World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Central America

Puerto Rico Travelling Guide
Puerto Rico Travelling Guide

General background: Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Columbus' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917 and popularly elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self-government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998 voters chose to retain commonwealth status.

Area comparative: Slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island.

Climate: Tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation.

Terrain: Mostly mountains, with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas.

Population: 3,957,988 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: White (mostly Spanish origin) 80.5%, Black 8%, Amerindian 0.4%, Asian 0.2%, mixed and other 10.9%

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant and other 15%

Language: Spanish, English

Government type: Commonwealth

Capital: San Juan

Legal system: Based on Spanish civil code and adapted US state laws.

Economic overview: Puerto Rico has one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. A diverse industrial sector has surpassed agriculture as the primary locus of economic activity and income. Encouraged by duty-free access to the US and by tax incentives, US firms have invested heavily in Puerto Rico since the 1950s. US minimum wage laws apply. Sugar production has lost out to dairy production and other livestock products as the main source of income in the agricultural sector. Tourism has traditionally been an important source of income, with estimated arrivals of nearly 5 million tourists in 1999. Growth fell off in 2001, largely due to the slowdown in the US economy.

Communication/Telephone system: Modern system, integrated with that of the US by high-capacity submarine cable and Intelsat with high-speed data capability.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: