Norbert Figueroa a RoamRight Blog Author

5 Lesser Known Sights in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is well known for its beautiful beaches, El Yunque rain forest and the fortifications of El Morro, among many other Latin beauties.  Still, there are many other sights in the island that are just as interesting and beautiful, yet they are not necessarily on the radar of many tourists. As someone from Puerto Rico, these are a few of the lesser-known sights in Puerto Rico that I think are well worth visiting.

The Canals of La Parguera

The Bahía Fosforecente (Phosphorescent Bay) is the popular kid at La Parguera.  Everyone goes there to kayak at night with the millions of glowing dinoflagelates.  But, did you know you can also enjoy La Parguera during the day and have an equally beautiful experience? 

The Canals of La Parguera are just off the coast in an area where more than 30 islands have created channels that offer good diving, fishing, kayaking, and other water activities.  Some of the mangrove areas resemble those of southern Louisiana and Florida.

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

This Roman Catholic cathedral might not be the most elaborate on the island, but what it lacks in design it makes up for in history and importance.  The cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Old San Juan and is the second oldest cathedral in the Americas.

The cathedral contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer and settlement founder Juan Ponce de León. It also has a shrine to Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago; the first Puerto Rican, first Caribbean-born layperson and first layperson in the history of the United States to be beatified.

Castillo Serrallés

Castillo Serrallés, or Serrallés Castle, is actually a mansion located in the city of Ponce.  It was built in the 1930s for Juan Eugenio Serrallés, son of businessman Juan Serrallés, founder of Destilería Serrallés – the leader in the sugar cane industry in the early 20th century and one of the biggest rum producers on the island (famous for the Don Q rum).

Today, this historic building serves as a museum of the sugar cane and rum industries in Puerto Rico.  Architecturally, Castillo Serrallés is one of the best-preserved samples of Spanish Moroccan architecture in Puerto Rico.

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Castillo de San Cristóbal

Not as famous as the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, Castillo de San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.  It was built originally by Spain in the mid 18th century to protect against land-based attacks on San Juan, but it also served as a post and bunker for the American army during WWII.  You can still see some of the odd bunker modifications juxtaposed against the Spanish fortification style.

Today the fortifications might not look as big, but by 1783 it covered about 27 acres of land and wrapped around the city of San Juan.  In 1897, about a third of the fortifications were demolished to ease traffic into the city.

Cueva Ventana

Cueva Ventana, or Window Cave, is an unusual cave located in Arecibo.  What’s unusual about itl? Once you enter the cave, you can walk all the way to its opposite end to see the magnificent panoramic view of the Rio Grande de Arecibo valley from above.

Not many tourists come here since Arecibo is about an hour away from San Juan and the cave has not been heavily promoted, but the trip, views, and experience are well worth the drive!

Take a break from the crowds in these fantastic lesser knows sites in Puerto Rico!

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About the Author

Norbert Figueroa

Norbert Figueroa, a RoamRight Blog Author Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.

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