18 Things You May Not Know About Puerto Rico

1. You can leave your passport at home.
06/15/2017 11:45am ET

On Sunday, June 11, Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly in favor of becoming the United States’ 51st state.

Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful beaches, but it also has some perks you might not know about. Here are a few reasons to visit our friends in the Caribbean this summer:

1. You can leave your passport at home.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which means you can ditch the passport. But definitely bring a valid ID.

2. The drinking age is 18.

The nightlife in PR is unbelievable. 

Your college-aged son or daughter would love it if the next family vacation were in PR.

3. The currency is the U.S. Dollar.

Which only makes it easier to purchase sunscreen and fun touristy trinkets for the family and friends you left stateside.

4. It’s basically 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.

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Which means it’s always the perfect time to visit.

5. There’s a lot of island to explore.

Israel Pabon via Getty Images
San Juan, Puerto Rico in all its glory. 

Puerto Rico is actually an archipelago, which just means there are more islands to ooh and ahh at during your adventures.

6. And it has a “lost coast.”

While most of Puerto Rico is inhabited by locals and occasionally overrun with tourists, it has a “wild west coast” that supposedly has some of the best surfing and diving in the Caribbean.

7. There are 270 miles of beaches to frolick along.

Culebra is a sparsely populated paradise in Puerto Rico. 

Whether you’re headed to Playa Shacks for snorkling, Ballenas Bay to spot some sea turtles or Punta Las Marías in San Juan, there’s more than enough sand and surf for everyone

8. You’ll never run out of rum.

There’s no shortage of distilleries or bottles at the bar, so you’ll never have to ask yourself that terrible little question...

9. And speaking of rum...

If you’re not satisfied just sipping your Don Q, try a chichaíto. Best part? You can get it served as a shot for about $1.

10. Eating well won’t break the bank.

If you’re on a budget, you can get a pretty great meal for as low as $3 while high-end restaurants will cost you somewhere around $30 and up. Not too shabby!

11. But driving could get kind of confusing...

You still drive on the right side of the road in PR, but the signs are in Spanish and gas is in liters.

12. Buried treasure awaits you.

Embrace your inner Blackbeard and venture to Playa Puerto Hermina, where pirate Roberto Cofresi supposedly used to hideout.

13. It’s a “spelunker’s playground.”

For those interested in skipping the beach (or maybe taking a break from tanning), there are over 200 caves to explore in Rio Camuy Cave Park.

14. The streets are paved with blue.

Some of the streets have blue cobblestones that give a charming vibe and plenty of photo ops.

15. It has some of the best coffee in the world.

Try as many cups of Yaucono, Alto Grande, El Lareño, Cafe Rico, or Cafe Crema as you possibly can!

16. The beach volleyball is unreal.

Al Bello via Getty Images
Yamileska Yantin of Puerto Rico dives for the ball during the Bronze Medal game against the USA on October 21, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Volleyball can be a way of life for some in PR, so grab a few friends and give it your best Misty May. One piece of advice? Don’t even TRY to kick the locals off a court!

17. “Diving the wall” is encouraged.

A coral reef cliff better know as La Pared, or “the wall,” lets divers make friends with manatees as they explore some pretty beautiful crystal clear water.

18. There’s a 120-foot waterfall with crystal clear water.

Enjoy some stunning scenery on your drive to Chorro de Doña Juana, where waterfall pics are encouraged, but diving is definitely cautioned.

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