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  • 10 things you didn’t know about Puerto Rico

    Like with all popular holiday destinations, Puerto Rico has a ready-made image that even people who haven’t visited it yet know about. When you think Puerto Rico, you think great beaches, sizzling nightlife and lots of parties, but there’s much more than that to it!

    Puerto Rico is a country with a personality of its own beyond the touristy first impression, and there are lots of quirky facts about it that will make your stay more interesting. So here are 10 things that you didn’t know about Puerto Rico.

    1. It has the world’s largest single dish radio telescope

    The huge telescope dish in the hills of Arecibo has a radius of over a thousand feet, and it has an area of over 20 acres. Not only is it one of the most hi-tech telescopes in the world, but it was also featured in the final scene of Goldeneye.

    2. It is about the same size as Connecticut

    Puerto Rico is not a large country, but it is densely populated – in fact, it is one of the most densely populated places on earth. Its size is about the same as that of Connecticut, and that includes all the small islands around the mainland.

    3. It has the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System

    The El Yunque forest is located on a US territory in Puerto Rico, and the only tropical forest that belongs to the US National Forest System. It is located only a couple of hours from San Juan, and it has plenty of opportunities for hiking and walking.

    4. It was discovered by Columbus

    Columbus claimed Puerto Rico in the name of Spain, which means that it is one of the oldest ex-European territories under US rule.

    5. Puerto Rico’s mascot is a frog

    The tiny coquí is a one inch frog that lives only in Puerto Rico, whose voice is much more powerful and melodic that its small stature suggests.

    6. 70% of the rum sold in the US comes from Puerto Rico

    Rum is the chief export of Puerto Rico, and most of the best cocktails in the country are based on rum, and good rum too! It’s the only place in the world where there’s a minimum aging period for the beverage.

    7. San Juan is the second largest cruise port in the western hemisphere

    If you’ve been on a Caribbean cruise before, you probably already know that San Juan is one of the most important ports of call on the way.

    8. San Juan has two of the oldest churches in the Americas

    Iglesia de San Jose was built in the 1530s, and Catedral de San Juan was built in the 1520’s, but is was rebuilt several times after that.

    9. Puerto Rico has an island similar to Galapagos

    Mona island has been compared to the famous Galapagos in terms of sheer unspoiled natural beauty, and the richness of its fauna.

    10. Puerto Rico has over 270 miles of beaches

    270 miles is a lot for such a small place, but it’s not the quantity of beaches that’s amazing, but the quality and variety.

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