10 Reasons To Visit Puerto Rico This Winter
As wintry weather hits most areas of the United States, travelers are looking for options close to home that offer a break from the cold and a boost in mood from the sun. Puerto Rico has consistent sunshine with summertime feels all year round, and to make things even more enticing, its tourist board just released the best road trip itinerary to explore the island.
The route has been inspired by its official Pantone color, a red-orange hue that resembles Puerto Rico’s sunlight. Puerto Rican physicist Hector J. Jimenez calculated the color of sunbeams at different times of the day and locations using models of solar radiation and the atmosphere to identify the color.
The color has been incorporated into many of Puerto Rico’s businesses and attractions, and now the Sunshine Route points to various attractions where you can experience Puerto Rico’s sunshine color.
“There has never been a better time, or easier way, to visit Puerto Rico, with new direct flights departing from across the U.S. daily, and no passport required. Especially as the cold settles in across much of the mainland, we encourage people to feel the warmth in Puerto Rico,” said Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico, in a press release.
Check out some of the top 10 highlighted road stops below:
A Sunshine-Inspired Lightshow
Located in the San Juan metro region, Puerto Rico’s massive new entertainment complex DISTRITO T-Mobile will be putting on a unique light show inspired by the Pantone color using its 14,000 feet of LED screens, including America’s largest 4K horizontal LED screen.
Senor Paleta is a specialty store in Old San Juan known for creamy and fruity frozen desserts on a stick, otherwise known as Paletas. The artisanal shop has created a Puerto Rico Sunshine-inspired paleta with papaya and pineapple flavors. Make sure you take your paleta to-go so you can enjoy it during the sunset over San Juan Bay.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with Puerto Rico’s many glorious beaches as you wait for its orange-hue sun to disappear at the end of the day. Playa Pastillo is known for its turquoise waters and its cave, Cuevas de Las Golondrinas, which is only accessible during the summer months. During winter, you can take a casual beach walk to view it. If you want something for the whole family, Sun Bay beach offers all the amenities you need, while an off-the-beaten-path option is Zoni Beach which has fewer crowds and offers natural caves and sea grapevines.
With designs inspired by nature, accommodation options such as family-owned Hacienda Tres Casitas allow you to reconnect with nature as you look out into the wilderness and listen to the sounds of the coquis and chirping birds.
Nestled in the mountains, Adjuntas has been nicknamed the “City of the Sleeping Giant” and encompasses 1,400 coffee farms with local brands such as Hacienda Tres Ángeles. The coffee hacienda operates a plantation and offers guided tours to learn about how coffee goes from bean to brew, as well as a delicious tasting of the final product at the end.
The Highest Peak
Cerro Punta is the highest peak on the island, which is over 4,000 feet above sea level. Get as close to Puerto Rico’s sunshine as physically possible while experiencing panoramic views of the island either by driving to the peak or hiking it.
Take your pick between the hundreds of locations to enjoy a mesmerizing sunset in Puerto Rico, but Rincón has developed a reputation as one of the best. Located in the Western region of the island, you get to watch a magical display of the sun disappearing below the horizon line.
The route includes a stop at La Parguera Natural Reserve, which is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Puerto Rico. This coastal area is known for its mangrove swamps, coral reefs, and estuaries. Spend the day island-hopping between 30 of its cays and islets or enjoy a snorkeling adventure to view its thriving reefs.
The Caribbean’s most important Taíno archeological landmark, the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Site, dates back more than 800 years and gives a glimpse into indigenous culture prior to the Spanish colonization. Venture back in time with ten “bateys,” known as stone monoliths, and plenty of petroglyphs to interpret.
There’s nothing more relaxing than an outdoor spa and natural thermal springs as you soak up the sun’s rays. Coamo Hot Springs has been called the Fountain of Youth, and the mineral waters have been known to help different conditions, such as diabetes, joint pain, and circulation issues.