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Get to Know Puerto Rico's Regions and Cities

Puerto Rico includes many different geographical areas and six distinct regions, where history, natural wonders and culture abounds. Find out what each has to offer.

(Regions are not the same as electoral districts.)

Metropolitan Area

The capital of the island lies within the metropolitan area. San Juan is the center of commerce and is also the main port of entry. This is the most populous and economically diverse region in the island. It is popular with tourists because offers the island's major resorts and shopping areas. With the widest variety of accommodations, the metropolitan area promises you a wonderful experience of diversity and culture. It has lots to offer -- archaeological and historical exhibitions, beautiful beaches, forests, and fine dining.

Puerto Rico's metropolitan area consists of seven cities:

Popular Attractions
  1. Historic Old San Juan District, San Juan
  2. San Felipe del Morro, San Juan
  3. Condado and Isla Verde Resort Hotels
  4. San Juan Museum of Art and History, San Juan
  5. Luis A. Ferre Science Park, Bayamon

North Region

The north region is a mixture of old and new, modern and contemporary.

From historic architecture and scenes, to breathtaking subterranean cave system, the largest the world, the northern region offers plenty of attractions and sites for all kinds of interests.

The north region consists of 10 cities:

Popular Attractions
  1. Mar Chiquita Beach, Manati
  2. Crash Boat Beach, Aguadilla
  3. Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo
  4. Rio Camuy Caves

Central Region

The central region is characterized by the Cordillera Central that rises to heights between 3,500 and 4,389 feet above sea level. The cool climate all year-round and rainfall of this area has turned this region into an important agricultural center. If you are looking to relax in a quiet and serene place, full of lush and spectacular waterfalls and deep wilderness, this is the place for you.

The central region consists of 15 cities:

Popular Attractions
  1. Cemi Museum, Jayuya
  2. Toro Negro Forest Reserve, Jayuya
  3. Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park, Utuado
  4. Carite Forest, Cayey

South Region

The south region is hot and humid region is by far the driest in the island, with only 36 inches of rain a year. The largest city in the region is Ponce, which was Spain's capital of the southern region until it fell to the U.S. in 1898. Rich in heritage and architecture, Ponce has spent nearly one half a billion dollars preserving its colonial core. This region will reveal a unique blend of both urban and rural environments, rich in cultural and architectural heritage.

The south region consists of 12 cities and islets:

Popular Attractions
  1. Serralles Castle, Ponce
  2. Historic Ponce District
  3. Art Museum of Ponce, Ponce
  4. Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, Ponce
  5. La Guancha Boardwalk, Ponce

East Region

This region is home of El Yunque, known as the Caribbean National Forest, is located in the rugged Sierra de Luquillo, 40 km southeast of San Juan. Catch the ferry from Fajardo to the outlying islands of Vieques and Culebra, both known for their secluded beaches, snorkeling spots and spectacular views. A must see is the phosphorescent Mosquito Bay. This rare and remarkable phenomenon is caused by millions of luminescent dinoflagellates lighthing up when disturbed by movement. The region is also famous for its fresh local seafood and romantic sunsets.

The east region consists of 17 cities:

Popular Attractions
  1. Natural Reserve of Mosquito, Vieques
  2. Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, Fajardo
  3. Bioluminescent lagoon, Fajardo
  4. Humacao Nature Reserve, Humacao
  5. Luquillo Beach, Luquillo

West Region

Hundreds of miles of coastline make this a popular beach region, most of the island's top beaches are located in this region. This region is known for its diving and world famous surfing. This is the perfect place to stay if you like the ocean, water sports, and plenty of sunshine.

The west region consists of 21 cities, island and islets:

Popular Attractions
  1. Mayaguez Zoo, Mayaguez
  2. Boqueron Beach, Cabo Rojo
  3. Rincon Lighthouse. Rincon
  4. Guanica Dry Forest, Guanica
  5. La Parguera, Lajas

Did You Know?

Today, about two thirds of Puerto Ricans residing in the United States are in the New York City area, including nearby New Jersey.