A sun-drenched jewel in the Caribbean Sea with majestic mountains, beautiful beaches, and captivating culture, Puerto Rico is about to get easier for American travelers to visit.
The tropical island, which is a territory of the United States, will soon have a new flight service from New Haven in Connecticut, thanks to Avelo Airlines.
It will be Avelo’s first Caribbean destination, and the non-stop service will have one-way flights to the Puerto Rican capital San Juan for as little as $99.
Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut is an easy-to-access airport for many Americans in the Northeast, making this new route even more appealing.
So, if Puerto Rico has always been on your bucket list, here’s why you should consider making plans to visit one of the hottest destinations for American travelers in 2023.
Overseas Without The Overseas
One of the best things about what they call ‘the Island of Enchantment’ is that Americans can visit without a passport.
Even though Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it feels exotic thanks to its location in the heart of the Caribbean, its tropical climate, and its medley of Taíno, African, and Spanish culture.
It’s like a cheat code when it comes to traveling off path without having to cross to the other side of the world.
A Beach Day Like Nowhere Else
Like most Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico is renowned for its glistening white sandy beaches and crystal-clear sparkling seas.
One of the most popular is Flamenco Beach on the small Puerto Rican island of Culebra, ranked as one of the best in the world.
Because of its sheltered location within Flamenco Bay, the waves here are nearly always calm, making it an ideal place to pause and soak up some sun.
Another beach that could be considered unmissable during a trip to Puerto Rico is Crash Boat.
Alongside its picture postcard scenes, this beach is close to the famous diving spot El Natural, so expect to see some exotic marine life.
Live The Culinary High Life
Puerto Rican food is the perfect reflection of the island itself – merging the best of Spanish, African, and native Taíno flavors into some truly remarkable dishes.
If you only try one thing, make sure it’s Mofongo, which is made from deep-fried plantain mashed together with pork and garlic. It’s something unique to the island with many varieties.
Staying on the pork theme, another delicious dish to try is lechón asado, which if your Spanish is up to scratch you will know roughly translates as roasted pork.
It usually involves a whole pig being marinated in a special glaze and then slow-roasted until it reaches a tender and crispy climax.
If you’re not a meat eater, you won’t be disappointed with tostones and amarillos, which are two special ways of cooking plantain.
Sticking to the theme, they are crispy on the outside and sweet and juicy on the inside.
And to top off all that mouthwatering food, why not enjoy a piña colada on the island where it was invented?
A Musical Soul
Puerto Rico is one of the heartbeats of the Latin music scene – a night in the capital San Juan is hard to escape without dancing at some point.
Music and dance styles popular on the island include bomba, plena, décima, salsa, reggaetón, and even jazz, so no matter your preference, you will find something to get your feet tapping and your head bobbing.
Fitting In Is Easy
Puerto Rico has two official languages, English and Spanish. You will often find them used together in a strange ‘Spanglish’ mashup, so it definitely helps to know a little Spanish.
However, you can get by with English as your only tongue.
You also don’t need to visit the bureau de change before your visit, because the US Dollar is the official currency of the island.
A Warm Welcome For All
According to Discover Puerto Rico, the island is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the Caribbean.
Many pride parades are celebrated on the island, including in the capital San Juan each June and also in Cabo Rojo.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com