Puerto Rico is a perfect mix of cultures and languages. Caribbean, Spanish, African and North American influences meet in this fascinating archipelago, right in the heart of the Greater Antilles. Keep reading to find out some interesting things you may not know about Puerto Rico!
Number Fifteen: San Juan’s Cobblestones Come from Spain
Most streets in old San Juan are paved with cobblestones (something fairly usual in Spain and Portugal.) These cobblestones, or ado quines in Spanish, actually do come from the European country that once ruled Puerto Rico. Most cobblestones, which are now being replaced, were brought into the island from Spain on ships.
Number Fourteen: Puerto Rico Has the Best Rum in the World
We can’t talk about Puerto Rico without giving a shout out to rum! Rum production has contributed notably to Puerto Rico’s economic development since the 16th century. In fact, around 70% of the rum consumed in the U.S. is imported from Puerto Rico. If you visit the island, keep in mind that some distilleries, like Bacardi and Don Q, offer free tours and drinks.
Number Thirteen: The Legal Drinking Age There Is 18
Even though Puerto Rico is technically a U.S. territory, some things just work differently here. For starters, the legal drinking age is 18—the same as in most of Europe and Latin America.
Number Twelve: 10 Miles of Caves
The Rio Camuy Cave Park is a natural cave system in Northwestern Puerto Rico. Over 220 caves can be explored here. So far, only 17 entrances have been mapped out, but experts believe there must be at least 800 more undiscovered caves in the system.
Number Eleven: It Owes its Name to Gold
The original name of the island was “Borikén”, but, as always, the Spaniards burst in and changed everything. Apparently, Spanish colonizers found so much gold in the island everyone simply started calling it “Puerto Rico”, which translates to “Rich Port”. Puerto Ricans still call themselves “boricuans”.
Number Ten: San Juan Is the Oldest Capital in the U.S.
Puerto Rico’s capital city was founded in 1521, making it the oldest in U.S. territory. It’s also the second oldest European-established capital city in the American continent, after Dominican Republic’s Santo Domingo.
Number Nine: Highest Density of Vehicles
At 0.57 vehicles per capita or 4,300 vehicles per paved mile, Puerto Rico has the highest density of vehicles in the world. No other nation in the world surpasses Puerto Rico in number of cars per square mile.
Number Eight: Biggest Pharmaceutical Complex in the World
14 different industries put together the world’s biggest pharmaceutical complex, located in Barceloneta. The water in this city is so pure very little treatment is needed for it to be used in pharmaceutical products. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!