent additional of some brand new luxury resorts, even the most discriminating traveler will be able to find the accommodations that will please them in Puerto Rico AND, AGAIN— no passports are required for U.S. Citizens.