In the past I’ve shied away from Spanish-speaking destinations, but… holy hell, I want to visit Puerto Rico! Between its sun, food, beaches, history, rainforest, and rum, the island looks exhilarating (and delicious).
And here’s something else that’s great: Because of Puerto Rico’s status as a United States territory, Americans don’t need a passport to travel there. No currency exchange, either–U.S. dollars for all!
For lovers of cities that are cool beyond belief, Travel + Leisure recently named San Juan No. 8 in its top 20 American hipster destinations:
The balmy island city may not be the first to conjure images of skinny-jeaned hipsters, but it does have the hottest dining scene in the Caribbean, and its locals rank in the top 10 for being tech-savvy.
I’m thinking this looks like a November or December destination. Waiting six-plus months to go there might be a drag, but it will give me a chance to learn basic Spanish phrases.
(On that note, lately I’ve been playing with Duo Lingo, a free language-learning program that’s still in beta. I’m still at beginners level, but so far it offers a great balance of interactivity–you can record yourself repeating Spanish phrases–and fun interface.)