Explore Puerto Rico in North America

Puerto Rico
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Puerto Rico with its capital San Juan is located in North America (Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 9,105 square kilometres (slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island) with 3,916,632 citizens. English and Spanish are the the languages commonly used by the people in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that is a self-governing commonwealth of the United States of America. The island of Puerto Rico is a rectangular shape and is the smallest, most eastern island of the Greater Antilles. It measures almost 580 km of coast. There is plenty to do outside the metropolitan areas. Many small family owned tour companies provide guided tours of the Central Mountains in Utuado near Río Tanama, Repelling in Arecibo, kayak tours of Lake Guajataka, and horse back riding on the beach in Aguadilla. Whether you're dreaming about spectacular surfing waves, a challenging golf course, or the perfect sunbathing beach, Puerto Rico offers the active traveler a tremendous array of opportunities. Surfing and golf compete with tennis, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, and horseback riding, not to mention windsurfing and parasailing, for your active time. The island has over 15 championship golf courses a short drive away from the San Juan metropolitan area.


Pictures from the Puerto Rican capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what San Juan is like. We have selected more pictures from San Juan on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

The landscape features mostly mountains with coastal plain belt in north with mountains precipitous to sea on west coast and sandy beaches along most coastal areas. The average density of population is about 430 per km². The climate in Puerto Rico can be described as tropical marine, mild with little seasonal temperature variation. Potential threats by nature are periodic droughts or hurricanes.

To reach someone in Puerto Rico dial +1-787 and +1-93 prior to a number. There are 870,100 installed telephones. And there are 2,716,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 850, 1900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".pr". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 120V - 60Hz.

Learn more on our Puerto Rican Facts page.

Description of the flag of Puerto Rico

Five equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears a large, white, five-pointed star in the center; the white star symbolizes Puerto Rico; the three sides of the triangle signify the executive, legislative and judicial parts of the government; blue stands for the sky and the coastal waters; red symbolizes the blood shed by warriors, while white represents liberty, victory, and peace
note: design initially influenced by the US flag, but similar to the Cuban flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed.

National administrative regions of Puerto Rico

Historical background information

Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Christopher COLUMBUS'' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917. Popularly-elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998, voters chose not to alter the existing political status with the US, but the results of a 2012 vote left open the possibility of American statehood.

Learn more on our Puerto Rican Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.