Tangled tropical foliage curls around the waterfalls and rivers of Puerto Rico's interior, thinning to palm trees and soft white sand at the perimeter beaches. San Juan, the island's hub and main port, accommodates visitors to the city with a range of tourist amenities. The adventurous won't want to sail away from Puerto Rico without first exploring some of the less-beaten paths that penetrate the island's rural side.
Don't expect to see much of Puerto Rico without a set of wheels. Be forewarned that traffic rules here are flexible, accidents frequent and red lights often unobserved. Steer out of rush hour and head east towards Luquillo for a winding drive through rainforest, silver cascades and vibrant tropical blossoms. Hike along one of the rivers massing through the viridian-hued botany in rainforest, El Yunque, stopping to enjoy an afternoon swim and a nap on warm boulders.
Be prepared for a regular three o'clock thunderstorm when you continue on east to Fajardo for access to the island's top watery attractions. Join a charter trip out for a day of deep-sea fishing or get under sail at the helm of your own vessel, anchoring off little islets and sandy mounds to snorkel and swim. Ferries leave Fajardo daily for Culebra, a small island off the coast that boasts beautiful beaches.
West of San Juan, past the Arecibo Observatory (a James Bond film was shot here), you'll find world famous surfing beaches with house-high swells. Rinc¢n has some of the biggest breaks, but for more approachable waters and body boarding come after February and before October or head to beaches that are more protected.
Puerto Rico is just shy of 1000 miles south of Miami, a long sail but only a two-hour flight.