(Territory of the US with commonwealth status)
Capital | San Juan
Population | 3,977,663 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 9,104 SQ KM
Official Language | Spanish, English
Holidays | US Independence Day, 4 July (1776); Puerto Rico Constitution Day, 25 July (1952)
Currency | US dollar (USD)
Time Zone | UTC -4
Best Time to Visit | Year-round (watch the weather reports during hurricane season May-November)
Connecting with the Culture | Dancing all night long and enjoying a café con leche the next morning. Discovering the lush rainforest at El Yunque. Sampling fine rums native to Puerto Rico. Wandering through Ponce’s historic district full of criollo architecture. Swimming in the bat at Vieques.
Read | Foreign in a Domestic Sense by Christina Duffy Burnett, an examination of American imperialism.
Listen | the infamous sounds of Tito Puente and Willie Colon.
Watch | the musical West Side Story which represents stateside Puerto Ricans of the day.
Eat | plantain dishes such as mofongos and tostones, sofrito and asopao de pollo (traditional meals) carrucho (conch), tembleque (coconut pudding)
Drink | pina coladas, Cuba libres (rum and coke), mojitos or any other rum drink.
In a Word | Ay, bandito! (Poor thing/What a shame/Oh dear)
Characteristics | the 51st state, the rhythm and rhyme of Nuyorican poets, Bacardi rum cocktails
Surprises | The incongruity of using the US dollar, Puerto Rico is uniquely a part of, and apart from the US and the rest of the Caribbean.