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Amazing Facts About Puerto Rico

Top Facts About Puerto Rico

- Puerto Rico was discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 19, 1493. It was his second of four expeditions to America.



- One of the ships, discovering today's Puerto Rico (named after rich resources, especially gold, and obviously a port), was called San Juan. San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, it's the largest and most populous city, the second oldest city in America established by Europeans (after Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), and also the world's busiest ship port.
- Puerto Rico is not an independent country in a classic sense. Officially it's an unimported territory of the United States of America with full name Free Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. There were several referendums about the political status of Puerto Rico in the last decades and the option of becoming one of the US states was always rejected. A tourist needs to obtain the same kind of visa to visit Puerto Rico as if he would visit the USA.
- Puerto Rico became part of the US after the treaty ending the American-Spanish war in 1898. Before that USA unsuccessfully tried to buy Puerto Rico from Spain for 120 million dollars.



- The Puerto Rican flag was designed in 1895 as a sign of solidarity with the Free Cuba Movement. It basically the same as the Cuban flag with red and blue colors reversed. The influence of the USA is shown only after 1952 when the tint of blue was changed to a darker tone and now looks more like blue in the US flag.
- Puerto Ricans pay no federal income tax if their earnings come from the territory only. They, however, pay other kinds of local taxes and are also included in the US Social Security System.
- The official currency of Puerto Rico is the American dollar. But they call it peso or dolar.
- Noche de San Juan is held every June 24 in honor of the patron saint of the city (St. John the Baptist). Millions of people enter the sea at midnight and dunk their heads seven times in a row.
- Puerto Rico has the only tropical forest without snakes. It's also the only tropical forest on the list of US Forest Service.
- A frog called coqui is small but the loudest amphibian in the world. It's an endemic species and one of the most known unofficial symbols of Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it's already on the list of endangered species.
- The largest rum distillery in the world (Bacardi) is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They produce more than 100 thousand liters of rum every single day. There are more than 40 other brands of rum on the island. Pina Colada was officially invented in hotel Hilton in San Juan. Rum has 400 years of tradition in Puerto Rico which is the only country in the world with a minimum age for rum. It has to stay in a barrel at least one year before it can be sold.
- Barceloneta, a municipality in Puerto Rico has so clear water it needs almost no treatment for use in pharmacy. Consequently, there's the largest pharmaceutical complex with 14 industries in the world. Other interesting characteristics of Barceloneta are huge pineapple plantations and blue sand beaches.
- Cockfighting is legal (and very popular) sport in Puerto Rico with special stadiums built for it.
- The leatherback sea turtle, the largest known reptile, lives in Puerto Rico.
- There are no native mammals in Puerto Rico. All are 'imported' from other countries. There was a barkless dog living in this area (already recorded by Columbus) but is extinct today.
- The first winner at the Academy Awards (Oscars) was not American, but Puerto Rican: Rita Moreno. Several celebrities come from Puerto Rico: Rosie Perez, Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Benicio del Torro, Tito Puente, ... Five Puerto Ricans won the title of Miss Universe so far.
- Playa Quique Bravo in Rincon is known as the best beach for surfing in the world.



- One of the biggest tourist attractions of Puerto Rico is a system of numerous caves (about two hundred altogether), made by one of the largest underground rivers in the world. Speleologists believe only about 20 percent of all caves is already discovered.
- Another top attraction is a 100-foot waterfall Salta (sometimes Chorro) de Dona Juana, a cascade, composed of three connected waterfalls with a pool at the bottom where visitors can swim. It's pretty easy to climb up to the top with a spectacular view on surrounding mountains.
- Arecibo Observatory, located in Puerto Rico but operated by Cornell University, was the largest telescope in the world for more than 50 years (until 2016) telescope in the world. Its collecting dish has 305 m in diameter. It's featured in several popular movies (like Contact with Jodie Foster).
4.4.19 22:02
 


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