Gláuber Sampaio

For such a relatively small island, Puerto Rico does a lot for those who enjoy the open road. Over 15,000 miles of roads stretch out across the island, according to Trading Economics, giving those behind the wheel of the auto a chance to immerse yourself in every corner of the island’s culture. Few routes are better than Rio Grande to Ponce.

Taking the route past the coast, inland, and back out again, allows you to experience some of Puerto Rico’s biggest pull factors. It starts with the best beaches and then runs through to taking in the best spit-roasted pig on the island. Finally, you can enjoy a finale in history laden Ponce.

The first leg

There are multiple routes from Rio Grande to the South Coast but, if you have time on your hands and the vehicle to handle multiple terrains, travel network Matador suggest you’re best off visiting Fajardo first. Fajardo plays host to some of the best beaches in the country and is relatively quiet compared to some of the other spots such as Luquillo and Experanza. Furthermore, US News  suggest it is fantastic for snorkelling if you have a taste for adventure. Fajardo is also home to multiple ecosystems and is valued as an area of scientific importance and beauty.

Taking the leg inland

After a day spent near Fajardo’s beaches and natural beauty spots, consider turning back inland to Guavate. The area is, of course, famous for its spit-roast pig, and you’ll not find much better than in Cayey. The town is also a booming new industrial area and as such has a vibrant nightlife and social scene for those looking for some night excitement.

The last leg to Ponce

From the hills of Cayey, take the trip down into the arid south. An hour drive will see you in La Perla del Sur, which, according to the Orlando Sentinel, has undergone a startling renovation over the past few years. The centerpiece of the city is arguably the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and once on foot is a great start for exploring the city. The city evokes a European-like charm, in contrast to the high glamor vibe  of San Juan.

Puerto Rico has such a rich and varied history that taking a car across the country is often a great idea to experience it all. There are multiple routes you can take, but the Rio Grande-Ponce trip allows you to take in a slice of three very different Puerto Rican traditions. Get behind the wheel and enjoy the island’s bounty.

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