Popular souvenirs include cigars, coffee, rum, hammocks, straw items, sculptures, santos (carved saints), coconut devil masks and stringed instruments. It should be noted that cigars labeled as Cuban cigars are not actually from Cuba; Since Puerto Rico is part of the US territory, the country is subject to the US embargo, which prohibits the import and sale of Cuban goods. Lace work is also a popular souvenir. In the small town of Moca, mundillo (literally meaning “small world”) is made. This traditional form of lace-making is typical of Puerto Rico, and its origins can be traced back to Spain. It remains a popular form of handicraft today and is honored with an annual festival. Be wary of the cheap souvenirs in Old San Juan’s junk shops; many items are not authentic and have been imported. If you want to be on the safe side, buy from Puerto Rican Arts and Crafts (Internet: www.puertoricanart-crafts.com), where a certificate is issued proving that all the products on offer were made by local artists. On weekends, Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan often hosts street fairs where many local artists sell their wares live. Plaza las Americas (website: www.plazalasamericas.com), which is the largest mall in the Caribbean, is located in the upscale Hato Rey neighborhood of San Juan.
- Top-engineering-schools: Provides detailed population data for major cities of Puerto Rico. Also covers geography information including rivers, mountains, lakes, and national borders.
Mon-Wed and Sat 9am-7pm, Thu-Fri 9am-9pm, some malls also open Sun 11am-5pm. Many shops in Old San Juan have different opening times based on current cruise ship schedules.
Puerto Rican nightlife is lively and varied. In the capital, you can sit and people-watch in the plazas of Old San Juan. We recommend a walk along La Princesa, a promenade along the bay of San Juan that leads to the only surviving city gates of the old city wall. On the weekends, artists often sell their wares here, and groups of older Puerto Ricans gather here to perform nostalgic and folkloric tunes. Another popular San Juan nighttime activity is to join the locals at the Plaza del Mercado in the Santurce neighborhood, which hosts both scheduled and impromptu live concerts on the weekends. The market, which is closed in the evenings, is surrounded by numerous bars and restaurants. Night owls have the choice between discotheques, music bars and classical concerts; the large hotels also offer a varied entertainment programme. Many Puerto Ricans like to shake their hips at traditional Latin dance clubs, which often feature live salsa and merengue bands. One of the most popular clubs is the Nuyorican in Old San Juan, a small bar with live music where you can learn about the local culture. Things are a little quieter outside of the capital. Most of the family-oriented nightlife takes place in the area around the main square of the respective town. where live bands often play salsa and merengue. One of the most popular clubs is the Nuyorican in Old San Juan, a small bar with live music where you can learn about the local culture. Things are a little quieter outside of the capital. Most of the family-oriented nightlife takes place in the area around the main square of the respective town. where live bands often play salsa and merengue. One of the most popular clubs is the Nuyorican in Old San Juan, a small bar with live music where you can learn about the local culture. Things are a little quieter outside of the capital. Most of the family-oriented nightlife takes place in the area around the main square of the respective town.
In Puerto Rico, especially in San Juan, there are many good restaurants offering Spanish, Chinese, French, Greek and Italian dishes, among others. Several Peruvian and Argentinian restaurants have also opened in San Juan in recent years. The local cuisine is Spanish influenced, with beans and rice as the main ingredients. Although the food is not particularly spicy, it can sometimes be a bit salty. Puerto Rican cuisine is experiencing something of a culinary renaissance. It is reinterpreted for the discerning palate, notably by such famous chefs as Wilo Benet (who appears regularly on television, as well as in travel and culinary publications) and Roberto Trevino, known as Iron Chef. It seems like every year a new culinary festival is celebrated to celebrate island cuisine. Seafood and tropical fruits are not as common on the local menu as most visitors think. Many of Puerto Rican favorite foods are fried. Beach huts and street stalls usually offer fried pieces of dough stuffed with beef, poultry or fish. The national dish is asopao (rice pot with fish, chicken or shrimp). paella, poultry dishes, black bean soup, baked crabs,
Mofongo (plantain dumpling stuffed with meat, poultry or seafood, served in a broth). Tostones (thick, fried sticks made from plantains). Maduros (sweet plantains served baked or fried). Lechon asado (fried pork; lechon is found on most menus). Arroz y habichuelas (rice and beans; kidney beans are typically used, served in a bowl with plenty of liquid as a kind of soup). Quesitos (sweet pastries filled with cream cheese). Pastel (known as tamal in other countries; patties made from plantain steamed in a banana leaf; pastels are eaten year-round, are actually a typical dish at Christmas time). Bacalao (cod) is prepared in a variety of ways, with the most well-known dishes being isserenata de bacalao or bacalao serenade, a type of stew with potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Piraguas (paper cones of crushed ice that come in a variety of flavors such as parcha (passion fruit), mango, or pineapple; a cool and refreshing treat found primarily in Old San Juan, on beaches, and in central plazas).
The service fee is often already included in the bill; if not, 15-20% of the invoice amount is reasonable.
Piña colada – Puerto Rico is said to be the country of origin of the popular cocktail. Barrilito, a local rum, is worth tasting. Medalla is the Puerto Rican beer. Coquito is mainly drunk at Christmas time and is reminiscent of eggnog.
Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages
In Puerto Rico you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.
The hotels in San Juan and Ponce meet American standards. The state Paradores are Spanish-style hostels with regional cuisine. For more information, contact the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, Suite 301, 165 Ponce de León, San Juan, PR 00917-1233. Tel: 758 80 01. (Web: www.prhta.org)
85% Catholics. Protestant and Jewish minorities: 15%.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: The usual polite formulas should be observed. They shake hands to greet each other. Spanish and American manners and customs coexist. The people of Puerto Rico are very hospitable, but invitations to private homes are still rather rare. If you are invited anyway, a small gift for the host is appropriate. Family is very important to Puerto Ricans and always comes first. One is always friendly and open-minded towards children. Clothing: Casual clothing is accepted. Light cotton clothing is recommended. Shorts should not be worn in restaurants, hotels or the casinos where evening wear is often required after 8pm. Some hotels insist on more formal attire during the day as well. Swimwear belongs on the beach. As everywhere in the USA, both sunbathing without a bikini top and changing clothes on the beach in Puerto Rico are seen as a public nuisance and are prohibited. This also applies to children. Photographing: People should be asked before photographing them. Photography is often allowed in churches and museums, but you should ask beforehand. Smoking: Since 2007 there has been a strict ban on smoking in all public buildings, restaurants and casinos. Smoking is also prohibited on many restaurant terraces. Some hotels offer smoking and non-smoking rooms. Tipping: 15-20% is customary if not already included in the bill.
Best travel time
Hot, tropical climate at 25°-29°C. Slightly cooler at high altitudes.
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