Destination: Puerto Rico Meeting & Event Planning City Guide
By Christine Loomis
March 05, 2013
What the islands of the Caribbean lack in expansive geography, they more than make up for with a strikingly rich convergence of cultures that has given each of them a singular personality and historical identity. Fought over for centuries, many islands existed under a dizzying succession of national flags, typically raised by varying combinations of Dutch, English, French and Spanish rulers. These four cultures in particular, along with influences of Carib and Arawak tribes and African slaves brought to labor under the sizzling Caribbean sun, left deep impressions on this region and provide meeting-goers and incentive travelers with intriguing options for cultural immersion within easy reach of the U.S. mainland.
By Jessie Fetterling
July 27, 2012
The cultural melting pot that makes up Puerto Rico is appealing on many levels. There’s the salsa and merengue dancing in local clubs and even hotel lobbies (which often feature live music on weekends). The fried plantains that seem to make their way into almost every meal. The colorful, historic buildings in Old San Juan that remind visitors of its Spanish heritage. The rum-infused cocktails (only here would rum and cola ingredients be given to you upon check-in). And the fusion of both English and Spanish languages.
By David Swanson
January 30, 2012
A Dutch outpost—replete with a windmill—set against a desert backdrop. A wealthy island banking community fringed with white sand and undersea walls. A cosmopolitan city with the forts and cobblestone streets that mark the New World’s original Spanish colonization.
By Jessie Fetterling
July 25, 2011
American ease, tropical flair...
Learn about Puerto Rico for Event Venues, Services & Meeting Destinations
Officially known as a U.S. Commonwealth, this Caribbean island’s rich history mixes Spanish colonialism with native Caribbean roots and more recent North American influences. The locals are enthralled with traditional rhythms that sparked the up-tempo styles of Salsa and Merengue—both of which encapsulate the fiery passion that characterizes Puerto Rico.
This cultural blend dates back to 1493 when Columbus arrived on the island to find the Taíno Indians and a plethora of gold, which inspired the name Puerto Rico, or “rich port” in Spanish. It wasn’t until the Spanish-American War in 1898 that Spain ceded the island to the United States, and in 1952, it officially became a U.S. Commonwealth.
With pleasant weather all year-round, there’s only one piece of advice for planning: Keep in mind that the busy season runs from December to May. Other than that, take in the offerings of these historic islands and let the Columbus in you explore by foot or with a snorkel and some scuba gear. (Or step aboard a boat for the true European explorer experience.)