With its vast beaches, extensively warm weather and tropical breezes, The Caribbean is a highly coveted vacation spot for many Americans. Several islands of the Gulf of Mexico coast are remote and therefore can make for a pricey and well-involved trip. If you are looking for a Caribbean vacation spot that cuts down on the hassle, consider visiting Puerto Rico.

A United States commonwealth, this island located off the coast of Florida offers vast amounts of cultural engagement as well as outdoor adventures. For a more subversive and unique experience, consider ways to visit this amazing island in alternative ways other than a typical week-long vacation. Not to mention the fact that Puerto Rico is very safe for tourists. The crime rate is very low, so you won’t need to worry about being safe.

The best way to travel to Puerto Rico is to go in off-peak season. Visiting during the off-season months of springtime will help you minimize crowds and get a great experience for a lower price tag. The weather patterns that are found throughout the winter months carry steadily into April, May, and June. This allows for a fantastic opportunity for a unique vacationing experience without overcrowding or extensive wait times for various attractions.

A unique way to see the island of Puerto Rico would be to attend university on the island. The island is home to 152 accredited universities and colleges, all of which accommodate a student’s degree aspirations in the same way a mainland United States degree program would. Most degree programs are recognized by the United States and can easily be transferred if necessary. In fact, many courses are offered in English and Spanish, making the transition easy for expats from the U.S. mainland. The opportunity to study abroad allows students and young professionals to continue their pursue their studies while soaking up the culture of a Caribbean lifestyle.

If pursuing your degree is not in the cards for you, perhaps you can look at doing some volunteer work instead. For most, the opportunity to volunteer abroad is highly exciting. With its vast landscape, Puerto Rico is the home to five national wildlife refuges to threatened and endangered species of birds and other wildlife. In addition, groups such as Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) help in the agricultural progress of the region. By assisting in cleaning and planting as well as the education farmers. Participating in these and other various volunteer groups can have a large impact on the community and its future.

If you are looking to make a long term impact, consider becoming an English tutor for children. English is a common tongue throughout the island but is typically broken. Several programs are available for people who speak both Spanish and English and have a desire to assist others with learning the language. Teaching English to the local population will give you a chance to help the local community while giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself within the native culture.

A fun and different way to explore the coast of Puerto Rico could be a ferry hop tour. For some, this method of travel may be the best way to explore the island’s vast ecosystem. Boat tours that visit a few deserted islands around the main island can be completed within a day, and give travelers a chance to experience changes in scenery and adventures. Ferry hopping is a fun and unique way to travel to Puerto Rico. Plenty of tourists do this, it’s very easy to get tickets and schedule trips.

Visiting Puerto Rico is no doubt a fun adventure for all to be had. For some, taking a week’s vacation in the capital city of San Juan allows for all the excitement they may need. However, if you are a bit more adventurous or you are looking for a longer connection with the local community, Puerto Rico offers several ways to become a part of its culture and explore all of its richness.

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