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About Puerto Rico...
(pronounced Pwair-toh Ree-coh)

Area Code (787)


Puerto Rico was one of the very first places in the Caribbean to be settled by the Spanish. They had started to build great fortresses and churches on the island by the 1520s and 1530s, so the older part of San Juan has a history as rich as anywhere in the western hemisphere.

On the other hand, the more recent American presence means that five centuries of Spanish culture have an overlay of affluent American-style cornmerce. That is reflected in the high-rise buildings, the glittering hotels and six-lane highways, San Juan's vibrant business and entertainment sectors, and the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean (Plaza Las Americas).

The best way to explore the well-restored old city is on foot. Make for the brooding El Morro fortress which the Spaniards began in 1521 (it was not finally finished until 1776, and was never taken from the sea): it towers 175 feet above the ocean, and gives you not only a good feel of the vivid Caribbean past but splendid views back over modern San Juan.

Weddings (as of 29 Sept,. 2007):
Cost: $30 for licence stamps.
Waiting period: Licence has to be acquired from the Puerto Rico Demographic Department up to 10 days before the wedding.
Documents: Picture identification. Blood test – no older than 10 days by a federal certified laboratory. Health certificate from a resident practitioner in Puerto Rico.
(Source: The Toronto Star)

Area: 3,435 square miles
Population: About 3.5 million
Capital: San Juan
Airport: Luis Munoz Marin - SJU
Language: Spanish & English
Voltage: 110 volts, 60 cycles
Currency: US$

QuickLinks to our Bookstore shelves...
Caribbean+ | Puerto Rico
Click here for Books about Old San Juan | | Barnes & Noble

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