Puerto Rico

Out of all the islands eyedropped throughout the Caribbean, Puerto Rico stands out not only as the port of call for Captain Morgan, but the land mass that popularized reggaeton’s bass-heavy blend of Jamaican rhythm bloated with salsa and cumbia. In the capital city of San Juan — where most visitors spend their time after sundown — the slender, cobblestoned streets are packed with open-air nightclubs and patio bars, arched doorways and dome awnings.

The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is, conveniently, 18 and over. Taxis are the easiest way to navigate the city, especially for anyone looking to spend most of their time in Puerto Rico’s urban clusters. Sticking to San Sebastian and Calle Fortaleza is a surefire way to make sure you find the best hotspots — both of which are located in the northern part of the capital known as Old San Juan.

Restaurants in Old San Juan are popular digs for tourists: Latin “fusion” cuisine, late-night tapas bars and mini Margaritavilles featuring live bands. Fratelli’s is an easy find, on the southern end of Calle Fortaleza, and an even easier place to relax in. Serving Italian cuisine blended with Mediterranean and Puerto Rican ingredients, it also doubles as a bar once night sets in. Prices for entrees throughout Old San Juan range from $10 to $40, depending on whether you’re among the sandaled crowds or reservation-only richies.

Though beautiful beaches are old news for most of us, Puerto Rico’s warmer waters are a whole new kind of paradise. With more than 275 miles of coastline, it’s not hard to find a good patch of sand on which to plop. If you’re sticking to San Juan, then Isla Verde is a posh stretch textured with lean palms and towering hotels. But if you’d rather break the tourist veneer, drive down the cost to find a secluded spot tapering off a rainforest or surf–eaten cliff.

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