PUERTO RICO HISTORY

written by Elena Harley

The island 'Borinquen' was populated by the Taino Indians until the early 1500's. Carib Indians raided the more peaceful Taino and established a few settlements. Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage in 1493 and named it San Juan. No attempt at settlement was made until Juan Ponce de Leon was given a charter by the King of Spain to colonize the island of San Juan (1508). The first capital city soon moved from its' origins in Caparra to what is now Old San Juan due to the mosquito infestations from the surrounding swamps. The capital city became known as San Juan as the name of the island changed to Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The Spanish government built a series of fortifications, including El Morro and San Cristobal, which still stand guard over the entrance to the harbor. Old San Juan is the second oldest Spanish colonial city in the New World and an excellent example of Spanish colonial architecture; most of which, has been beautifully restored. The lovely blue cobblestones paving the streets were brought as ballast in the ships. The cities of Ponce and Mayaguez were established in the late 1700's.

As settlement of Puerto Rico progressed, the native Indians tried to defend their island but were overpowered by the Spanish' Conquistadores'. The Indians not killed in battle were enslaved, most died off from disease and maltreatment. Many of the Indian women survived and eventually populated the interior of Puerto Rico along with the Spanish sailors who had brought no women with them. For several hundred years Puerto Rico was mainly a small farm economy. In the early 1800's the King of Spain granted a 'Cedula de Gracia' to increase the European population of Puerto Rico by awarding land grants to immigrants from South American colonies, Spain and other European countries. Thus began the century of change from small farms to large coffee plantations, then sugar production came into supremacy. African slaves were imported for the larger plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1873.

Hotels City Rating

El Conquistador Hotel Fajardo  4 stars

Fajardo

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Gran Melia Puerto Rico Hotel Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande Fabulous

El San Juan Hotel And Casino  4 stars

San Juan Good

Caribe Hilton Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Very good

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande Fabulous

La Concha, A Renaissance Resort San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

The Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Very good

Intercontinental San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Very good

Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Embassy Suites San Juan - Hotel & Casino  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Wyndham Garden At Palmas Del Mar Hotel Humacao  3 stars

Humacao Very good

W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island Hotel  4 stars

Vieques Superb

Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort  4 stars

Ponce Fabulous

Verdanza Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Very good

Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa Guanica  4 stars

Guanica Fabulous

Embassy Suites By Hilton Dorado Del Mar Beach  3 stars

Dorado

Casablanca Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

El Convento Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Parador Villas Del Mar Hau Isabela  3 stars

Isabela Superb

Esj Azul Aparthotel Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

Rincon Beach Resort  4 stars

Rincon Fabulous

Mayaguez Resort & Casino  3 stars

Mayaguez Good

Hyatt House San Juan Hotel  3 stars

San Juan

Rincon Of The Seas - Grand Caribbean Hotel  3 stars

Rincon Fabulous

Villa Cofresi Rincon  3 stars

Rincon

Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado  3 stars

San Juan Superb

Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar Hotel Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande

Doubletree By Hilton San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Superb

Hyatt Place San Juan/Bayamon Hotel  3 stars

Bayamon

Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan Carolina  3 stars

Carolina Fabulous

Royal Isabela Hotel  4 stars

Isabela Exclusive

Tryp By Wyndham Isla Verde Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Hyatt Place Manati Hotel  3 stars

Manati

Fajardo Inn  3 stars

Fajardo Fabulous

Parador Villa Parguera Lajas  3 stars

Lajas Fabulous

Hyatt Place San Juan/City Center Hotel  3 stars

San Juan

Atlantic Beach Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Olive Boutique Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Superb

Miramar Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn & Suites San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Guest rating

Park Royal Puerto Rico At Club Cala Hotel Humacao  3 stars

Humacao Fabulous

Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar Hotel Dorado  4 stars

Dorado Fabulous

Parador El Faro Aguadilla  3 stars

Aguadilla

Club Seabourne Hotel Isla Culebra  3 stars

Isla Culebra

Comfort Inn & Suites Levittown  3 stars

Levittown Guest rating

Holiday Inn & El Tropical Casino Ponce  3 stars

Ponce Very good

Four Points By Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel  3 stars

Caguas Superb

Acacia Boutique Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Villa Montana Beach Resort Isabela  4 stars

Isabela Very good

The Gallery Inn San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Courtyard San Juan Miramar Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Very good

At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Parador Maunacaribe Maunabo  3 stars

Maunabo

La Terraza De San Juan Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Exceptional

San Juan Airport Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Ponce Plaza Hotel And Casino  3 stars

Ponce Fabulous

El Blok Hotel Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Holiday Inn Mayaguez & Tropical Casino  3 stars

Mayaguez Very good

Aquarius Vacation Club Hotel Boqueron  3 stars

Boqueron Fabulous

Hacienda El Jibarito Hotel San Sebastian  3 stars

San Sebastian

Bravo Beach Hotel Vieques  4 stars

Vieques

Courtyard Aguadilla Hotel  3 stars

Aguadilla Superb

Parador Villa Antonio Rincon  3 stars

Rincon Superb

Blue Horizon Boutique Resort Vieques  3 stars

Vieques Fabulous

Parador Combate Beach Cabo Rojo  3 stars

Cabo Rojo Fabulous

Sea Breeze Hotel Isla Culebra  3 stars

Isla Culebra

Ciqala Luxury Suites San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Superb

Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn  3 stars

Luquillo Superb

Casa Islena Inn Rincon  3 stars

Rincon

Hotel Milano San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Embassy Suites Dorado Del Mar  3 stars

Dorado Superb

Hosteria Del Mar Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Good

Chateau Cervantes Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Coral Princess Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Melia Ponce Hotel  3 stars

Ponce Fabulous

Best Western Pichi'S Hotel Convention Center & Casino Guayanilla  3 stars

Guayanilla Superb

Parador Villas Sotomayor Adjuntas  3 stars

Adjuntas Fabulous

Hotel Joyuda Beach Cabo Rojo  3 stars

Cabo Rojo Fabulous

Howard Johnson Ponce Hotel Puerto Rico Island  3 stars

Puerto Rico Island

Condado Lagoon Villas At Caribe Hilton San Juan  4 stars

San Juan

Casa Verde Hotel Rincon  3 stars

Rincon

Villa Herencia Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Superb

Costa Dorada Beach Resort & Villas Isabela  3 stars

Isabela

Coqui Inn San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Esj Azul Isla Verde Beach Hotel Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

Quality Inn El Portal San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

The Beach House Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Good

The Wave Hotel Condado San Juan  3 stars

San Juan

Grand Bahia Ocean View Hotel Cabo Rojo  3 stars

Cabo Rojo

Parguera Plaza Hotel Lajas  4 stars

Lajas

Ac Hotel By Marriott San Juan Condado  4 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Costa Bonita Villas Isla Culebra  3 stars

Isla Culebra

Parador Villas Sotomayor Adjuntas  3 stars

Adjuntas

Monastery Art Suites San Juan  4 stars

San Juan

Parador El Buen Cafe Hatillo  3 stars

Hatillo Fabulous

Casa Sol Bed And Breakfast San Juan  4 stars

San Juan

Villa Coral Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Le Consulat, An Ascend Hotel Collection Member San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Fabulous

Hotel Villa Del Sol San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Horned Dorset Primavera Hotel La Tosca  4 stars

La Tosca Superb

Canario Boutique Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Normandie Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Guest rating

Vistas De San Juan Aparthotel  4 stars

San Juan Guest rating

San Juan Beach Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Guest rating

Casa Cielo Hotel Adjuntas  3 stars

Adjuntas

Hotel La Playa Carolina  3 stars

Carolina Fabulous

La Jamaca Hotel La Parguera  3 stars

La Parguera Very good

Fortaleza Suites Old San Juan  4 stars

San Juan

Decanter Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan

Esj Towers Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Hotel Colombus Aguada  3 stars

Aguada Very good

The Village Inn Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

Cidra Country Club Inn & Villas Caguas  3 stars

Caguas

Hotel Iberia San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Good

Esperanza Inn Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Aquarius Vacation Club At Dorado Del Mar Hotel  3 stars

Dorado

Mamacitas Guest House Isla Culebra  4 stars

Isla Culebra

Parador Turtle Bay Inn La Parguera  3 stars

La Parguera

Tres Palmas Inn & Villas Rincon  4 stars

Rincon

Dos Angeles Del Mar Bed And Breakfast Rincon  3 stars

Rincon

El Hotelito At The Rainforest Experience Farm Fajardo  4 stars

Fajardo Exclusive

Coqui Del Mar Guest House San Juan  3 stars

San Juan

Melia Century Hotel Ponce  3 stars

Ponce

Hotel Colonial Mayaguez  3 stars

Mayaguez

Boqueron Beach Resort  3 stars

Boqueron Fabulous

Apartments On The Beach San Juan  3 stars

San Juan

El Canario By The Lagoon Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Hotel Parador Oasis San German  3 stars

San German

Culebra Moon Villas Isla Culebra  4 stars

Isla Culebra

Tropical Guest House Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Faro Suites And Conference Center Aguadilla  3 stars

Aguadilla Fabulous

Acacia Guesthouse Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Playamar- Beachfront Apartment Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

Boutique Hotel Belgica Ponce  3 stars

Ponce

My Hotel In Puerto Rico San Juan  3 stars

San Juan

Apartments For You - Ashford Imperial Condado  3 stars

Condado

Wssm Surf House Hotel Aguadilla  3 stars

Aguadilla

Parguera Plaza Hotel La Parguera  3 stars

La Parguera

Howard Johnson Isla Verde Hotel Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

Coral Beach Apartments ISLA VERDE  3 stars

ISLA VERDE

Lemontree Oceanfront Cottages Rincon  3 stars

Rincon

Carmilet Guest House Aguadilla  4 stars

Aguadilla

Great Escape Bed & Breakfast Inn Vieques  3 stars

Vieques

Palmas Inn Villas Humacao  3 stars

Humacao

Hotel Treasure Island Caguas  3 stars

Caguas

Parador Vistamar Quebradillas  3 stars

Quebradillas

Culebra Bed And Breakfast Isla Culebra  3 stars

Isla Culebra

Martineau Bay Resort Vieques  4 stars

Vieques Fabulous

Casona Bella Vista Hotel Ciales  3 stars

Ciales

San Juan Bautista Vacation Rentals  3 stars

San Juan

Rainforest & Ocean View Inn At Carabali Luquillo  3 stars

Luquillo

The Plaza Suites Humacao  4 stars

Humacao

Casa Castellana B&B Inn Condado  3 stars

Condado Fabulous

Caribbean Luxury Apartments Manati  3 stars

Manati

Punta Borinquen Resort Aguadilla  3 stars

Aguadilla

Pop Art Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Superb