By Robert Colberg Orengo

Photos: Puerto Rico Tourism Company

As part of their travel plans, tourists should consider adding another item to their lists: visiting a casino. Besides being places where you try out your luck, Puerto Rico’s casinos have become excellent entertainment oriented locales.

Casinos’ formerly rigid atmosphere has turned into “a pleasant ambiance where visitors will be greeted with a smile and treated cordially, as they rightfully deserve,” said Ismael Vega, manager of Casino Sheraton Convention Center. “Unlike other destinations, the ambiance in the island’s casinos is more personal and friendly,” said Miguel Vega from the Hyatt Place Casino in Bayamón.

casino-2And so it is. In addition to the slot machines and gaming tables, visitors can find different forms of entertainment in local casinos.

Whether you are an avid gambler or a novice player, going to a casino is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Many casinos have their own bar, so your visit can begin with a house specialty drink. Feeling hungry? A light fare menu is available at an additional cost.

Everything from Dancing to Comedy

Entertainment alternatives are plentiful. At local casinos it’s possible to hear songs by a traditional folk music group, as well as catchy tunes by live salsa or merengue orchestras. Feel like dancing? Go right ahead! And if you need to learn, you can take the dancing lessons offered by some casinos. Want a good laugh? Casinos also frequently feature comedy shows.

“These are other offerings that appeal to people. Perhaps many of our visitors came to their hotel and never ventured into the casino. Now they see the bar, check out the ambiance, come in and stay because they find it quite appealing,” said Ismael Vega.

A Safe Environment

People attending a casino can rest assured that they will have a great time in a fun and, above all, very safe environment. “At the casino you can have fun, play, eat, and drink without leaving the premises,” Miguel Vega pointed out.

 

An Enchanting Jackpot!

Try your luck at the “Jackpot of Enchantment.” There are 84 special machines that allow players to vie for a prize of $20,000 or more with a 40-cent minimum and $2 maximum bet. The “Jackpot of Enchantment” machines are spread across 13 casinos throughout the island (see list below).casino-3

  • Sheraton Convention Center
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Wyndham Río Mar
  • Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar
  • Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real
  • Ponce Hilton Hotel & Casino
  • Ponce Plaza
  • Holiday Inn, Ponce
  • Mayagüez Resort
  • Holiday Inn, Mayagüez
  • Courtyard by Marriott, Aguadilla
  • Hyatt Place, Manatí
  • Hyatt Place, Bayamón


Five Reasons to Visit a Casino in Puerto Rico:

  1. Entertainment choices are plentiful: from live bands to comedy shows and sporting event broadcasts.
  2. In addition to the chance of winning at slot machines and gaming tables, casinos often hold raffles whose prizes include everything from trips to cars and cash.
  3. Casinos are excellent venues for social interaction.
  4. You can have fun, try your luck, and even grab a bite—all at a single location.
  5. You can play the “Jackpot of Enchantment” slot machines.

Photos: Supplied

Puerto Rico features 22 golf courses—many of them known the world over for their different levels of difficulty and their exquisitep-023-cred-pr-tourism-co communion with nature. They are favored by the hundreds of players who attend the international-caliber tournaments held locally each year. It’s no wonder that we are known as the Island of Golf!

Puerto Rico has excellent golf courses that attract local and international golfers. Add to them other attractions such as our tropical climate that allows people to practice the sport year-round, plus excellent hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. Furthermore, each local golf course showcases the island’s beauty from different perspectives.

Along with a growing number of local golfers, there is increased participation by top-ranking international professional golfers in major local tournaments such as the Puerto Rico Open—which every year attracts renowned professional players and focuses worldwide fans’ attention on our island through tournament broadcasts on the Golf Channel, as well as through event coverage on traditional and social media.

p-022-cred-pr-tourism-coLast year this sporting event made it possible for Czech athlete and Germany resident Alex Cejka to win his first Puerto Rico Golf Association PGA Tour title. According to the data provided,the prizes for last year’s Puerto Rico Open were $3 million and the winner received a $540,000 prize.

Everything is in place for the next Puerto Rico Open to be held in March 24-27, 2016 at the Coco Beach golf course in Río Grande. This event has earned our island an enviable spot among the top golf destinations in the Caribbean and around the world.

Another important tournament is the Puerto Rico Junior Open, which takes place in Río Grande and promotes golf among young people. Last year, young golfer Andrew Kozan from Florida, and a member of the Eagles Dream Golf Academy, won the event. This sport not only acknowledges the pros’ feats but also offers opportunities for amateurs and those who are developing their skills. As a matter of fact, the team of young amateur players representing Puerto Rico in the 2015 Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf tournament won the Hanks James award for the eighth year in a row.

By: Robert Colberg Orengo

Photos: Supplied

Puerto Rico’s palm trees, beaches, and countryside are bearing witness to the promises of love made by thousands of couples who choose the island on which to tie the knot. Our attentiveness, service, and beautiful landscapes make more and more couples choose our island to celebrate their weddings.

According to professional event coordinator Rosalina Torres, from Momentus Special Events & More, tourists who decide to get married in Puerto Rico decide to share vows in places that are a true reflection of Puerto Rico’s culture and architecture. “Most couples want to hold their ceremonies at historic sites in Old San Juan, specifically at Castillo San Cristóbal and El Morro. Another popular request is to have their wedding on the beach at sundown,” she said.

Throughout the island you will find beautiful haciendas where you can have the wedding of your dreams. They include Hacienda Siesta Alegre in Río Grande and Hacienda Campo Rico in Carolina. In the southern region, specifically in Ponce, Serrallés Castle is the preferred location due to its spectacular gardens and city views. In the west, Rincón’s beaches are ideal wedding locations. The central, east, and west regions have rustic hotels favored by tourists who want to tie the knot on the Island of Enchantment.

Torres pointed out the reasons that make Puerto Rico the ideal destination for a wedding:

  • The year-round tropical climate is extremely attractive for outdoor weddings.
  • The recent elimination of lab tests for nonresidents helps make the process of getting legally married in Puerto Rico much simpler.
  • Puerto Rico is a bilingual (Spanish and English) island, so communication between overseas clients and wedding service suppliers is easier.
  • Most local wedding providers are educated, professional, and highly trained people who offer attentive service to visiting couples.
  • The Island of Enchantment has wonderful locations for destination weddings that include beautiful beaches, colonial-style structures in Old San Juan, sites within El Yunque National Forest, and charming haciendas in lush mountain landscapes, among others. Add to these the many hotels available throughout the island.bodas-1
  • Puerto Rico’s great gastronomic diversity can please most everyone’s palate and culinary tastes. In addition, there are many daytime and nighttime entertainment venues available.

Getting married in Puerto Rico is a simple procedure. You can check out the requirements posted at www.seepuertorico.com/en/experiences/lifestyle/weddings. As of June 2015, couples of any gender or sex can get legally married in Puerto Rico.

Want to tie the knot on the Island of Enchantment? Get additional information about weddings in Puerto Rico by calling tollfree 1-800-866-7827 (in English) or 1-800-981-7575 (en español).

By Robert Colberg Orengo

Each spring, thousands of students and families from the continental United States select Puerto Rico as their perfect Spring Break destination.

And how could they not choose us, as unlimited fun is readily available on our island! Here you’ll find entertainment for everyone—including sun worshipers, art lovers, and even those who prefer to live unforgettable moments by conquering the challenges brought on by extreme sports.

Passive Entertainment

A walk through Old San Juan is a must! Centuries’ worth of tradition can be found within the walled city—and as you discover it you will be transported back in time to the days of the Spanish conquest. The colonial ambiance is particularly strong at El Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal. Do coordinate a visit to La Fortaleza, which together with the San Juan National Historic Site were declared a UNESCO

World Heritage site.

Idyllic Beaches

The vast majority of visitors prefer to allow the sun, sand, and sea to caress their skin. Popular beaches located in the western region are favored by those who enjoy surfing. However, beaches in the metropolitan area—as well as those located in the nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra—receive thousands of locals and tourists. Thanks to their impressive views and white sands, they are sure to become some of our visitors’ favorite spots.

Nature Encounters

Some people prefer to go inland to discover the wonders of Puerto Rico. Different tours to underground caves are available, as well as visits to countryside locales that are best enjoyed on foot or on bicycle tours. El Yunque National Forest, the Río Camuy Cave ParkToro Verde, and the Humacao Nature Reserve are some of the many outdoor options available. 

Nightlife

Whether in the lobby of a hotel, on a town square’s surroundings or any other place you prefer, in Puerto Rico you’ll find the perfect nighttime entertainment so that your Spring Break includes a good dose of partying. Visiting La Placita in Santurce or the bars in Old San Juan will allow you to mingle with the locals. Check out our Events section to see many alternatives. For more information, go to www.seepuertorico.com/experiences/nightlife.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Museums

  • Museum of Art of Puerto Rico– The structure is the perfect combination of traditional and modern influences. Touring the gardens is well worth it.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art– Featuring exhibits that give wings to the imagination of those who admire them.
  • Museo de Arte de Ponce– Located in the southern portion of the island, it is the home of the claimed Flaming June painting.

Nature & Adventure

  • Toro Verde– Its new attraction “El Monstruo” (“The Monster”) promises to raise the adrenaline levels of even the most courageous visitors.
  • Castillo Sightseeing Tours &Travel– The catamarans will turn you into the king or queen of the sea and master of all watersports.
  • Hacienda Campo Rico– If you prefer something less extreme but equally exciting, a horseback ride through a beautiful site is highly recommended. 

By Robert Colberg Orengo

Photos: Supplied

Children love discovering the wonders of the Island of Enchantment so parents have almost endless possibilities when it comes to keeping them entertained.

An excellent idea to entertain children is to create a themed road trip. For example, take a map of Puerto Rico, identify all the lighthouses found throughout the island, and set off on a driving expedition. You can also choose to visit local children’s museums. Old San Juan and Carolina have specialized museums most kids will love. There they will be entertained and have fun as they learn.

Get Creative

Use your imagination, take your children’s tastes and preferences into account, and create a fun journey together. Your morning can start with a stop at a historical place brimming with tales and anecdotes. The streets of Old San Juan offer a perfect setting as its colorful houses and colonial buildings are full of history.

wyndham-gran-rio-mar-beach-resort-and-spa_marianella-godoyHow about letting your little ones venture into the fascinating world of photography? Visit the town squares near your hotel and allow your kids to take pictures. At the end of your stay you can print the photos and make a scrapbook, allowing your children to share the experience with their classmates. Photographs can also be posted on social media for other family members and friends to enjoy.


Additional Options

At Museo del Mar (Maritime Museum), located in Old San Juan, you’ll find a collection of sea- and merchant marine-related objects. The Bayamón Science Park is an educational and recreational attraction that allows visitors to learn more about different branches of science in an interactive manner. Also, Luis Muñoz Marín Park, located in the heart of the San Juan metro area, is brimming with vegetation and possibilities for children to have a great time.

Check with your hotel or goto www.seepuertorico.com/familyandkids for suggestions on suitable venues for children who prefer more dynamic activities. There you will find everything from walking tours along the coast or up in the mountains to paddleboard classes and more.


Water-Based Fun

Who enjoys Puerto Rico’s warm climate the most? Kids, of course. So it’s no surprise that water attractions are among their favoriteparque-de-las-ciencias choices for having fun while visiting the island with their families.Many of our water parks have slides, crazy rivers, and other attractions that the whole family will enjoy. Some of them are:

  • Aquasol, Carolina (787-633-3457)
  • Las Cascadas, Aguadilla (787-819-5555, ext. 221)
  • Albergue Olímpico, Salinas (787-824-2200)
  • Surf N’ Fun Water Park, San Germán (787-659-7440)
  • Monte Frío, Bayamón (787-740-4005)
  • Arecibo Water Park, Arecibo (787-597-5257)
  • Parque Acuático Infantil, Humacao (787-622-5200)

In addition, some hotels feature swimming pools with extra attractions that their guests can enjoy:

  • Courtyard Marriott, Aguadilla (787-658-8000)
  • Coquí Water Park, El Conquistador Resort, Fajardo (787-863-1000)
  • Coco’s Park, Fajardo Inn (787-860-6000)
  • Mayagüez Resort & Casino (787-832-3030)

The following places combine water attractions with other fun activities:

  • Skateboard and Splash Park, Aguadilla (787-891-1460)
  • Parque Julia de Burgos, Carolina (787-710-9300)
  • Parque Familiar, Jayuya (787-232-1731)
...23456