This Caribbean island is a short flight away from the United States, doesn’t require a passport, and uses the U.S. dollar.
Where is it? Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States located in the Caribbean, has been exploding in popularity recently.
According to recent data, Puerto Rico had 5.1 million tourist arrivals in 2022, its highest number ever.
This even tops the previous record in 2019, when Puerto Rico saw 4.9 million tourists.
Additionally, revenue from tourism was up 39% in 2022 compared to the previous year, and employment in the hospitality industry was up 13%.
Puerto Rico is demonstrating strong growth as a tourist destination, and it’s only expected to grow in 2023.
Here are the top reasons why Puerto Rico is trending among American travelers:
1. Affordable Prices
One of the reasons Puerto Rico is so popular is that it’s one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean.
You can easily find nonstop round-trip flights from cities in the U.S. for under $200 and nice hotels and resorts for under $150 per night.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Caribbean vacation, Puerto Rico is one of the best places to go.
Whether you want to stay in an affordable all-inclusive resort on the beach or a boutique hotel in San Juan, you can enjoy lower prices than many other Caribbean islands.
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2. Easy To Get There
Another reason to visit Puerto Rico is because of how easy it is to get there from many places in the United States.
As mentioned above, flights are frequent and affordable.
They’re also very short flights. New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico is under 4 hours, while Miami to San Juan is only 2.5 hours.
For American travelers, you don’t even need a passport to visit Puerto Rico since it’s a territory of the United States.
3. A Gorgeous Capital
San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the prettiest Caribbean capitals.
Old San Juan is the historic heart of the city, and it’s full of colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, colonial churches, museums, cafes, and galleries.
For history buffs, you can explore the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century fort built by the Spanish.
You can easily spend a couple of days in Puerto Rico just exploring San Juan, but of course, the island has even more to offer…
4. Beautiful Beaches
One of the highlights of Puerto Rico is its beaches. You’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean in Puerto Rico, with white sand, palm trees, and crystal-clear blue water.
Vieques, an island off of Puerto Rico, is known for having some of the most stunning beaches. It’s also home to Bioluminescent Bay, where microorganisms give the water a blue-green glow at night.
Luquillo Beach is one of the best beaches close to San Juan which is just under an hour away.
5. Diverse Landscapes
Puerto Rico is more than just beaches. The interior of the island is known for its lush tropical rainforest, El Yunque National Forest. Hiking, swimming, and discovering waterfalls are popular activities in the rainforest.
You can also go ziplining, whitewater rafting, and try other adventurous activities in Puerto Rico.
6. Delicious Food
Puerto Rico is a major foodie destination, and there are tons of delicious foods you can try here. One of the best ways to tour Old San Juan is actually to take a food tour.
Mofongo is a classic Puerto Rican dish made of deep-fried plantains mashed with garlic and salt-cured pork. Arroz con gandules, a popular rice and beans dish, is another one to try. For special occasions, pernil is a national favorite roast pork dish.
And if you have a sweet tooth, you can’t miss Puerto Rico’s most popular dessert: arroz con dulce, a rice pudding made with cinnamon and raisins.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com