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Puerto Rico, situated to the northeast of the Dominican Republic, is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The name "Puerto Rico" in Spanish translates to "rich port." The island includes several smaller islands, such as Mona, Vieques, and Culebra.
For over 400 years, Puerto Rico was under the rule of the Spanish Empire. Later, when the United States occupied the island, it became an autonomous territory associated with the United States. Puerto Rico maintains internal autonomy but defers its external affairs to the United States. The official currency is the U.S. Dollar, and its citizens hold U.S. passports. Visitors wishing to travel to Puerto Rico are required to obtain U.S. visas and can apply for a visa through U.S. diplomatic representatives.
Both English and Spanish are official languages in Puerto Rico. About 85% of the population is Catholic, 10% Protestant, and 5% adhere to other religions. Most of the population resides in coastal areas and cities, with approximately 10.6% living in the capital, San Juan. The local population prefers other cities like Bayamón, Carolina, Ponce, and Caguas.
Puerto Rico reflects a blend of Spanish, American, and various indigenous cultures. The majority of the population is of Spanish descent. The island features a semi-tropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The ideal time to visit is between December and April. The El Yunque rainforest, historical beaches, and diverse forests are natural attractions worth exploring.
Tourism plays a significant role in Puerto Rico's economy. Large cruise ship tourism contributes significantly to the country's income. Puerto Rico has a well-developed industrial sector, with pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, petrochemicals, metals, machinery, motor vehicles, glass, cement, and processed food products as key industries. Puerto Rico is also a prominent exporter of pharmaceutical products, and many of its firms engage in international trade. The country imports various food products, machine parts, chemicals, and petroleum products.
The transportation infrastructure in Puerto Rico is highly developed compared to other Caribbean nations, with 11 airports handling passenger traffic. The largest of them, San Juan International Airport, offers direct flights to more than 20 European cities, in addition to destinations in the Caribbean, North America, and South America. It takes approximately 3.5 hours to fly from Puerto Rico to New York and 4 hours to reach Gulf of Mexico ports by air.
Despite its relatively small size, Puerto Rico boasts a rich culinary culture. Rice is a staple, and the cuisine includes dishes like Paella, a meat-infused rice, Empadanilla, a pastry filled with fish, Mofongo, a fried plantain dish with mashed plantains, and Morina fish pickles unique to the country.
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